The clinical medical assistant specializes in clinical duties as opposed to the administrative tasks often handled by the administrative medical assistant. They are an important member of the health care delivery team who work closely with physicians and other health care practitioners.
There are a number of specialized clinical medical assistants performing technical clinical duties in specific health care fields. These include specialties like:
- Phlebotomy Technician – A Phlebotomist is trained in drawing blood from patients in hospitals or blood centers. They evaluate a patient’s ability to undergo these procedures and answer questions regarding the procedures. They may also do other testing such as blood glucose levels.
- EKG Technician – these are medical assistants trained in the operation of EKG machines. They administer EKGs and other stress tests, prepare patients for ambulatory monitoring and other related duties.
- Operating Room Surgical Technician – These technicians ensure the operating room is sterile and ready for patients, sterilize instruments used in surgery, prepare patients and assist nurses and surgeons.
Most clinical assistants work in physician offices, hospitals and outpatient care centers. The larger the facility there will likely be a number of specialized assistants employed.
The best educational background for a clinical medical assistant is a one year program that offers a diploma or a two year program offering an associate degree. These training programs are offered around the country in technical or vocational schools, community colleges, and many times even online programs are offered.
Whatever program you choose, make sure it is an accredited program. Many of these will offer an externship at a local medical facility as part of the program.
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
For qualified candidates there is a certification exam offered by the National Healthcare Association. To be eligible to earn this certification you must have either a high school diploma or GED and have completed a medical assisting training program or have one year of work experience in the field.
In addition you must not have been found guilty of a felony or have had any registration or license revoked, suspended or have been subject to any disciplinary action by a state health or regulatory board.
There are several benefits to getting your certification. They include:
- Recognition as a trained qualified medical Assistant
- Better job prospects in an increasingly competitive job market
- Higher pay
- More job security
For anyone who has invested the time to compete a formal training program, getting certified is the next logical step to take.
Like any employment opportunity your education and qualifications will get you just so far. Knowing how to go out and look for the job you want is just as important. You need to have put together a resume that highlights your background and applicable experience.
A good resume might get you a job interview that someone else may not get. Along with a great resume you need to have a cover letter that makes a potential employer want to learn more about you and read your resume. Put some effort into your resume and cover letter. It will pay off in the long run.