Common Questions About the Medical Assistant Certificate Program

Medical Assisting is a rapidly growing field. For students ready to enter into the healthcare field, medical assisting is a great place to start. At Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology, our Medical Assistant Diploma/Certificate program prepares students to take the RMA, CMA and NCCT national registry and certification examinations. Our program meets all industry standards and will open various windows of opportunity for you in various niches of healthcare.

What Is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant works under the supervision of physicians to complete a wide variety of tasks including: 

  • Prepping patients for exams
  • Charting vital signs
  • Performing injections and minor procedures
  • Coding and billing insurance procedures
  • Greeting and checking patients in
  • Various administrative duties

Medical assistants work in physician’s offices, outpatient medical facilities, hospitals and clinics. They assist physicians and other individuals with day-to-day activities that are required.

How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?

According to PayScale, the medical assistants typically earn a median hourly wage of $17 per hour, ranging from $13.31 to $22.07. This number will differ depending on a variety of factors including location and type of work environment. Total pay each year ranges from $28,000 to $46,000 for medical assistants of varying experience.

How Do I Become a Medical Assistant?

You will first need to complete a medical assistant program. Through Cambridge, completing the program and earning your diploma/certificate will take approximately 36 weeks. After you receive your diploma/certificate, you will be eligible to take your certification exams. 

For the Medical Assistant Certification, you are able to sit for the RMA (AMT), CMA (AAMA) and NHA (CCMA and CMAA) national registry and certification exams. Additionally, you are able to sit for the Phlebotomy and EKG through the NHA exam. Once you complete your diploma/certificate, you will be able to enter the workforce as a Certified/Registered Medical Assistant.

Where Can Medical Assistants Work?

Medical Assistants are able to work in a wide variety of areas. Outside of the typical doctor’s offices or clinics, medical assistants are employed in:

  • Hospitals: Private and public hospitals both often employ medical assistants to act as part of a larger care team.
  • Outpatient care centers: In some outpatient centers, medical assistants provide clinical and administrative support to assist patients.
  • Physicians Office: Most MA will graduate and continue their work under the care of a physician in a wide array of specialities.
  • Nursing homes: These facilities maintain a staff of medical assistants to attend to the needs of the elderly.
  • Medical research facilities: Medical assistants help check in patients and prepare samples for testing.
  • Colleges and Universities: These facilities often house their own medical treatment centers for their students and faculty. Medical assistants prepare patients for exams, schedule appointments and more.

As the medical assisting career becomes more prevalent, other opportunities will open.

Is Medical Assistant the Same as a NA?

The Medical Assistant and NA careers are quite different. NAs work directly with nurses, assisting them with long-term care patients to prepare them for medical exams and procedures or taking and charting vitals. A NA’s work is hands-on with the patient.

Medical Assistants work with all members of staff to guide patients through their scheduled office visits and help to manage the administrative aspects of a practice. They are often the first and last face a patient sees during doctor visits or hospital stays. To learn more about the differences, visit our website.

Is Becoming a Medical Assistant Worth It?

Becoming a certified/registered medical assistant is a great career choice. Whether you are helping a patient check-in or assisting a team member with patient prep, each interaction is rewarding. The skills that medical assistants gain through their certification and work are critical for those who will choose to further their education later.

Medical assistants benefit from regular schedules, flexible working locations and increased employment opportunities. The job outlook for medical assistants is quickly growing and improving. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by 16% before 2031. Although being a medical assistant can be challenging, it is a great career choice for those interested in the inner-workings of healthcare.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Medical Assistant Certificate?

Individuals with medical assistant certifications are qualified for many positions including:

  • Clinical medical assistants: Focused on patient care, these assistants focus on assisting physicians and RNs. They take vitals, prepare samples for testing and are part of a larger care team.
  • Administrative medical assistants: These assistants are focused on the management of hospital, clinic or office operations including preparing patient records and making appointments.
  • Specialized medical assistants: These individuals work in specific areas of the medical field including radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging facilities. Additional training may be required.

No matter what type of healthcare you wish to be involved in, the medical assistant certificate through Cambridge can get you there.

Who Should Become a Medical Assistant?

Those who are interested in working for hospitals, outpatient care centers, nursing homes, medical research facilities or colleges and universities are the perfect fit for medical assisting certification. If you are ready to work in the healthcare field and make a difference in many patients’ lives, medical assisting could be the right choice for you.

Reach out to Cambridge today to learn more about our Medical Assistant program by calling 877-206-4279 today.