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           CMA Training

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Medical assistant programs usually span a period of four semesters, or
two years, and cover a range of coursework designed to train medical
assistants in requisite administrative and clinical skills. Additional
practical training via two unpaid externships, are also necessary to
complete the certified medical assistant, or CMA training program.

       The only requirements for admission include the college
application and a high school diploma or certificate of General
Educational Development (GED). However, certain technical standards
are also demanded of applicants to medical assistant programs. These
include higher levels of reading and comprehension, above average
oral and written communication skills, data gathering and analytical
skills, mental and physical health and fitness, normal visual acuity and
color perception, normal hearing, manual dexterity and good reflexes
to perform technically difficult or potentially hazardous procedures,
excellent personal hygiene, and a calm and rational disposition.
Exceptions to these technical standards may be accommodated in the
case of the physically disabled, who may still undergo CMA training,
but are expected to have slightly limited function as medical

     Administrative tasks that medical assistants are expected
perform involve basic secretarial skills such as telephone operations,
coordinating patient and physician schedules, as well as hospitality
services towards the patients, among others. To address this, trainees
undergo must take the subjects Medical Secretarial Procedures and
Medical Office Procedures. Of course, effective communication skills
are cultivated by basic English Composition courses.

     Medical assistant programs also facilitate the acquirement of
record keeping skills by including courses in Medical Terminology,

Medical Transcription, and word processing with Microsoft Word. CMA
training in book keeping is tackled by courses in Mathematics and
Medical Insurance Code and Billing.

      Medical assistance also entails clinical tasks that are routine such
as obtaining the patient’s medical history and vital signs, preparing
the patient for clinical procedures, performing specific laboratory
procedures, updating the patient’s medical records, administering
medications, as well as urgent undertakings such as recognizing
emergencies and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Relevant CMA training courses would include Human Biology, Fitness
and Wellness, Medical Assisting Lab Procedures, Medical Assisting
Clinical Procedures, Principles of Pharmacology, Introduction to
Psychology, and Medical Legal Concepts, Practices, and Ethics. All the
knowledge gleaned from these courses will be applied during the
unpaid externships.

      Upon completion of the medical assistant program, some states
require undertaking certification exams before medical assistants are
able to perform specific clinical tasks. Most certainly, most prospective
employers will consider hiring certified medical assistants over non-
certified individuals.

     Employment opportunities for medical assistants are projected to
be increase over the next few years in response to a burgeoning
healthcare industry. This fact, in conjunction with the comparatively
short medical assistant program, would make this a logical career
choice for many.

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