Not many people really understand the importance of medical assistants when it comes down to the operations of a hospital or other type of health care center. Medical assistants are usually unlicensed, yet they play an important role in the efficiency of most health practices. Do not confuse the term medical assistant with the term physician assistant. A physician assistant can attend to the patients under the supervision of the physician and in some cases, can even perform minor procedures. In most countries, medical assistants do not have legal status.
The History of the American Association of Medical Assistants
Founded in 1955, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is still the only medical association that is devoted only to medical assistants. There are three other agencies, which certify medical assistants that are recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, but the AAMA is the most commonly used and the most recognized. The AAMA has expanded into more than 43 states and has grown into over 320 chapters nationwide since it was born in 1955.
Credit to: www.aama-ntl.org
The Mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants
The mission of the AAMA is to produce certified medical assistants who are highly skilled and knowledgeable and who can play a vital role in the smooth operations of a wide variety of many different health care organizations.
AAMA Code of Ethics for the Medical Assistant
Designed to set forth the principals of ethical moral conduct as they relate to the medical profession, the AAMA medical assist code of ethics states that a medical assistant will do the following:
- Provide services with the utmost respect of the patient
- Show respect for confidential information
- Hold their profession in the highest honor and with the highest principals
- Continue to improve their skills and knowledge for the good of the patients and of their colleagues
- Participate in services and activities that are aimed toward improved health and well-being of the community
To begin with, you must enroll in an accredited medical assisting program and receive academic and clinical training in a variety of areas. Some of these areas include:
- Medical terminology
- Laboratory techniques
- Medical law
- Human anatomy
- Patient relations
The CMA (certified medical assistant) student must also complete an unpaid, on-site work experience in a health care setting as part of the program. The certification process for medical assistants is backed by the AAMA. The reason for this certification is to ensure that the medical assistant is competent. This certification comes only after tests, which have been provided by the Nation Board of Medical Examiners, are passed.
Once the exam has been passed, the medical assistant will receive their certification certificate and walled card to prove they have received CMA credentials. It is essential that the CMA keep these credentials current in order to continue working in this field.
Certification is offered three times each year, in January, June and October. Along with becoming a CMA, students may opt to become a registered medical assistant (RMA) through the American Medical Technologists (AMT)organization. The AMT offers its own committees, policies, laws and officers.