Certified Medical Assistants
The decision to go into health care was an easy decision for me. It started with the birth of my son, he was born premature. He weighed two pounds 13 ounces; he needed specialized care which was provided by neonatal nurses. Neonatal nursing is a relatively new specialty by comparison to adult health, midwifery, or other areas of nursing. Because it is new, there are great opportunities for nurses to devote their skills to newborns who need specialized care. Neonatal refers to the first 28 days of life. Neonatal care, as known in specialized nurseries or intensive care, has been around since the 1960's (AACN, 2010). I was in awe of how they cared for my son. When it was time for my son to be released I knew I wanted to be a nurse. With life you never know what is coming your way, I did not pursue the field because life happened got married and had three more children. I did not forget that I wanted to be a nurse just couldn’t get it in my grasp. Finally, I decided to go to school but, went for my certification in Medical Assisting. Clinical medical assistants have various duties, depending on State law. Some common tasks include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examinations, and assisting physicians during examinations. Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens and sometimes perform basic laboratory tests, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. As directed by a physician, they might instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications, authorize drug refills, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for x rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings. Medical assistants also may arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean (BLS, 2009). This was a very good choice for me. I enjoy being a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). But, we often get confused with being a physician assistant (PA).
Employing the CMA (AAMA) to do clinical and administrative procedures in an ambulatory delivery setting is proving to be a cost-effective way of providing high-quality care. The CMA (AAMA) credential represents a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) who has achieved certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The CMA (AAMA) must graduate from an accredited postsecondary academic program; pass a national examination administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners, and recertify every five years. The CMA (AAMA) is trained in socioethnic sensitivity and highly skilled in communicating with patients. In an effort to reduce potential malpractice liability, insurance carriers are recommending that practices employ culturally competent “patient advocate” professionals such as the CMA (AAMA) who has the required listening and speaking abilities. Researchers are exploring new ways of utilizing the CMA (AAMA) that enhance efficiency and reduce patient noncompliance with physicians’ instructions, such as serving as a “health coach” who meets with patients before and after the clinician (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) visit, and assists during the clinician visit (Balasa, 2008). With any health care worker there are steps that need to be followed in order to get the training and experience they need to provide excellent health care. Without the credentials listed above one cannot claim to be a Certified Medical Assistant. When people practice any type of medicine they must carry the correct credentials in order to do so if not they face jail time for practicing medicine without a license. Employers must check the licenses of the employees they wish to hire, this way the person they wish to hire is fully licensed or certified...
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