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Difference Between a CMA and CCMA In the Workplace?

There are two primary types of medical assistants (MA) in the field. While both perform administrative, clinical and essential lab work duties, their educational requirements vary by state. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is qualified to work only in non-patient care areas. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is educated to work in both non-clinical and clinical areas. So, we decided to create this article about Medical Assistant certifications with the help of MedAssistantEdu to ensure that we provide the best possible details about the topic.

The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) designation is the most general level of training among medical assistants. The profession does not require or standardize any specific educational requirements, but rather many employers prefer an associate’s degree. Candidates for this certification are required to pass a two-part exam. The first examination is a standardized testing procedure, and the second part is a testing procedure that includes practical knowledge skills specific to medical assistants.

Many states do not require education beyond certification for medical assistants; however, some employers seek candidates with bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as health information management or business administration. These types of degrees would be beneficial to the candidate as they pertain directly to medical offices.

The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is an even more elusive designation than certification. There are no requirements or regulations for this credential; state employment agencies have not adopted it, nor does it apply toward licensure. Additionally, there are no two-part testing procedures like with CMA certification. Some healthcare employers offer tuition reimbursement for employees who enrol in full-time training programs specific to clinical duties or research at area colleges and universities; however, these opportunities may be limited.

Maintaining Current Skills with Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)

Both certifications require continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain active certification status. CEUs are gained through completing professional development courses offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or state-sponsored continuing education programs. These classes are intended to provide up-to-date information on current skills, protocols, and changes within the medical office setting.

Continuing education units are required every two years for recertification for both CMA and CCMA designations. If a candidate fails to complete this requirement, they will forfeit their assignment until renewed.

Aspiring candidates should carefully research what is required to meet educational requirements before seeking certification. There are differences between the level of preparation based upon state regulations and various levels of certification and their needs.

 Candidates should seek assistance from local and national associations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and their state chapters, for guidance on compliance and certification.

CMA vs CCMA differences include the following:

– The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is qualified to work only in non-patient care areas; whereas, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is educated to work in both non-clinical and clinical areas. The former does not need clinical skills, but the latter does.

– Both certifications require continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain active certification status. CEUs are gained through completing professional development courses offered by the AAMA or state-sponsored continuing education programs. These classes provide up-to-date information on current skills, protocols, and changes within medical practices.

– The two types of certifications differ in one aspect: the CCMA designation is offered by AAMA; whereas, CMA certification is state-regulated.

– The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification does not require clinical experience; whereas, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) requires it.

– The former does not need clinical skills, but the latter does. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is qualified to work only in non-patient care areas and complete a standardized testing procedure and practical application assessment.

– The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) has no mandatory educational requirements beyond high school or GED equivalent, but many employers prefer associate’s degrees. A candidate with at least two years of medical office experience can sit for the National Certification Examination in their area of expertise.

– The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is qualified to work only in non-patient care areas; whereas, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is qualified to work both in non-clinical and clinical areas. The former does not need clinical skills, but the latter does.

– The certification requirements and applications vary by state and regulatory agency. Eligibility differs with some states requiring a minimum time spent working within an office setting before certification eligibility.

– The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification does not require clinical experience; whereas, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) requires it.

– The former does not need clinical skills, but the latter does. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is qualified to work only in non-patient care areas and complete a standardized testing procedure and practical application assessment.

– The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) has no mandatory educational requirements beyond high school or GED equivalent, but many employers prefer associate’s degrees. A candidate with at least two years of medical office experience can sit for the National Certification Examination in their area of expertise.

– To maintain active certification status, candidates should seek assistance from local and national associations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and their state chapters, for guidance on compliance and certification.

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