A career as a Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) will assure you of a job anywhere in the country. This is a growing field in the health care industry that will require more trained & licensed CMAs as medical services become available to more people.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a 29% growth in the job market for clinical medical assistants between 2012 and 2022.
Physician offices and clinics are expanding and more CMAs are needed to work with patients. In addition to working for doctors and clinics, an advanced clinical medical assistant career may take you to:
- Surgical centers
- Urgent care facilities and hospitals
- Laboratories and medical testing facilities
- Senior living center and Nursing homes
- Home healthcare services
You may begin your career in a clinic or medical office after you have completed a Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate and passed the licensure exam. You may also want to consider completing an associate degree in Allied Health to improve your chances for promotion or a salary increase.
By enrolling at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (P.I.T.), you can choose to earn a certificate as a Clinical Medical Assistant. Upon completion of the certificate, you will have the opportunity to take the licensure test at P.I.T. You also have the option to continue your studies at P.I.T. and complete an Associate Degree in Allied Health.
After that, you’ll have the option to transfer the credits you earned here at P.I.T. to a four-year college and earn a Bachelor’s degree in various healthcare fields including medical technology, nursing, medical systems and business management.
There is a growing field of hospital, clinic and medical group management positions open to people who may start their careers as CMAs. New technology has opened more doors for clinical medical assistants in labs and testing facilities where computer skills are also necessary. Specialized fields, such as optometry, podiatry, pediatrics, gerontology and obstetrics, are also developing positions for Clinical Medical Assistants.
Good personal skills are a primary requirement for most Clinical Medical Assistant careers. The CMA maintains files and is often the first person a patient meets when entering a medical office. The CMA may interview patients regarding their medical problems and history. They may prepare the examining room for the patient, take the patient’s blood pressure and temperature, and follow up on any requirements from the doctor. This includes certain tests, future appointments, referrals, and prescriptions. Clinical medical assistants may be authorized to administer injections.
Clinical Medical Assistant students learn how to work well with people from children to seniors. CMAs must have a pleasant “bedside manner” and be able to listen to the patient’s medical problems. CMAs are also trained to work with disabled patients, including veterans. The baby-boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are now seniors with different and changing health care needs. Medical assistants learn how to work with seniors at clinics and with home healthcare services.
The Affordable Care Act has made medical insurance available to some people who could not afford it previously and those individuals will seek medical care that may have been avoided in the past. With more people seeking healthcare, medical facilities will need additional staff to provide care to them.
The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology offers two options to become a Clinical Medical Assistant:
- Clinical Medical Assistant certificate through the School for Professional Programs
- Allied Health – Clinical Medical Assistant Associate Degree program
Both programs provide the opportunity to become licensed through the National Healthcare Association. Both programs are offered at the Media campus and the Center City Philadelphia site.
The blended education programs at P.I.T offer computer study and classroom programs with experienced instructors. Students can work in “fast track” programs to quickly earn certifications and associate degrees. They can also work at their own pace while balancing a job and family responsibilities.
Students who study for the CMA Certificate or the Allied Health – Clinical Medical Assistant Associate Degree have the option to choose to complete either an externship or an internship.
- Externship: you have the opportunity to practice your skills at the site of a health care provider in CMA related jobs.
- Internship: you have the opportunity to practice your skills at P.I.T. using simulations and other students as patients.
Hands-on training is an important part of preparing for a medical assistant career. In addition, P.I.T assists graduates of both programs in finding jobs in their communities.
A career as a Clinical Medical Assistant can be a rewarding experience with opportunities for expansion into other areas of the health care industry.