CCMA Certification

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) is one of the less commonly required certifications, so it’s not usually worthwhile to pursue it unless your prospective employer specifically requests it. It’s offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and it’ll remain active for two years after you pass the CCMA certification exam.

What CCMA Certification Means

Unlike other certifications, CCMA certification focuses particularly on patient examinations and medical laboratory procedures, rather than on all areas of the medical assistant profession. This can open up more opportunities from employers who are interested in assistants who’ve specialized in these areas. Still, CCMA certification is an entry-level certification, which means you’ll need additional on-the-job experience, and possibly additional certifications, if you’re hoping to specialize in a particular area of medical assisting, or to move into a supervisory position. Thus, it’s not worth your time to acquire this certification unless your prospective employer is specifically interested in it.

About the CCMA Certification Exam

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, grouped into nine content areas. You’ll have three and a half hours to complete the exam. Content areas include health care systems,

medical terminology, infection control, anatomy and physiology (body structure and function), phlebotomy (blood work), use of electrocardiogram (EKG) machines, medical law and ethics, and medical laboratory work. Each section is weighted differently toward the final grade; phlebotomy and medical terminology are weighted more heavily than the other sections. The exam can be taken with pen and paper, online, or in PSI/Lasergrade format. All these formats are only available at testing centers, which means you won’t have the option to take the exam from home.

Requirements and Costs to Take the CCMA Certification Exam

Anyone who wants to take the CCMA certification exam needs to have at least a high school diploma, a GED, or another accepted equivalent. Applicants also need to have completed a medical assistant training program or have one year of work experience in the field. People in training programs can take the exam up to 12 months prior to graduation. The exam costs $149.

Applying to Take the CCMA Certification Exam

The NHA provides an online registration form for the exam. After filling out your basic profile information, you’ll be prompted to provide documentation of your eligibility to take the exam. Depending on your situation, you may have the option to choose between a pen-and-paper exam, an online exam at a testing center, or a PSI/Lasergrade exam at one of about 550 PSI/Lasergrade centers throughout the U.S. Once you’ve paid in full, you?????ll receive a confirmation, and should get email instructions on appearing for your exam within the next few weeks.

Preparing for the CCMA Certification Exam

Much of the material on the exam will come from your preparatory courses, so take plenty of time to review your lecture notes, tests and textbooks from these courses. Some study resources tailored specifically around the format and topics of the CCMA exam are also likely to be helpful. The Certified Medical Assistant Exam Secrets Study Guide is one excellent resource, and Kinn???s The Medical Assistant Study Guide and Procedure Checklist Manual Package also covers all content areas in depth. Both these resources also include sample tests and study guides.

Keeping Your CCMA Certification Active

Everyone who holds a CCMA certification must keep it current by earning at least ten continuing education (CE) credits every two years from the NHA’s online Continuing Education Program. The NHA offers two plan options: You can purchase a five-credit package, which is good for one year, $79.50; or you can purchase a ten-credit package, which is good for two years, $159. Each course helps you maintain and expand your knowledge, and can help you qualify for raises and promotions.