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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Ohio

To become a medical assistant in Ohio who is both qualified and ready to compete for open jobs, you may consider completing the following steps:

Pursue a Formal Medical Assistant Education
Consider the Medical Assistant Qualifications Available to Ohio Residents
Maintain Your Medical Assistant Qualifications

The following Ohio regulations detail the types of tasks that supervising health professionals may delegate to medical assistants:

  • Physicians may only delegate tasks to medical assistants deemed competent to perform the task
  • Medical assistants can only perform tasks that do not require the exercise of medical judgment
  • Physicians must provide an appropriate level of supervision over a medical assistant
  • The delegated task must be able to be safely performed
  • The delegated task is able to be performed without the need to make complex observations or critical decisions
  • Delegated tasks must be of the variety that would not result in serious harm to the patient if they were to be performed improperly

Medical assistant jobs in Ohio are offered at locations across the state, and are concentrated in the states urban centers as indicated by the following data first published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 4,280 medical assistants in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area
  • 3,969 medical assistants in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area
  • 3,060 medical assistants in Columbus
  • 1,910 medical assistants in Dayton
  • 1,800 medical assistants in Akron
  • 1,520 medical assistants in Toledo
  • 1,120 medical assistants in the Youngstown area
  • 910 medical assistants in the Canton-Massillon area

Although Ohio’s approximately 21,130 medical assistants currently need not conform to legal licensing requirements, as a prospective professional in this field you will need to become qualified according to the demands of local employers.

 


 

Step 1. Pursue a Formal Medical Assistant Education

An education in medical assisting at the associate’s degree or academic certificate level will demonstrate you have the level of knowledge you need to competitively pursue employment. Education is also one of the ways you can qualify for any number of nationally-recognized professional medical assistant credentials.

Some credentials specifically require that your education be from a medical assistant program that is accredited by one of the following agencies:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)

There are at least 60 medical assistant schools in Ohio that hold such accreditations.

Graduating from an accredited medical assistant degree program in Ohio will ensure you familiar with such concepts as:

  • Infection control and surgical procedures
  • Written and oral communications for the medical assistant; medical terminology
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Health insurance
  • Basic medical coding
  • Clinical laboratory procedures
  • Assisting with nutrition and medications
  • Business English and mathematics
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical assistant administrative procedures
  • Medical assisting externship or practicum

 


 

Step 2. Consider the Medical Assistant Qualifications Available to Ohio Residents

You may choose to pursue a number of nationally recognized professional medical assistant credentials that are available to Ohio residents. These are sponsored by different agencies that each has its own requirements in place. Some of these credentials include:

Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), you will need to accomplish the following to qualify for the CMA:

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT), you can become eligible for the RMA by passing the RMA Exam and completing one of the following:

  • Graduate from an accredited academic or training program that has at least 720 hours of coursework that focus on medical assisting, including at least 160 hours of clinical externship
  • Complete the equivalent to medical assistant training as part of service in the US Armed Forces
  • Have graduated from high school and have at least five years of medical assistant work experience that includes clinical and administrative duties
  • Be a medical assistant instructor with at least five years of experience, or have several years of teaching experience combined with multiple years of clinical medical assisting experience
  • Have earned another medical assisting certification and passed an associated exam; in this case you will not have to take the RMA Exam

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), to earn the CCMA you must pass the CCMA Exam.

National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), you can earn the NCMA once you have passed the NCMA Exam and completed one of the following:

  • Be a current student or graduate from a medical assistant program that is approved by the NCCT
  • Have worked full-time for at least two years as a medical assistant
  • Complete the equivalent of medical assistant training as part of your service with the US Armed Forces
  • Earn a medical assistant credential from another approved accrediting organization
  • Be a physician or doctor in a foreign country
  • Have worked as a medical assistant instructor for at least 10 years

Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) – offered by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP), you will need to register for and pass the NRCMA Exam and complete one of the following to earn the NRCMA:

  • Graduate from an approved medical assisting program
  • Have worked as a medical assistant equivalent for at least two years as part of your service with the US Armed Forces
  • Have worked as a medical assistant or in a closely related occupation for at least two years and have the recommendation of your employer

 


 

Step 3. Maintain Your Medical Assistant Qualifications

Individual employers can each determine the continuing education or professional development requirements you must complete to maintain your employment. If you need to maintain a professional credential you must complete the requirements as determined by that credential’s sponsoring agency. Maintenance and renewal requirements include:

The professional medical assistant organizations that offer these credentials or their affiliates, such as the Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants (OSSMA), can also provide information about local opportunities in Ohio on subjects like employment and continuing education.

You may choose to fulfill your continuing education requirements by completing related college courses. This can lead to earning more advanced degrees in medical science fields which will in turn increase your professional qualifications and allow you to move up the career ladder to more advanced positions.

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