Registered Medical Assistant

Do you wish to become a Registered Medical Assistant? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. Read everything you need to know about the job, as well as what is the difference between a Registered Medical Assistant and a Certified Medical Assistant and the qualifications you need to acquire.

What does a registered medical assistant do?

Medical assistants are an important part of medical institutions and work in various types of medical facilities. Their role is to support doctors and other healthcare professionals and ensure that administrative and clinical tasks are completed efficiently.

The exact duties may vary depending on the type of institution you will be working in. The most important qualities you will need to be successful include efficiency, organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure. Read more about the role of an RMA in the following sections.

Related article: Lead Nurse.

What does a registered medical assistant do?

Where do registered medical assistants work?

Medical assistants have a variety of options where they can work. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, private practises, medical offices, ambulatory care centres, OB-GYN practise rooms, medical research centres, etc.

As an RMA you have a really wide range of possible jobs and the demand for this position is really high, so it’s surely a career path worth pursuing.

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RMA responsibilities and duties

As we mentioned earlier, the duties and responsibilities of an RMA can vary depending on the workplace. In general, they assist doctors with a range of administrative and clinical tasks.

An RMA’s administrative duties include welcoming patients, taking calls and updating medical records and patient charts. They may also make appointments, help fill out insurance forms and handle billing. Depending on the workplace, they may have other duties as well.

In clinical duties, they are usually assigned to measure the patient’s vital signs, such as blood counts, blood pressure and the like, to process the patient’s medical history and to assist the doctor in examinations. Their duties also include cleaning rooms and instruments, administering medication and other tasks that a doctor may supervise.

They may perform minor diagnostic tests as well as guide patients through the facility and educate them about procedures.

Being a good RMA also requires some qualities such as being friendly and communicative, having excellent interpersonal and analytical skills, and having good technical knowledge as they often work on the computer.

Explore more career opportunities! Read about the position of a Licensed Vocational Nurse.

RMA duties

Requirements and qualifications for RMA

Medical assistants are much more likely to be hired if they have formal training and are certified. Training programmes are available at many colleges, universities, vocational schools or even online. Training usually takes one to two years.

Your training will include anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, laboratory training, administration of medications and first aid. When looking for training, make sure it includes an internship, as this is the best way to gain practical knowledge and experience.

There are several paths you can take to become an RMA. The first is a degree in medical assisting, which, as we have already mentioned, you can do at many different educational institutions. You must also have at least 720 hours of experience, 160 of which must be clinical practice. These minimum requirements may vary depending on the state in which you wish to work.

Another option is that you are a graduate of the US Armed Forces, as their medical education programme allows you to apply for the RMA exam. Also, if you have worked as a medical assistant for at least 5 years, you can apply for the exam.

You can also take the RMA exam if you have worked as a medical assistant instructor for at least 5 years. Some other certifications may also meet the criteria, but it is best to check for each state individually.

RMA exam

To become a Registered Medical Assistant, you must pass the RMA test. This is a test that measures the skills and knowledge required to work as an RMA. Once you have passed the test, you are certified and can apply for jobs.

To register for the exam, you need to go to the website AMT (American Medical Technologists) as it is a nationally recognised provider of health and science certification.

The test itself consists of 262 questions covering 4 sections: Anatomy and Physiology, Administrative Medical Assisting, Clinical Medical Assisting and Clinical Patient Interaction. You will have two hours to complete the test. As the test is taken online, you will receive the results immediately.

RMA exam

Difference between a registered and certified medical assistant

As it’s written on web pages of the American Registry of Medical Assistants, there is no qualitative difference between a Registered medical assistant and a Certified medical assistant

These credentials are different depending on the organisation where it was acquired. 

The job responsibilities and duties are the same, as well as the requirements if you wish to become one. One of the few differences is that there are two different exams that they have passed.

How much does an RMA make?

How much you will make as an RMA highly depends on the experience you have, the facility you apply at, and the state you will be working in.

The average salary of an RMA in the US is $32,123, and the average bonus is around $500. The highest average salary is in Los Angeles.

Salaries range from $22,040 to $43,880, and this position is currently in high demand. 

Want to read about other medical professions? Check out our article about the role of Postpartum Nurse and see if that’s a job that suits you.  

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