Mandatory continuing education hours for both the Certified medical assistant (CMA) and the Registered medical assistant (RMA)
The American Association of Medical Assistance (AAMA) holds paramount the safety of patients and requires all medical assistants under its certification to always update themselves with current medical issues and practices. AAMA requires that every CMA recertifies his or her credential after every 60 months or five years, which ensures that CMA’s have up-to-date knowledge and competency and hence be in a better position to protect and ensure the safety of patients (AAMA, 2013). CMA recertification calls for mandatory continuing education that enables CMA’s to earn minimum points that are required for recertification (AAMA, 2013). Failure to achieve the minimum required points means no recertification and failure to get recertified after 60 months implies that affected persons will not be able to practice medicine because they would be in the “not current” status (AAMA, 2013).
For an individual to be successfully recertified, he or she must have attained at least 60 points within 60 months (time between one recertification or initial certification and the next recertification). The candidate or medical assistant must achieve at least 10 points in the following areas: clinical, general and administrative areas (AAMA, 2013). This gives a minimum of 30 recertification points. The remaining 30 recertification points can be accumulated from any combination of the three aforementioned areas. Table 1 below gives a summary of how a medical assistant seeking CMA recertification should earn the minimum required recertification points.
Other than certifying qualified medical assistants, the American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA) seeks to “advance the professionalism of qualified Medical Assistants” (ARMA, 2013, para. 1). In the effort to advance the professionalism of qualified medical assistants, ARMA requires medical assistants under its certification to undertake continuous education to ensure that they have current knowledge and competency, just like AAMA (ARMA, 2013). After registration, medical assistants are required by the professional body to maintain their full membership by completing and passing 12 CEUs per year (ARMA, 2013). Therefore, recertification for ARMA is done annually in which medical assistants must complete and pass the 12 required CEUs.
Recertification examination is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and medical assistants seeking recertification must achieve at least 30 recertification points. Currently, medical assistants seeking recertification or renewal of their membership can purchase CEUs online and do examinations, assessments and quizzes online, which are then marked and earned points added to previous points to determine if a medical assistant has attained minimum required points. Examination can also be purchased and done by ARMA non-members (ARMA, 2013).
AAMA. (2013). Recertifying your CMA (AAMA) Credential: CMA (AAMA) Recertification by Continuing Education Application. CMA (AAMA). Accessed November 25, 2013 from http://www.aama-ntl.org/continuing-education/ceus#.UpMsLCc061s
ARMA. (2013). American Registry of Medical Assistants. Accessed November 25, 2013 from http://arma-cert.org/
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