Certified Medical Assistant

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What It Takes to Become a Certified Medical Assistant

Becoming a certified medical assistant involves more than just enrolling in a course and turning up for class. To succeed in your career, you need to possess a combination of hard and soft skills. Check out the following criteria to determine whether a medical assistant position could be the right fit for you.  

Skills and Abilities
Medical assistants are required to carry out a diverse range of tasks on a daily basis, on everything from patient care to administration. Some essential skills are:

  • Communication. You will be spending your time speaking with and listening to coworkers and patients — in the case of the latter, many of whom you have never met before. Your job will also require basic writing skills, for creating reports, and a good telephone manner.
  • Medical procedures. Medical assistants must carry out a number of procedures, such as monitoring EKGs, drawing blood, charting vital signs, and obtaining initial patient information.
  • Customer service. You will need to provide the best quality service to all your patients.
  • Office procedures. Medical assistants often spend a significant portion of their time behind the scenes in an office environment, where professionalism and organizational skills play an important role.
  • Attention to detail. It is essential that you make no mistakes in patient care, written reports, and charting.
  • Problem solving. A great attribute for all medical assistants is the ability to detect a potential problem before it happens.

To pass your exams — for the Registered Medical Assistant, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, and Electronic Health Records Specialist certifications, for example — and to later work independently without constant support and guidance, you need to be knowledgeable on a number of topics.

You will need a good understanding of anatomy, pharmacology, clinical skills, medical law, HIPAA, and CPT, to name just some subjects. For office-related tasks, you should be comfortable using computers, technology, and software. Your job may require you to use:

  • Email software
  • Medical software, for electronic records, patient management, and diagnoses
  • Microsoft Office suite

Interests and Passions
To enjoy your work and provide top patient care, you need to possess a few personal characteristics. You should have the desire to care for others, both in terms of physical care and emotional support. You must have no qualms about making contact with patients and certainly cannot be squeamish around blood and other bodily fluids. Lastly, it is extremely important that you are able to work in a group, as much of your work will involve cooperating with others. 

If you are equipped with the above qualities, are eager to learn the essential skills, and want to increase your knowledge, training to become a certified medical assistant could be right for you. Find a school that will provide you with appropriate hands-on training and teach you everything that you need to pass your certification exams and begin your new career.

Want to learn more about how National Certifications might help you in today’s job market?

What SCI Students Are Saying

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

“I am very happy with where I am and where I’m going. Through high school, I struggled with math. When I came to SCI, I enrolled in the Business Accounting Specialist program to see if I could do it. SCI provided me with the accounting skills I needed to help me find a career. Now, I have an amazing career and room to grow in the company.”


Crystal H.
Business Accounting

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