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Certified Medical Assistant Career Paths in NJ & PA

A diverse group of nursing assistants at a hospital

The healthcare industry remains one of the top sectors for finding ample employment opportunities. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare facilities continually look to add qualified individuals to their teams to enhance care services. One such role is the certified medical assistant.

Pennco Tech, a vocational school with campuses in Blackwood, New Jersey, and Bristol, Pennsylvania, offers a way to break into the healthcare industry as a certified medical assistant through the Medical Assistant Program. Here, we discuss what these healthcare professionals do and the different careers available to them.

What Is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant?

Clinical medical assistants combine clinical and procedural knowledge. They work directly with patients and support the work of doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Students who complete the Medical Assistant Program at the Bristol campus can apply for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam hosted by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). After passing the exam, they gain the credential of Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). At the Blackwood Campus, students complete the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to gain the CMA credential.

What does it mean to be a CCMA? The certification can give you a competitive edge over other applicants for medical assistant jobs. Other benefits of earning your CCMA credential include:

  • Can prove your skill in medical assisting
  • May increase your starting salary for certain positions
  • Can open doors to leadership roles and other advancements in medical assisting or related healthcare occupations
  • Can reduce your on-the-job training
  • May allow you to maintain more stability and access hours that fit your schedule

Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

Hospitals and similar healthcare systems cannot function without medical assistants. They work with patients from their first appointment to their discharge or the moment they leave the doctor’s office. In other words, they play a key role in defining the patient experience, so must be compassionate and attentive while juggling multiple tasks. The following are some typical duties of medical assistants:

  • Helping patients check in when they arrive
  • Taking vital signs
  • Helping physicians during appointments or procedures
  • Administering medications
  • Conducting lab tests, such as blood work, X-rays, and EKGs
  • Responding to phone calls and answering questions
  • Recoding patient information in electronic health records
  • Providing information for patients to take when they leave

Career Paths for Medical Assistants 

The role of CCMA can be rewarding, but you may wish to seek other opportunities within the field after several years on the job. With the experience and skills you gain as a medical assistant, you can explore these positions, which may come with increased pay and benefits. Be aware some of these jobs may require additional training or certification.

Medical Administrative Assistant

As the name suggests, medical administrative assistants take care of the office work necessary to keep a health system running. You see them every time you go to the check-in desk for an appointment. Some responsibilities of medical administrative assistants include:

  • Handling medical billing and coding
  • Coordinating meetings for providers
  • Scheduling appointments for patients
  • Completing paperwork for insurance claims

Patient Care Assistant

Working under the supervision of licensed nursing staff, patient care assistants assist with basic needs, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. Some patient care assistants also administer medications. You may find these roles under the titles nursing aides, nursing attendants, and nursing care attendants. They also perform similar tasks to the patient care assistant.

Patient Account Registrar

Patient account registrars handle the complex tasks of medical billing. They handle insurance and payments for healthcare services. They also work with patients to answer their questions about billing and insurance, as well as explain important forms. Since patient account registrars often deal with sensitive patient data, they must operate with the utmost integrity.

Insurance Claims Processor

Medical insurance claims processors look at the various policies of patients to determine if, and to what extent, their insurance covers the bill for services. They consider the benefits offered by the insurance company, and whether the service was necessary (i.e., elective surgeries are not medically necessary). An insurance processor also will review claims forms for discrepancies and areas left blank, contacting the patient or provider to retrieve the missing information.

A Meaningful Career Begins at Pennco Tech

By enrolling in the Medical Assistant Program at Pennco Tech, students can begin on the path toward careers as certified medical assistants. The comprehensive coursework teaches them to perform various duties successfully and efficiently. Topics the program covers include:

  • Interacting with patients
  • Performing vital signs and EKGs
  • Accurately recording medical histories
  • Maintaining electronic health records
  • Using a digital pulse oximeter and centrifuge refractometer
  • Successfully administering injections and drawing blood
  • Scheduling appointments and assisting providers

Find Your Future at Pennco Tech

Individuals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who aspire to become certified medical assistants can obtain the knowledge, skills, and credentials they need at Pennco Tech. For more information about our affordable medical assistant school and how you can begin your journey toward a successful career in the healthcare industry, contact us today.

‘I got it!!!!!I got it!’, Anthony said as he raced into the Career Services Office. He was talking about his new job. Hired by a former graduate of Pennco Tech, Anthony will begin his new career with a two-day OSHA training course.

Anthony Z. - Air Conditioning/Heating Graduate

I enjoyed all my teachers. They made it interesting and challenging. I enjoyed going back to school at the age of 48! Career Services was a big help to me. Danielle was great. She helped me with my resume and showed me how to apply. I got the job with Dietz and Watson! Pennco Tech was the right choice for me as I get ready to start my career.

Mark E. - Electrician Graduate

I just wanted to say thank you again for all your help…I just got a full time job at Kennedy Healthcare in Stratford, NJ as a Patient Services Representative. Thank you again.

Maria Z. - Medical Assisting Administrative Graduate