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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island – RI

Although there is no licensing requirement for prospective medical assistants, the following steps are recommended for a medical assistant in Rhode Island to qualify for employment in this field:

  1. Successfully finish an online program or one of the Rhode Island medical assistant programs accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  2. Schedule and take the nationally recognized Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam, which is given and proctored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)’s Certifying Board.
  3. Become CPR-certified at a provider level or update certification prior to seeking employment.
  4. Once certified, locate a position in a medical practice or in a hospital assisting physicians and nurses.
  5. Once employed, maintain and update CMA certification by accessing continuing education courses and training opportunities. CMA certification can be renewed either by taking the examination again, or by acquiring 60 CEUs. CMAs are required to recertify every 5 years.

Medical assistants who wish to maintain their CMA certification must access 60 recertification points during the 5 years of their certification period, at least half of which much be AAMA-approved CEU units. These 60 points must be earned in the following areas:

  • 10 in Administrative topics
  • 10 in Clinical topics
  • 10 in General topics
  • 30 from any of the first three areas

Medical assistants must also maintain and update their provider-level CPR certification as needed. Assistants applying to take the certification exam or re-certify based on earned CEU credits must show proof of provider-level CPR certification before renewal can be approved.

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