How to Become a Medical Assistant in Washington – WA
Medical office assistants can be certified or registered (CMA or RMA) through different educational paths combined with on-the-job experience. In order to practice in Washington as a medical assistant certification is not just suggested, but required. Since you must enroll in and pass a formal medical assistant program in Washington and exam you will want to carefully consider the options for certification and take care to look for an accredited program for entry into the profession.
You can take steps as early as high school in pursuing a career as a medical assistant. While in high school, courses in science and math are imperative. As well you will want to gain proficiency in working with a variety of computer programs, including a complete knowledge in database programs. As a student in Washington medical assistant programs, you may be able to find a vocational school where you will have the option to get some early hands on understanding and experience in this multi-role profession. In preparation you may also consider volunteering to immerse yourself in the medical workplace and get a feel for where you might fit in best. The following are the necessary steps one must take to pursue a successful career as a medical assistant.
- Explore all of your options and find an accredited training program to become a medical assistant.
- Decide early on what level of education you would like to pursue within your career. A certified medical assistant (CMA) designation can be obtained with a shorter course of study while a registered medical assistant (RMA) will first pursue an Associates degree in medical assisting and eventually work to qualify for the registration exam.
- Training for your medical assistant career will include topics in health sciences and biology as well as more clerical functions such as typing and database skills. Your ability to be a flexible member of the health care team is key to functioning as a successful medical assistant. Keep in mind that dual role importance as you learn both the medical and clerical aspects of this profession.
- A 160-unit practicum is required to be eligible to sit for the certification exam. This training will be a valuable learning experience where you can put to use the skills and knowledge gained from the coursework. This time can be provided through the specific training you choose but it may be of benefit to work closely with a medical provider in Washington to more fully immerse yourself in the intricacies of the medical assistant profession.
- Upon completion of training, you will be eligible to take the exam for certification.