The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), founded in 1957, serves as a professional credentialing agency for medical assistants. The AAMA provides certification, education, networking opportunities and advocacy for its members.
American Medical Technologists (AMT), established in 1939, is a certifying agency for allied health professionals, including medical, dental, medical laboratory and health education workers. The AMT also provides continuing education (CE) and support services for its members, including networking and career assistance. AMT receives accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is an accrediting agency for postsecondary medical assistant educational programs. Successful graduates of an ABHES accredited medical assistant program are eligible to sit for the registered medical assignation (RMA) or certified medical assistant (CMA) examinations.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), in cooperation with the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB), is one of two accrediting agencies designated to issue accreditation for medical assistant education programs in U.S. public and private postsecondary institutions. Graduates from CAAHEP accredited medical assistant programs may take the certified medical assistant (CMA) or registered medical assistant (RMA) credentialing examinations.
The Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (CB AAMA), established in 1961, issues the CMA credential to candidates who have successfully passed the CMA (AMAA) examination after completing a medical assistant educational program accredited by the ABHES or CAAHEP. Members of the Certifying Board are appointed by current board members.
CCMA, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, is the credential awarded by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) to medical assistants who pass the certification examination or have one year of work experience as a medical assistant.
Continuing Education (CE) applies to mandatory education required to maintain professional or credentialed status. CE may be administered through seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, laboratory study, distance or online education courses.
The Continuing Education Board (CEB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is comprised of members appointed by the Board of Trustees to oversee continuing education for medical assistants. The Board’s primary responsibilities include developing, reviewing and approving AAMA continuing education units (CEUs).
Continuing education units (CEU) are required by the American Medical Assistants Association (AMAA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization to maintain the CMA and RMA professional credentials, respectively. The AMAA requires 60 units completed within 60 months of certification that includes 10 administrative CEUs, 10 clinical CEUs, 10 general CEUs and 30 CEUs combined from the three preceding areas. The AMT requires RMAs complete 30 CEUs within three years of registration to maintain professional status.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) was founded in 1996 to act as member agency for degree-granting postsecondary institutions including colleges and universities. The private organization is governed by policies approved by a board of directors comprising 17 members and provides advocacy for self-regulation of academic standards and quality by monitoring organizations that approve accreditation for institutions of higher learning. The CHEA is also responsible for maintaining a searchable database of accredited schools and accrediting agencies.
Medical assistants who successfully pass the national certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) receive the CMA credential. A certified medical assistant (CMA) is recognized as a professional member of a healthcare team and must receive recertification by examination or through continuing education (CE) every 60 months to maintain credentialed status.
The CMAA credential is awarded to candidates that successfully pass a certifying examination issued by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). A certified medical administrative assistant (CMAA) provides healthcare administrative support services in various capacities including maintaining and managing patient information and records, provides medical and billing coding services, in addition to assisting patients with paperwork.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)is an emergency medical procedure performed on persons or animals who have suffered heart failure or stopped breathing as a result of an accident or adverse physiological condition such as sudden cardiac arrest. CPR, when administered properly, maintains oxygen and blood flow to the brain and may eliminate or reduce brain damage and sustain life until spontaneous breathing and blood circulation is restored. The procedure comprises chest compressions, sometimes accompanied by artificial respiration.
An electrocardiogram (EKG), is a diagnostic assessment tool used to measure electrical and muscular activity of the heart. Electrodes, placed strategically on the skin, measure the rhythm and rate of the heartbeat, with the recorded information comprising the electrocardiogram. An EKG may also be referred to as ECG.
Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) comprises energy consisting of electric and magnetic properties radiated from stars and includes radar waves, heat, light, microwaves, gamma rays, radio waves and television waves. EMR is used in the medical setting for diagnostics and treatment such as external beam radiotherapy, proton therapy and x-rays.
An emergency room (ER) is an area of a hospital designation for immediate care.
HIPAA Protocol
HIPAA is an acronym representing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The HIPAA protocol outlines standards and regulations determined in the HIPAA to protect the privacy rights of health care patients and also addresses standards of health care treatments. HIPAA specifically pertains to electronic transactions of patient information within the health care field and applies to entities such as health care providers, employers and health insurance providers.
A medical assistant (MA) is an allied healthcare provider who administers injections and medications, measures patients’ vital signs, maintains medical records and collects patients’ specimens, among other duties. MAs work under the direct supervision of administrative personnel and medical personnel such as office managers, physicians and registered nurses. Medical assistants may become certified or registered professionals through examination and continuing education.
The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) serves as the Medical Assisting Committee on Accreditation for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In addition to reviewing programs for accreditation, the MAERB is responsible for developing and revising medical assistant (MA) education programs, developing and reviewing standards for MA education accreditation, reviewing program compliance and disseminating current information pertaining to MAERB and CAAHEP accreditation policies and practices.
The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) acts as an independent certifying organization for allied health professionals such as surgery techs, phlebotomy technicians, ECG technicians and medical assistants. Certification criteria includes passing the certification examination administered by the NCCT in addition to the successful completion of an NCCT-approved medical assistant program or two years of medical assistant work experience totaling at least 4160 hours.
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is one of the largest national certifying agencies for allied healthcare professionals. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential or the Certified Medical Administrative (CMAA) credential is awarded to medical assistants who pass the certification examination. In addition to awarding certification, the NHA develops continuing education (CE) and allied health curriculum programs associated with higher learning institutions, hospitals and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary federal agency that enforces safety and health legislation to protect U.S. workers. OHSA provides education, outreach and training for employers and employees to ensure compliance with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Regional Accreditors
Regional accreditors consist of six agencies in the United States responsible for approving accreditation for private and public learning institutions that include all levels of education from grade schools to colleges and universities within a specified region. The six regional accreditors include the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Northwest Accreditation Commission, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
RMA is the professional credential used by medical assistants who have successfully passed the examination conducted by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization. Medical assistants who have completed an Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited medical assistant education program.
The United States Department of Education (USDE), also abbreviated with the acronym ED, is a federal government agency primarily established to monitor compliance with federal rules and regulations for issuing federal financial aid funds to students enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institutions. Other functions of the agency include collecting and maintaining data on U.S. learning institutions and to enforce public education regulations and federal laws that pertain to student privacy and civil rights.