Medical Assistant Continuing Education Options and Requirements
Those working as a medical assistant will have to to fulfill continuing education requirements. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) both require a substantial amount of continuing education in order for an individual to keep their certificate active.
Continuing Education for the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
The certification for Registered Medical Assistants (RMA) is only valid for three years. During that time, professionals are expected to complete 30 continuing-education credits. At the end of the year, the AMT may perform a random audit in which professionals must show documentation for their continuing education requirement.
Professional education, like home study, online classes, conferences and seminars, may satisfy the requirement as long as there is proof of attendance. For instance, AMT has modules that one can purchase and fill out. Anywhere from 8-25 continuing education credits may be awarded for the completion of the module.
Formal education, like taking classes at a university in a related field, will also satisfy the requirements. Classes in biology, microbiology and anatomy may be taken by the individual to reach their continuing education requirements. Each credit hour completed at the university level counts for five continuing education credits.
Continued Employment, Organizational Participation, Instructional Presentations
Up to ten points each year may be awarded for continued employment. This must be validated by the employer. Up to seven points may be awarded each year for organizational participation, which must be verified by the organization. Seven points may be awarded for an individual who has given an instructional presentation relating to his or her field. Supporting evidence and documentation of the planned presentation is needed.
Continuing Education for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
For the AAMA, professionals must satisfy 60 continuing education requirement points within a 60-month cycle. Ten must be administrative, ten must be clinical, ten may be general, while the remaining 30 may be satisfied in any combination of the previous categories. A transcript of the completed continuing education points is required for re-certification.
Local chapters of the AAMA also hold workshops that satisfy continuing education points. Non-AAMA programs may also satisfy continuing education points, but it is up the individual to decide whether the topic is relevant while also providing documentation like a flyer or syllabus that describes the topic.
Local workshops, seminars, special events and classes may award points for continuing education. One college credit hour does translate to 15 continuing education points. While 30 of these points may be earned at non-approved AAMA locations, it is up to the individual to make sure that what they are attending is relevant and will be approved for the continuing education points. It is best to keep documentation like a syllabus or flyer just in case.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical assistant jobs were predicted to increase 31% from 2010-2020 due in part to a larger incoming elderly population. These professionals earned an average annual salary of $30,550 in May 2012, noted the BLS.
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