Clinical Medical Assistant Career Overview

Posted On March 11,2022

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a rewarding and exciting healthcare career working alongside doctors and nurses to provide quality patient care? If you’re looking to get your foot in the door of the healthcare industry, becoming a clinical medical assistant (CMA) is a great choice.

Medical assistants walking through a medical facility hallway with a doctor.

What is a Clinical Medical Assistant?

Clinical Medical assistants are on the front lines of doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, and hospitals performing a wide range of clinical and administrative duties. CMA’s are a vital member of the team as they help keep the facility operations running efficiently and on schedule.

What Job Duties Does a Clinical MA Perform?

A medical assistant’s daily tasks vary depending on the size, location, and specialty of the practice, but many CMAs are cross trained to perform a wide array of clinical and administrative duties. 

The job duties of a clinical medical assistant may include: 

  • Recording patient history and personal information updates. 
  • Measuring and recording vital signs. 
  • Assisting physicians with patient examinations. 
  • Administering injections or medications as directed by physicians and permitted by state law. 
  • Preparing blood samples for laboratory testing. 
  • Sterilizing medical instruments.
  • Explaining medical procedures to patients. 
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings. 

Where Do Clinical MA’s Work? 

Medical assistants have the option to work in a variety of healthcare settings, but the most common workplace for a CMA is a physician’s office or healthcare clinic. This can be a benefit for people with families who prefer a predictable and traditional work schedule.

Medical assistants aren’t limited to physician’s offices and clinics only. As a certified CMA, you can find employment in: 

  • Hospitals
  • Long Term Care Facilities 
  • Outpatient Care Centers 
  • Specialty Clinics 
  • Insurance Carriers 
  • Hospice Facilities 
  • Weight Loss Clinics 
  • Chiropractic Offices 
  • Diagnostic Laboratories 
  • Medical Research Centers 
  • Colleges and Universities 
  • Prison and Juvenile Facilities 
  • In-Home Health 

What is the Job Outlook for Medical Assistants? 

Medical assistants are in-demand and it’s one of the fastest growing occupations, likely attributed to multiple factors including an aging population, the obesity crisis, The Affordable Care Act, growing technological advances, and the global pandemic.

The job outlook for medical assisting has always been strong and stable with employment of medical assistants projected to grow by 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Learn More about our CMA Program

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant? 

It might surprise you to learn that becoming a medical assistant doesn’t take as long as some other healthcare professions. Training is relatively short with many programs designed to be completed in one year or less. This is the ideal career for those who wish to jumpstart their new career quickly. 

Athena Career Academy’s CMA program is approximately 800 hours of study and is taught over a 7.5-month period plus an additional 6-week externship. It includes 640 hours of classroom and lab participation requirements, along with 160 hours of externship experience where students can practice acquired skills in a real workplace setting and closely interact with the physician and healthcare team. After successfully finishing this program, students will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible to take the National Certification Exam. 

How Can I Become a Medical Assistant? 

Athena Career Academy has new classes starting every 6 weeks, and there’s no wait list. If you’re ready to take the next step towards becoming a medical assistant, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about enrolling. 

Start your CMA