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How to become a certified medical assistant in San Diego

Learn how to become a certified medical assistant in San Diego using our guide on skills, requirements and salary in this career.?

To become a certified medical assistant in San Diego, there are several steps that need to be taken. First, it is important to complete a medical assisting program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These programs typically take one to two years to complete and cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and clinical procedures.

After completing a medical assisting program, individuals can take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This exam tests knowledge in areas such as general medical knowledge, administrative tasks, and clinical procedures. Passing this exam is necessary to become a certified medical assistant.

In addition to completing a medical assisting program and passing the CMA exam, individuals must also meet certain eligibility requirements to become certified. This includes having a high school diploma or equivalent, completing a medical assisting program within the past five years, and being in good standing with the AAMA.

Once certified, medical assistants in San Diego can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They may perform tasks such as taking patient histories, preparing patients for exams, administering medications, and assisting with procedures. Continuing education is also required to maintain certification and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

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Key skills and competencies

To become a certified medical assistant in San Diego, it is important to possess key skills and competencies that are essential for the job. These include strong communication skills, both verbal and written, as medical assistants are required to interact with patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Attention to detail is also crucial, as medical assistants are responsible for maintaining accurate patient records and ensuring that medical equipment is properly sterilized. Additionally, medical assistants must have a solid understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology, as well as proficiency in basic medical procedures such as taking vital signs and administering medications. Finally, a compassionate and empathetic nature is important, as medical assistants often work with patients who may be experiencing physical or emotional distress.

Local salary expectations or estimates

As a certified medical assistant in San Diego, you can expect to earn an average salary of around $38,000 to $42,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on your level of experience, the type of healthcare facility you work in, and the specific duties you perform. Some medical assistants in San Diego earn upwards of $50,000 per year with additional certifications and experience. It's important to note that becoming certified can increase your earning potential and make you a more competitive candidate in the job market. With the right training and certification, you can start your career as a medical assistant in San Diego and work towards a fulfilling and financially rewarding career in healthcare.

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