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I'm considering completing an online medical assisting certification course in order to start gaining more varied PCE as an MA. After reviewing posts here I found https://www.uscareerinstitute.edu/certificates/health-care-programs/medical-assistant which would essentially allow me to complete the certification course as quickly as time allows and prepare me for the CCMA exam. Does anyone have experience taking an online certification course to become an MA and have advice or input? I'm in California and have reviewed the state-specific requirements. 

I was also wondering whether anyone has been able to transfer their online course credits to count towards their cumulative GPA? My cGPA is on the lower end and this would be an amazing opportunity to improve it. 

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The MA course to USCI is fairly easy. It took me  2 weeks to finish. I then bought the study guide for the CCMA exam and studied that for a week. USCI does a poor job at covering a lot of the more clinical aspects of medical assisting and the CCMA is almost exclusively a clinical exam so going through the study guide, especially with phlebotomy and EKGs is pretty crucial. But overall I went from nothing to a CCMA in less than a month and found an incredible job afterwards. 

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It was actually one of your posts that I came across and found USCI! Can’t tell you how grateful I am - I was planning on devoting at least a year to completing a program.

A few questions if you don’t mind:

1) did your current employer mind it was an online course with no clinical experience?

2) were you able to transfer any credits at all? 

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8 minutes ago, HopefulPA0004 said:

It was actually one of your posts that I came across and found USCI! Can’t tell you how grateful I am - I was planning on devoting at least a year to completing a program.

A few questions if you don’t mind:

1) did your current employer mind it was an online course with no clinical experience?

2) were you able to transfer any credits at all? 

Honestly nobody ever even asked me about my education, all they were concerned about was the certification. When I applied to jobs I first applied to an urgent care company that has like 80+ offices. The benefit of this was that the time put all of their employees through mandatory training regardless of experience. Then after I got a few months experience I jumped ship to an advanced urgent care that functions more like a stand alone ER. I got incredible experience here. But honestly there isn’t a ton you’re doing at most offices as an MA that you need prior experience for. Shots and venipuncture maybe but those come fairly easy. 

Unfortunately my credits at USCI did not count as anything according to CASPA. I called them and they did a whole review on the program and said it did not count as college credits. 

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Everything she says is true. 

I went through the same course, and I'm sitting for my CCMA certification this Friday. I started it the first week of Feb, finished the course by early March, and scheduled my test for the first week of April.

I have four kids, dealt w/ multiple bouts of sickness, and the insanity of life, and none of it interfered w/ school.

I spoke w/ an Allied Health staffing firm, and I have a possible job waiting for me at a urology clinic, another at an OBGYN, and a third possibility at an urgent care. It was quick, fairly painless, and fairly cheap. Get the study guides, know your EKG's/Phlebotomy/Vitals, and use the nhanow.com practice test. That thing is awesome--it generates study guides for you based on your missed questions. :D 

Good luck! 

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On 4/4/2018 at 0:39 AM, HopefulPA0004 said:

You guys are amazing! I'm signing up tonight for the online course.

Thank you for the advice :) 

I just wanted to let you know, I got my CCMA certification the day after I took the test--so I officially have my first certification in the medical world. <3 

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On 4/3/2018 at 8:44 PM, mooredc said:

Honestly nobody ever even asked me about my education, all they were concerned about was the certification. When I applied to jobs I first applied to an urgent care company that has like 80+ offices. The benefit of this was that the time put all of their employees through mandatory training regardless of experience. Then after I got a few months experience I jumped ship to an advanced urgent care that functions more like a stand alone ER. I got incredible experience here. But honestly there isn’t a ton you’re doing at most offices as an MA that you need prior experience for. Shots and venipuncture maybe but those come fairly easy. 

Unfortunately my credits at USCI did not count as anything according to CASPA. I called them and they did a whole review on the program and said it did not count as college credits. 

You're not too far from me--what were the  2 urgent care companies? I live near a dozen different Urgent Care chains, but the Glassdoor reviews vary wildly. I'd love to know which ones have these structured training programs you mention. :D 

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1 hour ago, TrekkieByDay said:

You're not too far from me--what were the  2 urgent care companies? I live near a dozen different Urgent Care chains, but the Glassdoor reviews vary wildly. I'd love to know which ones have these structured training programs you mention. :D 

 

On 4/3/2018 at 8:44 PM, mooredc said:

Honestly nobody ever even asked me about my education, all they were concerned about was the certification. When I applied to jobs I first applied to an urgent care company that has like 80+ offices. The benefit of this was that the time put all of their employees through mandatory training regardless of experience. Then after I got a few months experience I jumped ship to an advanced urgent care that functions more like a stand alone ER. I got incredible experience here. But honestly there isn’t a ton you’re doing at most offices as an MA that you need prior experience for. Shots and venipuncture maybe but those come fairly easy. 

Unfortunately my credits at USCI did not count as anything according to CASPA. I called them and they did a whole review on the program and said it did not count as college credits. 

I'd love to know as well! I'm in a similar geographic area.

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3 hours ago, TrekkieByDay said:

I just wanted to let you know, I got my CCMA certification the day after I took the test--so I officially have my first certification in the medical world. <3 

Congrats!! That's huge! I'm about one-third finished with the USCI course, so far I'm really liking it! Very clear and well-organized course. Can you let me know what was helpful for you in preparing for/passing the exam? 

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1 hour ago, HopefulPA0004 said:

Congrats!! That's huge! I'm about one-third finished with the USCI course, so far I'm really liking it! Very clear and well-organized course. Can you let me know what was helpful for you in preparing for/passing the exam? 

I finished the course in 5 weeks, then spent 3 weeks just studying every night for the CCMA. The test was *not* hard at that point, but I did see some questions (a handful out of 180) that I just said, "I have no freaking clue, cause I've never seen this before," and guessed on. 


I purchased the NHAnow.com study guide & practice test. That had additional information not covered by the WestonDistanceLearning course.  

You can take the practice test as many times as you like, and *every time* you do, it will generate a new set of areas you need to study. 

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1 hour ago, HopefulPA0004 said:

Congrats!! That's huge! I'm about one-third finished with the USCI course, so far I'm really liking it! Very clear and well-organized course. Can you let me know what was helpful for you in preparing for/passing the exam? 

Also, one thing that kind've bugs me about allied health instruction is that they don't require you to know the underlying "why" of the material--they just want you to know the *what* and the *when*.  

Maybe it's just my learning style, but it's a HECK of a lot more productive for me to understand the "whys" and the science behind any procedure. I don't *forget* things, or feel like I'm just memorizing a to-do list. 

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6 hours ago, TrekkieByDay said:

You're not too far from me--what were the  2 urgent care companies? I live near a dozen different Urgent Care chains, but the Glassdoor reviews vary wildly. I'd love to know which ones have these structured training programs you mention. :D 

Doctors Care is where I trained. It is only in SC. 

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  • 4 months later...

 

Hi Hopeful, I think you can find a lot of useful information (including licences and certifications, with certification's example) here . Additionally, you can read a list of CMA duties and personal skills needed, information about average national salary and average annual salary state by state, and an overall job outlook. 

While it is possible to become a medical assistant with just a high school diploma or GED, most medical facilities are likely to hire those individuals who have certification and training in medical assisting.

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) suggests that the most desirable path for becoming a medical assistant is by graduating from an accredited school with a two-year associate degree.

These accredited institutions prepare students to take the AAMA certification exam to become Certified Medical Assistants.

Every five years, the Certified Medical Assistant must request a certification renewal.

By earning the degree and certification, this Certified Medical Assistant will have the most employment opportunities and will have the greatest possibility for advancement in their career.

Students may also enter the workforce following the completion of a one-year program at a vocational school.

After receiving a diploma or certificate from this program, they are able to work at most entry-level medical assistant jobs.

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