Connecticut Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

The role of medical assistants in Connecticut has been clearly defined by the state’s government.  They can help other medical providers care for patients, as long as advanced medical knowledge is not necessary for the tasks they perform.  The Department of Public Health has issued a declaratory ruling that defines the responsibilities certified medical assistants can receive from nurses.

The Board finds that the nurse may delegate selected nursing tasks, which assist in implementing the registered nurse directed plan of care, to unlicensed personnel. Said nursing tasks shall not require nursing assessment, judgment, planning, and evaluation during implementation.

The responsibilities that a licensed physician can delegate to a CMA are governed by the General Statutes of Connecticut, Section 20-9.

A physician licensed pursuant to this chapter, who specializes in ophthalmology, may delegate to an appropriately trained medical assistant the use or application of any ocular agent, provided such delegated service is performed only under the supervision, control and responsibility of the licensed physician.

Medical Assistant Certification in Connecticut

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    Medical assistants do not need to be certified in Connecticut, but they must be properly trained to carry out the tasks they are given.  Most medical facilities will only hire certified medical assistants, because it is easy to prove that these assistants have been trained properly.  Although there are several national organizations that certify CMAs, Connecticut uses the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

    Here is the AAMA’s certification process.

    1. Medical Assistants Enroll in an Accredited Course

    There are many accredited medical assistant courses, which are offered at schools throughout Connecticut and online.  Those who complete an online program will have to also fulfill a practicum requirement.  Because these courses are offered by different institutions, their fees and lengths vary.  Any course that is accredited by the AAMA, however, will adequately train CMAs.

    2. Medical Assistants Schedule an Exam

    After completing an approved training program, medical assistants can schedule a time to take the CMA licensing exam.  The AAMA hosts the application on their website, and applicants can mail it to the address given on the form.  The testing fee must also be sent in with the application.  The AAMA replies to applicants within a month of receiving their materials.  In the reply, the AAMA includes a testing permit.  This permit must be brought to the testing center on the day of the exam.

    At this time, an exam can be scheduled.  The AAMA gives applicants a 90-day window to schedule the exam during.

    3. Medical Assistants Study

    Any course instructor should be able to provide students with adequate review materials.  Those who want extra practice exams, though, can contact one of Connecticut’s CMA chapters, which are listed below.

    4. Medical Assistants are Certified

    After passing the exam, medical assistants are certified by the AAMA.  They will be listed on the AAMA’s website.  Once Connecticut has been notified, they will also be listed as a CMA on Connecticut’s website.

    Projected Career Growth

    The U.S. Department of Labor has created CareerOneStop.org, which helps people research different careers.  According to the page for CMAs in Connecticut, there will be a growth in the field of 18 percent between 2008 and 2018.  When turnover in the field is factored in, this should result in almost 200 open positions for CMAs in Connecticut each year.

    Projected Salaries

    CMAs in Connecticut earn, on average, substantially more than those in other states.  Below is a breakdown of the salaries for CMAs in Connecticut and the United States.

    Location Pay
    Period

    2010

    10%

    25%

    Median

    75%

    90%

    United States Hourly

    $10.01

    $11.71

    $13.87

    $16.56

    $19.32

    Yearly

    $20,800

    $24,400

    $28,800

    $34,400

    $40,200

    Connecticut Hourly

    $12.06

    $13.61

    $16.06

    $18.93

    $22.04

    Yearly

    $25,100

    $28,300

    $33,400

    $39,400

    $45,800

    As this chart shows, becoming a CMA is a viable career path for people with or without a college degree.

    The following city-specific salaries are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

    • Hartford, Connecticut: $33,520 / $16.12
    • New Haven, Connecticut: $$33,020 / $15.88
    • Eastern Connecticut (non-metropolitan) $35,570 / $17.10

    Transferring Certification and Recertifying

    Connecticut follows the AAMA’s policies for recertification.  Every five years CMAs must be recertified.  The process is described on by the AAMA here.

    Since the AAMA is a private, nationally-recognized certifying agency, CMAs can easily transfer their certification from one state to another.

    Local Chapters

    There are several local CMAs chapters in Connecticut:

    • Hartford-Tolland
    • Litchfield County
    • New Haven
    • New London County
    • Windham County

    Each of these chapters will have more resources, and Connecticut’s CMA website has other useful information.

    Sources and Helpful Resources: