Rhode Island Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in Rhode Island work for doctors and nurses.  They perform basic tasks, so doctors and nurses can spend their time treating patients.  Medical assistants often take care of administrative items, but there is also a clinical aspect to their job.

Administrative Tasks:

  • Emailing and faxing patient records
  • Filing documents correctly
  • Managing the appointment schedule

Clinical Tasks:

  • Giving immunizations
  • Properly caring for equipment
  • Administering certain types of medications

Certified Medical Assistants in Rhode Island

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    Most employers only hire medical assistants who have completed high school and medical assistant training.  Although it is not required by law, they prefer assistants who are certified as either:

    The best organization to be certified with is the American Association of Medical Assistants.  Here is how people become CMAs.

    Coursework

    In order to be prepared for the certification exam, CMAs must pass a training course.  The AAMA will only accept courses that the CAAHEP, an accrediting body, has approved.  Acceptable courses are offered at several schools in the state.

    Scholarship

    Completing the AAMA scholarship application is optional, but people who do not apply will not be considered for the $1,000 award.  There is not a public, standard form, so students can begin by emailing the AAMA with their contact information and school.

    Apply

    Until an applicant submits the AAMA certification test application, the AAMA does not know about the student.  A document online explains the entire testing process.  It can take the association a month to acknowledge an application and another three weeks to reply (after considering the application), so students should apply early.

    Testing Location

    Unlike training programs, which do not have standard tuition rates, the cost to sit for the certification exam is $125, regardless of where one takes it.  There are a number of facilities that proctor this test.

    Studying

    Students should ask their instructors for study materials and guidelines.  Then, they should implement these suggestions before taking the test.

    Passing

    In order to take the test, and hopefully pass, students will need to bring their test permit to the exam location.  This was received in an email from the AAMA.  After surrendering the permit, students can take the test, pass and receive their certification.  They will be acknowledged as active CMAs on the CMA Status Verification page.

    Rhode Island CMAs: Career Forecast

    United States

    Employment

    Percent
    Change

    Job Openings 1

    2010

    2020

    Medical Assistants

    527,600

    690,400

    +31%

    24,380

    Rhode Island

    Employment

    Percent
    Change

    Job Openings 1

    2008

    2018

    Medical Assistants

    1,700

    2,150

    +26%

    70

    1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

    (CareerInfoNet.org)

    Because Rhode Island’s population is aging, as is the rest of the country’s, CMAs are in high demand.  They are needed to take care of elderly patients.  This factor accounts for much of the growth in this career field.

    Rhode Island CMA: Salaries

    Location Pay
    Period

    2011

    10%

    25%

    Median

    75%

    90%

    United States Hourly

    $10.04

    $11.86

    $13.99

    $16.87

    $19.62

    Yearly

    $20,900

    $24,700

    $29,100

    $35,100

    $40,800

    Rhode Island Hourly

    $11.88

    $13.15

    $15.27

    $17.47

    $19.99

    Yearly

    $24,700

    $27,400

    $31,800

    $36,300

    $41,600

    (CareerInfoNet.org)

    Rhode Island’s CMAs earn more than the national average.  With certification and some experience, a medical assistant in Rhode Island can easily make more than $30,000 in a year.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average medical assistant salary in some of Rhode Island’s surrounding cities.

    • New London, RI: $34,200 (yr.) / $16.44
    • Eastern Connecticut: $35,570 /.$17.10
    • Boston, MA: $37,430 / $18.00

    Note: CMAs must be certified in the state they intend to work.

    CMA Recertification / AAMA Transfer

    Within 60 months of being certified, CMAs must be recertified.  This involves taking some continuing education units and passing the recertification exam.  The cost for the exam is $125.  More information is available on the AAMA’s site.

    Transferring to another state is simple, because the AAMA is a national association.  The transfer process is begun by emailing the AAMA.

    Local AAMA Chapters in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island does not have any local AAMA chapters.

    Sources: