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Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Chapter 1 The Certification Process Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Chapter 1 The Certification Process Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Chapter 1 The Certification Process Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

2 Introduction Now is the best time to take your exam, and here’s why: ■ Holding national certification shows potential and existing employers that you have a standardized body of knowledge. ■ States now regulate the medical assistant role and credentials, but they all recognize the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) exams. ■ Expanding administrative responsibilities now warrant specialization and validation of knowledge through a certification process such as the AMT Certified Medical Administrative Specialist (CMAS). ■ Medical offices are affiliated with health care organizations accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC), the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), etc., which inspect staff credentials. ■ Preparing for a national exam is a method to keep up with ever- changing practice, to review the latest standards, and to demonstrate your knowledge of entry-level competencies.

3 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins THE CMA (AAMA) ■ 200 multiple choice questions with 5 answer options ■ 20 of the questions are for trial only and do not count toward your score ■ It is not indicated which questions are the trial questions ■ Exam review questions for Anatomy & Physiology and Medical Terminology are available on the AAMA website (www.aama- ntl.org) National Medical Assisting Exams

4 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Eligibility Criteria ■ Graduating students or recent graduates of a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Programs (ABHES) ■ Nonrecent graduates (more than 12 months after graduation) of a CAAHEP or ABHES–accredited medical assisting program [beginning January 1, 2010, candidates will have 60 months from the date of graduation to pass the exam; if a candidate does not pass within this time frame, the candidate will not be eligible for the CMA (AAMA) credential] ■ CMAs (AAMA) recertifying their credential by way of examination National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

5 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Figure 1-1. Insignia of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

6 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins THE RMA (AMT) ■ 200–210 multiple choice questions with 4 answer options ■ If there are 210, 10 are for trial only and do not count toward your score ■ You have 2 hours to take the exam; questions are in random order ■ Exam review questions are available on the AMT website ( ) National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

7 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Eligibility Criteria ■ Graduates of (or students scheduled to graduate from) a medical assistant program that holds programmatic accreditation by the ABHES or CAAHEP or students in a postsecondary school or college that holds institutional accreditation by the ABHES or CAAHEP ■ Graduates of (or students scheduled to graduate from) a medical assisting program in a postsecondary school or college that has institutional accreditation by a regional accrediting commission or a national accrediting organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education; the program must include a minimum of 720 clock-hours (or equivalent) of training in medical assisting (including a clinical externship) National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

8 ■ Graduates of (or students scheduled to graduate from) a formal medical services training program of the U.S. Armed Forces ■ Medical assistants employed in the profession for a minimum of 5 years, no more than 2 years of which may have been as an instructor in the postsecondary medical assistant program National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

9 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Figure 1-2. Insignia of the American Medical Technologists (AMT). National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

10 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins NATIONAL MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST EXAM (Certified Medical Administrative Specialist [CMAS]) ■ 200–210 multiple choice questions with 4 answer options ■ If there are 210, 10 are for trial only and do not count toward your score ■ You have 2 hours to take the exam; questions are in random order ■ Exam review questions are available on the AMT website ( ) National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

11 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Eligibility Criteria ■ Graduating students or graduates of a medical office administrative program that holds programmatic accreditation or is part of a postsecondary school or college that holds institutional accreditation by the ABHES ■ Graduates of (or students scheduled to graduate from) a medical assisting program in a postsecondary school or college that has institutional accreditation by a regional accrediting commission or a national accrediting organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education; the program must include a minimum of 720 clock-hours (or equivalent) of training in medical assisting (including a clinical externship); training must include: Medical records management Health care insurance processing, billing, and coding Office financial responsibilities Information processing National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

12 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ RMAs or equivalent who possess a minimum of 2 years working as a medical office administrative specialists ■ Medical office administrative specialists employed in the profession for a minimum of 5 years National Medical Assisting Exams, cont’d.

13 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Earning Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) ■ Attending seminars and conferences approved for CEUs by your certifying organization ■ Completing online modules of appropriate topics approved for CEUs by your certifying organization ■ Reading material in journals approved for CEUs by your certifying organization and answering related questions ■ Listening to audio modules approved for CEUs by your certifying organization and completing required exercises or answering related questions Maintaining Certification

14 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins A graduate, who recently took the certification examination, gives this advice: “Study this book, study the practice exam at the end, and then study this book again.” Strategy Advice

15 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Studying Suggested study techniques : ■ Inform your family, friends, employer, and fellow employees that you are preparing for the exam. Ask them to support you, and include them in the review process. Ask your family to allow you uninterrupted study time; determine when that time will be and stick to it. ■ Read each chapter, and underline or highlight information that needs reinforcement. Reread those areas at different times until you believe you know them. Write down information you cannot remember; writing helps memorization. ■ Write difficult information in your own words to assure understanding; ask your employer, a teacher, or a peer if you need assistance. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

16 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Read the important review terms at the end of each chapter. ■ Develop flashcards by writing the review term on the front of an index card and the definition on the back. Again, writing enhances the memorization process. ■ Look for learning moments. These are times outside of your planned study regimen when you can sneak in some studying, such as during breaks; at lunch; while riding as a passenger in a car or bus, using exercise equipment, or walking the dog; or even during television commercials. Be creative! ■ Have friends and family test you using your flashcards. ■ Develop rhymes to assist memory (such as, for diabetic coma, “hot and dry, sugar high”). ■ Use alphabetical connections, for example, arteries (begins with an “a”) carry blood away (also begins with an “a”). Strategy Advice, cont’d.

17 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Incorporate as much repetition as you can. ■ Read the review tip boxes at the beginning of each chapter. ■ Take lots of practice tests, using the tests in this book and the practice questions from the AAMA and AMT! ■ Contact local programs—some offer national exam reviews. ■ Cram only if you are confident of your overall knowledge and need only cursory last-minute review. ■ Consider joining a study group as additional preparation, but not as your only preparation. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

18 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Multiple Choice Exams Use these strategies to avoid decoy traps : ■ Read the question and answer it in your head, and then look for the answer you think is correct in the choices, but do not mark it yet. ■ Read the whole question with each of the choices. Some questions have more than one correct answer, but one answer is more correct than the others. Do not mark your answer before considering all of the alternatives. That last choice may be better than the first. A word that is similar but not correct may appear first and act as a decoy. ■ Watch your time. Do not spend more than 45 seconds on one question. Come back to it after completing the questions you know. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

19 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Eliminate choices you know are wrong. The more choices you eliminate, the better your chance of selecting the correct one. ■ Watch for “all of the above” answers. If you eliminate one answer, “all of the above” cannot be correct. ■ Watch for “none of the above.” If one answer is correct, “none of the above” is not the answer. ■ Use caution with questions that contain the word “except.” The answer you are looking for is the opposite of the question. If the question says, “You would use sterile technique in all of the following situations, except,” look for the opposite of when “you would use sterile technique,” such as when taking a blood pressure. Read “except” questions extra carefully and be sure of what they are asking. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

20 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Watch for words such as “always,” “never,” “all,” and “none.” If you can think of one exception to a choice, then that answer is not correct. ■ Handle decoys. Some questions lead you to think another answer is correct when you are relatively sure it is not. Read the whole question with each alternative separately. Think about what each question with each answer means. Frequently, this helps confirm your original answer choice. And remember, the most effective strategy for multiple choice tests is practice, practice, practice! Strategy Advice, cont’d.

21 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins English Language Learners ■ Do not rush into taking the exam; be prepared. ■ Read and follow the previous strategies. ■ Buy or borrow the textbook Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). It offers an effective method to evaluate your English. If you have difficulty with this text, consider first taking an English or ELL course at a community college or other school. Taking a course may also increase your employment opportunities. ■ English tests called Combined English Language Skills Assessments (CELSA) are available at community colleges for non- English speakers to determine their level of English. A national exam will be difficult to pass if you score below the high school equivalent on the CELSA. ■ Obtain an ELL medical terminology book and review it. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

22 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Study with a native English speaker who is motivated and organized (see section on Study Groups). ■ If a question on the exam does not seem to make sense to you, look closely at the verb. It may have another meaning different from the one you thought. An example is the word “pose,” commonly meaning to assume a posture for a picture or artistic purposes (for example, “She posed for the picture”). Another meaning, more common in tests, is to present an idea for consideration, such as, “The doctor posed that the patient may not be taking his medication according to instructions.” Consider other verb meanings before answering. ■ Select only one answer—the best answer—for multiple choice questions. In some countries, you may select several correct answers. In the United States, if you select more than one answer, it is marked incorrect. ■ Be sure you are familiar with the testing modality you select (computer or “bubble” answer sheet). Strategy Advice, cont’d.

23 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Study Groups Pros ■ Study times and places are designated; people are more motivated to be prepared if others are relying on them. ■ The work, such as researching or organizing a topic, is shared. ■ One person’s weak area may be another’s strength, which sometimes makes studying easier. ■ You can discuss issues related to the exam, relieve stress, and gain a fresh perspective. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

24 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Cons ■ Participants must agree on study times and places, which is sometimes challenging. ■ All members may not participate equally, resulting in more work for some. ■ Everyone does not study at the same pace, leaving some behind and others frustrated with the slowness. ■ Conversation and other distracters may interfere with study. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

25 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Study Group Advice ■ Know the members and look at their performance in school or at work to determine whether they are committed and motivated before inviting them to join the group. ■ Select a site and time conducive to study—for example, not the home of a friend who has active, small children. ■ Allow only full-time members—coming to only some sessions should not be permitted because a part-time member requires time to catch up. An exception would be if a person only wants to participate for one or two subjects and the dates and times for those subjects are pre-established. Strategy Advice, cont’d.

26 Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ■ Organize an overall study plan with topics, assignments, and a leader for each session. Do this at the first session. It is sometimes difficult but worth the time. There are many options for putting together a plan. One method is to plan an overall review of each topic or to concentrate on specific topics that most members of the group find difficult. Anatomy and Physiology is the most challenging area. The group may decide to concentrate on this and study other topics individually. ■ Deal with disrupting or distracting members right away; sometimes humor works, for example, “Okay, time out for you until you stop gossiping and get down to work.” ■ Leave a study group if it is not working for you; simply say, “This is not working for me.” ■ Remember, the study group is only one tool; use the learning moments, flashcards, and other strategies previously mentioned. After you develop your study plan as described in Chapter 3, you will probably need more hours than the group provides, especially to cover difficult topics. Strategy Advice, cont’d.


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