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Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Hello Medical Assistant Web Forum Participants...

I have a favor to ask of all who have a moment and have dealt with a question that rolls across my desk over and over and over... same at the medical assistant groups. The question almost always starts with:

I know this might be a stupid question... but
and continues...
what is the differences between RMA & CMA, and is one better then the other?


It would be nice if we, as a group, could address this and put together a nice article, explaining the process to answer this question once and for all... with focus on "is one better than the other".

I'd like to post the answer into Lorraine's corner (if you don't mind--Lorraine!) and the NEXT time ths question pops up, just refer them there.

Also... those who remember where an answer to this exact question has been posted (here or the Yahoo medical assistant group) please repost it under this threat. I've looked for it but can't locate it.

Your help is appreciated!!!!

Danni

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Here is a start... All those who like to write and know the answer, please add/elaborate more!

The designation certified can be used interchangeably with registered. For example a Certified Medical Assistant through NHA and a Registered Medical Assistant through AMT, you guessed it, are both certified medical assistants!



Danni

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

There is no important difference,not when so many offices will hire in someone who is NOT certified from any agency and does not urge the employee to ever GET certified. Both mean the person took the time to take the exam because they consider certification to be a serious matter,the end results of all that education,and the belief that showing that they are a CERTIFIED Medical Assistant is important. Neither is better because both mean the same thing. Period.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CERTIFIED

Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

They differ by the association it comes from. AAMA vs AMT. They both require you to be a graduate of a program, excpet AMT also acknowledges training through the armed forces also. They also require 5 years experince before taking their exam. You receive a certificate from both and in my are both are regarded the same.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA,RMA, CNA, SN

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

It's my understanding that you need the 5 years experience for RMA if you haven't graduated from an accredited school?

AAMA has no such provision, no accredited schooling, no certification.

I have to disagree about certifications not mattering. I've seen posts where there ARE areas of the country that won't hire you without it.

Preference seems to be regional. Some parts of the country seem to look for CMA instead of RMA and probably visa-versa although both are national accreditations. I personally don't hold much stock in any other certification. There are some agencies that certify that supposedly allow you to take the exam from home, others the supposedly you're certified if you graduate a program and don't even REQUIRE an exam!

Lorraine
CMA, CNA

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA, CNA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

I need some help to understand difference in getting RMA. I wondering are only AMT, ARMA organizations give RMA certification?
How much time it take to get it.I filled some paperwork through some college.I recently got RMA number, but I do not know through what agency it was granted to me.
Please,Any help

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CNA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

The RMA certification is offered only through the AMT. You can't get it just by filling out paperwork. You must take THEIR exam and pass it. Your school may offer an exam that registers you with another organization but it's not the AMT exam so you won't be an RMA.

The CMA is offered through the AAMA. Same deal, you must pass their exam.

The AAMA and AMT require graduation from either a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited program. Although I do believe the AMT may allow you to take their exam with so many years of work experience instead. The AAMA does not. CAAHEP and ABHES are organizations that regulate the quality of the schools program for MA. The school has to meet certain standards to be accredited by either the ABHES or CAAHEP.

Any organization can offer to "certify" or "register" you. However, that doesn't make you a CMA or RMA as these designations are reserved for use by the AAMA and AMT. I've used the sports car analogy before, a Porsche is a sportscar, but not all sportscars are Porsches. Your certification is only as good as the organization that is certifying you. If you didn't take "THE" RMA exam, you may be registered with someone but not the AMT. You can be a "registered" Medical Assistant and not be a "Registered Medical Assistant".

Lorraine

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Thanks for reply. No, I did not take exam for getting RMA.What does mean "registred" MA but not"RMA"? How helpful so kind of registration?
I am a foreign graduated healthcare provider. I worked at clinic out of the US for 1 year.

It's so hard to get job for foreign trainned healthcare staff because school is not accreditied, that is why I had to at least to finish CNA trainning in the US.
Agencies in the US who gives US license for foreign healthcare providers even do not want speak to us and always find reason to give rejection. Very difficult.
I was thinking to get additional phlebotomy certification at local college.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CNA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Hmm..how can I explain this better?

To register is simply the act of physically recording your name on a list. I could invent an organization, say the "Best Medical Assistant association", put your name on my members list and tell you that you are "registered" as a member of my association.

That would make you a "registered" medical assistant but the term registered would be a generic term or a general term. You could be "registered" by any organization. That organization may have stringent requirements for registration or none at all.

The designation RMA is reserved for those who have taken and passed the test given by the AMT which stands for American Medical Technologists. Once you pass the AMT exam, you are a "RMA" (Registered Medical Assistant SPECIFICALLY registered with the AMT). Registered is no longer a general term that just says you're registered SOMEWHERE, but actually a SPECIFIC registration, part of your title that tells everyone you've taken the AMT exam and passed it.

The AAMA and AMT are the most highly recognized certifications as they have the most stringent guidelines. You have to graduate from a school that is either ABHES or CAAHEP accredited. These are organizations that ensure the quality of the education you get at the school.

I hope I'm making this clearer instead of more confusing. It's really a quite simple concept that's difficult to explain on paper.

Lorraine

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

I recently took the NCCT certification exam for MA's. If the AAMA and the AMT are best then where does this NCCT stand in regaurds to the two. Or is the NCCT the same as the AAMA? Should I take my exam with the AMT? Please help, if you understand what i am saying.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: MA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Mauri,
since Lorraine and all who have explained the different certifications so well, I don't need to add much more...

except for clarification: NCCMA is not exactly the same as CMA, and RMA simply for the fact that they are granted through different organizations; just like Lorraine has explained so well in the above post.

Each organization has different rules, and requirements, but the outcome is the same: once you have taken and passed the certification exam, you can call yourself a certified professional, and use the three or four letter credentials associated with the certification after your name.

Danni

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

I work with a MA that has the title "NRMA". National registed medical assistant. I asked her what it meant and she replied "it means she can work nationwide and that she got an associate degree". I am alittle confused about this. At my school, I received a certificate rather than a degree. I was told a degree was more towards office management. I decided to just get the certificate since I was more interested in the clinical. I went to school for 18 mos. rather than 2 yrs. I am certified through AAMA. So why would she have the N in front of the RMA. I believe I may work nationwide also, right. Thanks for helping me understand this.....Cindy

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

I am dealing with something right now, no, alot of people say there is a difference between the two or three and there is also ncct. There is an article in the atlantic city press about students. I have been trying to find info, or per-sae facts, would be good. about the differences.

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what does CMA stand for, and what test does this organization give?

help me please

Your Professional Title/Credentials: ma

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Certified Medical Assistant.

Test is given by the AAMA.

www.aama-ntl.org

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

The RMA allows someone without any formal educational training to take the exam as long as they have 5 years experience in the field.

The AAMA only allows someone who has completed a formal educational course to take their exam.

Big difference to me!!

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Hi, In addition to the differences listed below (I skimmed them and didn't see this listed) another main difference that I am told between the CMA and RMA is that the CMA means your licence/certification is local (state specific) as opposed to the RMA, which is a national licence/certification. Hope this info is useful.. personally, if I am able to (didn't know about the 5 yr. wait, have to check that out) I want to take the RMA after graduating school, so that should I decide to move out of FL I am good to go.

Thanks, Kandie

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

AAMA is not state specific certification although there are state chapters. It is national certification. It pretty much depends on where you live which certification is preferred. Some areas of the country prefer RMA, others CMA.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Hello, I have never been more confused! There are programs that are accredited by the AMAA, CCBMA, CCMA and the ABHES to only name a few. I just want to have a quality education and be able to work and be compensated accordingly. Is the only way to be able to take the test to be certifed by the state of California, do I have to go to a school approved by the AMAA? Please helo!

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

I got one more. NAHP. I have done extensive research on this topic as well. If I had the chance to turn back the clock, I would have picked an accredited school. Mine was okay, I was hired while on externship. I do not want to complain. I will just be a NRCMA - Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant,until I can hopefully re-certify down the road with tha AAMA or AMT. If you are just starting out, just make sure you read everything you can. This website has accurate, reliable, truthful information regarding accreditation that may help.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: MA

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Re: Article: RMA or CMA... Difference and Which Is Better?

Are you saying that if i take the test thru the NAHP i wont be certified? Im very upset cause im schedule to take this test on Friday.... can you explain to me exactly whats the difference?
Thank you

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