On the Job

Medical Assistant Eligibility for Transitioning to Other Positions 

I recently received the following question: 

I would like to know why a CCMA [certified clinical medical assistant] in Texas can’t test out of the CCMA program and test to be a certified medication aide without having to become a certified nursing assistant first? 

Answers to this question can be found in my July/August 2012 Public Affairs article, “Legal Difference Between Working in Inpatient and Outpatient Settings.” 

Concisely, in Texas and most other states, medical assistants are governed by the medical practice act and the regulations and policies of the state medical board. Medication aides are governed by different laws, such as the public health act or nurse practice act. Medication aides also function under a board of health or board of nursing.

Also, medical assisting education is different from the education of nursing assistants and medication aides.

For these reasons, credentialed medical assistants are not automatically eligible to become certified nursing assistants or certified medication aides. 

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