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AMT focuses on certifications for 10 allied health professions that encompass a variety of clinical and laboratory careers.
Out of those 10 certifications, the RMA exam is among the most popular AMT tests because of the number of career opportunities for an AMT medical assistant!
Now that you know a little bit about AMT, let’s get into the details of the RMA exam!
How Is the AMT Registered Medical Assistant Exam Structured?
To become a registered medical assistant, a student must master the subjects on the AMT RMA exam. The AMT medical assistant test consists of 210 questions across four overarching sections, called “work areas:”
Anatomy and Physiology
Administrative Medical Assisting
Clinical Medical Assisting
Clinical Patient Interaction
Each work area is organized with three levels of structure:
“Categories” are the major topics found within the work area
“Subcategories” are more specific topics related to each category
“Competencies” are the individual concepts and skills within each sub-category
The exam has questions pertaining to each subcategory and competency, though the number of questions about each topic will vary.
I. Anatomy and Physiology
The Anatomy and Physiology work area includes 44 test items across two categories:
The Body Systems category includes three subcategories related to the major body systems; common diseases and disorders; and wellness and nutrition.
The Medical Terminology category has five subcategories focused on skills related to common medical terms, word parts, abbreviations, and medical symbols.
These foundational concepts are crucial for anyone interested in working as a medical assistant.
II. Administrative Medical Assisting
The Administrative Medical Assisting work area includes 56 test items across four categories:
Medical Receptionist / Secretarial / Clerical
Medical Law and Ethics
The Insurance category includes four subcategories pertaining to types of medical insurance, insurance claims, billing codes, and payments.
The Medical Receptionist / Secretarial / Clerical category includes seven subcategories related to common administrative duties. These include competencies such as scheduling, communication skills, patient records, basic computer skills, and general office safety.
The Medical Laws and Ethics category has four subcategories that teach students about laws that impact healthcare, credentialing requirements for healthcare professionals, medical law terminology, and medical ethics.
The Sterilization category has four subcategories focused on common procedures related to sanitization, disinfection, and sterilization.
The Instruments category includes two subcategories related to identifying, using, and handling common medical instruments.
The Laboratory Procedures category is made up of two subcategories about working in a medical lab. These include competencies related to safety guidelines, regulations, quality control, and commonly used lab equipment.
The Minor Surgery category includes two subcategories focused on common surgical procedures and the instruments used to perform them.
These categories ensure students are knowledgeable of the critical clinical skills needed to keep the healthcare environment safe for both patients and other healthcare workers.
IV. Clinical Patient Interaction
The Clinical Patient Interaction work area includes 71 test items across eight categories:
Vital Signs and Measurement
First Aid, CPR, and Emergency Response
The Patient Education category includes one subcategory related to communicating with patients about medical treatments and proper wellness. This includes providing educational materials like brochures when appropriate.
The Vital Signs and Measurement category has six subcategories that teach students about measuring vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature.
The Physical Examinations category is made up of five subcategories related to knowledge and skills required for a physical exam. These include patient positions, methods of examination, and visual acuity procedures.
The Therapeutic Modalities category is made up of three categories related to heat treatment, cold treatment, and alternative therapies like massage.
The Laboratory Procedures category includes one subcategory focused on the skills and knowledge a medical assistant needs to perform specimen collection and testing.
The Electrocardiography category has three subcategories related to working with 12-lead ECGs and other common ECG procedures.
The First Aid, CPR, and Emergency Response category includes three subcategories pertaining to general healthcare skills a medical assistant must have. These include skills such as working with an emergency crash cart, doing CPR procedures, and understanding the legal responsibilities related to those procedures.
What Is the AMT RMA Certification Process?
On exam day, candidates have two hours to complete the AMT RMA certification at an approved Pearson VUE testing center.
The exam is administered via an online portal and the results are automatically calculated and shared with the candidate on site.
If they’ve passed, students are an “active certified member” of AMT and recognized as a registered medical assistant!
So now that you know the details of the AMT RMA exam, there’s one last question -- how do you prepare your students for success?
How Do You Prepare Students for the AMT RMA Exam?
When it comes to preparing students for the AMT RMA exam, many teachers head straight for test prep materials.
On top of that, teaching to the test can negatively impact your students’ long-term retention of information and accidentally lead you to skip important concepts the RMA certification exam doesn’t cover!
That’s why it’s smart to take a two-step approach to prep students for the AMT Registered Medical Assistant exam:
Teach your medical assisting curriculum
Incorporate test prep as a supplement
Start by teaching the foundational skills and concepts that students need to know to work in the healthcare field.
That often involves discussing medical assisting skills and drawing from your own professional experience to show real-world context.