Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Practice Test Review
A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) accreditation from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is considered the highest credential in the medical assistant profession. Those who achieve a CMA designation have greater job security, obtain higher salaries, have more prestige, and have a professional edge over their colleagues who do not have the CMA credential.
Completion of a medical assistant program that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is necessary in order to be eligible to take the CMA examination.
A conviction or guilty plea to any felony, will bar anyone from taking the Certified Medical Assistant examination, even someone who has taken an accredited medical assistant training program. However, this is dealt with on a case-by-case basis; therefore, be honest about any legal issues when filling out the examination application.
A summarized content outline of the Certified Medical Assistant examination material is presented below for reference and to aid in test preparation:
- Medical terminology (build words, definitions, and uses of terminology)
- Anatomy and physiology (cover the body as a whole, including the interrelationships between a body’s structure and function systems, and their related conditions and diseases)
- Psychology (basic principles, developmental stages of the life cycle, and defense mechanisms)
- Professionalism (display a professional attitude, show job readiness and job search efforts, and participate in teamwork to achieve goals)
- Communication (adapt communication techniques to accommodate patients’ needs, recognize and respond to verbal and nonverbal communication, professional communication and behavior; know patient interview techniques, receive, organize, prioritize and transmit information, telephone techniques, and fundamental writing skills)
- Medical and legal guidelines and requirements (licenses, legislation, documentation and reports, the release of medical information, the physician/patient relationship, confidentiality, and performance within ethical boundaries)
- Data entry (keyboard fundamentals, functions, formats, and proofreading)
- Equipment (equipment operation, maintenance and repairs, and protection and safety)
- Computer concepts (computer components, computer applications, and Internet services)
- Records management (the needs, purposes, and terminology of filing systems, filing guidelines, and paper and electronic medical records)
- Screen and process mail (The United States Postal Service, postal machines and meters, process incoming mail, and prepare outgoing mail)
- Schedule and monitor appointments (utilize appointment schedules and types, appointment protocol, and appointment guidelines)
- Resource information and community services (patient advocate)
- Maintain the office environment (physical environment, equipment and supply inventory, liability coverage, and time management)
- Office policies and procedures (patient information booklet, personnel manual, and policy and procedures manuals and protocols)
- Practice finances (bookkeeping principles, coding systems, third-party billing, accounting and banking procedures, and employee payroll)
- Principles of infection control (principles of asepsis, aseptic technique, disposal of biohazardous material, and standard precautions)
- Treatment area (principles of equipment operation, restock supplies, prepare and maintain treatment areas, and safety precautions)
- Patient preparation and assisting the physician (vital signs, examinations, procedures, and patient education)
- Patient history interview (components of patient history and documentation guidelines)
- Collect and process specimens, and diagnostics (methods of collection, process specimens, quality control, perform selected tests, electrocardiography, vision and hearing testing, respiratory testing, and medical imaging)
- Prepare and administer medications (pharmacology, prepare and administer oral and parenteral medications, prescriptions, and immunizations)
- Emergencies (preplanned action, assessment and triage, and emergency preparedness.
First aid: Identify and respond to various types of injuries with the appropriate care.
Nutrition: Basic principles and special needs)
Free CMA Practice Test Questions
1. A patient is anxious and begins hyperventilating. His hands and lips start to feel numb and tingly, and he feels lightheaded. What is the physiological cause of his symptoms?
A. Excess carbon dioxide in the blood
B. Excess oxygen in the blood
C. Lack of carbon dioxide in the blood
D. Lack of oxygen in the blood
2. Which of the following is NOT one of the five stages of grief as described by the Kübler-Ross model?
3. How should electrocardiogram (ECG) chest leads be placed?
A. V1: second intercostal space, just right of the sternum. V2: second intercostal space, just left of the sternum. V4: fifth intercostal space, midclavicular line. V3: halfway between leads V2 and V4. V5: fifth intercostal space, anterior axillary line. V6: fifth intercostal space, midaxillary line.
B. V1: fourth intercostal space, just right of the sternum. V2: fourth intercostal space, just left of the sternum. V4: fifth intercostal space, midclavicular line. V3: halfway between leads V2 and V4. V5: below rib cage, anterior axillary line. V6: below rib cage, midaxillary line.
C. V1: fourth intercostal space, just right of the sternum. V2: fourth intercostal space, just left of the sternum. V4: fifth intercostal space, midclavicular line. V3: halfway between leads V2 and V4. V5: fifth intercostal space, anterior axillary line. V6: fifth intercostal space, midaxillary line.
D. V1: fourth intercostal space, just right of the sternum. V2: fourth intercostal space, just left of the sternum. V4: fourth intercostal space, midclavicular line. V3: halfway between leads V2 and V4. V5: fourth intercostal space, anterior axillary line. V6: fourth intercostal space, midaxillary line.
4. You witness a patient suddenly collapse in the office. You run to the patient and realize she is unconscious, does not have a pulse, and is not breathing. While someone else calls 911, you and your coworkers begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). At what point should you use an automated external defibrillator (AED)?
A. After one round or two minutes of CPR have been performed
B. As soon as emergency medical help arrives
C. If the patient still has no pulse after five minutes of CPR
D. As soon as possible
5. A six-month-old baby in the waiting room suddenly begins to choke on a small toy. The baby’s mother yells for help. You run into the room to assist and see that the baby is still conscious, but she is unable to cough or make crying noises. What steps should you take to try to relieve the obstruction?
A. Lay the infant on the ground and give quick, consecutive thrusts on the middle of the breastbone with two fingers. After every 30 compressions, try to visualize the object that is blocking the airway.
B. Open the baby’s mouth and sweep your finger into the back of her throat to try to dislodge the obstructing object.
C. Lay the infant face-down along your arm, cradling her jaw in your fingers. Using the palm of your other hand, give the baby five quick, firm blows on the back between the shoulder blades. Then, turn the infant face-up and give five quick thrusts on the middle of the breastbone with two fingers.
D. Hold the infant on your lap, facing away from you. Use your fist to forcefully press inward and upward just under the breastbone.
1. C: Hyperventilation refers to a patient breathing more quickly than normal. This rapid rate of ventilation results in carbon dioxide being exhaled at a higher rate than normal. This can result in metabolic alkalosis, meaning that the pH of the blood is abnormally elevated. The symptoms that may accompany hyperventilation are related to the metabolic alkalosis that develops. The patient should be reassured in a calm manner to reduce anxiety. Have the patient sit down and instruct him to take slow, deep breaths.
2. A: The five stages of grief, as listed in the popular Kübler-Ross model, include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages of grief may be experienced by a person facing death or by his or her survivors. They may be experienced in any order. Not everyone experiences all five stages, and some people experience other emotions not listed here. Delusions are beliefs that are held very strongly despite the fact that they are clearly false. They reflect an abnormal thought process and may be present in certain mental disorders.
3. C: The correct placement is as described in answer C. It is important to place the leads correctly and precisely so that the electrocardiogram (ECG) can be correctly interpreted. V1 and V2 give information about the right side of the heart. V3 and V4 give information about the interventricular septum. V5 and V6 give information about the left side of the heart.
4. D: Because you witnessed the collapse of the patient, the automated external defibrillator (AED) should be used as soon as possible. The AED will evaluate the patient’s heart rhythm while cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is being performed, so CPR can be continued while the AED pads are being applied if there is more than one responder present. The AED will give step-by-step instructions and indicate whether the patient needs to be shocked or whether CPR alone should be continued. If a patient is found unconscious and the collapse was not witnessed, two minutes or one round of CPR should be performed before using the AED.
5. C: Answer C describes the correct way to provide choking first aid to a conscious child under the age of one. You continue to repeat the five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is dislodged or until the baby becomes unconscious. Answer A describes infant CPR, which is what should be done if the choking baby becomes unconscious. You should not perform blind finger sweeps, as described in B because this may push the object further into the throat. If you can visualize the object, you can try to reach in and pull it out. Answer D describes how you would do the Heimlich maneuver in an older child or adult.