Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ins and outs of a medical assistant certification

Although certification for medical assistant in the US isn't a legal obligation, you ought to seriously consider becoming a licensed medical assistant. Medical assistant certification is a great way to start a career path in the health care system, one of the fastest growing domains among careers today. Certification reassures doctors and other employers that the medical assistant they employ is adequately trained and allowed to execute their tasks effectively. This whole process - the certified medical assistant training and certification takes under a year.

The health care field is one of the fastest growing industry. As such, there is a high demand for medical assistants along with other health care practitioners. Being certified is the greatest and most standardized method to prepare for this growing career path. Certified medical assistants are more inclined to get hired, are often paid more, and are given more benefits than those that aren't. 

A medical assistant who's certified has passed the examination issued by certified bodies like the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). These organizations consider the certification to be a professional seal of approval to qualified medical assistants. The aim of these qualification agencies is to elevate, promote and maintain the standard of the medical assisting profession. 

All organizations that offer certification require candidate to have completed training in an institution that is accredited for medical assisting training. Along with classroom training, the candidate also need to complete the required clinical training with an externship. Primarily, AAMA gives CMA certification to those who're in the completion level of their medical assisting program, or those recent graduates of the program. However, the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) certifies anyone who has specialized experience within medical assisting for 5 years, aside from the usual medical assisting program graduates. 

Thus, medical assisting program undergraduates with at least 5 years experience can apply for certification through the AMT. Which means that anyone who wants to be a CMA should be taking a course at a certified vocational school or community college that will give you the class work and externships in real clinical and medical setting like physicians' offices. When all these requirements are completed, test eligibility is approved.

These applicants should study, review and prepare themselves to pass the accreditation exam. The medical assisting certification exam includes basic topics such as anatomy, medical jurisdiction, law, and ethics; administrative topics like how to file insurances, accounting, bookkeeping; and clinical topics like performing physical assessment, laboratory procedures and other clinical techniques. Usually, the exam consists of several choice questions, but it can differ according to which organization is conducting the examination. 

For AAMA, the certification exam for medical assistants has a fee of $250 for first time takers, and half of the price of those who seek re-certification; whereas the AMT charges $95 for examination costs. Certified medical assistants are required to renew their certificates, since they are not permanent. The certificate expires every 5 years for AAMA, while AMT CMA certification expires after 3 years. To renew the accreditation, another exam is taken or applicants might choose to adhere to the continuing education standards based on which organization they are certified. 

Although regulations may differ among states, calling the certification organization will provide the most up-to-date and definite information if you decide to be a certified medical assistant. The school or college that you attend for medical assistant ought to be able to provide you with this information. With the predicted growth of this career field and an improving demand for services for medical assistants, having your certification for medical assistant will be a smart career decision.
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