One of the steadiest fields of employment in this day and age is the medical field and one of the most popular options for those wishing to enter the medical field is to seek to be a Certified Medical Assistant. Labor Bureau statistics predict that the field of medical assisting will continue to grow at a steady rate.
What Does the Medical Assistant Do?
The job of the medical assistant is pretty much what it sounds like; their main responsibility is to assist the doctor or nurse with basic procedures, such as attaining patient information and medical history, as well as assist the hospital in clerical tasks such as billing and explaining insurance to patients.
- This position requires someone who is good at multitasking and can work well in stressful situations.
- People who are interested in attaining this certification should also have a decent set of people skills, as they will be working with the general public quite a bit.
- Medical assistants should also have strong stomachs and not be squeamish, as they will probably have to work near bodily fluids and wounds from time to time.
- Most programs require that the applicant has their high school diploma or GED prior to application.
Things to Consider Prior to Applying for Medical Assistant Certification
The first thing a person should consider is whether they feel a certificate or degree program is more suited to their interests. Here’s the breakdown of the differences between the two options:
- Certification programs only take about nine months to complete, they may not look as impressive on a resume.
- Associates degree programs in medical assistant training typically take two years to complete, but are more impressive on a resume and, often times, are more often more comprehensive.
Regardless of what route an applicant decides to take for training, it is imperative that the program is recognized and certified by the AAMA – the American Associate of Medical Assistants.
Education Options for Medical Assistant Certification
There are several options for those who are interested in medical assistant training. Many hospitals are “teaching hospitals”, which means that they provide on-site learning. Applicants can learn and observe from the trained medical staff. These hospitals may offer their own certification program or count toward credits earned when applying to a medical assistant school.
Another popular option for medical assistant training is to use an online school. Given that people are busier than ever nowadays, online schooling has become a popular option for those who also need to work or take care of a family while learning. These online schools are typically more flexible than a brick-and-mortar school and most offer the same quality of education. One of the great things about online learning is that is often times cheaper than attending a traditional school.
Many colleges offer some sort of medical assistant training now, typically in the form of a certification program. Applicants can look into their local community college, as they usually have an applicable degree or certification program and tend to be much cheaper than big universities.
A Quick Word on the Certification Exam
Another thing for the applicant to consider is whether or not they wish to take the certification exam. While it is not necessary to receive a position as a medical assistant, it will certainly help to get a foot in the door and looks impressive on a resume.
- – The certification exam is available to those who have recently completed the training program and typically costs less than $200.00 to take.
- The exam is, however, only offered during specific times of the year – during the months of January, June, and October. It is imperative that the applicant allows themselves enough time to study for the exam.
The medical field offers a steady opportunity for employment. Those who have the right attitude and the tenacity to work hard and apply their knowledge can certainly find a rewarding and lucrative career opportunity waiting for them in the position of the medical assistant.