It is not mandatory that one should get certification after they do the medical assistant program in order to get a job. They can get a job even without the certification after they complete their one year program. But, most of the employees prefer students to get certification before they join work. This is because students who take the professional certification exam are considered to be far more serious about their career in this fields hence the job opportunities for certified medical assistants are far more.
The health center have began to realize that those who are certified are not just dedicated to their career but they are also well trained in both clinical as well as in administrative duties. They do their daily routine duties with great ease and also take excellent care of the patients. Such employees are known to receive better salaries and promotions in their jobs very quickly.
Importance of medical assistant certification
Medical Assistant Certification is something that a prospective employer instantly recognizes and gives the candidates good work opportunities. Certification is recognized world wide. With the certification in hand the job opportunities for a person increases tremendously. One can move on from a medical assistant to a manager or to the filed of nursing if they are interested in staying in the medical field itself.
Let us now look at the organizations that are approved to give certification. There are many organizations that are approved of awarding Medical Assistant Certification to the candidate. The most popular institute is the American Association of Medical Assistants. The certification examination should be taken up by the interested candidate within 30 days of his graduation. These exams are generally held three times in a year which is January, June and the third in October.
The exam conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants is not an easy one to take. The duration of this exam is three hours. The results will be announced by the association within 45 days of taking the exam. Tough a difficult exam it would turn out to be extremely simple for those who have studied their administrative as well as the clinical aspects of the job extremely well. Such people would get their certification with ease.
It should be noted that not every person would be eligible for taking the medical assistant program.
Eligibility criteria for medical assistant certification
Let us now look at what the eligibility conditions are:
The first condition is that one should graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health (CAAHEP) institute or from an Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) institute. It is important to find out if the school which you are enrolling is accredited to either of these institutions. This applies to both the regular school program as well as the online program. If the school you graduated from is not accredited then, you will not be able to take up the certification exam.
The second condition is that the person who is taking up the certification exam should not have any sort of criminal record. However, there may be a few exceptions in this case and the best way to check if you are eligible or not is from the school in which you are planning to join for the medical assistant program.
The exam fee for certification: The American Association of Medical Assistants charges $ 250 as the exam fee. But, if you have graduated less not more than 30 days before taking the certification exam then the exam fee would only be $125. In case you could not clear the exam in the first attempt, then you would have to pay the entire fee again.
The medical assistant certificate is valid only for a period of five years from the date of certification. This is extremely important as the medical field is changing rapidly and one needs to keep himself updated in order to work in a health center. There are two ways in which a person can get recertification. One method is to take the exam again and the second is to show continuous examination as this shows that the person is updating himself with the latest technology as well as terminology. This is a mandatory requirement taking for protecting the patients from the hands of the under knowledge people.
Recertification Criteria of medical assistant certification
If a person is going for recertification, it is important that the exam is taken at least two months before the expiry date of the current certificate. This is because it takes a minimum of 45 days for the exam results to be announced. Some of the health centers also sponsor the candidates taking the re exam for certification as the candidate would have to pay $250 towards exam fee. As the health center would not like to lose the person they would themselves fund the certification exam.
The other option is certification through continuous education. For this a person needs to get 60 recertification points out of which half of it must be approved by The American Association of Medical Assistants. These points should accumulate from various categories like clinical, administrative and general category. Only then will it be valid. These points should be accumulated well before the expiry of the certificate. In case the certificate has already expired then, one would have to pay a recertification fee of $50.
Medical Assistant Certification also helps the person in moving ahead in his career. One can become a registered medical assistant as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, it was found that the job opportunities for the medical assistances are always high in demand and the grown rate is also faster compared to the other fields. Of course the person’s personal attitude towards work, the amount of effort he puts in and his learning also determines the growth opportunities. But, it can be said that Medical Assistant Certification is indeed a boon for those who are interested in medical career. So, if you are interested in serving others and at the same time have continuous growth opportunities then Medical Assistant Certification is a must for you.