When you work as a medical assistant, there is never a dull moment. Without variety, life would be a pretty boring place. The role of a medical assistant is to assist physicians, patients, and other healthcare personnel with a range of tasks. They are typically the first individuals patients see at the counter or when it is time to take vital signs to begin the medical evaluation. If this career sounds interesting to you, keep reading to learn how to become a medical assistant.
The Five-Step Process
Although the educational requirements are a high-school diploma or GED, most employers seek candidates with a certification or medical assistant training from an accredited program. The length of a medical assistant program ranges from six-week to three-months. There are five main steps to reaching your goal of becoming a medical assist including:
Step One: Select the Right Program
Selecting the right program means finding one that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Accreditation equates to the school being judged by an independent group and that it meets specific educational standards congruent with other high-quality programs.
Step Two: Determine How to Pay for it
To help pay for the program, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will help determine the amount of money you are eligible for. Also, look for other payment sources like scholarships. Although medical assistant training is affordable, there could still be some financial hurdles that make paying for the program difficult.
Step Three: Seek a Medical Assistant Certificate or Diploma
Medical assistants are expected to boast command for various expertise ranging from phlebotomy and anatomy to customer service and medical billing. Each skill matters so it is critical to attend all required classes and take extensive notes. Students must find the best educational opportunities possible and most programs require hands-on training. Therefore, find one that is highly challenging and has a good reputation amongst students.
Step Four: Earn the Certification
Although most states do not require a medical assistant certification, it is now more common for employers to require some form of advanced education. Certification proves your dedication and eagerness to the medical assisting world that differentiates you from the competition. Certification also showcases that a candidate has been thoroughly tested and proven to possess specific skills that will be helpful to an employer. The following five are recommended by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and hold an accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Step Five: Consider Furthering Your Career in the Healthcare Industry
Once you have completed the education and the certificate has been earned, you must put this knowledge to work. Those with an entry-level job can settle and look forward to their new career. You also have the option of taking this role a step further to enhance your career by returning to school. If you earned an associate degree, you may with to ear a bachelor’s degree in administration, nursing, or some other healthcare-related field. If you wish to say within the medical assistant role, you can further advance this career with various certifications including, office programs, medication, phlebotomy, and other areas that can ensure more competitive pay or job security.
Like with all other careers, there are no shortcuts as you follow the path to being a medical assistant. Hard work and dedication within your educational requirements and in your position as a medical assistant will result in a rewarding and fruitful career.
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