According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics‘s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the majority of medical assistants complete either a one-year or a two-year program delivered either by community colleges or vocational schools. The majority of medical assistants go through one of these training programs, even though may states do not have any formal educational requirements for someone to get started in the field. Indeed, many medical assistants were able to start working straight out of high school and only needed to complete on-the-job training while being supervised by a physician. Nevertheless, although this is possible, it is generally recommended to take the Certified Medical Assistant Exam. This is conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why this is important.
- You will become far more employable. As soon as you list the fact that you are certified, you will have an increased chance of being invited for an interview. Competition for these jobs is quite fierce, which means that getting an interview is quite hard. By holding a certification, you are immediately a step ahead of much of the applicants.
- You will get better paid. As soon as you are certified, you will generally enjoy a higher pay scale and better bonuses. Additionally, it is easier for you to find a job where there are consistent merit raises, as well as frequent cost of living increases.
- You will have enhanced job stability. There is a need for medical assistants around the clock, all year long. If you want to make sure that you have a steady job, with a consistent shift pattern, then you should always choose to become certified.
- You will have more choice in shifts. Because medical assistants are needed around the clock, it is likely that you will have to do shift work. Although working unsociable hours is, sometimes, better paid, most would prefer to work between 8 and 5, daytime hours. If you are certified, you are more likely to be able to request this from your employer.
- You will demonstrate that you are dedicated to professional excellence. Because gaining certification is elective, if you do have it, you will show your employers that you truly care about being the best you can be. It is a framework of reference that proves you want to meet occupational standards.
- You will be better at your job. As a medical assistant, you will work in the field of health care, which means that people depend on your skills and knowledge. By being certified, you can prove that you know what is in people’s best interests and that you care about their health outcomes.
- You will be able to take part in continuous education. A CMA has to be re-certified every five years. You can do this by retaking the exam, or by showing that you have taken part in continuous education. Many of the training programs that count towards this can only be taken part in if you are certified. This means that you will have a better chance of always having the most up-to-date knowledge as well.
- It could become a requirement. More and more health care institutions have made a commitment to only working with highly educated workers. Hence, although you may be able to get a job without certification now, you may not be able to hold on to that job if your employer also raises their commitment to excellence.
- You have more job choices. Some health care employers only accept certified medical assistants, such as those in pediatrics and podiatry. This means that when you are certified, you have a bigger chance of finding a job in the field that you are actually interested in.
- It gives reassurance. Once you are certified, you know that your top priority is your patients. They will feel secure about your skills, and you will know that you are doing the best for them. You can help them at every stage of the process, from visiting reception to getting examined by the physician and beyond.