Many prospective medical assistants ask the question about getting a medical assistant certification. The fact is that no state currently requires certification for medical assistants although some states require specific training and certification to perform specific functions. Regardless, more and more employers are requiring that you be a certified medical assistant to get a job.
Certification is a sign of competency in your field. It shows that you have taken the time to get the required training and have demonstrated that you have the knowledge needed to perform the tasks of a medical assistant.
Remember, you are not the only one looking for a position as a medical assistant. There is competition in the job market even though job openings are expected to grow in the coming years. You need to make sure you present yourself with the best qualifications you can. Becoming a certified medical assistant is one of the best ways to do that.
There are currently three main organizations that offer certifications for medical assistants.
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- National Healthcare Association (NHA)
Each of these organizations has its own requirements and certification process. All require specific educational training or on-the-job experience as well as passing a certification exam.
The certifications awarded by these organizations are as follows:
- CMA – Certified Medical Assistnat – Given by the AAMA and considered the premier of Medical Assistant certification.
- RMA – Registered Medical Assistant. Administered by American Medical Technologists (AMT).
- CCMA – Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. Administered by the National Health Care Certification Board
- CMAA – Certified Medical Administrative Assistant. Also administered by the National Healthcare Certification Board.
There are other specialized certifications that are available and may be desirable depending on if you plan to specialize in a particular area of healthcare or the specific job requirements dictate more specialized certifications.
These other healthcare certifications include Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), EKG Technician (CET), Operating Room Surgical Technician (CORST), Patient Care Technician (CPCT), Medial Laboratory Assistant (CMLA), Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) or Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS).
Learn more about the requirements of each of the major medical assistant certifications before deciding which fits your specific desires, background and time frame. Whichever you choose you can be assured that you are making an important investment in your future. The time and effort of getting certified will be well worth it.