Being that these years medical assisting is among the most attractive healthcare careers among young generations who are not always very fond of long education programs, we are here to tell you that it is not necessary to have MA certification to be allowed to practice your profession.
From the moment medical assistants appeared, they have been trained on-the-job under the supervision of a doctor and no formal training was required.
Not much has changed these days, except that certification stands as proof of your knowledge, skills, and advanced education.
What is MA Certification?
Medical assisting certification is a kind of proof of a person’s competency in this demanding yet rewarding profession.
If you possess a MA certification, your credibility among other candidates for a job offer will be better and chances of getting the job in the healthcare sector will increase.
The MA certification is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) which requires that each applicant take and pass their exam so as to become a certified medical assistant.
Prior to the appearance of the certification, a medical assistant had no way to prove that he/she possesses the knowledge and skills that a qualified MA should possess.
Nowadays, the certification exam is your chance to show what you know.
Those who want to earn the CMA credential must take and pass a written exam that consists of topics such as:
- Clinical procedures
- Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease
- Administrative Procedures
- Laboratory Procedures
- Medication administration
Another change that happened after the introduction of certification is that the medical assistants’ profession is now taken seriously by other health care professionals, which was not the case in the past.
Do Employers Require Certification?
Even though the AAMA certification is not determined by a state or federal government as a requirement for working as a medical assistant, employers are those who require that their medical assistants should be certified so as to be sure that their staff is well trained and knows what should be done in a medical facility.
Each employer wants to be surrounded by people who are competent and have the needed skills to safely treat patients.
Actually, there are some insurance agencies that physicians and healthcare centers are insured by which also oblige medical assistants to be certified with the aim to keep medical liability risks down.
We consider it worth mentioning that it is possible to work as a medical assistant without certification, but you should expect that your employer asks you to earn certification in a certain amount of time after he/she decides to hire you.
Also, medical assistants who did not pass formal training, but have years of work experience will be also able to find employment without certification.
Benefits to Being Certified
There are many reasons why we consider it wise to get your certified medical assistant credential:
- Better job opportunities
- Higher salary
- Opportunity for advancement
It is a fact that you will be given preference when applying for the job if you possess the certificate, and you will be even able to negotiate your salary.
Certified medical assistants are in the majority of cases paid more than non-certified colleagues.
Working without Certification
If you are already employed without certification but you are eager to boost your credibility as a medical assistant, you can speak to your employer about possible training or educational opportunities that they may offer you.
Also, you can consider taking classes, so as to learn new skills or even earn a certificate.
Great advice is to keep a record of classes that you take and add to your resume.
Furthermore, you can read professional journals and complete the included continuing education units, as certified medical assistants are obliged to finish a determined number of CEUs each year.
Last but not least, you should attend medical assisting conferences so as to gain new knowledge and new skills.
If this is included in your resume, your employer will notice that you are serious about your profession and professional abilities and eager to advance.