If you are a graduate of a post secondary medical assisting program accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES then you are immediately eligible to take a medical assistant certification exam of your choice provided by different professional membership organizations. Their exams typically consist of a certain number of multiple choice questions that cover many different areas of the medical assistant discipline in general, clinical and administrative areas.
Taking the Certification Exam
The medical assistant certification exam can be taken as early as right after graduating from the program, or later down the road, however, certification exams can pose a challenge and are best taken while the material learned is still fresh in your mind. Some medical assistant graduates, however, feel confident and put off taking the certification exam until they have gained a little more hands-on work experience first; others dive right in, fearing they might otherwise forget what they have learned in class. Confidence and knowledge what a medical assistant is and does, what they can and cannot do, medical terminology, human anatomy, abbreviations and directional terms, basic principles in medical office pharmacology, simple calculations, medical office safety regulations, universal precautions, some medical billing and coding procedures, and clinical and administrative aspects of the job is the key to passing the exam.
After you have passed the medical assistant certification exam you will receive an official document that attests to your achievement from the organization that certified you. You are then allowed to use their proprietary credentials behind your name as long as you abide by the rules, regulations and laws.
Typically, you will also receive a pin, or name tag with your credential and designation engraved behind your name. Furthermore, many of these professional membership associations provide legal guidance, workshops and local chapter meetings to network with their fellow medical assistants. For more information contact one of the following:
- American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
- American Medical Technologists, 10700 West Higgins, Rosemont, IL 60018
- National Healthcareer Association, 11161 Overbrook Road Leawood, Kansas 66211
- The American Registry of Medical Assistants, 61 Union St, Westfield, MA 01085
- American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63141
- American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants, 2l24 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
- Information about career opportunities, training programs, and certification for ophthalmic medical personnel: Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, 2025 Woodlane Dr., St. Paul, MN 55125 http://www.jcahpo.org
Recognized credentials are portable to many regions and locations within the USA. Most prospective employers in different medical specialty fields and areas recognize them as reliable indication of a job candidate’s achievement, credibility and capabilities within their occupation. To them, it also means that the job applicant already possesses required skills and understanding of their role within their scope of practice. As long as you keep your certification status active these credentials follow you to all places where you may work now and in the future. To prove your certifications you will receive a professional membership wallet card and a fact sheet that outlines the details of your benefits. You may also receive invitations to local chapter meetings, a professional magazine subscription, discounted professional liability insurance coverage and instructions how to keep your credentials active.