This is one of the most comprehensive and simplest guides you will find on how to become a medical assistant. At the very onset, you will have to know that there are various institutions, colleges and schools that offer medical assistant certification. You need to confirm, if they are accredited by CAAHEP, which stands for Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Institutions or colleges that are affiliated to the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools or ABHES are also nationally recognized medical assistant programs and can certify a candidate.
Now, you may opt for institutions that have a national presence or may opt for one that is in your state or city, but you must check if the medical assistant program is accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES since that’s the only way your certificate will be recognized.
How to Become a Medical Assistant that is Certified
You have to apply for a certification exam at the institute or school you choose and pass the exam. Now before we talk more about the exam, we need to look at the eligibility and other aspects that precede the certification exam.
Eligibility to become a Medical Assistant that is Certified
Before you apply for a certification exam, you need to go through a medical assistant program from an institute or school. This medical assistant program must be accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES. You may enroll yourself in the school you choose and go through the medical assistant program. Normally, this program would offer theoretical and practical training on Medical terminology, Human anatomy, Laboratory techniques, First aid, Clinical practices and more. Once you are done with the classroom training you will have to complete a practicum. This is more like an unpaid internship. You have to work as a medical assistant under supervision at a clinic or in a certain health care setting that would be decided upon by the institute offering the program. After completing the practicum, you are eligible to apply for the certification exam.
Now, there are three categories of applicants that are most prominent in almost all certification exams (irrespective of the state you live in or the institute you choose). First category caters to the fresh graduates or those that are about to complete their medical assistant programs. Second category is for those who are not into any medical assistant programs. For this category, one has to enroll into a CAAHEP or ABHES recognized medical assistant program and complete it to be eligible for any certification exam. Third category belongs to those who are a certified medical assistant and wish to opt for recertifying.
Ineligibility to become a Certified Medical Assistant
If you do not fall into any of the three eligible categories then you application for the certification exam would be disqualified. If you have been through a CAAHEP or ABHES recognized medical assistant program and completed the practicum, the only thing that may stand in your way is any past record of being proven guilty of a felony or if you have pleaded guilty to a felony. Different institutes have different rules so you need to check with their representative on how to go about taking the exam, if this is the case.