Preparing to tackle certification in pursuit of a career as a medical assistant? It’s important that you take the time to chart out a course that will lead you to success with a minimum of fuss, headache, and missteps; it’s easy to invest a ton of effort on misguided endeavors, putting in the work for no reward. To make earning your medical assistant certification as painless and likely as possible, we recommend you move forward with these five tips firmly in mind.
1) Choose the right certification.
First and foremost, it’s important that you start with a firm idea of which type of certification you’re pursuing. The requirements, testing, and career potential of each varies—meaning you need to make a decision early to make sure you’re spending your time wisely. There are four certifications to consider:
- RMA Certification. Certification from the AMT, this requires graduation from an accredited 4-year medical assisting program, a military medical training program, or five years of employment as a medical assistant or medical assistant instructor at an accredited program.
- NCMA Certification. A certification for students and graduates of a NCCT-accredited medical assisting program, people with two years of full-time medical assisting experience, or those who have completed a military medical assisting program.
- CCMA Certification. Requires completion of a program at an accredited institution or within the military, or a high school diploma and at least a year of working experience in medical assisting.
- CMA Certification. A highly regarded certification requiring completion of an accredited program through the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Once you know which certification you qualify for, or will be pursuing qualifications for, you can begin studying in earnest to succeed.
2) Research the exam.
Knowing which examination you’ll be taking, you’ll be able to find a lot of information tailored to the unique content focuses of that particular examination. While a broad knowledge of medical assisting is of course important, it’s crucial that you understand which aspects will be tested in-depth and which require a lighter understanding, to best optimize your study process.
3) Find a learning group to work with.
Studying alone works, but it’s even better to utilize peer support and/or a classroom setting to motivate your learning and help reveal flaws in your knowledge. Working alone can allow misunderstandings to fester in a way they wouldn’t in a less solitary environment. It’s also great for your morale.
4) Vary the way you study.
Don’t stick to a single method of study, or you risk memorizing information within a very narrow context. It’s a simply fact that the more ways you perceive a piece of information, the better you recall it, as more paths to that data become forged in your brain. It’s the same reason advertisers like to get you to see videos, articles, keychains, and pictures—something will stick.
5) Practice, practice, practice
The most boring tip on the list, and yet perhaps the most crucial. The first time you take your certification exam shouldn’t be the day of your certification. Exhaust yourself with as many appropriately configured practice exams as possible. Not only do you want to test your understanding of the specific requirements of your certification, you want to make testing a stress-free, casual process through repetition.
These five tips can’t guarantee your immediate success—nothing can make such a promise with 100% confidence. But with these tips in hand, you’ll be far more likely to earn your medical assistant certification than your peers operating in the dark. Take your time, do your homework, and pass your exam with flying colors.
To learn more about a career as a Clinical Medical Assistant, and whether it’s the right fit for you, schedule an appointment with Athena Career Academy today. One meeting with our Admissions counselors could help put you on the path to a successful new career that could change your life for the better. Call 419-329-4075 today.
Athena Career Academy is located at:
5203 Airport Highway
Toledo, Ohio 43615
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30AM to 4:30PM
Phone: (419) 329-4075