Every doctor looks forward to having a qualified right hand, they can depend on at all times.
Whether it’s taking the patients’ histories, recording their vital signs, organizing their files or taking care of the doctor’s appointments and clerical work, the job of medical assistants is highly valuable for doctors and respected by them. The job is rewarding on its own, but being able to gain the trust of both physicians and patients certainly adds to its appeal.
The job description of medical assistants varies from one location to another, but it’s safe to say they take care of clinical tasks. They can find work in hospitals and clinics, or in any other specialized healthcare facilities such as chiropractic care centers, optometry, obstetrics, podiatry, or other specialties.
If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant in Wisconsin, keep reading to find out about four surefire ways to be a top-notch medical assistant no employer can reject.
1. Understand Medical Assistant Qualifications in Wisconsin
The qualifications of a medical assistant vary from one state to another. Some states require specific certifications, but the laws of Medical Assisting in Wisconsin don’t require any. If you’ve already completed high school or received a General Education Diploma (GED), you’ll be eligible to work as a medical assistant. However, most employers are going to ask you for your qualifications, so without any extra work, you’ll face a lot of difficulty in finding an employer who’s willing to take you under their wing.
The field of competition as a medical assistant is strong. Most employers will want you to show proof of your qualifications, which can be in the form of a certification, you acquired, degrees from programs you’ve enrolled in, or hands-on experience you’ve gotten by practicing the job. But you won’t get any practical experience without a job, which brings us back to educational programs and certifications.
Depending on the credentials you want to acquire, you’ll apply to the relevant association or institute. But to apply for a test for certification, you’ll have to complete the courses and requirements. Starting your journey with a training program is then the best course of action for you to take.
2. Seek Medical Assistant Training Programs
You’ll find many training programs available in Wisconsin, but not all programs are accredited in a way that will help you toward being certified. Choosing an accredited program will facilitate your journey, as it’s going to qualify you to take a certification exam right after completion. Before choosing a program to enroll in, make sure it’s accredited by either of the following institutions:
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
When choosing from the available programs, you want to make sure that it’s the right one for you. To help you with your choice, there are some questions you should ask first:
1. What’s the duration of the program?
Programs that offer a certificate or diploma in medical assisting can last anywhere between 9 and 12 months while pursuing an associate’s degree will take much longer, around 18 to 24 months.
2. What are the costs? Are there any extra costs for certification, or is it covered in the program?
Many programs may look extremely appealing, but you’ll definitely need to consider your budget and whether you’ll be able to afford the program. The good thing is that there are many programs that offer financial aid, especially the accredited ones.
3. Is the program on-campus or online?
You’ll be able to come across programs that offer online curriculums, and you’ll come across many others that provide on-campus training. Some programs have a mix of the two methods. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preferred way of learning and how much time you have on your hands.
4. Does the program provide any practical experience?
Most programs will provide you with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in an externship at the end of the course, but not all of them.
5. Will the program help you in finding a job opportunity?
Finishing the program is great and all, but you want to ensure you’ll find a job opportunity after you’re done.
3. Get a Competitive Edge by Being Certified
Finishing an accredited training program is sufficient to get you employed, but you’ll increase your chances with the top employers by getting certified. Certification will also open a world of possibilities outside of medical assisting.
There are two types of certifications acknowledged by the American Medical Association (AMA), which are:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
However, there are other certifications that work on the national level and they can help you acquire different credentials. These certifications are:
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) from the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
4. Maintain Your Credentials by Continuing Education
In order to maintain your credentials, you’ll have to continue education and fulfill different requirements depending on your certification. Most employers will demand certain development requirements, but satisfying the requirements imposed by the credential’s sponsoring agency will be sufficient. Most of the certification maintenance requirements work based on a recertification point system that must be fulfilled within a specific time frame.
Medical assisting is a rewarding career and it opens up a lot of possibilities for aspiring medical assistants. There are no laws regulating the certifications and qualifications for becoming a medical assistant in Wisconsin, but most employers require proof of qualification. To become qualified, you’ll need to look for a suitable training program, one that is accredited by either ABHES or CAAHEP.
Once you finish your training, you can further strengthen your qualifications by becoming certified. The most popular certifications are the CMA and RMA, but there are other national certifications as well. Depending on the credential you acquired, there will be certain requirements, you’ll need to fulfill to maintain your credentials.