A brief guide to obtaining medical assistance certification

Medical assistance certification is a degree which is quite sought after these days. By obtaining such a certification, individuals become qualified to perform various assisting tasks in a clinical setting, such as the drawing of blood from the veins of patients, administering materials into a patient’s blood stream, taking and developing X-rays and ultrasounds of patients and performing many other administrative and clinical tasks.

Typically, a candidate holding medical certification works in assistance to practitioners and nurses. Medical assistants are required to report directly to a physician or to an office manager. The roles and duties of a medical assistant are largely dependent on the size of the clinical facility and also the type of medical specialty being offered.

Medical certificate courses include both diploma programs as well as certification programs in various specialized fields. These include diploma programs in medical assistance, diploma programs in diagnostic medical sonography, certification in radiologic technology and certification in phlebotomy. The lengths of these programs differ, with medical assistant diplomas lasting 18 months, diagnostic medical sonographer diplomas lasting 1 or 2 years, phlebotomy certificate courses lasting 4 to 6 months and radiologic technologist certification lasting 2 years.

Some of the topics of study to be covered in these certification and diploma courses include medical vocabulary and clinical terminology, handling and collecting of specimens, understanding of human body functions, medical safety procedures, operating medical apparatus, CPR and first aid techniques, medical laws, legalities and ethics in healthcare, medical record keeping and learning medical office management software, among various others.

There are certain prerequisites which need to be completed by a candidate in order to be eligible for these courses. A candidate must hold a graduate engineering degree or a high school diploma, with courses being completed on anatomy, biology and medical terminology. These specialty certifications are offered by various professional organizations all over the world.

In order to obtain long term employment, medical certificate holders must also take up lab work as interns or must gain some sort of professional experience. Across some cases, diploma and certificate holders must also perform a clinical test or an organizational exam. However, with relevant hands on experience in a lab setting, these tests can be passed relatively easily.

Certification, however, lasts for a limited period of time and candidates will need to ensure to have their certification renewed. While some certifications, such as diagnostic medical sonography require a fee for renewal, others require continuing medical education or taking up a recertification examination for the purpose of renewal.

With an increasing number of clinical facilities all over the world, the demand for professional medical assistants is on the rise. Employment opportunities and the future outlook of medical assistance are quite positive. As a result of this, there are a large number of candidates opting to take up medical office assistant courses. While many professional institutions require certification and licensing in addition to a medical assistance degree, these are optional. Such licensing and certification do, however, increase chances of employment and career opportunities significantly.