With job growth for Medical Assistants expected to increase by 14% over the next few years, there has been a surge of interest in this in-demand career. At ACI Medical & Dental School, you can become a Certified Medical Assistant in less than four months. Here is some helpful information about how to become a Medical Assistant in NJ, where they work, and what they do.
Medical Assistant Job Description Explained
Before you pursue Medical Assistant certification, it is important to understand the job description: where you will work, what skills you need, and what will be expected of you.
Where Does a Medical Assistant Work?
A Medical Assistant can work in a variety of different healthcare settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, OB/GYN offices, physical therapist offices, and more. Although responsibilities may differ slightly depending on the medical setting, the Medical Assistant job description will include many of the same skills.
What Skills Should a Medical Assistant Possess?
Medical Assistants have a hands-on, flexible job requiring a wide range of skills, including:
- Electrocardiograms (EKGs)
- Patient care technician skills
- Checking vital signs
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Manage patient electronic health records (EHR)
- Medical law and ethics, including HIPAA regulations
What are a Medical Assistant’s Job Responsibilities?
The daily responsibilities of a Medical Assistant can include both clinical and administrative duties, such as:
- Assisting doctors with exams and minor surgeries.
- Taking a patient’s height and weight measurements and vital signs.
- Performing phlebotomy procedures and EKGs.
- Updating patient records electronically.
- Sanitizing & preparing exam room.
Do You Need Certification To Be A Medical Assistant?
New Jersey does not legally require Medical Assistants to be certified to work in the state. However, many employers do prefer or require Medical Assistants to have certification because it demonstrates a certain standard of knowledge and expertise. In fact, according to the NHA, the number one thing employers look for when hiring Medical Assistant candidates is certification, with 81% of employers noting this as a requirement.
Even though it’s not a legal requirement in New Jersey, obtaining certification can increase job opportunities, potential salaries, and job security.
Which Medical Assistant Certification Is Best?
There are several institutions that provide Medical Assistant certification, but National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certifications are among the most respected in the industry. They achieve this status by continuously updating their preparation resources and examination criteria.
Holding an NHA credential signifies that an individual has undergone rigorous training and assessment, positioning them favorably in the eyes of potential employers.
The advantages of NHA certifications for Medical Assistants are:
- Broad Recognition: NHA certifications are known and respected by healthcare employers nationwide.
- Enhanced Employment Opportunities: With NHA certifications from our courses, you’re well-positioned for potential job opportunities. Even if one job opening is taken, there might be another role you’re suited for. You will be eligible to work in a variety of positions, such as:
- Demonstrates Commitment: Undertaking the NHA certification process indicates a genuine dedication to your profession. This proactive step signals to employers that you’re serious about your career path.
- Prospective Job Growth: The healthcare sector continues to expand. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare job prospects are expected to grow by 14% from 2022 to 2032, far outpacing the average growth rate of 3%. An NHA certification can differentiate you from the competition and potentially enhance your employability.
We’re proud to highlight the fact that 96% of ACI Medical & Dental School students successfully pass the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Exams (7/1/22 – 6/30/23 results).
Should I Become a Certified Medical Assistant?
Here are just a few of the benefits of becoming a Certified Medical Assistant in NJ:
- Increased Employment Opportunities. Medical Assistant certification is a great thing to list on your resume, and it can end up being the difference that gets you a call back for an in-demand job over other applicants.
- More Job Choices. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), Certified Medical Assistants are the most versatile allied health professionals, and have a wider range of job opportunities available to them. From pediatrics to urgent care, certification will give you a bigger selection of medical settings to choose from.
- Better Qualification Means Better Pay. Aside from being able to apply for jobs you would otherwise not qualify for, being a Certified Medical Assistant will make you more valuable to employers and could help you get a higher starting pay.
- Stability and Better Shift Hours. Medical Assistants are needed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, which means that hours can vary widely. If you want to get a Medical Assistant job with a stable 8am-5pm schedule instead of more unpredictable shift work, having a certification can increase your options and help you get what you are looking for.
- Room for Growth. For those who aspire to advance in the medical field, becoming a Certified Medical Assistant is a great way to get started toward a more specialized position. Working as a Medical Assistant is a great way to hone your skills in a professional healthcare setting. Medical Assisting has been noted as one of the best starting positions to advance into higher positions in the medical field. Many of our past students became highly passionate about the medical field after becoming a Medical Assistant, and sought further education in specialized areas they wish to pursue.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant?
There are an increasing amount of jobs available across the medical field, but most require many years of schooling beyond a standard college degree. In contrast, the Medical Assistant Certification program at ACI Medical & Dental School can be completed in only 14 weeks of daytime classes, or 29 weeks of night classes. This program requires a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma to enroll, which makes it a great way for new high school graduates to get started on a promising career. Our program also includes a 180-hour internship, so you can get hands-on training at a healthcare facility and build connections while getting your certification.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in NJ
The first step to becoming a Certified Medical Assistant is to enroll at ACI Medical & Dental School. In our program, you’ll gain the skills needed to get certified through the NHA as a Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy, EKG, and Patient Care Technician Certification. Contact us today and learn how you can take the first step toward an exciting new career in under four months.