If you’re looking to embark on an allied health career, you’ve likely researched education and training options. There are hundreds of specialized training programs and career colleges that can help you learn the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as an allied health professional, whether you’re looking to become a medical assistant, pharmacy technician, phlebotomist or any other allied health professional.
Most programs offer a certificate of completion — a piece of paper that essentially proves that you completed the requirements for your training program. Many also provide the opportunity to achieve a nationally-recognized certification.
Unlike some healthcare careers, not all allied health jobs require a nationally-recognized certification. So the question arises: Do you really need it?
Here are three big reasons earning a nationally-recognized credential might in your best interest.
1. You give your potential employer more confidence in your knowledge.
When an employer sees that you’ve earned a nationally-recognized credential, it can assure them that you have the knowledge and skills they are looking for. Think of it as quality control.
2. You demonstrate initiative.
By going the extra mile and earning a credential, you demonstrate initiative and a desire for professional growth. This shows employers that you take your career seriously and that you may be able and willing to take on expanded responsibilities.
3. More job opportunities.
Expanded responsibilities translate to professional develop and growth such as promotions. Just like anything else in life, the more you give, the more you get.
If you’re serious about advancing your career, consider earning a nationally-recognized allied health credential. Make sure you do your research as not all credentials are seen as equal in your future employer’s eyes.
Choosing the right credential
Several organizations offer allied health credentialing, each with different requirements and levels of support. How do you know which ones are legit? Look for a credentialing organization that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). NCCA accreditation assures certification exams are psychometrically sound and effectively measure knowledge and competency.
National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is accredited by the NCCA and offers the following certifications:
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Phlebotomy Technician Certification (CPT)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Certified EKG Technician (CET)
- Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT)
- Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS)
- Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)
Earning a credential is about much more than adding some letter to your byline. It can give employers more trust in your abilities and can lead to greater professional success.