7 Terms to Know Before Becoming a Medical Assistant

After having obtained the skills necessary to perform procedures, assist with laboratory work and effectively communicate with patients, medical assistants can expect to earn a good day’s wages. Before jumping into the journey of becoming a medical assistant, make sure you know ahead of time the vital terminology involved in the field.

1. Accreditation

Accreditation refers to the status of a licensed medical practice or the recognition of a medical school by a licensing board. To be granted permission to educate students who are studying a particular subject, a school has to meet certain criteria. If the criteria is met, a state or national license board can then grant permission. A student can earn their certificate at an institution but in order for that certificate to be recognized as valid by the state in which the individual lives or works, all medical schools have to be certified.

2. Certification

This term refers to the validating procedure that authenticates one’s ability to perform certain tasks. All students in the medical field are given an array of exams and terminology quizzes to evaluate their knowledge on a particular area in medicine. In order for licensing to be granted to the individual by the government, one has to complete the examination process.

3. EMT

Somewhat compatible with the term paramedic, EMT is an abbreviation for emergency medical technician. EMTs are educated in the use of medical equipment and how to report information directly to an attending physician as most of their duties on the job include giving treatment or emergency first aid in the field.

4. Externship

Considerably different than an internship, an externship is the educating of students in a licensed clinic, medical facility or off-site. Though they are directly supervised by the medical staff, a student in an externship experience is actually an employee earning wages.

5. Licensure

Licensure refers to the procedure established at the state level in order to give credentials to graduating medical students. If you do not acquire the proper license, you will not be allowed to practice medicine or become a medical assistant. The process of obtaining a proper license is overseen by a licensing board who ensures a thorough review of the applicant’s educational credentials.

6. Medical Technologist

Set to perform various duties in a healthcare facility, an MT is trained to perform blood work, properly store samples, and examine tissue samples. Before licensing and recognition as a medical technologist can be given to an individual, most states require the completion of a four-year degree program.

7. Registered Medical Assistant

Upon completion of a two to four-year degree that includes an internship, a registered medical assistant is assigned various duties focusing on a specific area of medicine. Since the registered medical assistant certification is different than that of a registered nurse, schools are starting to offer several different focuses of study, such as surgical assistance, tissue sampling, or physical therapy.

Bound to come up while you are researching a career in medical assistance, these are seven terms that relate directly to the field. If pursuing a career as a medical assistant is something that you are serious about, you should conduct additional research to learn more about how these terms relate to your goals.

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