How the NHA can kickstart your healthcare career

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the USA. Our population is aging, and the obesity epidemic sadly shows no signs of going away, which means demand for health care is high and increasing. This is bad news in many ways, but it’s good news for people entering the job market – while many industries have less and fewer job vacancies every day, the health industry is struggling to find enough workers.

The pressure on the US healthcare system is greater than ever before, and allied health professionals are essential to creating a healthier future. Medical assistants, phlebotomists, and EKG technicians work at the front line of patient care, helping doctors, nurses, and dentists with primary care as well as fulfilling clerical functions. On the administrative side billing and coding specialists, medical administrative assistants, and electronic record keepers keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. These are all very important support roles without which healthcare provision would grind to a halt.

Despite what you might think, you don’t need an expensive college degree to start your career in healthcare. There is a lot of demand for allied health workers – healthcare professionals who aren’t doctors, dentists, or nurses, but are nonetheless essential to the provision of good services in the health industry.

Organisations like the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offer an important lifeline for people who need stable, well-paid work without a college degree. The NHA certification offers amazing job prospects for such people for two reasons: their certification is highly reputable, and the industry they certify is undergoing serious growth.

How NHA Certifications can help

hc-10qs-billing-coding-thumbThe NHA provides certifications for six key allied health roles: clinical medical assistant, phlebotomy technician, electrocardiogram (EKG) technician, billing and coding specialist, medical administrative assistant, and electronic health record specialist. These are careers you could start in the short term; you can be trained and ready for the certification test in less than two months.

NHA certifications will vastly raise your chances of landing an entry-level position, and it brings a host of other benefits as well. Next week we will look at the NHA in more detail and some of the individual certifications the NHA offers, but for now, let’s take a peek at how they can help your career.

The primary benefit a certification brings is simply an edge over other interviewees going for the same job as you. If you are shortlisted for a job as a medical biller and the HR team sees that you are a Certified Biller and Coding Specialist (CBCS) while your competitors are store clerks hoping to switch careers, who do you think they’ll choose? Your certification shows them that you are dedicated, focused, and serious about your choice of careers. It demonstrated that you had invested time, money, and energy to independently get certified even though the job may not strictly require it – that shows the kind of initiative that makes a great employee. The better the job is, the more of an edge you will have over your competitors. A small medical clinic paying a very basic wage may be happy to take on an unskilled worker who will accept low pay and train them up; a large urban hospital is more likely to favor high quality, certified applicants and pay a higher rate to attract them.

Fast-track your career opportunities

spotlight-health-information-thumbAnother benefit of certifications – especially stacked certifications – is the higher chance of being considered for other jobs within the organization, even if you miss out on the role you applied for. For example, if you train up in CCI’s medical assistant program, you’ll be ready to sit the certification exam for Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and Phlebotomy Technician Certification (CPT). So, you might apply for a medical assistant role, get shortlisted, but not quite get the position. But then you get a call a few weeks later with a job offer – the same company has a phlebotomist position opening up; with your previous interview and your CPT they feel confident hiring you.

Certification also means you’ll be ready to move forward in your career sooner. Training for an NHA certification will take a few months, but learning the same volume of information while on the job will take much longer. By minimising the on-the-job training and education you need to undertake you’ll settle into the role faster, which means you’ll be ready to move forward in your career sooner if that’s what you choose.

It’s important to undertake thorough training before getting your certification. Doing so will make sure you are confident and well-prepared to give you the best chance of success during the certification test. At CCI Training Centre we offer small class sizes and very experienced instructors, allowing us to give you the best shot at starting your new career as an allied health professional.

Next week we will look at the individual certification you can gain through the NHA.