Quote from mamaxmaria
So I here's my story...
I went to a technical school for Medical Assistant bout 4 years ago. Right out of school I got a job in a hospital as a PCT, they didn't require certification, and I really couldnt afford the exam fee at the time so I never took the exam to become certified.
Now I got a new job in a MUCH larger well known hospital as a PCT in the ETD. This is a new position for this facility so there were a lot of us hired for the same position. I am the only one hired with hospital experience. The rest are just out of school, all certified.
I am the only one with hospital experience, and the only one not certified! lol So I feel, just so it doesnt come to bite me in the A** later on, I should take the exam now...
So here is the thing....
I contacted my old school and they told me to register with NHA so I can schedule a time to take the test. I look under their certification offerings and there is a Clinical Medical Assistant Certification, and a Patient Care Technician certification.
My title is Patient Care Technician, but I know being a Certified Patient Care Technician isn''t a well known thing. ( under requirements/recommendations for the job it says Medical Assistant Certification)
I know there isn't much of a difference in the title except CMA is primarily doctor's offices and clinics, while PCT's are in acute care..
but which one do you think I could take????
Honestly and seriously, it don't believe it really matters. You've answered your own question when you mentioned the diversity of those hired with you in the hospital....the employers did not care because they knew what you would be required to do, certified or not. I mean not to degrade anyone: PCT, CMA, or CNA. Personally, I prefer NOT to work in a place that doesn't have these individuals because their value is priceless when caring for patients. But, I tried to explain to my daughter that she was wasting her time by paying to become certified because the doctor's office will train you themselves for that position. However I do think the CMA will have a leg up in the doctor's office because of the maintenance of the records and the know-how to collect blood. But being in a hospital or even some nursing homes, the CMA pay will be the same as the PCT. Of course, it depends on the facility that does the hiring. It is not a cut-n-dry thing like RNs versus LPNs, where you know the RN is gonna get the higher pay regardless....unless it's a new grad going up against a much more experienced LPN. So, I say pick your poison and go for it. You have nothing to lose either way. Good luck.
By the way, my daughter went both routes and is still looking for a job. She comes home many a day saying that they didn't even ask her if she was certified or not....the only thing they want to know is whether or not she has ever been charged with hitting a medicaid or medicare recipient.