Choosing the Right Professional Healthcare Organizations for Your Career
Being in school is kind of like having a safety net. You have a network of peers for support and you have teachers who will answer all of your career-related questions. But what happens when you graduate? Are you just left to fend for yourself in the world of healthcare? Not exactly!
Professional healthcare organizations can be great resources for many things, including jobs, networking, continuing education and professional conferences. The healthcare industry encompasses many professions and you’ll find a professional organization for most of them. Whether you’re working towards becoming a phlebotomist, medical lab tech, medical assistant or surgical technician, read on to find the right organization for you.
Professional organizations for healthcare administrators
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA): The NHA was formed in 1989 to help healthcare professionals obtain training and certification. This organization offers several certifications for allied health professionals, including the medical administrative assistant certification (CMAA), the phlebotomy technician certification (CPT) and the EKG technician certificate (CET.)
- American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA): AAMA’s vision is to help healthcare administrators strive for leadership positions. Membership benefits include a job board, potential to publish work in AAMA publications and an online directory of other members. The AAMA also offers exam and experience-based credentials.
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME): CAHME offers student resources, information about healthcare management careers and accredits healthcare management programs. Use this site to find accredited programs to help you advance your career in healthcare.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM): AAHAM assists members with professional development, networking, professional certification and conference opportunities. They also produce a webinar series and have published a handful of helpful blog articles.
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP): This organization is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities to healthcare administrative professionals. Members have access to professional resources including job postings and educational event discounts. AHCAP also hosts an annual conference focused on education and networking.
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA): HCAA focuses on educational opportunities for third-party health administrators. They aim to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare. The association offers certification and continuing education opportunities.
Professional organizations for medical assistants
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA): The AAMA’s mission is to help medical assistants obtain education, certification, networking opportunities and scope-of-practice protection. Members receive benefits such as a medical assisting magazine subscription, certification exam discounts and access to volunteer opportunities.
- The American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA): ARMA is a national registry of medical assistants with members in every state. The goal of this organization is to advance the level of status and professionalism of medical assistants.
Professional organizations for health information
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): This association has more than 71,000 members and was founded in 1928. Its goal is to increase the implementation and standards of electronic health records (EHRs). AHIMA offers several certifications, including registered health information administrator (RHIA), certified documentation improvement practitioner (CDIP) and certified coding specialist (CCS).
- American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC): The AAPC is focused on the education of medical coders, from certifications to continuing education opportunities. Certifications offered include certified professional biller (CPB), certified professional medical auditor (CPMA) and certified professional coder (CPC).
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS): HIMSS aims to make improve healthcare through information technology. Members have access to professional resources, job postings, networking opportunities and discounts on educational events and publications.
Professional organizations for phlebotomy
- American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT): ASPT provides certification and continuing education opportunities for phlebotomists. The certification exam is updated yearly by phlebotomy instructors.
Professional organizations for pharmacy
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP): The NABP was founded in 1904 as a way to progress health and safety via pharmacist assessments. This association offers a variety of education and networking opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
- National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA): The NPTA is the largest healthcare organization specifically for pharmacy technicians. The organization aims to help others appreciate the value of pharmacy technicians. Members receive a bi-monthly magazine, a monthly newsletter and help with continuing education.
Professional organizations for medical lab tech
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS): The ASCLS believes laboratory medicine is crucial to healthcare, so the society is an advocate for laboratory quality and promoting diversity within the field. The society assists students, seasoned professionals and new professionals with online education and career assistance.
Professional organizations for surgical technicians
- Association of Surgical Technologists (AST): AST’s main goal is to help surgical technologists attain the necessary skills and knowledge to help patients. AST hosts educator events, state assemblies and advocates for public policy changes in regards to surgical technology legislation.
- National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA): The NBSTSA focuses on the certification of surgical technologists and surgical first assistants. The board tests practical and theoretical knowledge of those medical professionals and requires continuing education so they stay up to date even after becoming certified.
Your next step
You’re now aware there are plenty of professional healthcare organizations out there to support you long after you earn your health sciences degree, no matter your specific healthcare career. And whether its continuing education, earning professional certifications or access to job postings, they all have membership benefits and resources that healthcare professionals of any career level can appreciate.
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