How to Become an AMT (CMLA) - Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant
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American Medical Technologists (AMT), founded in 1939, is a globally recognized membership society that provides certification for allied health professionals. Some of the certifications it provides are in the following three categories: medical and dental office (registered medical assistant, certified medical administrative specialist, and registered dental assistant), laboratory (medical technologist, medical laboratory technician, registered phlebotomy technician, certified medical laboratory assistant, and clinical laboratory consultant), and health education (allied health instructor).
American Medical Technologists (AMT) encourages allied health professionals to provide the best quality of patient care. Its certification exams ensure that certified candidates are well-qualified and have the necessary technical skills, knowledge, and professionalism expected from both patients and employers.
Getting an AMT certification is a mark of competency and carries value. Additionally, AMT provides educational opportunities for those it certifies, so they can continue honing their skills and making an impact in any healthcare setting.
AMT’s certification exams have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Those who certify with AMT automatically become a member of this professional society and can avail of a number of benefits.
Why Certify with American Medical Technologists (AMT)?
- Required by employers – Certification with the AMT shows commitment to professionalism and quality patient care. Thus, employers require that their allied health professionals possess this certification. Certification is also important for professionals to keep pace with the latest developments in their field. Further, it serves as a proof that a candidate has the required skills and knowledge to do the job.
- Recognition – AMT exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a recognition reserved only for organizations meeting NCCA standards.
- Professional Administration – American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification examinations are administered and developed by AMT psychometricians. They also have inputs from a committee of subject-matter experts who either teach or work within their respective field.
- Secure Exam Delivery – For maintaining the authenticity of AMT exams, considerable resources are employed to ensure there is maximum security and standard procedures have been duly followed. All the exams are conducted in strictly monitored academic sites and Pearson VUE testing centers located all over the world. Moreover, Pearson VUE is globally recognized for its accessibility and quality.
- Solid Industry Reputation – AMT-certified professionals are preferred by a number of governing bodies and healthcare systems across the country. Its reputation is well known among employers, students, and training programs.
Medical Laboratory Assistant (CMLA) Certification Eligibility
Medical laboratory assistant (CMLA) certification applicants should meet one of the following eligibility criteria in order to qualify for certification:
Route 1 – Education: Applicant should be a graduate of (or scheduled to graduate from) a program including at least 200 didactic clock hours and a minimum of 120 documented and approved hours of clinical laboratory experience. In addition, at least 100 of the 200 didactic clock hours must be devoted to fundamental laboratory technology studies. They must have completed this within the previous five years.
Route 2 – Work experience: Applicants must have completed at least 1,040 hours of work experience within the previous three years, with major focus being on laboratory technology. A minimum of 520 of those hours must be specifically in clinical lab duties.
AMT (CMLA) for International Applicants
For candidates who have completed their education abroad, they must submit to a course-by-course evaluation process through an approved agency such as World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE).
Please note that the AMT (CMLA) credential is only valid in the U.S.
How to Become an AMT Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant (CMLA)
Here are the steps to applying for the certified medical laboratory assistant (CMLA) certification:
- Submit an application – Students are required to obtain the application and review the eligibility requirements for the designation in which they wish to be certified. Candidates should pay special attention to the documents required when submitting the application. Candidates also must track the status of their application via the AMT website. It must be noted that the $120 application fee is non-refundable.
- Await an email confirmation from AMT indicating that you have been approved to sit for the certification exam – After submitting a completed application, candidates should look forward to an email confirmation from the AMT indicating that they have been approved to test. On receiving approval, an “Authorization to Test” letter will be issued, including all the details necessary to schedule an examination.
- Schedule a test administration session – All AMT examinations are administered by computer at a Pearson VUE testing center. Students can make an appointment at the testing center after receiving an “Authorization to Test” letter from AMT. Candidates are advised to make appointments to test as soon as possible, so that they can select a time, date, and test center location that best accommodates their schedules.
- Attend the examination administration – When attending the examination administration, candidates must bring two forms of identification, bearing their name and signature, and at least one with a photograph. They are also advised to bring a watch. Please note that calculators are not permitted in the exam room. Examinees should be present at the administration site at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled examination time; late arrivals may be refused admittance. They would then have to pay a reexamination fee and reschedule their test.
- Receive examination results – Candidates will receive results of their test immediately, as soon as their computer-based test is complete. Results will not be relayed to the candidates via email, phone, transmission, or facsimile.
Candidates that fail their test and still wish to be certified will have to retake the entire exam. They are allowed to retake the exam three additional times, up to a total of four times, for receiving certification. The examination may be rescheduled and retaken 45 days after the failed attempt.
Attending the AMA (CMLA) Exam
Examinees are advised to be present at the administration site at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled examination time. Examinees arriving late may be refused admittance by the Pearson VUE proctor. Late arrivals may not be allowed to enter the center and if they still wish to take the exam, they will have to pay a reexamination fee and schedule another testing appointment.
As mentioned above, all candidates are required to carry two forms of matching identification, and at least one with a photograph. Examinees not providing acceptable identification will not be allowed to sit for the test. It is advisable that the candidates bring a watch along; however, calculators are not permitted. Also, candidates are not allowed to have visitors in the examination room.
Candidates will have two-and-a-half hours to complete this examination. Examinees are not permitted to continue taking the test beyond the given time limit.
AMA (CMLA) Examination Results
Candidates will receive their exam results immediately after completing the test. Test results appear on the screen and a paper copy of the results are provided by the proctor. The results are provided to examinees in writing only, and are not available via telephone. Once a certification is granted, applicants automatically become members of the AMT and can then take advantage of the various benefits it offers.
Maintaining & Renewing AMA (CMLA) Certification
Candidates who meet all application requirements and pass the certification examination become certified by AMT. They will then receive materials and information describing the benefits as well as responsibilities bestowed on them. In addition, they will be given a membership certificate and a digital member card. As a certified member of AMT, candidates can participate in the professional activities of the organization.
In order to maintain an active certified status, a candidate must:
- Pay an annual fee – Certified candidates are required to pay an annual fee for keeping their membership status in the AMT active. This fee pays for all the benefits that members enjoy. The fee for medical lab assistant (CMLA) is $50.
- Comply with the Certification Continuation Program (CCP) – The program requires all certified candidates to participate in, and document activities supporting the continuation of AMT certification every three years. There are no fees associated with Certification Continuation Program in particular, although an annual renewal fee is required to maintain an active certified member status. Depending on the certification that a member has acquired, they will have to collect a given number of points over a period of three years. For instance, points needed for medical laboratory technician (MLT) or medical technologist (MT) are 45 and that for medical lab assistant (CMLA) are 30. Certified members not meeting CCP requirements, or members who are audited and do not provide documentation, will be considered non-compliant and lose their certified status.
- Abide by the AMT Standards of Practice – The AMT Board of Directors has adopted Standards of Practice which define the pillars of competent, ethical, and honorable behavior for an AMT-certified allied healthcare professional.
Recertification for AMT (CMLA)
If candidates lose their active status and wish to to recertify with the AMT, they must comply with the CCP or pass the AMT certification exam again. The recertification fee for a medical technologist (MT) or a medical laboratory technician (MLT) is $295, and for a medical assistant (RMA) or a medical laboratory assistant (CMLA) is $175. If it has been longer than ten years since a candidate’s certification lapsed, they may only recertify via examination.
Online Practice Exams – AMT (CMLA)
American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers online practice exams that are beneficial to candidates preparing for the certification exam. Whether one is preparing for the medical assisting (RMA), phlebotomy technician (RPT), medical technologist (MT), or medical laboratory assistant (CMLA) exams, the AMT practice exams will help candidates review the material, gain confidence, and essentially be at ease about the exam.