These examples of certifications and opportunities in clinical settings are popular with Haverford pre-health students, and will serve as a starting point in your own search as you consider opportunities to pursue. All examples provided are local to Haverford College and the Philadelphia area. This does not serve as an endorsement for any particular program.
Certifications vary between cost, training, and practice, and not all certifications can cross state lines. It is therefore important that you research your own individual opportunities based on location, cost, paid/volunteer, and length of training time.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
EMTs provide emergency, non-invasive medical services to patients during their transport to medical facilities.
- Work environment: On the road in medical transport vehicles; indoor/outdoor
- Volunteer/paid:Combination of paid and volunteer opportunities
- Certification process: Complete an application for an EMT national certification after:
- Completing a state-approved EMT course in emergency medical technology
- Gaining current CPR-BLS Certification
- Passing the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician cognitive exam
- Passing the Psychomotor exam
- Cost of training: $135-1000 at community colleges, $750-1750 at technical schools (largely dependent on institution and location)
- Length of training: Varies; in Pennsylvania between 150-200 hours
- Cost of certification: approximately $70
- Example programs: Delaware County Community College; Good Fellowship Ambulance Club; Jeff Stat EMS training; Montgomery County EMS training; Twin Valley EMT Training Center
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
CNAs provide basic care to patients and assist them in daily activities they may have trouble completing independently, such as bathing, getting dressed, and taking vital signs.
- Work environment: Nursing homes, assisted living, home care (private residences), hospitals
- Volunteer/paid: Paid; varies between state; often between $15-18/hour
- Certification process:
- Complete a state-approved CNA/Nursing Aide training program
- Complete in-person clinical training
- Pass a state-approved CNA certification exam
- Cost of training: $800-1,400
- Length of training: 130 hours instruction/hands-on training over 4-8 weeks
- Cost of certification: $102
- Example programs: Approved Nursing Aide Training Programs in Pennsylvania (PDF), updated annually.
Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)
CPTs collect blood from patients and prepare samples for testing.
- Work environment: hospitals, public clinics, private offices & practices, medical labs, home care (private residences), blood donation centers, research institutions
- Volunteer/paid: Paid; varies between state; often between $15-$20/hour; Volunteer opportunities with public affairs agencies such as the American Red Cross or the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Certification process: Application for a Professional Phlebotomy Certification after completing an accredited phlebotomy program (available through vocational schools and community colleges)
- Cost of training: $700-1,400 (at a technical school or facility) up to $1,800 at community colleges
- Length of training: Wide variety; 6 weeks to 8 months
- Cost of certification: $80-150
- Example programs: Community College of Philadelphia, Montgomery County Community College, Delaware County Community College
Medical scribes document physician-dictated patient history, physical examination, family, social, and past medical history. They also document procedures, lab results, and other pertinent information dictated by the physician.
- Work environment: hospitals, private practices, urgent care
- Volunteer/paid: Paid; varies between state; often between $12-$25/hour; For full-time, annual salary averages between $25-32,000
- Certification process: Varies by facility/health care provider between high school diploma, college degree, and certification; Certification is not required for all scribe opportunities.
- Cost of training & certification: Fees vary, most range from $350-$900 (higher at programs in colleges/universities)
- Length of training: Varies; online programs are often self-paced.
- Example programs: The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) offers a Certified Medical Scribe program that requires candidates to complete 200 hours of clinical instruction and to pass an exam to earn certification. Additional online options: Healthcare Scribes; PMT Scribe Academy. Scribe certification programs can also be found at colleges and universities.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
CMAs perform administrative and clinical tasks, ie. answering phones, completing paperwork, scheduling appointments, processing health insurance claims, take patient history, prepare patients for treatment, take patient’s vital signs, performing basic laboratory tests. CMA programs are traditionally longer than other certification programs, often requiring months of training.
- Work environment: hospitals, private practices, public clinics (urgent care, health centers, etc.), nursing homes, retirement communities
- Volunteer/paid: Paid; varies between state; often between $15-$18/hour
- Certification process:
- Complete a medical assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools at a private or public college or university
- Pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification examination
- Cost of training: $500-15,000 (largely dependent on institution and location; style of program)
- Length of training: Varies; traditional programs can be 15-30 weeks. Accelerated programs run 6-10 weeks.
- Cost of certification: $125-$250 (exam only)
- Example programs: