Employees within the greater medical profession can accelerate their career advancement by earning medical certifications within their specialty areas or in new areas of concentration. The step from general technician to specialist is an important one with regard to employment opportunities and salary increases. Many hospitals, clinics, individual medical and dental practices, and laboratories require personnel to be certified in their specific disciplines. The concern for highest quality patient care and worries about potential legal liabilities make these medical institutions prefer team members with degrees and certifications.
Some medical areas, such as emergency providers or emergency medical technician (EMTs), require certification in most states. The EMT is often the first medical professional to come in contact with sick and injured patients. Other professionals such as radiology technicians take a significant step forward when they obtain radiologist certifications. Certified x-ray and MRI certified specialists are able to undertake greater responsibilities than radiological technicians with minimal training. Important medical decisions may revolve around the diagnostic interpretation of patient x-rays. The same responsibility issues apply to laboratory technicians. There are laboratory procedures that only certified laboratory specialists are permitted to perform.
The fear of error and malpractice actions drives medical administrators to seek the most highly trained workers for all these professional areas. Medical professionals with current credentials and certifications are generally the first choices in these positions. Earning a medical certification takes an additional amount of schooling, but the expanded employment potential and the higher salary rates earned by certified medical professionals make the effort worthwhile.