JeffreyLavender

 

By Jeffrey Lavender, MT(AMT)

 

The motto of the US Army in the 1980s was “Be All You Can Be.” The intent was to recruit motivated young men and women like me to come and learn to be just about anything they wanted. But, an added benefit to the Soldier was the training and education that carried them into the civilian sector as well. The medical laboratory and general leadership training I obtained through the Army helped propel me to the AMT national president’s position and provided many job offers after my retirement from the Army.

Today, AMT can help you “be all you can be” through their many offerings, which include professional certification or skill-set certificates with digital badges and continuing education. Much like Soldiers “stack” their Airborne, Air Assault, Expert Field Medic Badge or Infantry Badge over their left shirt pocket signifying knowledge, skills, abilities and versatility as a Soldier, you can stack your allied health credentials from AMT on your resume. These can lead to better jobs and higher wages.

There are several ways you can stack your credentials with AMT. 

Vertical

First is vertical: if you’re a registered phlebotomy technician (RPT), you might consider going to school to qualify for the medical laboratory technician (MLT) exam.  Consider moving up from MLT to medical technician (MT) with just a little more education. Your experience can get you there even faster. Already an MT? Consider taking AMT’s newest certification, the molecular diagnostics technologist (MDT) to make you more valuable to an employer.

Are you thinking about a career in nursing but not sure it’s right for you? Consider starting out as a registered medical assistant (RMA) to see how you like it. You can earn money and experience towards your nursing studies and start to make contacts in the medical community.

Horizonal

Next is horizontal: once you earn that certification, you can continue to expand your horizons by adding other credentials to your name. If you are already an (RMA) or MLT, it would make sense to add RPT. Are you certified with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or another credentialing organization? Make yourself more competitive for that job you want by adding AMT. Current ASCP members may be able to add the AMT credential without even taking another exam!

Certificate Programs

Finally, you can add value to your credentials. AMT offers the REACH program, a certificate program that provides on line training and examination in ECG, point-of-care testing, and immunizations. (AMT is adding additional programs regularly.) Once you complete the online course and pass the short exam, you will earn a digital badge. This badge contains specific metadata that indicate who the issuer is, what the individual has achieved, the expiration date, and other important information.  You can share these badges on social media such as LinkedIn or other online resume programs.

A word of clarification here about the difference between certification and certificate. A certification is a professional credential earned after passing a big exam that gives you initials after your name. For example, Michael Smith MT(AMT). A certificate (like from AMT’s REACH program) doesn’t give you initials but is proof of additional training and expertise related to a specific skillset, like point-of-care testing, and often includes a digital badge as evidence.

During my time in the Army I attended many different courses, held a variety of jobs and duty positions, and documented all of it in my personnel files and on my annual evaluations. These additional training events and opportunities helped me get promoted and built my resume, which prepared me for whatever would come next in my career and my life. AMT can do that for you too. I encourage you to look at what AMT has to offer and take full advantage of the opportunities before you. Go forth and Be All You Can Be!


Jeffrey Lavender, MT(AMT), is a retired US Army Sergeant Major with 29 years of active duty service. His career as a Medical Laboratory NCO in the Army was complemented by his volunteer work at all levels in AMT, including serving as the AMT National President. He currently is employed by Kirtland Community College as a phlebotomy instructor and serves as an officer on the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center board of trustees as well as Fire Fighter Captain and medical first-responder with the local fire department.

 

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