Getting certified during COVID-19: Options for essential healthcare workers


4 key accommodations let students certify safely and on schedule with AMT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had ripple effects on countless industries and upended plans for students across disciplines. Many graduates ready to enter the workforce may be wondering what the future holds as stay-at-home orders impact the labor market.

At the same time, allied health workers like medical assistants are needed more than ever, and they will continue to be essential to the fight against COVID-19 and to the strength of our entire health care system. To help, AMT has taken steps to ensure that allied health students and grads stay on track to earn the credentials they need, so they can be valuable additions to our health care front lines.

Here are the AMT accommodations to our application process, externship requirements, safety protocols and test prep materials in response to the health crisis.  

1. Application deadlines extended

Normally, applications for certification are good for one year, allowing the applicant 12 months to pass the exam. Candidates whose applications are set to expire between March 1 and June 1, 2020, will be able to request an extension through July 1, 2020.

2. Work and volunteer hours are suitable alternatives to externships

Medical assisting students who pursue the education route to certification are normally required to complete 160 hours of a clinical externship. Because some clinical sites have temporarily suspended externship programs, AMT will honor work experience or volunteer hours as suitable alternatives to an externship for applicants. If the accreditor of your school or program accepts simulation in lieu of externship, AMT will accept that as well.

3. Health and safety measures increased at testing sites

AMT is committed to helping students obtain the excellent credentials that reflect highest standards in certification, which is why we will continue to administer exams in-person through our trusted partner Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is taking steps to ensure the health and safety of all test takers in its facilities by maintaining social distancing standards, conducting health screenings prior to entry into testing sites, and allowing test takers to wear personal protective equipment.

4. Exam prep materials available online

For those students who may have to temporarily postpone their exam, AMT has multiple resources to help students familiarize themselves with exam content and maximize retention until their test date. 

Exam content outlines are available for free at

Online practice exams are another great way for applicants to boost their confidence prior to the exam by simulating the conditions and content of the real test. Colleges can qualify for bulk purchases, too!

Throughout this health crisis and all the time, AMT provides schools with personalized service, extensive management reports and special purchasing options. AMT works directly with you to help your students and graduates get certified.

About AMT: As a professional association for allied health, AMT is a lifelong career partner that provides continuing education, networking and leadership development. Today, AMT has more than 100,000 actively certified allied health professionals in nine distinct specialties, each of whom are full members of our nonprofit membership society.

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