BlogCareer CenterCareer DevelopmentHealth CareersThe Unexpected Ways Professional Organizations Can Boost Your Confidence and Career

The Unexpected Ways Professional Organizations Can Boost Your Confidence and Career

Whether you are a student in training or already working in your chosen area, there is an important way to jumpstart your career: membership in a professional organization. Joining a professional organization can improve connections with others working in the same field, enhance a person’s resume and career profile, increase professional credibility, and offer continuing personal development and education.

Why Join a Professional Association?

There are several reasons to think about joining professional organizations and participating both online and in person.

  1. Being a part of a professional organization or association helps increase your network with others in the same career field. Whether taking part online or at an in-person meeting or event, membership enables you to share your ideas, ask for suggestions in seeking your career goals, and learn about current trends in your chosen healthcare field.
  2. Professional organizations can help with your career goals and job hunting. Many associations have job boards online or in print with career opportunities available only to members. In addition, you may find a mentor to help you with your professional needs, and organizations may offer other career resources such as how to write an effective resume and cover letter, interviewing tips, and how to negotiate salary. Belonging to a professional organization also tells employers that you are committed to your profession and continued professional development.
  3. Being a member of a professional organization, in addition to networking, can also provide a sense of community with others in the same area of work. Most professional organizations have national and regional conferences where workshops are available with opportunities to learn new ideas from experts in the area.

Professional Associations by Field

This article highlights professional organizations to consider for membership for three allied health career tracks: Medical Office Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, and Medical Transcription. These programs are offered at Blackstone Career Institute (BCI).

Medical Office Assistant

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA®) offers medical assistant administrative certification. BCI trains students enrolled in the Medical Office Assistant program to sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certification, sponsored by the NHA®. Being a certified medical office assistant allows you to meet potential employer requirements, improves career opportunities, and expands your ability to earn.

BCI’s online Medical Office Assistant program includes the training, certification prep materials, and exam entry fee for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certification, administered by the NHA®.

Medical Billing and Coding

Although there are many professional organizations for medical billing and coding specialists, the largest membership is held by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) with more than 250,000 members. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) focuses on the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, which are integral parts that make up medical billing and coding careers. The American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) offers members ongoing education, and their focus is “centered on providing medical billers and coders with opportunities to network and share information, ideas, and common goals in support of others, to learn and continue the educational experience, and to provide credible industry certification through exams.”

Graduates of BCI’s online Medical Billing and Coding Program & Career Training are qualified to sit for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) exam by the AAPC. Those who pass will earn the CPC-A credential.

Medical Transcription

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) “leads, educates, and advocates for professional excellence and integrity in all aspects of healthcare documentation practices worldwide.” The AHDI provides a career center with job postings and career resources for members as well as information and certifications for advancing your career as a medical transcriptionist.

AHDI emphasizes continuing education for its members, holding an annual conference for medical transcriptionists, educators, supervisors/managers, and business owners. There are component associations of AHDI, each of which holds regular meetings and conferences around the United States. Members of AHDI are often also members of AHIMA.

Graduates of BCI‘s online Medical Transcription training program are qualified to sit for the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam offered by the AHDI and after gaining work experience the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) exam by AHDI.

Choosing the Right Professional Organization

Before deciding on whether or not to become a member of a professional organization, keep in mind your career goals and if the organization will help you to achieve them. It’s a good idea to attend some of the organization’s events (online or in person) and speak with individuals who are already members.

Don’t just compare member benefits, dues, and online offerings among organizations. Even if you are still a student in training, know what you will gain from being involved in the association and see if there is a match. As Jonathon Friedland, a partner with Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger, LLP, who served as a board member for the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and co-chairs the NY chapter of the Private Directors Association (PDA) advises, “Don’t join any association (or any non-profit board or engage in any activity) because you think it will be ‘good for business.’ Do what you enjoy. Life’s too short to do otherwise.”

Once you find and decide to join the right professional association, get involved and see how it will complement your career in unexpected ways.


Written by Jo Gambosi

bio of blogger Jo for Blackstone Career Institute