Allergy season finds doctor’s offices filling up with patients seeking relief from their symptoms. Many allergists, hospitals and clinics hire allergy technicians or assistants to support and assist patients and doctors. Ensure that you follow the proper educational track and are acquiring necessary skills to get an assisting job in the field of allergy and immunology.
A certificate or associate degree in medical technology is necessary to become an allergy assistant. Community and technical schools with health care programs typically offer certificates or degrees in medical technology. An education in medical technology will likely be made up of a combination of classroom learning, clinical and hands-on training, and off-site internships. Programs usually take two years to complete.
Medical technology degrees are general degrees, therefore it is important to know the correct classes offered for working with allergy patients and doctors. Classes necessary to give you the skills to become an allergy tech include anatomy, physiology, and pathology, phlebotomy and pharmacology. Schools should have facilities and technology for the study of dermatology, which is needed to know about skin allergies, respiratory medicine, which is needed to know about allergies that affect breathing, and nutrition, which is needed to know about food allergies.
Once a degree is completed, graduates must take a certification exam. The American Association of Medical Assistants administers the exam (AAMA), which can be scheduled with the AAMA and taken at an approved testing facility. The exam consists of 200 questions and test takers are given 160 minutes to finish. Assistants and technicians must become re-certified every five years.
Many online resources are available to assist you in studying for the AAMA exam. The American Association of Medical Assistants publishes the exam outline, which can be used as a study guide; it contains topics such as medical terminology, medical administration, patient examinations and emergencies. Medical assisting and technology textbooks are a good study source. Use the latest edition of a textbook to ensure that the information is up-to-date.
Right Job for You?
Before embarking on the path of becoming an allergy technician, its important to seriously consider if the job is the right fit for you and if you are the right fit for the job. Allergy technicians should be interested in health care and the way the body works. They are there to assist doctors and should be able to take direction. They work directly with people who are ailing and should also be nurturing, friendly and positive. Allergy technicians should also be multi-taskers, as they will have to perform a variety of jobs, from taking blood for allergy testing to answering phones and dealing with patient paperwork.