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Getting Your Certified Associate in Project Management Certifcation

A healthcare setting may not be the first venue that comes to mind when thinking about project management.

The process most often is associated with companies that develop products and bring them through stages of manufacturing and testing until they reach the marketplace.

The particulars may be different, but hospitals and other healthcare facilities also have use for project management.

An article on the website of project management software maker InLoox pointed out several similarities between healthcare and other fields that make project management a good fit.

Healthcare, like most industries, needs efficiency, “not just to decrease costs and increase revenues and gain a competitive edge, but to offer the highest quality care,” the InLoox article said. Another argument for project management is the intense scrutiny healthcare organizations face from “stakeholders, such as government and private agencies, health insurance companies, and … patients.” Efficiency, the article said, is essential in order for healthcare organizations to manage more and more patients with more and more demands.

The need for project managers in healthcare is becoming more pronounced as technology’s role continues to grow. IT projects can be costly in terms of finances, resources and man hours, so it’s crucial that teams get their jobs right the first time.

According to an article from financial consultants RSM, project management is vital for healthcare because it allows “project leadership to have direct and targeted insight into the project progress proactively and provide them with the objective feedback essential to address project risks before they turn into issues.”

Is Project Management Right for You?

The website Healthcare IT Skills posted a set of questions for healthcare professionals considering a move to project management. Project management might be a smart move for you if you can answser “yes” to most of these questions:

  • Are you a process and business minded person who feeds off of interaction with team members?
  • Have you led a team to achieve a specific goal?
  • Do you have a college degree?
  • Do you enjoy civic engagement at any level?
  • Are you detail oriented, but not likely to be lost in the technical details?
  • Are you comfortable around people in higher social or business positions than yourself?
  • Are you comfortable speaking in public?

Professionals hoping to move into a project management role can prepare themselves as well as show their commitment to potential employers by becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) through the Project Management Institute (PMI), a not-for-profit professional organization for project managers.

Getting Certified

Prerequisites needed in order to sit for the exam include a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, or the equivalent from another country, plus 1,500 hours of experience working on projects in a professional setting. Students can take the exam if they have completed 23 hours of project management education by the time the exam is scheduled.

The exam contains 150 multiple choice questions which must be answered in three hours. The exam must be taken every five years to maintain CAPM status.

Don’t expect to coast if you’re taking the exam for renewal. Questions are added and deleted on occasion. In fact, a new version of the exam goes into effect on May 21, 2018.

PMI members pay $225 to take the exam, while non-members pay $300. PMI also offers student rates on membership.

Project management skills are used in many different healthcare professions, so even those not preparing to move into the field may want to consider taking the CAPM. For those looking for a full-time project management position, the CAPM is a must-have.

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