Haywood Community College recently celebrated Medical Assistants Recognition Week. Perhaps one of the most versatile careers in the healthcare industry, the Medical Assisting curriculum prepares multi-skilled health care professionals to perform administrative, clinical, and laboratory procedures. These individuals are oftentimes the first and last face a patient sees while visiting a healthcare facility. And they intend to make an impression.

For Ted Williams, 2016 HCC Medical Assisting graduate, his favorite part of the job is the interaction with patients. “I want to make their visit as comfortable as possible. To work in this field, you have to have an open heart and open ears to help patients. I want them to leave with a very good experience.”

Williams had a job in the field within a month of graduating. He works for Dr. Wenzel at Western Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists. From the hands-on experience in the classroom, as well as taking part in an externship in his last semester, Williams says he was able to apply what he learned as soon as he started his new job. “The externship was a wonderful way to get a taste of what it’s like in the field. I worked with a broad age and demographic of patients and saw all sides of how the health field works.”

When Williams decided on a career in the Medical Assisting field, many factors came into play. “I wanted a job that was reliable and one that I could support my family on,” he explains. “But I also wanted a job that would allow me to help others and that had meaning to it.”

This is also true for current HCC Medical Assisting student Renae Wright. For more than 20 years, she worked in customer service where she helped people on a daily basis. When she decided to change career fields, being in a job where she could help people was a must. “I want to be there to help patients. I want to talk to them and ease their tension.”

In addition, Wright explains that a job in the Medical Assisting field ensures that jobs will always be available and she will have the option to advance.

Employment opportunities for Medical Assistants include physicians’ offices, health departments, hospitals, urgent care centers, and hospital outpatient clinics. The HCC Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org), upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). In addition, HCC’s program has a graduate satisfaction rate average of 100% over the past 5 years.

According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, the most frequently performed responsibilities of Medical Assistants are:  to abide by principles and laws related to confidentiality; adapt communications to an individual's understanding; demonstrate respect for individual diversity; employ professional techniques during verbal, non-verbal, and text-based interactions; comply with risk management and safety procedures; interact with staff and patients to optimize workflow efficiency; maintain patient records; provide care within legal and ethical boundaries; document patients, observations, and clinical treatments; and transmit information electronically.

For more information about HCC’s Medical Assisting program, please call 627-4658.

Photo by Aaron Mabry. Haywood Community College recently celebrated Medical Assistants Recognition Week. Pictured are current Medical Assisting students watching instructor Larry Davis demonstrate in a lab.