Photo by Alex Ribeiro. Haywood Community College is celebrating Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 15 through 19. Perhaps the most versatile of all allied health professionals, medical assistants are cross-trained to perform clinical, laboratory and administrative duties. Pictured left to right are current students Mackenzie Myers and Cierra Owenby practicing techniques learned in class.
Haywood Community College is celebrating Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 15 through 19. Perhaps the most versatile of all allied health professionals, medical assistants are cross-trained to perform clinical, laboratory and administrative duties. According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the medical assisting field is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.
HCC’s medical assisting program incorporates coursework covering scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, computer operations; assisting with examinations and treatments, performing routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration; and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care. Graduates may be eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants.
For 2018 HCC medical assisting graduate Maria Gamez, she had a job in the field even before graduating. As a result of completing the clinical portion of the degree at Blue Ridge Health, she was offered a job when the rotation ended. She is enjoying the wide variety and age groups of patients she routinely sees at the practice.
In addition, Gamez is putting to work the varied skills she learned as a student. She routinely takes patients back to the exam room where she takes vitals and prepares patients for procedures and to see the doctor.
Gamez says she came to HCC straight from high school because she was unsure of what she wanted to. “Coming to HCC was close to home and less expensive so I knew I could change my mind if I didn’t feel like I was on the right path. One thing I was sure of was that employees get better pay and better benefits if they have a college degree.”
According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, the top performed responsibilities of medical assistants include: maintaining confidentiality, communication to each individual person’s understanding, demonstration of respect for individual diversity, maintaining professionalism, complying with safety procedures, optimization of workflow efficiency through interactions with co-workers and patients, maintaining medical records, keeping within legal and ethical boundaries while providing care, maintaining documentation of patients, observations and clinical treatments and electronic transmission of information.
Like Gamez, 2018 HCC medical assisting graduate Brittney Green gained employment at the same medical practice where she completed her clinical rotation as a student. She works at Mission Community Medicine.
Green decided to become a medical assistant so she could work with the community. “Not everyone has someone to talk to,” she explains. “As a medical assistant, I may be the first person these patients have talked to in weeks.”
Before coming to HCC, the single mother of two worked as a waitress and horse trainer. “I knew I needed a job that was more stable.”
HCC’s medical assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board. For more information on the College’s medical assisting program, please call 828-627-2821 or visit haywood.edu.