Donated photo. Haywood Community College is celebrating Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 21 through 25. For 2016 HCC medical assisting graduate Cameron Smith, the career field was the perfect way for him to be an advocate for patients. Pictured, Smith is checking a patient’s blood pressure.

Haywood Community College is celebrating Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 21 through 25. Perhaps the most versatile of all allied health professionals, medical assistants are cross-trained to perform clinical, laboratory and administrative duties. According to the U.S. 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 2016 HCC medical assisting graduate Cameron Smith, the career field was the perfect way for him to be an advocate for patients. A typical workday for him at Midway Medical Center is spent preparing patients for the doctor, completing referrals to other offices, submitting medication refills to pharmacies and answering phone messages.

“My patients are what makes my job fun and rewarding,” Smith explains. “What I love most is the patient interaction.”

Smith is a second-generation HCC student. When deciding where to go to college, he wanted to support his local community college. “I love the campus and the instructors,” he says. “I never felt like just a number. I like the small class size and the ability to have one-on-one time with the instructors.” 

Smith is active in the American Association of Medical Assistants. At the local chapter in Haywood County, he is president elect. In addition, he serves on the Board for the North Carolina Society of Medical Assistants as state secretary. Smith is also active on the national level serving on several committees.    

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.

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. According to Medicalassistantadvice.com, Haywood Community College's Medical Assisting program was ranked number 10 in North Carolina for the year 2019.  The ranking was based on the following criteria:  total number of students enrolled in the program, graduation rate, Niche.com ratings and reviews full-time retention rate, admissions rate, average net price and student to faculty ratio.

For more information on the College’s medical assisting program, please call 828-627-2821 or visit haywood.edu.