Donated photo. Renae Wright, a 2017 HCC Medical Assisting graduate, decided to make a life change while working full-time in a grocery store. She now works at Haywood Family Medicine in Canton.

Haywood Community College will celebrate Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 18 through 22. The program will be celebrating its 50th anniversary Thursday, October 21 from 5-8 p.m. with an open house welcoming alumni and community partners to HCC to see how far the program has come. In addition, program information sessions and tours for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Medical Assisting will be available Tuesday, October 19 from 1-2 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. A time capsule will be buried at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 22.

Renae Wright, a 2017 HCC Medical Assisting graduate, decided to make a life change while working full-time in a grocery store. She believed her 23 years of customer service experience would work well in the medical assisting field.  

“At 46, I graduated from college and was salutatorian of my class,” Wright explains. “Wow! What an accomplishment!”

In addition, Wright had completed clinicals at Haywood Family Practice in Canton and was officially hired. She explains that a typical day is anything but typical but some of the tasks she completes are taking vitals, updating charts, making callbacks on labs and much more.

“I stay busy and the days go by quickly,” she explains. “It is a rewarding job. Show people you care and they let you know how much you are appreciated.” 

Medical assisting is an allied health profession whose practitioners function as members of the health care delivery team and perform administrative and clinical procedures. With their unique versatility, medical assistants are proving to be the allied health professional of choice for this decade and beyond. Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

HCC Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration instructor Donna White explains that students in the Medical Assisting program learn about all aspects of a medical office. “They receive training not only in the clinical side of assisting the physician but also in performing lab procedures and administrative aspects of the office. Our local medical community is very supportive of our program and recognizes the quality of our graduates.”

White is a 1984 graduate of HCC’s Medical Office Assisting program and continued her education at Western Carolina University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in health information management. She worked in the field for several years before becoming an instructor in 2011. 

“I am so grateful to be able to combine my healthcare experience with teaching,” White says. “I love to be able to help students be successful not only in my courses but in a career and life. I want students to become life-long learners. It is a real opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.”

For more information about HCC’s Medical Assisting Program or the 50th Anniversary Celebration, please call 828-627-4658 or email lkdavis2@haywood.edu.