Students seeking a career in healthcare now have another option at WCC. The Medical Assisting program has undergone a curriculum review, resulting in a certificate program that can be earned over three semesters.
Medical Assisting Program Director Sherry Bishop was hired last May, with the task of pulling together the curriculum and beginning the accreditation process. In just one year, Bishop, with the support of Martha Showalter, dean of Math, Science and Health, has led the program through the following changes:
- A formal application to apply to the program was created.
- The program curriculum was completely rewritten to include protocols and to allow students to learn in the proper sequence, in accordance with accreditation standards. The college is currently seeking accreditation, with a site visit scheduled for March 2015.
- A dedicated lab was designed and built to resemble an ambulatory office, so that students can practice hands on patient care and perform procedures in a real world atmosphere.
The program runs fall through spring semesters, ending with 180 hours of hands-on training at a facility outside of WCC. Students will go through the program as a cohort. Capacity, according to Bishop, will be 24 students.
“We already have five students registered for fall,” Bishop said. “The students are extremely excited to finally have the program set up and running with the new curriculum and all new state of the art equipment.”
Students who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is among the top fastest growing careers. The job growth is largely attributed to the growing baby boomer population and the increase in patient access to medical care via national healthcare reform.