With the growing demand for medical services, doctors and medical practitioners are relying more and more on medical assistants to compile medical histories, administer treatments and complete administrative work in their offices.
For nearly a decade, Cleveland Community College has operated a local program aimed at training assistants to meet some of that demand.
“Every year we can accept 20 people, but we have been low lately due to COVID. We are hoping to grow more,” said Colette Hill, program coordinator for Cleveland Community College’s medical assisting.
The duty list for medical assistants is a long one. Graduates of Hill’s program are able to take vital signs, administer injections, put on EKGs, do laboratory tests and complete administrative tasks in most medical settings.
“They are so in demand because they are so versatile,” Hill said. “And with the growing demand, our providers are doing more assessments and seeing more patients. They only have time to treat patients and diagnosis so (assistants) are doing all of the diagnostics, all of the patient history, all of that.”
They also develop a different kind of relationship to patients than some doctors, according to Megan Wilson, who is studying to become a medical assistant.
“I have extensive background as a patient. As a kid it is scary when you have to go in for X-rays and things like that. I had medical assistants who would come in and help make me comfortable and tell me I was going to be OK. That made it a more endurable experience,” Wilson said. “And now I want to help people like those medical assistants helped me.”
The medical assisting program takes two years to complete. Upon completion students are eligible to sit for a national certification test and work for a variety of medical offices. For more information, call 704-669-4135.
This article originally appeared on The Shelby Star: Medical Assistant program aims to fill vital need in medical offices