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Medical Assisting Program Debuts at MCC

Fall 2011 | Archives

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This fall, MCC will be adding a new degree program to its Health and Public Services area, which currently includes Dental Assisting, Nursing, Professional Health Studies, Paramedicine, Certified Nursing Aide, Criminal Justice and Respiratory Care Technology. Alegent Health Clinic will transition its Medical Assisting program to MCC in an effort to meet the increasing demand for medical assistants in the workforce.

The transition includes an in-kind donation to MCC of all equipment used to facilitate the program, an estimated value of $150,000. A snapshot of the equipment includes exam tables, EKG machines, glucose monitors, microscopes, centrifuges and various medical supplies.

"We are at a critical shortage in our local, state, regional and national healthcare systems for certified medical assistants," said Dr. Stacey Ocander, MCC Dean of Health and Public Services. "This program will help fill that gap and, in turn, provide better patient care."

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of medical doctors and other health professionals. Common employers include hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities and physicians offices. Medical assistants may be called upon to help obtain patient history and vital signs, as well as ordering supplies or scheduling appointments.

By assuming oversight of this program, MCC will offer a new, one-year Medical Assisting certificate program with the option to continue toward an Associate Degree in Professional Health Studies. The degree is transferrable to a four-year university, offering students an educational pathway and career ladder.

The program also allows MCC to serve more students in this high-demand field. Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008–18 decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Alegent Health School of Medical Assisting enrolled its first students in 1998; oversight was later assumed by Alegent Health Clinic in 2009. With physical space limited, Alegent began discussing the transition of the program to MCC to expand and enhance it. The program will retain its accreditation at MCC.

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