Employment projections rank careers as medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the next decade. Northland Pioneer College is training individuals for this allied health profession this spring at the Winslow – Little Colorado and Show Low – White Mountain campuses and is offering internship opportunities in five areas – Holbrook, Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor, Springerville/Eagar and Winslow.
Anticipated expansion of the health care industry due to technological advances in medicine, combined with the growth and aging of the population, is creating the demand for trained medical assistants, especially those who can handle both administrative and clinical duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for 34 percent more medical assistants nationwide by 2018.
Employed in many physician’s office, Indian Health Service clinics and hospitals, medical assistants perform initial patient services, such as gathering vital signs and history, phlebotomy, electrocardiography and preparation for physical or specialty exams. The medical assistant also performs front office operations, such as scheduling, insurance billing and coding, and medical transcription.
At NPC, students learn the basics of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, explained Peg Erdman, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health programs. Administrative training covers software applications, word processing, medical transcription, insurance billing and coding. In addition, students engage in laboratory training in phlebotomy, medication administration, electrocardiography, and vital signs measurement.
Core classes are offered at both the Show Low and Winslow campuses. Several of the other “administrative” courses, such Introduction to MS Office and Vocabulary for the Medical Office, are offered online.
Erdman is encouraging students seeking an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree to apply for available scholarships and grants to train for Medical Assistant careers. Most NPC students can qualify for federal Pell grants if they apply. It can take up 6 to 8 weeks to complete the processing of your Pell application. Institutional scholarships are also available for tuition, textbooks and childcare.
Registration for the spring semester opens Nov. 28. Most classes begin the week of Jan. 17. Students interested in allied health careers should visit with an academic adviser at their local NPC campus or center before registering to develop a degree plan and to obtain assistance with the enrollment application, required placement testing and the financial aid process. Register Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., or Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on allied health career training, contact an academic adviser, or call Dean Erdman, 532-6133 or (800) 266-7845, ext. 6133.
Northland Pioneer College serves the residents of Navajo and Apache counties through four regional campuses and five centers with a variety of educational options for academic, career and technical and personal enrichment. NPC supports each student’s educational goals through affordable tuition, small class sizes and caring, professional instructors. For more information about NPC programs and services, call (800) 266-7845.