The Medical Assisting program at New River Community and Technical College is offered on all four campuses: Greenbrier Valley Campus, Mercer County Campus, Nicholas County Campus, and Raleigh County Campus. This two-year program prepares students for work in a variety of healthcare settings.
Functions may vary from facility to facility, but generally incorporate a mix of clinical and administrative responsibilities. Duties for the Medical Assisting program include direct patient care, assisting with procedures, administration of medications, medical record management, coding, billing, scheduling of patients, and office management.
A specific feature of the program is the extensive externship experience. Students spend time in various physicians’ offices, hospital areas, and specialty clinics. Throughout the experience students are under the supervision of a physician.
Following completion of the Medical Assisting AAS degree, graduates may sit for the National Certification Examination for Certified Clinical/Administrative Medical Assistant. Successful completion of this examination will enable graduates to work in many states across the nation.
Graduates are qualified to accept positions in medical offices, clinics, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies, hospitals, ambulatory care centers, or any other healthcare entity where their broad skills are applicable.
While many of our students accept positions in Medical Assisting, others have used the skills and knowledge obtained in the program to gain acceptance into selective enrollment programs such as nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy school, and radiology.
Throughout this two-year program, students participate in several community and campus-based outreach programs. Students create and develop projects to educate and enhance the health of our community members and our students.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of Medical Assistants is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations as the health care industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and the growth and aging of the population. Increasing utilization of Medical Assistants in the rapidly growing health care industry will further stimulate job growth.
This growth will be driven by the increase in the number of group practices, clinics, and other health care facilities that need a high proportion of support personnel, particularly the flexible Medical Assistant, who can handle both administrative and clinical duties. Medical Assistants work primarily in outpatient settings, a rapidly growing sector of the health care industry.
Find a Career You Love!
When I first attended college, I was worried that it was going to be too difficult, without one-on-one time with the teachers and instructors, and I imagined large classrooms with too many students shoved in them like sardines. Thankfully, none of these fears were justified.
I loved my classes, my instructors, and my homework! Who says that? A student in New River CTC’s Medical Assisting program. The instructors and students were absolutely wonderful. You actually form a relationship and create a bond with students, instructors, and staff. The degree was more than a piece of paper. It was my future, the next chapter of my life. I was worried that I would lose contact with my fellow students and former instructors. Once again, thankfully, I was wrong. You keep the friendships, keep in contact, and become colleagues. I can’t explain how Medical Assisting has changed my life.
My Medical Assisting degree brought me to Valley Health Systems, and I love it. It is such a fun and loving atmosphere. I didn’t think I could actually like a job that was five days a week, working over 40 hours, but I can’t imagine working anywhere else. Giving quality care to patients is what I love to do. To see patients come through the door time and again, to see a smile on their face as soon as they see yours. You have a special connection with each and every patient. When patients comment on your ability to draw blood without it “hurting”, or when they ask for you because of your understanding, you know you did something right. I did the right thing by attending New River CTC and getting the education, patience, and skills for the workforce.
My typical workday is full, and by no means boring, because of the multi-tasking skills necessary to run a well-organized and successful medical practice. The doctor does the doctoring, and the Medical Assistant does everything else. The responsibilities of a Medical Assistant working in a primary care physician’s office are enormous. Your number one priority is the patients, and helping them feel at ease, and ensuring that they are well cared for (both in person and on the phone). I try to give the patients my full attention and let them know they are important to me.
My clinical responsibilities include patient triage; taking vitals such as blood pressure, pulse, and respiration; giving injections and drawing blood; monitoring peak flow meters and EKG; giving nebulizer treatments; assisting in procedures and running tests including urine and pregnancy. My clerical duties are patient education; obtaining prior authorization for prescriptions; calling in prescriptions; verifying patients’ insurance; ordering supplies and medications; overseeing the flu vaccine clinic; stocking exam rooms; scheduling appointments; obtaining lab and test results; performing physical and occupational therapy; assisting physicians with minor surgery in the office; and removing stitches, staples and at times IV lines.
To be or continue to be a successful Medical Assistant, you need to be motivated, caring, friendly, a good listener and multi-tasker, have good time management skills, be able to work independently, have good people skills, and enjoy working with the public and different types of people.
If you can do all of these things, as well as keep up with certifications and continuing education programs, then Medical Assisting is for you.
Megan DeMoss CCMA, CPT
Wondering How to ‘Start Over’ and Transfer Your Credits?
I would like to start by telling you a little bit about myself and how I decided to spend the rest of my life helping others. At age 37, I was a production manager for a communications company. I had worked for this company for nine years, and I loved the fact that I could wake up every morning and enjoy going to work. One day our regional manager came to our office, he took us to the back briefing room and went on to tell us they were closing our doors at the end of the week. I was absolutely stunned and devastated by the news.
After the initial shock, I decided to enroll into some college courses and pursue a job in the medical field. I was afraid that I would not be able to keep up with the fast pace of college, take care of my family, and compete with the younger generation. But I did!
I was accepted into the Medical Assisting program at New River Community and Technical College. I was excited and nervous. It had been several years since I had attended school, and I was unsure if I could keep up with my younger peers. I remember entering the classroom and feeling completely out of place, but decided to stick it out for a while. I have to say that deciding to continue with the program, even with all the doubts I had about myself, was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The instructors did not look at me as an almost middle aged woman; they looked at me as their student. Not only did they teach me the fundamentals of the medical field, they taught me how to treat my patient, not just their disease. They worked with me whenever I needed it and boosted my confidence when I didn’t think I was going to make it. They taught me to believe in myself and the skills I acquired.
After starting the Medical Assisting program my father became ill and was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This was a disease I knew nothing about, but knew I had to learn all I could to help care for
my father. It was at this point I decided to change my field to respiratory therapy.
I am going to continue my education after graduation to receive my bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy. The education I received while in the Medical Assisting program at
New River CTC made this transition possible for me. I am now in my last semester of the respiratory program and graduating in May 2015. I truly feel that without the strong foundation that was instilled in me at New River CTC, this dream would not have been feasible.