Cleveland Community College's Medical Assisting Program recently received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
The purpose of this accreditation is to ensure the program produces qualified professionals. "Qualified healthcare professionals are valuable to the communities they serve," said Colette Hill, Medical Assisting instructor and discipline coordinator at CCC. "I worked as a certified medical assistant for years before I became an instructor. Medical Assisting is a great career for the right person, and I want my students to be well prepared when they go to work."
This accreditation ensures that the program follows strict guidelines and standards to prepare students for a job in this career field. It also means that graduates of the program can sit for the national American Association of Medical Assistance certification examination. Most physician offices are now requiring medical assistants to be listed on a national registry or become certified.
The Medical Assisting Program at CCC is still relatively new, having graduated three classes. Those graduates have found employment in physician offices throughout the area including OrthoCarolina, Kings Mountain Internal Medicine, Caromont Endocrinology Associates, Shelby Children's Clinic, Gaston Eye Clinic and more.
CCC's program typically accepts 20-25 students. It is a two-year program and graduates earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical duties. The administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance. Clinical duties can involve taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, drawing blood, and preparing patients for examination. They typically find jobs in physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and some retirement communities and assisted living facilities.
The accreditation process involves multiple steps and takes about two years to complete. It includes a self-study of the program and a two-day site visit by a Committee on Accreditation specifically focused on the medical assisting career field. During the site visit, the review team verifies information from the self-study, looks at program documentation and facilities, and interviews students, graduates, faculty, advisory board members and others. The site visit team compiles a report and submits it to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board. This group makes a decision on whether to recommend accreditation.
The accreditation must be renewed after five years, and annual assessment reviews must be submitted to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs reviews and accredits education programs in 30 health science occupations across the United States.
Submitted by Paula Vess