New Program Paves Way for Medical Assistant Certification
Starting in Fall Semester 2022, students entering the medical field may take courses in the newly developed medical assistant certificate program at Kent State University’s Ashtabula Campus. Kent State Geauga will begin offering this program the following calendar year with students having the option to start Spring or Summer Semester 2023.
Students must complete the required prerequisite courses prior to beginning the medical assistant certificate program.
This new program is a good fit for students seeking an entry-level health care position. The courses are designed to provide flexibility, utilizing online and hybrid courses with in-person laboratory sessions in the evening.
This fast-paced certification program will equip students for a stronger career trajectory while helping to satisfy a need in the health care industry for more well-qualified medical assistants.
There is a current shortage of medical assistants in health care across Ohio. Many medical assistants currently in the workforce are trained but not certified, explains Julie Senita, Ph.D., Senior Program Director, Nursing & Allied Health at Kent State Ashtabula. She adds that this program has been developed with accreditation standards in mind, which may allow graduates to seek certification in the future.
“Students in this new program can earn the certificate within three semesters and may be able to seek certification as a medical assistant through a variety of pathways,” says Dr. Senita. “This provides students with an entry-level position in health care institutions and may lead them to additional opportunities to expand their health care careers.”
In response to the health care market’s need for qualified medical assistants, this program was first envisioned in Spring 2020. Since that time, feedback and support from health care providers throughout Northeast Ohio have been incorporated to best meet the health care needs of the region.
“The need for qualified medical assistants has never been greater,” Dr. Senita says. Our aging population has produced an increased demand for health care, while simultaneously, retirements among health care workers outpace new employment rates.
Medical assistants work in many health care settings, supporting the physician and other health care providers providing patient care. Common places of employment include hospitals, medical offices, outpatient clinics, urgent care settings and public schools. Medical assistants typically perform administrative and clinical duties in addition to serving as patient liaisons and as integral members of health care teams.
The program curriculum follows recommended industry standards and guidelines, covering 12 content areas: anatomy and physiology; applied mathematics; infection control; nutrition; communication; administrative functions; basic practices finances; third-party reimbursement; procedural and diagnostic coding; legal implications; and ethical considerations; and protective practices.
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Identify, administer and document medications safely utilizing the six rights.
- Collect and process diagnostic specimens with appropriate documentation and follow-up.
- Apply current up-to-date quality control and safety principles in the workplace.
- Skillfully perform and document routine clinical procedures.
- Perform and document routine administrative procedures.
- Effectively utilize verbal, nonverbal and written communication principles and skills in the workplace.
- Maintain ethical and legal standards and maintain confidentiality and patient privacy.
- Communicate with professionalism in the medical assistant role and function as a valued member of the health care team.
- Effectively utilize the electronic health record for documentation and insurance purposes.
- Identify medical law and regulatory guidelines within ambulatory settings.
In order to be accepted into the medical assisting - undergraduate certificate program offered at the Ashtabula and Geauga campuses through the College of Applied and Technical Studies, student applicants must meet with an advisor to review prerequisites and requirements. Call Student Services at (440) 964-4217 to set up an appointment with an advisor.