Feb. 22—ALBANY — Albany Technical College is looking to promote its Medical Assistant program with a Wednesday online presentation highlighting the growing field.
With baby boomers in the medical field reaching retirement age, and with more elderly patients needing care now and in the future, the program offers an introduction into the medical profession, said Latonya Harris, program director.
"I like to look at the Medical Assisting Program as a gateway career because it provides the foundation for a lot of the medical programs that we offer," she said.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics predicted that growth for medical assistants would grow by 19 percent between 2019 and 2029.
"There will be swift job growth across the healthcare industry in the near future," Albany Tech President Anthony Parker said "With the right training and certifications, this means that a medical assistant can grow a career and earn a good living because of their valuable experience in the healthcare industry over time."
Albany Tech noted that with the average U.S. lifespan of 75 years expected to increase, there will be a need for better and affordable managed health care in the future. Qualified graduates are eligible for positions such as medical assistants, certified medical assistants and phlebotomy technicians.
The program offers basic training that can lead to further education opportunities in fields such as surgical, nursing, radiology and pharmacy.
"This program has a clinical and an administrative portion," Harris said. "In the clinical portion, the students learn to draw blood, and they learn to give injections, learn to perform a urinalysis, assist patients, and check vital signs. In the administrative portion, they learn to communicate with insurance companies, help the patient to fill out insurance papers, schedule appointments and things of that nature."
The Medical Assisting program offers a degree in applied sciences and graduates are allowed to sit for the certification exam. Graduates also can qualify for phlebotomy certification.
"We do have an externship (during) the final semester, (through which) the students get to go out to various clinics here in Albany, and they can perform the skills they have learned here in labs," Harris said. "The students do not get paid, but they receive a grade. Depending on how well the students do at their clinical setting, most of the time they are offered a position before they graduate."
The presentation will be held at 10 a.m. and broadcast live on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech/.