By Holly Desrosier
Today’s booming healthcare industry means quality healthcare professionals are always in high demand, so there is no better time to start a career in the medical field. Craven Community College (Craven CC) has a variety of affordable health program career pathways to choose from that will give students the skills they need to thrive as a medical professional.
Registration for the fall semester is now open for Craven CC’s Health Information Technology (HIT) and Medical Assisting (MA) programs on the New Bern and Havelock campuses and online through June 28.
Craven CC’s HIT program provides students with information technology, clinical, leadership and management skills. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to apply their knowledge to aspects of healthcare such as records management to ensure information is accurate, accessible and secure for both paper and electronic files. The growing use of electronic health records and the necessity to keep them secure continues to expand, making HIT professionals increasingly in demand.
“Health information technology plays a large part in making sure providers get paid by third parties and that the standard of care each patient deserves is being provided,” said Dr. Alec Newton, Craven CC’s dean of health programs. “With more and more components of healthcare being electronically based, skilled HIT employees are vital as the health industry continues to grow.”
Alternatively, the MA program prepares students to perform administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. Coursework includes instruction in scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, medical transcriptions and computer operations. Students will also learn to assist with examinations and treatments, perform routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care.
The MA program is the only health program at Craven CC with a day and night cohort. Students can take the required courses and complete the program in three semesters—fall, spring and summer—to earn their diploma and be eligible to take the national certification exam. They can finish out the last few courses online while also working as a medical assistant.
“Medical assisting has a projected job growth of 29% by 2026 because they can work anywhere from urgent cares and primary care providers to specialist offices,” said Newton. “They are a crucial component to every healthcare office team, and a person with a strong work ethic and good people skills can do very well as a medical assistant. They are trained to help doctors in everything from pediatric visits, drawing blood, assisting with EKGs, coding procedures and diagnoses, to taking patient histories and assisting with billing/collecting.”
Another option is the Medical Office Administration (MOA) program, Craven CC’s only health program that is taken entirely online and has no cohort limit. It has an open registration and while students can start any semester, the recommended plan of study is based on a fall semester start. The program also has subspecialties that students can choose to focus on.
“MOA is important because it is the most accessible health program for students with busy schedules,” said Newton. “It is a great starting point for an introduction to the medical field, or for individuals already working in the field that are looking to expand their scope of knowledge.”
Both HIT and MA programs have limited enrollment for the fall 2018 cohort and will begin reviewing applications July 2. To enroll, students can click on the “Now Accepting Applications” banner on the college website or go to http://cravencc.edu/academics/allied-health-programs.
If you have questions or would like more information on Craven CC’s health programs, contact Jolie Huffman, Health Programs Admissions Specialist at 252-639-2025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.