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New program lets Cherokee students earn medical assistant certifications

Jeff Bobo • Feb 1, 2018 at 1:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Seven Cherokee High School health sciences students will have a leg up on college and their careers thanks to a new program that helped them become certified clinical medical assistants (CCMA) this year.

CCMAs were awarded Friday to Grace Jones, Becca Mann, Carter Rice, Claire Roberson, Luke Jarnagin, Emma Jones and Kaylee Gray.

Cherokee health sciences instructor Tommie Loudy said the CCMA allows them to go right to work after high school graduation as a medical assistant.

For students who need a part-time job in college, the certification allows them to gain work experience in the medical field while attending classes.

What can a CCMA do?

Among the medical skills the seven are now certified to perform are checking vital signs; performing EKGs; performing phlebotomy and lab procedures; assisting providers with exams and procedures; doing medical office work and scheduling; administering injections and medications; and checking patients in and out.

“When they turn 18, they are job-ready; they are hirable,” Loudy said. “It is an actual job title, although ‘medical assistant’ is usually the way you hear it.”

How did they earn their CCMAs?

Each student successfully completed a minimum of three health science courses including Intro to Health Science, Medical Therapeutics and Clinical Internship.

Additionally, interns spent approximately 120 hours job shadowing with the following industry partners: Wellmont Physical Therapy, Wellmont Hawkins County Hospital, Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital, Wellmont Outpatient Diagnostic Center, U-Save Pharmacy, Cherokee Physical Therapy, Church Hill Healthcare & Rehab, Tri-Cities Center for Cosmetic Dentistry and Cureton Orthodontics.

“They got to go to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and to the ER. The two mandatory rotations were laboratory and pharmacy,” Loudy said. “They they got to choose other areas such as physical therapy, nursing or other disciplines.”

Does the CCMA help their future career goals?

Loudy said the certification will allow the students to get out into the real world and work as medical assistants.

“I always try to survey the students and find out what their interests are and try to best tie in college and career prep,” Loudy said. “Anything students do here in Cherokee’s health sciences program is going to give them a leg up in preparing for college and career readiness.

“A lot of times employers will help students with their tuition, tuition reimbursement and that sort of thing. Any kind of industry certification is going to help a student get a leg up and be ready and be accepted into a health professional program at the community college level or at the university level. This is the first time we’ve offered this, and I’m really pleased with the results.”

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