Highly Sought Medical Assistants At Top of Projected Job Growth List

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Medical assisting is a program offered at CV Tech’s Dr. Earl Cowan Campus, near Yukon.

YUKON – Medical assistants are critical to health care, but few consider it a career option, said Vicky Popel, an instructor at Canadian Valley Technology Center.

Popel teaches a medical assisting class that prepares students to become a registered medical assistant (RMA), usually in less than a year. Medical assistants are patient liaisons, Popel said, helping patients feel at ease in a physician’s office. They can also have administrative duties.

RMAs often work in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as clinics, medical offices and urgent care facilities.

The outlook for medical assistants is among the best for all jobs nationwide, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A 29 percent growth is expected in the field through 2026.

BLS data projects the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

Median pay (half earned more, and half earned less) is $32,480 or $15.61 per hour. Popel said recent CV Tech graduates have reported receiving better pay in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Students in the program must complete at least 24 hours coursework per week. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday at CV Tech’s Dr. Earl Cowan Campus, located at SW 15 & Czech Hall Road, near Yukon. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Cost is $210 per month, though financial aid is available. Students who are under age 24 and who live within CV Tech’s district are eligible for the Next Step Scholarship, which pays tuition costs for all who qualify.

Macy King, 22, of Minco, is using the Next Step Scholarship to pay for medical assisting. She said the class is perfect for those who know they want to do something in the medical field.

Erin Larrick, 36, of Yukon, enrolled in the class with the hope of making more money and working fewer hours one day. A single mother, Larrick currently works between 40 and 55 hours per week.

Many students, such as Jacey Pewitt, 26, of Yukon, use medical assisting as a springboard to another career within the health care industry. Pewitt plans to eventually enroll in nursing school after she starts working as an RMA.

Chandra Utt, 22, of Oklahoma City, said the location of CV Tech’s Cowan Campus is perfect. Melissa Blake, 28, also of Oklahoma City, said she researched schools thoroughly and was impressed with how affordable CV Tech’s program is.

Courtney Whitehead, 38, of El Reno, said classes are small, which suits her. Hailey Boland, 45, of Hinton, said she took medical assisting more than two decades ago but chose to re-certify before re-entering the job market.

Rayven Rollins, 21, is a recent graduate of the program. She now works for Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO), which has dozens of locations statewide. Rollins discovered CV Tech’s medical assisting program online. She said she performs a lot of phlebotomy (or blood drawing) at DLO.

For those with questions about CV Tech’s medical programs, call 345-3333.


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