Medical Assisting Plays Important Role in Health Careers

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Tammy Clement

At age 50, Tammy Clement found the job she always wanted. Up to now, circumstances always got in the way.

“I always wanted to be in the nursing field in some capacity,” she said. “I never really had the opportunity. Life happened.”

Clement, of Minco, decided to go back to school. Initially, she was undecided between pursuing a career as a licensed practical nursing (LPN) or one as a registered medical assistant (RMA).

She said Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Medical Assisting instructor, Vicky Popel, made the decision easy for her because of her passion and excitement. She enrolled in the adult-only program at the school’s Cowan Campus, located at SW 15th and Czech Hall Road, near Yukon.

A Federal Pell Grant covered the $210 monthly tuition costs. Clement had been laid off a previous job, so she qualified for unemployment to help pay bills and put food on the table. She completed RMA coursework and clinicals in under 10 months.

Clement received a job offer before she finished the class. Popel said this trend has developed because of a dire need for medical assistants. Clement worked 11 months in that job before accepting an offer to work in a dialysis center in the area.

Medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities and can also have administrative duties. RMAs often work in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as clinics, medical offices and urgent care facilities.

The job outlook for medical assistants is among the best for all careers with job growth of nearly 25 percent projected for the next decade, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Median pay (half earned more, and half earned less) is $33,610 or roughly $16 per hour. Clement said starting pay is less locally, but she enjoys the job.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students under age 24 who live within CV Tech’s district are eligible for free tuition through the school’s Next Step Scholarship. For more information, call (405) 345-3333.

Clement said her new job provides tuition assistance, so she can she can fulfill her wish to also complete a practical nursing program.

A complete list of CV Tech’s health-related classes can be viewed at


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