The enrollment for the new medical assisting program offered by Joliet Junior College will start in spring 2020. The program will be a year-long certificate that will act as a pathway for the students in the growing healthcare industry.
The medical assistants perform a lot of tasks including supporting patients, performing tests, manage medical records, and carry out administrative tasks, among other duties. The assistants are not uni-dimensional as they can serve in doctors’ offices, outpatient care centers, medical research centers, nursing care facilities, hospitals, and more.
Rudayna Jebara, JJC professor and medical assisting program coordinator says, “It is important that this program is offered at JJC because there is such a demand for medical assistants in our communities.” Jebara added, “Hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices have consistently asked for this program because they need more medical professionals serving in this role and cannot find them”. Jebara’s statement is backed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS says that from 2018 to 2028, the employment of medical assistants will grow 23 percent. This increase in number is partly due to the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers need preventive care which is in most cases provided by physicians. The BLS says that these physicians will hire medical assistants to see more patients. In May 2018, the median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610.
The students enrolled in the new JJC program will learn many things including drawing blood, giving injections, performing electrocardiograms (EKG) as well as other important tasks. Jebara says, “They will also have simulation labs, where they will be exposed to ‘real-life’ types of situations to prepare them for their career. Our students will also get to use our new VR equipment for empathy training, anatomy and physiology and more.”