Guest Commentary: St. Mary Medical, Hobart HS partner on medical assistant program

Date: 6/26/2017 through 6/26/2017

June 25, 2017

A prized partnership between St. Mary Medical Center and Hobart High School is expanding its services to students interested in healthcare.

Recruitment has begun to launch a medical assistant program. The hospital — and affiliated medical offices — believes it will hire more than 500 persons for such positions through 2020.

“The medical assistant position is a great way to enter the healthcare field,” said Sharron Catania, director of Human Resources. The current hourly wage averages $13.77 in Indiana with holidays off and limited weekend shifts.

She says the position is fast paced and offers a variety of responsibilities.

“Medical assistants perform a variety of clinical and clerical functions,” Catania said. “They can serve as office receptionist, provide general patient care, enter billing data and communicate medical information from the patient to the doctor.”

Provided at least 16 students are signed up, Ivy Tech instructors will begin the program this fall.

The high school curriculum will include courses during a student’s junior and senior years. In addition to classroom courses such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and medical terminology, students will also participate in internships and clinical experiences at medical offices and hospitals.

Upon graduation from high school, successful program finishers will have the option to finish credits for a technical certificate (normally a one-year program requiring 45 credits) or pursue a two-year associate degree in applied science.

Catania says medical assistants may continue their education and pursue opportunities as an Licensed Practical Nurse, Respiratory Therapist or Registered Nurse.

The U.S. Department of Labor says healthcare occupations will grow by 19 percent through 2024; that rate is greater than most other job sectors. During the same time-frame, the healthcare field will add 2.3 million jobs, which is more than any other sector in the nation.

Hobart High School is an active member of READY NWI.

Source: The Northwest Indiana Times

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