Community Health helps Ivy Tech expand medical assistant program

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Community Health Network Chief Nursing Officer Jean Putnam definitely values the partnership with Ivy Tech Community College.

Putnam

“I feel they are very forward thinking in addressing the shortages we have in health care,” Putnam said. “It’s refreshing to see what their vision is, not just for medical assistants, but for nursing.”

Ivy Tech Community College is expanding its medical assistant education offerings to Hamilton County through a partnership that provides space in the Community Health Pavilion in Noblesville.

The medical assistant program focuses on patient care, venipuncture, electrocardiograms, vital signs, injections, electronic medical records and medical coding. Students who successfully complete the Ivy Tech program are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants. In addition, medical assisting can serve as a springboard career for students interested in nursing, which will be offered on the Hamilton County campus starting in 2023.

“We’re working with them once someone becomes a MA (medical assistant). How do they become a RN (registered nurse)?” Putnam said. “We have programs we are working with them to help our MAs grow after they get their MA.”

Besides providing clinical site space for the incoming cohort, Community has provided externship opportunities for medical assistant students.

Atkinson

Stacy Atkinson, chancellor of Ivy Tech Hamilton County, said externships are a critical component of medical assisting training.

“They provide students with temporary job training and opportunities to experience working in a health care setting,” she said.

Ivy Tech graduated 239 medical assistants between fall 2020 and summer 2021. According to a press release, the demand for medical assistants in Indiana is projected to increase 15 percent between now and 2029.

“The need has grown because the need for health care is tremendous,” Putnam said. “As we get to 2030, we will see so many people need health care. The baby boomers will be at prime need of health care (by) then. We are going to need more medical assistants. There was a shortage of them before and it’s a critical part of the health team.

“They provide a skill set that helps, particularly in ambulatory settings and urgent care areas.”

Ivy Tech is planning a new health services and nursing space with a renovation of 15,000 square feet in the facility.

“The renovation will include classrooms, simulation labs and student social space,” Atkinson said. “Our timeline to open the new space is January 2023. Our next medical assisting cohort will start August 2022.”

The application window closes May 17. Interested students can email askhamiltoncounty@ivytech.edu.

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