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Bay College’s Certified Medical Assistant Program grows

ESCANABA — Bay College began offering courses in the fall 2020 semester for the Certified Medical Assistant certificate program. With the fall 2020 semester complete, the program has gained momentum and is seeing growth from 7 students to 25 new students either enrolled in or in the application process for the upcoming winter and summer semesters.

The CMA certificate program is a 3-semester certificate program in which students gain first-hand knowledge and experience in a variety of support roles from front office procedures to assisting physicians with procedures.

The program stresses administrative and clinical training in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to, human anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical terminology, keyboarding and computer applications, recordkeeping and accounting, coding and insurance processing, laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmacology and medication administration.

With the COVID-19 pandemic straining our rural medical communities leaving us with a shortage of healthcare workers, Bay College has secured partnerships with health care facilities across the Upper Peninsula to ensure that graduates of the CMA program can obtain immediate employment in full time positions in these rural areas where healthcare workers are needed most.

Bay College Medical Assistant Program Director Nicole Wagner said she is seeing more non-traditional students returning to college in order to gain the skills to make a career change along with students simply wanting to upgrade their skills in order to secure better paying positions in health care.

“In this uncertain time, where more individuals are finding themselves evaluating their future plans and goals, now is a perfect time to enroll in our program. There is a great demand in health care, now more than ever,” Wagner said. “If health care is where you are feeling called to be, or an area you would like to advance your skills, this program is equipped to handle anything that comes our way in the upcoming months. Medical assistant students can be confident that they are selecting a program that is strong and will support their goals from start to finish.”

Wagner emphasized that Bay College classes are flexible and accessible to students who want to launch their career in the medical field. Bay College instructors ensure that students have a comprehensive understanding of disease and the human body and will be able to take care of the whole person.

Upon completion of the required 40 credits of coursework and externship, students will be eligible to take the nationally recognized exam to earn their CMA credentials. Bay College is an accredited community college and students who earn the CMA credentials have the likelihood to earn a median wage of $16.16 per hour, according to the Department of Labor and Statistics.

Students in need of financial assistance and who worked as a frontline worker in an essential industry from April 1 – June 30, 2020 may be eligible for free tuition. The Futures for Frontliners program is a state scholarship program for Michiganders without college degrees. To learn more about this scholarship opportunity, visit www.Michigan.gov/frontliners.

For more information on the Certified Medical Assistant program, visit the Bay College website at https://www.baycolleger.edu/academics/programs/certified-medical-assistant-certificate.php or Email Nicole Wager at wagnern@baycollege.edu. Registration for the winter 2021 semester is open and classes begin Jan. 11.

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