Local News

IVCC Medical Assistant program set for 2020 Launch

 Next spring, Illinois Valley Community College will launch a Medical Assistant certificate program to help address healthcare industry demand.


“After consulting with district hospital leaders and researching employment trends, we are convinced demand for Certified Medical Assistants exists locally and regionally,” said IVCC Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Bonnie Campbell.


The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) expects employment of CMAs to increase more than 13 percent statewide through 2026.


IVCC’s three-semester program will prepare students for entry-level careers in physicians’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. The program begins in January 2020 and will be limited to 12 students. 


CMAs differ from Certified Nursing Assistants in that CNAs work primarily in hospitals and nursing homes; CMAs work in physicians’ offices and clinics. CNAs work under a nurse’s direction, medical assistants work for a doctor. The 8-credit CNA certificate is earned in eight weeks; the 29.5-hour CMA is earned over three semesters. 


A CMA’s administrative duties include scheduling and receiving patients, handling phone calls, handling accounts payable and receivable, and serving as a liaison between doctors and others.


Clinical duties include preparing and maintaining medical records, taking patient histories and vitals, preparing patients for procedures, assisting doctors with examinations, collecting and processing specimens, performing diagnostic tests and preparing and administering medications as directed by a doctor.


On average, CMAs earn $13 to $17 per hour plus benefits. IVCC developed the program in partnership with Kishwaukee College in Malta and shared a consultant to ensure curriculum aligned with current standards.


The college is also partnering with the Business Employment Skills Team (BEST) and NCI Works to register the program with the U.S. Department of Labor as an apprenticeship program. NCI Works will be the sponsoring entity and will recruit healthcare providers to participate. Apprenticeship programs focus on ‘earning while learning’ and result in a nationally-recognized credential.


NCI Works and BEST Executive Director Pam Furlan said, “We are excited and pleased to be working with IVCC. Our partnership has and will continue to do remarkable things for our local workforce and businesses.”


Healthcare providers interested in participating can contact Dianna Schuler at (815) 640-9406. 

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran added, “We worked closely with BEST and NCI Works in launching the program and the critically important apprenticeship that goes with it. It’s another example of IVCC and BEST responding to community needs.”


IVCC Director of Nursing Division Julie Hogue said, “Skilled medical assistants’ help facilities provide excellent healthcare; earning the CMA increases a student’s employability and can provide a path to a rewarding and lifelong career in healthcare.”


For information, contact Hogue at (815) 224-0481 or julie_hogue@ivcc.edu.