Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia is known for its stunning Appalachian landscapes and its role in the coal mining and logging industries. West Virginia is also known as a paradise for sports enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, fishing, and whitewater rafting. As a medical assistant in West Virginia, you’ll be surrounded by opportunities for outdoor recreation while you pursue a fulfilling career helping others. The best West Virginia cities for a career in medical assisting include the following:
What makes West Virginia an attractive place for medical assistants to live and work? Although the state’s population is small, it has many outstanding medical assistant schools. To maximize your professional potential, look for a program that’s accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). In order to use the title of Certified Medical Assistant or Registered Medical Assistant, you must graduate from an accredited school and pass a national examination.
Start your search for a West Virginia medical assistant program by taking a look at these schools:
1. Huntington Junior College
At Huntington Junior College, you can complete an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting in 18 months if you enroll as a full-time student. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. According to surveys of graduates, 68% of HJC’s graduates found job placement in 2010. Goals for graduates include proficiency at clinical tasks, competency at medical office responsibilities, a background in general education, and a sense of professional ethics.
2. Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College
Location: South Charleston
Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College (KVCTC) requires students to take 28 credit hours at a career or technical center before transferring these credits to the KVCTC associate degree program. To enroll in the degree program, students must first pass the Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistants Exam. Students take 62 to 63 credits in all to graduate with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting. Course offerings include classes in medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition and wellness, and pharmacology for medical assistants.
3. Mountain State University
Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing professions, and the flexible associate degree program at Mountain State University (MSU) gets its students ready to hit the ground running when they enter the work force. As members of the American Association of Medical Assistants, students participate in professional activities throughout their education. After graduation from this accredited program, students can become Certified Medical Assistants by sitting for the national exam. Traditional classroom instruction, online learning, and independent study are available. Traditional students start the program in the fall semester, but online students can enroll at eight-week intervals throughout the year.
4. Mountwest Community & Technical College
The accredited associate degree program at Mountwest can be finished in two to three years of study. Courses are offered in traditional classrooms, online, or in hybrid format. Students learn to become versatile members of a medical team, performing tasks that range from taking patient histories to performing diagnostic tests and processing insurance claims. The program prepares students to advance professionally by providing a solid background in general education as well as program-specific courses. A medical office internship concludes the program.
5. New River Community & Technical College
Locations: Beckley, Ghent, Lewisburg, Princeton, Summersville
New River’s Certificate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting provides a foundation for careers in front-office and back-office healthcare settings. In a front-office environment, medical assistants perform tasks like scheduling, insurance processing, records management, and bookkeeping. In a back-office setting, medical assistants collect specimens, take vital signs, educate patients, fill prescriptions, and help doctors with examinations. Forty hours of coursework are required to qualify for the certificate.
6. West Virginia Northern Community College
Administrative medical assistants play vital roles on healthcare teams by acting as liaisons between patients and clinical personnel. West Virginia Northern Community College offers a Certificate of Applied Science in Administrative Medical Assisting. Administrative medical assistants specialize in managing the clerical and financial aspects of a clinic, physician’s office, or medical records center. Graduates of the program can apply for the credential of Certified Medical Administrative Assistant from the National Healthcareer Association and may accept jobs as medical secretaries, hospital unit clerks, medical transcriptionists, or insurance clerks.