Students and faculty from Brookdale’s Medical Assistant Certification program took over the Freehold Campus lobby on Oct. 22 as part of 2015 Medical Assistants Recognition Week.
Handing out free tote bags, treats and a wide range of valuable health information, the students and their instructors highlighted the valuable work done by medical assistants and encouraged some visitors to consider careers in the growing health care industry.
“This sector alone is projected to grow by about 29 percent in the next seven or eight years,” said student Daisy Lignori, of Hazlet. “More importantly, it’s an extremely rewarding and diverse field. You can help people, and you can do it in a number of different ways.”
The medical assistant program began as a 15-week training program at Brookdale in 2008, but was completely redesigned in 2014 thanks to the efforts of program director and instructor Tina Shymko.
“There were new medical laws and regulations that we had to comply with, so we worked with the college and a national certification agency to create the program we have today,” Shymko said.
Now the program, fully accredited by American Medical Technologists, runs for 11 months. In includes hands-on classroom instruction at the Freehold campus along with 160 hours of practical training in physicians’ offices across Monmouth and Ocean counties.
For Lignori, the training is a bit different from her time as a financial professional at the New York Stock Exchange, where she worked in compliance for about 17 years before leaving to become a stay-at-home mom.
“Now here I am, back in school,” said Lignori. “But it’s so much different from just to college and sitting in a classroom. It’s interactive and really engaging. We’re not just reading a text book. So it’s a change, but it’s a good change. For me it’s a great program.”
The outreach event, hosted by all six current medical assistant students along with Shymko and instructor Nancy Komorowski, centered on the theme “Patient Care is Our Passion.” The students also partnered with the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center to hand out informational materials and raise awareness as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To learn more about Brookdale’s Medical Assistant Certification program, click here.