Four Schools with Exceptional Medical Assisting Faculty
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According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), the medical assistant occupation is expected to add an impressive 154,900 jobs between 2018 and 2028. Medical assistants work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient facilities, and a variety of other healthcare environments. The median annual wage for medical assistants was $33,610 in May 2018.
Students with an interest in the medical sciences, laboratory science, and human medicine might consider pursuing a certificate or two-year degree as a medical assistant. Examples of common courses include nutrition, healthcare management, mathematics, health administration, biology, anatomy, sociology, epidemiology, and chemistry. More targeted and discipline-specific cover subjects such as ethical issues in healthcare, business communications, psychology, medical law, and medical insurance billing. Best practices in medical assisting administrative and clinical procedures are also a must.
The daily responsibilities of a medical assistant may include measuring vital signs, such as blood pressure or heart rate, assisting doctors with examinations, scheduling patient appointments, giving injections, and administering medications. Depending on the setting, medical assistants may enter patient information into systems, prepare blood samples for lab work, counsel patients on medication protocols, record patient history and personal information, and make follow-up calls.
A certificate or two-year degree in medical assisting from one of the following four institutions can be a great first step toward joining this high-growth career. Read on to learn more about these 15 outstanding medical assistant program faculty and the four institutions with which they are affiliated.
Forrest College – Department of Allied Health
A small school in Anderson, South Carolina, Forrest College is a health-centric institution offering a technical diploma, certificate, and an AS degree in phlebotomy, nurse assisting, and medical assisting, respectively. Its Allied Health Department is home to the school’s medical assisting program. FC also offers a number of other allied health certifications. The school is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon recommendation by the Medical Assisting Education Review Board.
Jessica Norby is a certified medical assistant and associate instructor in Forrest College’s Department of Allied Health. She teaches courses in medical terminology, medical lab technologies and techniques, allied health, pharmacology, and phlebotomy. She holds a diploma in phlebotomy from Greenville Technical College and an AA degree from Spartanburg Methodist College. She also is an alumna of Forrest College, holding an AS in medical assisting from the school’s renowned program.
Theresa Pearson is a registered nurse and certified medical assistant, in addition to serving as the medical assistant program coordinator in Forrest College’s allied health department. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the program and helps to organize its efforts. She also is a 2002 alumnus of Forrest College, holding an AS in medical assisting from the school. Pearson also earned an ADN from Greenville Technical College.
Nebraska Methodist College – Allied Health School
Nebraska Methodist College is a small private allied healthcare institution founded in 1891. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the school offers degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. NMC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and CAAHEP oversees accreditation for its allied health programs. NMC teaches from a Christian worldview, but it accepts and welcomes any and all students interested in improving patient experiences.
Jennifer Arent is an instructor in the medical assistant program at Nebraska Methodist College’s Jose Harper Campus. She is a registered and certified medical assistant with 15 years of industry experience. Arent teaches courses in medical assisting, clinical practice, and administration. She also instructs on the subjects of phlebotomy and basic surgical assisting.
Marcia Franklin is director of medical assisting at Nebraska Methodist College’s Jose Harper Campus. Before her role as director, she was an adjunct faculty in the surgical technology and medical assisting departments. She teaches courses on phlebotomy, pharmacology, surgical technology, medical terminology, and clinical subjects. She holds ASN and BSN degrees from the College of Saint Mary and is a graduate student alumnus of Nebraska Methodist College.
Bev Johnson is medical assistant program instructor at the Nebraska Methodist College’s Jose Harper Campus. She teaches courses on surgical assisting, medical assisting, and medical terminology. She has held management positions in addiction treatment and behavioral health centers. Ms. Johnson also holds an MHA from Central Michigan University, a BS from St. Francis College, and an ADN from Presentation College. Previously, she was also a service executive at the Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha.
Jill Scott is the program manager for professional development in the medical assisting program at Nebraska Methodist College. She teaches courses on basic life support, medical assisting, advanced practice medical assisting, advanced cardiac life support, and a medication aide course. She’s currently pursuing a PhD in nursing from the University of Nebraska. She holds both an MSN and BSN from that same institution, in addition to a BS in psychology from Wayne State College.
Salt Lake Community College – School of Health Sciences
Founded in 1948 as the Salt Lake Area Vocational School, this Salt Lake City, Utah-based college offers one of the nation’s most highly-rated medical assisting curricula. The institution operates ten individual campuses and a robust assortment of online programs.
Its School of Health Science’s two-year medical assisting degree program offers prospective medical professionals a solid foot in the door. There are nearly 200 degree and certificate programs in academic, technical, and vocational fields available, making it one of the most educationally-diverse community colleges in the nation. SLCC’s medical assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Dr. Angela Belnap is the program coordinator of the medical assisting program at Salt Lake Community College’s Jordan campus, School of Health Sciences. She is also an assistant professor, teaching courses in the medical assisting program on subjects such as medical terminology, clinical pathology, practical medical science, electronic health records, administration, management, and more. She holds a doctorate in health professional education from Logan University, an MS from the Western Governors University, and a BS from Brigham Young.
Diane Robinson is an associate professor of practice at Salt Lake Community College’s Jordan campus, where she teaches courses in the medical assisting program in the School of Health Sciences, such as practical medical science, and practical medical assisting. She is also the practicum coordinator for the program.
Matthew Reyes is an assistant professor of practice at Salt Lake Community College’s Jordan campus, where he teaches courses in the medical assisting program in the School of Health Sciences. He is also a team lead at University of Utah hospitals and clinics. Mr. Reyes is favorably rated on the “rate my professors” site; in fact, 100 percent of students rating him reported that they would take a course with him again.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Part of a large network of technical and vocational institutions spread across the state, the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College offers over 100 programs and certificates in over 60 unique fields. A two-year school, WITC hosts programs ranging from accounting to animal husbandry, from farm operation to broadband networking services. Of particular note is their medical assisting program, a 33-credit technical diploma that is financial aid-eligible. All schools in the WITC network are accredited by the prestigious Higher Learning Commission.
Barb Beeskma is a licensed practical nurse and instructor of medical assisting at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. She teaches courses on medical nursing assisting, advanced practice, and clinical practice. She received her postsecondary nondegree award from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior. Her extensive experience includes working as a medical assistant in home and hospice care. She is a certified death investigator for Ashland County, Wisconsin and has been the Ashland County Coroner for over 13 years.
Tara Hakes is a medical assistant instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond, where she teaches courses on medical terminology, clinical practice, advanced practice medical assisting, laboratory procedures, and digital literacy for healthcare. She has a background in general surgery, medical assisting, family medicine, pediatrics, podiatry, and OB. Ms. Hakes is a CMA and holds multiple technical diplomas from WITC-New Richmond.
Janel Krolikowski is the medical assistant program director and a medical assistant program instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Rice Lake, where she teaches courses on medical terminology, advanced practice medical assisting, surgical assisting, clinical procedures, and digital literacy for healthcare. She has a background in ambulatory care. Ms. Krolikowski holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a medical assisting-related technical diploma from WITC-New Richmond.
Melissa Neal is a medical assistant program instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Rice Lake, where she teaches courses on medical terminology, advanced practice medical assisting, best practices, medical administration, clinical procedures, and digital literacy for healthcare. She has an extensive background in occupational medical assisting in a variety of medical settings. Neal holds an AS from WITC and a technical diploma from Lake Superior College.
Kristy Reuille is a medical assistant program instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Rice Lake, where she teaches courses on medical terminology, advanced practice medical assisting, surgical assisting, clinical procedures, and digital literacy for healthcare. She has a background in rural health clinic work. Ms. Reuille is a certified medical assistant and holds a technical diploma from the Minneapolis College of Business.
Kim Suo is a medical assistant program instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond, where she teaches courses on medical terminology, advanced practice medical assisting, office administration, and general patient care. She has an extensive background in occupational medical assisting in a number of settings. Suo holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a medical assisting technical diploma from WITC-New Richmond.
Schools that meet our criteria for designation as one with an outstanding medical assistant program must:
- Offer comprehensive medical assistant programs that prioritize undergraduate learning
- Assign cutting-edge curriculum that integrates research from contemporary medical assisting scholarship
- Boast a demonstrated history of student satisfaction in academics, facilities, and curricula
- Retain a staff of credentialed and peer-reviewed medical program assisting experts
To decide who to include in our grouping of top achieving professors and faculty in the medical assistant field, we look at the following criteria:
- School Affiliation: Medical assistant program faculty on this list must currently be employed in instruction or research at an accredited college or school.
- Professional Commitment: Together with whatever research, teaching, or leadership obligations the instructors might have, some have risen to positions like program director or or have taken positions on the boards of clinics, hospitals, or private practices.
- Peer Recognition: In their dedication to medical assisting, faculty who have set themselves apart may have received special recognition for their outstanding work or excellence in teaching awards.