October 7, 2020

Portsmouth, NH – With the medical field expanding exponentially and qualified employees at a premium, Great Bay Community College is responding to the need by resuming its Medical Office Specialist certificate program, a 12-week curriculum that prepares students for high-demand jobs in medical offices across the Seacoast.

Classes begin Nov. 2 and will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday, with up to 25 students. All classes will on campus, with social-distancing protocols. It’s an ideal opportunity for people who may find themselves unemployed by the pandemic or those seeking a career change, or both” said Bruce Vance, Program Manager for Allied Health at Great Bay’s Business and Training Center. “With three months of instruction, students will be on their way to a new career by spring.”

“One of the special things about our programs is that they attract people of all ages, from all walks of life. Our programs enable people to take their first step into a rapidly growing healthcare industry or to change their career path. We have the ability to directly and positively impact the Seacoast’s essential workforce,” he said.

Students who graduate from Great Bay’s program have a 100-percent pass rate on the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant national exam that qualifies people to work in a variety of medical offices in an administrative role, as well as a 100-percent job-placement rate, said Roxanne Raeside Wilton, who developed the program five years ago and is its lead instructor.

“Every student who has been through our program has secured employment in the medical field,” she said. “When they walk out with their certificate, they either have a job interview lined up, they have a job, or are fully prepared for getting a job.”

The Great Bay program teaches students to assist physicians by performing functions related to the administration of a medical office, which could include answering phones and directing calls, scheduling appointments, checking in patients, documenting registration, verifying insurance, and collecting co-payments. “Students are exposed to working in a variety of medical office settings and circumstances, Wilton said.

The curriculum includes medical terminologies, human anatomy and physiology, customer service, communication, recording information in electronic medical records, professional workplace behavior, and medical ethics. The program, which includes 240 hours of classroom instruction, was developed in partnership with Exeter Hospital/Core Physicians.

“Students come out of our program with the educational background and real-life exposure to what working in a medical office or medical practice or ambulatory-care setting actually looks like,” Wilton said. “The medical field is experiencing exponential growth, it is a field that will continue to grow, and the beauty of the field is that there are fewer barriers to entry than other fields.”