With baby boomers aging out of the workforce and into retirement, Americans have a tough question to ask: what is going to be done to fill the widening void in the healthcare industry? As a population of experienced personnel exits the labor force and healthcare facilities find themselves drawing from an ever-shrinking pool of skilled workers, it’s a question steeped in urgency.
It’s a question Vatterott College is trying to answer. After recognizing Wichita’s growing need for educated healthcare workers seven years ago, the College’s Co-Director, Alan Dykes, began taking the steps necessary to offer an Associate of Applied Science Medical Assistant degree. Now, after nearly a decade of designing the program, Vatterott College is the first career college with the ability to grant the degree in the Wichita area.
“This is what Wichita, the state of Kansas, needs,”? Dykes said. “Students will be given the opportunity to receive the training it takes to work in doctors” offices, health clinics, chiropractors’ offices “this degree means graduates will fill a major void in the medical community.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006-07 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of medical assistants is expected to increase 27 percent or more by 2014. The objective of this new Associate of Applied Science degree is to fulfill that need by preparing graduates for entry-level employment as medical assistants.
Graduates of medical assistant programs are typically trained to work in a wide range of healthcare facilities such as physicians’ offices; public and private hospitals; chiropractor, optometrist and podiatrist offices; outpatient care centers; medical and diagnostic laboratories; and nursing facilities.
These are options for Vatterott College’s graduates. However, students enrolled in the College’s program will have the additional option of working in radiology. Co-Director, Diana Otis, said this option is a distinguishing factor for the college.
“What really sets Vatterott’s program apart from other schools is this component,” Otis said. “We are the only school in the area with a Medical Assistant program offering training in radiology.”
Enrollment for the first start date on April 2 has already begun, and classes are filling fast. After years of dedication to this project, Dykes and Otis view this major influx of students with a deep sense of satisfaction.
“This was groundbreaking. Offering the MA degree to the Wichita community has been a goal of ours for a long time,” said Otis. “Being able to do this was crossing a major hurdle.”
About Vatterott College
With more than 30 years experience and 19 campuses across the Midwest, Vatterott College prepares students to meet the market demand for technically superior employees. Accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, Vatterott wants to provide skilled training to eligible students, enabling them to secure entry-level or advanced employment.
For more information about Vatterott College – Wichita, branch of St. Ann, visit www.vatterott-college.edu, call 316-634-0066, or stop by the campus located at 3639 N. Comotara, Wichita, KS 67226 for a tour.