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Published: October 11, 2017 Author: Sarah Diamond Burroway

IRONTON, OHIO — Ohio University Southern is offering a variety of allied health training and education certificate programs, in partnership with Condensed Curriculum International, to help meet the need for qualified applicants in in-demand careers. According to an August 2017 report by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, four of the top 10 in-demand fields in the state were allied health professions.

One of the benefits to the student of pursuing a certificate program at the Southern Campus is the opportunity to earn an alternative academic credential rather than the traditional undergraduate degree. Coursework in certificate programs tends to be compressed, focusing almost entirely on a specific, in-depth topic.

Dean of Ohio University Southern, Dr. Nicole Pennington, said the campus will launch several certificate programs in partnership with Condensed Curriculum International.

“The Southern Campus will offer certificate courses in clinical medical assistant, pharmacy technician and medical billing and coding,” Pennington said. “These programs help us meet needs in our region’s labor force for skilled workers in allied health fields.” 

The Clinical Medical Assistant Program includes 140 hours of classroom instruction plus 160 hours of clinical placement. Classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Oct. 17, 2017, through Feb. 6, 2018, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Student tuition is $2,599 which includes textbooks.

The Clinical Medical Assistant Program will train students to assist physicians in the clinical responsibilities of a medical office. Instruction includes, among other things, preparing patients for examination and treatment, routine laboratory procedures, diagnostic testing, technical aspects of phlebotomy and cardiac life cycle. Students will review topics like phlebotomy, pharmacology, the proper use and administration of medications, taking and documenting vital signs, cardiology including proper lead placements, a professional workplace behavior, ethics and the legal aspects of healthcare.

To be eligible for the clinical rotation, students must successfully complete the 140-hour program, submit to a thorough background check, drug screening and meet other requirements. Upon successful completion of this program, students would be eligible to sit for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) national examination.

Students interested in becoming pharmacy technicians will begin a 50-hour certificate program which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The pharmacy tech courses will begin Oct. 17, 2017, and go through Dec. 7, 2017. This comprehensive course will prepare students to work as a pharmacy technician in a retail or other pharmacy setting and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s PTCB exam. 

Course content includes: pharmacy medical terminology, the history of pharmacy, the pharmacy practice in multiple environments, pharmacy calculations and measurements, reading and interpreting prescriptions and defining drugs by generic and brand names.

Through classroom lecture and hands-on labs, students will review dosage calculations, drug classifications, the “top 200 drugs,” I.V. flow rates, sterile compounding, dose conversions, aseptic technique, the handling of sterile products, total parental nutrition (TPN), dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control and billing and reimbursement. Student tuition, including textbook, is $1,199.

An 80-hour program in Medical Billing and Coding Program also begins next month. This combined billing and coding course offers the skills needed to solve insurance billing problems, how to manually file claims (using the CPT and ICD-10 manual), complete common insurance forms, trace delinquent claims, appeal denied claims and use generic forms to streamline billing procedures. 

The course covers CPT (Introduction, Guidelines, Evaluation and Management), specialty fields (such as surgery, radiology and laboratory), ICD-10 (Introduction and Guidelines) and basic claims processes for medical insurance and third-party reimbursements. Students will learn how to find the service and codes using manuals (CPT, ICD-10 and HCPCS). 

After obtaining practical work experience, usually six months to two years, students who complete this course could be qualified to sit for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) - Certified Professional Coder Exam (CPC or CPC-H Apprentice); the American Health Information Association (AHIMA) Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam; and/or other National Certification Exams.

Student tuition, including textbooks, is $1,899. The Medical Billing and Coding Program classes will meet Mondays and Wednesdays Oct. 11, 2017, through Dec.13, 2017 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Students will also meet on Saturdays, Nov. 4, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To register, contact Ohio University Southern’s Office of Community Education by calling 740-533-4588 or via email at ous_community_ed@ohio.edu

Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify through Ohio Means Jobs.