A Pass Into The Professional World

Health Science Practicum Students Earn Medical Assistant Certificate


Photo Courtesy of Hailey Bowermon

Smiling, senior Hailey Bowermon holds her CCMA certificate. Practicum Health Science students had the opportunity to test their skills in different fields, ranging from collecting labs to general patient care, by taking the CCMA test. “Now that I am certified, I can not only start my experience with patients and experienced medical professionals early, but I can also discover what scope of practice I am truly passionate about, which is what I am so excited for,” Bowerman said.

Sofya Bashirova, Reporter

Over the last few years, professions in the health science field have been gaining popularity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare occupations are projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030, and many students decide to start following this path early from high school, taking introductory courses and joining science based teams and clubs.

This year, students taking Practicum in Health Science, the last course at CPHS in the field, were able to test their abilities and knowledge on the topic by taking the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam, which gives students the opportunity of becoming a Medical Assistant before even finishing high school. Learning concepts ranging from taking vitals and collecting lab tests to general patient care, students were expected to be proficient all these concepts for the test.

“For the exam, we needed to study for hours memorizing countless aspects of the medical field, which we have been doing since our first Health Science course, and especially focusing on it this year,” senior Hailey Bowermon said. “At the beginning of the exam, it felt very daunting and overwhelming, but I soon realized how much my hard work had paid off once the questions started to make more and more sense.” 

Encompassing concepts from all four courses of Health Science, the only prerequisite to take this test was to have taken all the other courses through your high school career and be enrolled in a Practicum class at the moment.

“The questions in the exam were from all kinds of topics, not just the ones that we learned this year, which made it a lot harder for me,” senior Hemani Goje said. “This is why it’s important to have taken the prerequisite courses.”

The exam itself consisted of 180 questions across a variety of topics surrounding Health Science, for which the students had been preparing throughout the whole school year through different study sessions, both in school and outside of it.

“The exam had 180 questions, of which 30 were not graded. The test itself was okay, and I feel like Mrs. Spinelli prepared us well for it, even though we did learn a lot of things at the last minute due to us not having access to the NHA databases until January,” senior Sam Hoskere said. “Outside of school, Hailey, Zane, Carlton and I had study groups, which really helped as well. The practice tests and books helped review content and focus on difficult areas.”

Several of the students have been dreaming of entering the Healthcare fields for years now, and this exam will help them accomplish not only their lifelong goals in the long-run, but also give them the practice needed to be successful.

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, especially since I visited and volunteered at my uncle’s hospital in Tennessee,” Hoskere said. “Furthermore, I wanted to get a job this summer or an internship in a hospital, and a CCMA certificate will allow me to work full time. It feels good to have an item crossed off my list, progressing my career.”

Getting to use the certificate to get a paid internship in a hospital over the summer, students hope to get a sense of what being in the career feels like and find the branch of medicine that suits them and their goals and interests better.

“Now that I am certified, I can not only start my experience with patients and experienced medical professionals early, but I can also discover what scope of practice I am truly passionate about, which is what I am so excited for,” Bowerman said. “I can’t wait to start working over the summer to see what the typical everyday life of a doctor is in order to look forward to my future and motivate me even more to get into medical school.”