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“Clinical Wednesdays” Sharpen Students’ Hands-on Skills

medical assistant programsAfter-school skills session is designed to enhance student understanding

The Harris School believes that hands-on learning is one of the best ways to learn a new skill. All of our programs contain experiential learning opportunities where students get to practice their new job skills. Whether it’s a dental assistant student practicing taking a dental impression or a medical assistant student learning to administer an injection, there are many lab-based clinical activities that students need to practice with their own two hands in order to be prepared for the workplace.

At the Linwood, NJ campus, the instructors have decided to offer additional hands-on experiences through a program called Clinical Wednesdays. This program gives students the opportunity to experience even more clinical time than their regular course already provides. It is open to students in the Professional Medical Assistant Plus program.

During this after-school program on Wednesdays, the clinical lab for medical assisting stays open late. Students are invited to use the clinical resources available to them under the supervision of their instructors. They can brush up on skills they may not have mastered yet, make up work if they have missed a class, ask an instructor for individual help, or simply polish the skills they have already learned.

“Sometimes there is no substitute for practicing a new skill over and over again until you master it,” says Megan Shirley, Director of Education at the Linwood campus. “By offering students after-school clinical time, we give them the extra time they need to feel more comfortable with their new skills.” The atmosphere in the after-school program is relaxed and supportive. “The after-school program is slower-paced than the regular course time, and this can be the perfect low-pressure environment for a student to build skills and confidence,” Shirley continues.

The hands-on work is paying off for many students. Jenna Hindelang, a student in the Professional Medical Assistant Plus program, explains that learning how to do a blood draw required a lot of persistence and practice. She says, “Phlebotomy is the most challenging skill I have learned so far, and I have gotten to the point where I am very comfortable with it.” Giving students the time to practice these types of skills in a clinical setting is one of the goals of Clinical Wednesdays.

In addition to Clinical Wednesdays, there are two other weekly clubs at the Linwood campus. The Pharmacy Technician program holds a review class after school on Tuesdays, and the Health Claims Specialist program holds a study group on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. These programs are just a few of the many ways in which the Harris School helps students achieve the skills and confidence they need to begin their new career fields.

The Linwood campus offers four career-focused programs in total: Professional Medical Assistant Plus, Massage Therapy, Health Claims Specialist Plus, and Pharmacy Technician. If you are interested in learning more about these programs, or any of the programs at our other campuses, just fill out our simple form, and we would be happy to contact you.