ARIZONA NEWS

Navajo Nation college offering first-of-its-kind medical assistant program

Jun 20, 2020, 4:15 AM
(Diné College Photo)...
(Diné College Photo)
(Diné College Photo)

PHOENIX — A college located in the Arizona portion of Navajo Nation is creating a new medical assistant program amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Diné College announced Monday it is accepting applications through June 30 for its certified medical assistant certificate program.

The program is the first of its kind to be offered on Navajo Nation, the school said in a press release.

“Initially, we were planning for 20 students in our first cohort,” Shazia Hakim, a Diné College microbiology professor who oversees the program said in the release. “But due to the coronavirus crises we have reduced that number to half for our first cohort of the Certified Medical Assistant program starting August 2020.

“Today, we need these types of courses  more than ever to prepare our locally trained workforce so that they can help us fight COVID-19 using our own resources.”

According to Hakim, the program focuses on the hospital environment or medical offices that demand face-to-face contact, something the school feels is timely due to the pandemic.

The program is a 37-credit hour certificate course offered at the college’s Tuba City campus. Classes are taught on Saturdays and Sundays, followed by a 10-week externship at the Tuba City Regional Healthcare Corporation.

Prospective student must take a math entry test upon applying, the release said.

“Upon graduation, students will be awarded the CMA certificate,” Hakim said. “We will try  to make sure that our graduates participate in exams offered by  external bodies like the American Association of Medical Assistants to increase their credibility in the market.”

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Navajo Nation college offering first-of-its-kind medical assistant program