River Valley Medical Assistants take the World by Storm

River Valley Medical Assistants take the World by Storm

For Immediate Release

Certified medical assistants (CMAs) are vital to our healthcare system, and many successful CMAs, graduating from River Valley Community College, have gone on to fulfilling careers. With a pass rate of 83% for RVCC graduates of the CMA certification exam and a 93.3% job placement rate, medical assistants are a fast growing demand.

The RVCC CMA program is designed to get students to graduate while living busy lives. Students can either choose a one year full time path or a two year part time path, with a high job placement rate at the end. Students work at practicums, or companies that give them experience as part of their program, that create contacts that help with job placement after graduation. Recent graduate Courtney Smith says, “After I passed my certification exam, I was hired at the same place I completed my practicum, and I enjoy it so much. I am beyond happy that I took this leap even if it was a hard first step!” The CMA program connect students with prestigious institutions such as Alice Peck Day, Valley Regional Hospital and Dartmouth Hitchcock, where many students get their start in the CMA field.

CMA Stephanie Merchant, an RVCC graduate has been working in various fields since her graduation seven years ago says, “Now that I am an instructor for students from various CMA programs as they go through their affiliations, I see that RVCC has one of the best programs in the area. I have met graduates of other programs that had only two weeks of training in Phlebotomy and never actually drew blood, whereas through RVCC I had an entire semester of Phlebotomy and was comfortable drawing blood long before I graduated.”

Janell LeClair is another RVCC graduate who has been working as a CMA for nine years. She started her career at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in the Surgical Pathology department. “The first time I watched an autopsy I was blown away and had so many thoughts and questions going through my mind. It was amazing to see what the inside of the human body actually looks like and everything I learned in text books finally made sense.” Says LeClair, “This is such a fun job. I know that probably sounds weird, but I learned so much and got to watch and see many amazing things.”

Merchant was hired immediately after graduation by Cheshire Medical Center where she worked in family medicine. She assists with minor medical procedures, works closely with patients suffering from addiction and wound care. “I have also been able to build relationships with my patients, seeing them over the course of weeks, months, and years. I have laughed with them, cried with them, accompanied them for scary procedures, and seen them at their homes during home visits.” Says Merchant.

At Cheshire Medical Center, Merchant had the opportunity to work on an MA Oversight and Governance project creating a new electronic medical record system. After completing this project, she started at the Cheshire Doula Program where she has worked for the last six years. Merchant says, “I help women deliver their babies here. Recently I had a mom request me as her doula for her third baby after helping with the first two! Some of these people have become friends that I still talk with and see outside of work on a regular basis.”

After Surgical Pathology, LeClair changed to orthopedic surgery, creating an opportunity for her to work closely with a pediatric surgeon. LeClair says, “This has been one of my favorite positions as a CMA (AAMA). Working with children was so rewarding and regardless what the situation was, they could always put a smile on my face. I learned and utilized many skills such as assisting with pin removals, serial castings for club foot, removing staples and sutures, administering flu vaccinations and cast removals.”

LeClair moved to South Carolina, where she worked as a Surgery Clinical Coordinator for three years, before moving to sports medicine. “Our department gained a new orthopedic sports medicine surgeon that I now proudly work with. Since working with this new provider, I have acquired more skills and continue to learn. I am able to apply casts, help assist with monitoring INR levels on post-op patients and much more. I am extremely thankful for Lisa Gould and the RVCC Medical Assistant Program because I would not be where I am today and have had the career I’ve been blessed with.”

L to R: Kecia Felumb, LPN; Lisa Profetto, APRN; Chuck Jackson, RN; Stephanie Merchant CMA (AAMA), Patricia Carolus, CMA (AAMA) working at Cheshire Medical Center

Janell LeClair, CMA (AAMA) working as a surgery clinical coordinator with her co-worker Shakeliah Dewberry.

RVCC Graduate Janell LeClair, CMA (AAMA); and Shakeliah Dewberry, RT preparing to use a cast saw.


Contact Information: Anna Battye, Administrative Assistant to the President Email: abattye@ccsnh.edu      Phone: (603) 542-7744 ext. 5471


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