Starting the 2014 fall semester, the Arkansas Tech University Medical Assistant (MA) program will be offered through Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus.Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, MA is the only accredited program of its kind in Arkansas. The program, which offers an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assistant, will be housed in Morton Hall in Russellville, where Arkansas Tech-Ozark’s Occupational Therapy Assistant and Paramedic/Emergency Medical Services programs also are housed. After the location change was approved by both the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees and Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the final approval came Oct. 28 from the Medical Assisting Education Review Board. Open registration begins Monday, Dec. 2, for Allied Health platform courses offered in the spring 2014 semester. Early registration for current students begins Monday, Nov. 11. Chancellor Bruce Sikes said, “The Medical Assistant program will add to the Ozark Campus’ already outstanding selection of degree offerings for students wishing to begin a career in the health-care industry, and it once again demonstrates our commitment to providing a quality health-care workforce.” A certified medical assistant performs administrative and clinical duties under the direction of a physician in an office or other medical settings. Administrative duties include maintaining and filing patient medical records; coding and filing out insurance forms; scheduling appointments; arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services; and handling billing, bookkeeping and correspondence. Clinical duties include explaining treatment procedures to patients; preparing patients for examination; assisting the physician during exams; performing laboratory tests; and administering medications as directed by the physician. According to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Service’s long-term occupational employment projections through 2018, the field of medical assistants is “growing.” Also, the medical assistant job outlook through 2020 is expected to increase by 31 percent – “much faster than average” – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.