Forty Years Later, Medical Assistant Class Reunites

Ten women from the 1976 graduating class of Licking County Junior Vocational School gathered recently for a tour of the updated education center. The women were part of the first graduating class to receive a medical assistant certificate at the school.

The school has been renovated and renamed in the forty years since this first class accepted their certificate and is now called the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County.

The attendees made the reunion a weekend event which included lunch and a tour of the center. The women were also excited to meet with Carol Lugar-Montayne, one of their teachers, who at the age of 81 is still employed as a nurse.

The group reminisced about the original vocational school, including the price per class, which was a mere $25 when they attended. The price now is $300.

The change in technology used for taining was the big topic around the lunch table, with the new “simulation man” getting lots of attention. The “sim-man” is a high-tech dummy used to simulate various symptoms of illnesses. One woman from the original class recollected the students practicing on one another before the days of “sim-man.”

In 1976, the medical assistant certification was new and few physicians considered adding these professionals to their staff, but these days medical assistants are in high demand and are considered an integral part of the medical team. Nurses are pursuing more jobs in hospitals, leaving a void in the medical offices that medical assistants are now filling. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predict that the number of jobs in the medical assistant field will grow by as much as 29% in the ten years leading up to 2022.