Starts Aug. 3

BRIDGEPORT – Housatonic Community College is offering scholarships for two non-credit Allied Health certification programs: professional coder and pharmacy technician.

The coder and pharmacy tech courses prepare students for required certification exams in each area. The first courses start August 3.

“The goal of the Continuing Education program is to offer students the knowledge they need when they need it, so they can move on to better jobs or new careers,” said Director of Workforce and Non-Credit Programs  Deborah S. Kuchmas. “However, in today’s economic climate, it becomes more difficult for many people to take advantage of these opportunities.”

“By offering these scholarships, we’re helping interested students scale this formidable obstacle to pursue careers in these two growth fields,” she said.

The college will award $250 scholarships to 20 students, Kuchmas said. The scholarship applies to the Fall, 2009 semester only.

The medical coder program includes courses in:

  • Orientation to Human Anatomy and Biology (Online Course). The course will cover the basics of biology and anatomy of the human body. An overview of diseases of the human body will include a discussion of possible causes of medical ailments and cures. The course, taught by Kim Anthony
  • Aaronson, begins Aug. 3. The fee is $85, excluding textbooks.
  • Medical Coding CPT. This course will cover the methodology and guidelines of medical coding for anesthesia, surgical medicine, radiology, and pathology. Prerequisite: Medical Coding ICD-9 and HCPC. The course, taught by Scott Bowen, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct 13-Nov. 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 319 in Beacon Hall. The fee is $352. The textbook and workbook are extra.
  • Medical Coding ICD-9 and HCPC. The course focuses on transforming verbal descriptions of diseases, injuries, and procedures into numeric or alpha numeric designations. Medical Terminology, Orientation to Human Anatomy and Biology are prerequisites. The course, taught by Dee DiMauro, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 8 – Oct 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Beacon Hall Room 319. The fee is $352, excluding textbooks and exams.
  • Medical Insurance and Reimbursement: The course focuses on translating written documentation into numerical language, and identifying and coding medical services on a CMS – 15 claim form. Students will learn to differentiate between basic comprehensive and major benefits, understanding benefits, eligibility, coverage, COBRA, and contract provisions. Satisfactory completion of the course will enable students to take the state Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) exam. Medical Coding ICD-9 and HCPC, Medical Coding CPT are prerequisites. The course, taught by Linda Dixon, meets Wednesdays, Sept. 16-Nov. 11, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Room B208 in Beacon Hall. The fee is $424, excluding textbooks and exam fees.
  • Medical Terminology (Online Course). This course will cover the medical language, terminology, and abbreviations used by physicians. An overview of diseases of the human body includes discussion of possible causes and cures. All students must have their own home personal computer with Internet access. The course, taught by Sharon Jenkins, run from Aug. 3 through Sept. 4. The fee is $85.
  • CPC Exam Review & Exam. In this review course, students will use the advanced coding knowledge they have acquired to code operative reports, emergency department reports, discharge summaries, clinic and office chart notes, radiology reports, and CAT Scan reports. A comprehensive review of medical terminology, abbreviations, anatomy, coding and guidelines will be completed. Mock Certified Professional Coder CPC exams will be taken to improve understanding of guidelines and timing in preparation for the actual exam. Students who have satisfactorily completed the medical Coding course will be eligible to take the state Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam. The prerequisite is Medical Coding. The course, taught by Linda Dixon, will he held Saturdays, Sept. 12-Oct. 17, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a half-hour lunch break.  The fee is $470. A second section, also taught by Dixon, will run Saturdays, Nov. 14-Dec. 12 (no class Nov. 28) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a half-hour lunch break. Textbooks and the exam fees are extra.
The pharmacy technician certification program consists of a single 60-hour course of the same name that is designed to prepare students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam. This course will cover medical terminology specific to pharmacy, reading and interpreting prescriptions, defining drugs by generic and brand names, dosage calculations, I.V. flow rate, drug compounding, and dose conversion. A GED or high school diploma and a felony-free background are required for exam eligibility. Basic Math and Algebra are required to be able to calculate pharmaceutical calculations. The class, taught by Frank Boskello, will be held Sept. 28-Dec. 14. 6:30 to 9:30, in Room A209 in Lafayette Hall. The fee is $629, excluding textbooks.

Scholarship applicants must pay the balance of their tuition at least one week before the exam. Applications are available from Continuing Education, 203-332-5057.