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Workforce Wednesday: Lynnae Looyenga wants to 'put people at ease during a stressful time' as a medical assistant

Oct. 20, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. Each Wednesday we’ll meet students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up. But when Lynnae Looyenga graduated from Covenant Christian High School five months ago, she had a goal.

“I have always been interested in the medical field,” she said. “I have had some health issues and been in a lot of doctor’s offices. A good medical assistant can make all the difference. They can put you at ease during what can be a stressful time. I want to be that for others.”

GRCC’s Medical Assistant Program prepares students to take a national certification exam and empowers them to succeed in a changing healthcare environment. Through the program, students develop skills to perform administrative and clinical tasks required to keep health practitioner offices and clinics running smoothly. The focus of the program is to prepare capable medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. 

This course combines classroom lecture, group activity, simulation learning, and a competency-based practicum experience and is delivered in a hybrid format. Instruction takes place in class, online, and through a practicum.

“After graduation, I really didn’t want to go to school for a super long time,” Looyenga said. “This program is just the right length and it’s so good! I am already halfway through and I really enjoy how much of the program is hands-on learning. I was a little skeptical about the hybrid format but I love it. It is just the right amount of in-person and online. I feel like it gives me a little bit of freedom with how I schedule my school work hours.”

The 772-hour program is designed to take 22 weeks to complete.

“It is a commitment and it does take work but the instructors are exceptional and the other students are great too! I am the youngest in my class by about 20 years, so it is very different from high school. If someone didn’t like school before I would say that this program is different from any school I’ve had before-it’s not your ‘typical school’.”

Each student will complete a four-week, competency-based practicum experience.

“I can’t wait for my externship! I’m so happy that we get to have that time to practice in real life with someone there to help me. I would be terrified to just jump right into it!”

On successful completion of the program, students are prepared to take the Registered Medical Assistant national certification exam through American Medical Technologists.

GRCC’s Medical Assistant Program empowers them to succeed in a changing healthcare environment.

“I’m hoping to work in a family practice office,” Looyenga said. “I heard there is a lot of variety in that setting. I love the idea of every day meeting many different kinds of people and hopefully making their experience a good one.”

Today, Wednesday, October 20, 2021 has been designated as the day we honor and recognize Medical Assistant students as designated by the American Association of Medical Assistants® (AAMA). With their unique versatility, medical assistants are proving to be the allied health professional of choice for this decade and beyond. Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Anyone interested in gaining career skills through GRCC Workforce Training can connect via email at, and by phone at (616) 234-3800.


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