Program trains apprentices to become clinical Medical Assistants
Manchester, NH – A nationally-renowned hospital in Manchester is tapping new resources to help fill key clinical positions.
Catholic Medical Center (CMC) has launched a new medical assistant registered apprenticeship program. The program is made possible through a partnership with Manchester Community College (MCC) and the ApprenticeshipNH program, which seeks to address workforce needs in various sectors throughout the state. The program accomplishes this with a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Eight apprentices will complete the inaugural program, which will prepare them to sit for their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam.
“The CMC apprenticeship program allows us to address the workforce challenges we face,” said Merryll Rosenfeld, vice president of human resources for Catholic Medical Center. “Healthcare recruiting has become more challenging, and the ApprenticeshipNH program creates a great new pathway to fill positions while offering career growth to the candidates. This new program enables CMC to build partnerships and develop new talent, customized to CMC’s standards and practices. By providing hands-on experience, apprentices can learn directly from healthcare professionals in a real-world environment, which is an invaluable experience.”
How the program works
The eight initial participants in the CMC apprenticeship program are a mixture of incumbent CMC employees and newly-hired employees. The program will start with 480 hours of classroom instruction, which will be completed over the course of one year at MCC. The classroom portion of the program is rigorous, comprising a full-time course load, Monday through Friday, and will include classroom time, lab hours, and a practicum which will occur at a CMC outpatient facility.
“This apprenticeship program enables participants to deal with the rigors of working as a medical assistant throughout the course of their apprenticeship,” said Emily Zeien, grant manager for ApprenticeshipNH.
The program is front-loaded. This means that apprentices must complete all of the classroom instruction hours at Manchester Community College prior to moving into their on-the-job training.
“By requiring apprentices to complete the classroom portion first, we ensure that they have the education they need to succeed when it comes time to put their knowledge to the test in a real-life healthcare environment,” Zeien said. “By requiring participants to attend school full-time, they gain an understanding of the field and the job before completing any of their on-the-job training hours. This method ensures that apprentices are well-prepared and fully equipped to meet the needs of the medical assistant position.”
The registered apprenticeship program at CMC also requires one year of on-the-job training, which equates to 3,600 hours of training. At that point, apprentices may sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam, the national certification exam for medical assistants.
Throughout the course of the apprenticeship, participants will earn wages with incremental raises as the program progresses. During the 480-hour classroom portion, apprentices will earn a training wage: $10 per hour for the first 320 hours; and $11 per hour for the next 160 hours. Wages increase during the on-the-job training portion of the program to $12 per hour for the first 1,000 hours, and $13.50 per hour for the remaining 2,600 hours.