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Hollie MacLean Goes From Receptionist to Apprentice at Coos County Family Health Services

Hollie MacLean, White Mountains Community College

Apprentice Name: Hollie MacLean
Industry: Healthcare
Town: Berlin, NH
Place of Employment: Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS)
Community College Name: White Mountains Community College

What were you doing before you became an apprentice?
I worked as a receptionist at Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS) and handled the administrative side of the organization. And now it’s like being in Oz and seeing behind the curtain how things are actually working from the medical standpoint.

How did you hear about the apprenticeship opportunity and what made it seem like a good fit for you?
Initially, I wanted to apply to be part of the nursing program at White Mountains Community College (WMCC). When the pandemic hit, things got a little wonky on those grounds and the apprenticeship popped up through work. Because of this, I knew two years were going to pass by and I wanted to do more with my life. Moving forward and upward is what I really anticipate doing from here on out and this apprenticeship is helping me get there.

How long is your apprenticeship, and how far along are you right now?
I’m at the very beginning and I have to complete 3,200 hours of on-the-job training in addition to the medical assisting training I completed at WMCC. I am about 500 hours into it with much more to go but it’s going really well.

What has been the best part of your experience as an apprentice so far?
I think getting to know everybody. I knew what they did from my previous role at the company, but getting to know those involved more on a personal and professional level is something I enjoy immensely. During the pandemic, I’ve learned a lot about people’s personalities and they have a great sense of humor.

Were there mentorship opportunities during the apprenticeship?
We are working with everybody and I find that to be beneficial because you could float to each office. I get to work with seasoned nurses who have been on the job for 30 plus years who know a lot and are amazing. There are also brand-new nurses who are right out of the training program and they are also amazing and go to the seasoned nurses for help. We all work together and it is a great learning experience.

What are some of the biggest ways you feel your apprenticeship has impacted you?
I’m a bit of a reserved person and I like my routine. I told myself to do this – just say yes and try it and figure out if you enjoy it.  So far, everything that I have been approached with, I’ve said yes. This has pushed me to try new things. Normally I’m set in my ways, but I really want to be open and willing to learn and have a lot of people willing to teach me. And in order to do that, you just have to be open.

How is this apprenticeship different from other job experiences you have had?
First of all, you have to commit to the apprenticeship, learn the material and get paid while you’re learning. That is something that’s unheard of. It is nice to have apprenticeships come back in popularity in a way that we can learn on the job and do things the way they should be done instead of only from a book. It’s very different to learn something in a book than hands-on in a job.

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