West Michigan hospitals and community colleges have taken steps to ease the burden in the region’s health care system by developing an accredited apprenticeship program for medical assistants.
The apprenticeship program is designed to provide high quality education to students while simultaneously giving them a job that allows them to earn some much needed cash while still in school.
Most students need to work to pay for basic necessities during college, not to mention tuition. By combining paid work and education, West Michigan colleges have made the process of becoming a medical assistant significantly more attractive for prospective students.
The apprenticeships are designed to help students gain the skills to become a medical assistant while simultaneously helping them to fulfill required hospital hours. Students enrolled in the program will be referred to different hospitals in the area and given entry-level positions that pay anywhere between $13 and $24 an hour. While they will not be able to work full time, most students will be able to work between 20 and 24 hours a week.
More than just grunt work, these future medical assistants will assist in everything from taking vital signs and handling medical records to drawing blood and performing EKG’s. While the classroom environment is a vital and necessary part of the education experience, these apprenticeships will provide a real world testing ground that will help prepare students for a career in the medical field in ways that the classroom cannot.
The program will be offered to students attending Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Montcalm community colleges. Apprenticeships at a variety of hospitals in the Grand Rapids area are available. Considering that it is the first of its kind nationally to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, the apprenticeship program will provide a fantastic opportunity for future medical assistants across the country.