Northwest Oregon Works (NOW) recently announced that the first Registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program in Oregon is now available within the Northwest region, starting in Lincoln County.
Through a partnership with local health care employers, this unique “earn and learn” model includes paid, on-the-job training (2,000 hours or roughly one year of full-time work) coupled with related instruction (156 hours, on-line and after hours).
The Oregon State Apprenticeship & Training Council approved the program in April of 2018, offering an additional avenue for workers to become trained and eligible to sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. This nationally recognized credential is portable and can be used anywhere in the United States to qualify for medical assistant openings. To date, 40 apprentices have been registered statewide, and after one year, 92 percent are on track to complete.
Allied Health West is the sponsor for the apprenticeship program, and has launched 13 training sites within Coos, Curry, Douglas and Lincoln counties, with plans to expand to other regions in the next year. Locally, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital is the first to sign on, and recently registered its first apprentice.
“We are so excited to expand this successful apprenticeship model into Lincoln County and hope to expand the footprint with additional counties in the coming months,” said Heather DeSart, executive director of NOW.
To meet minimum qualifications, applicants must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma, GED or certificate of high school equivalency. Employers require that applicants pass a pre-employment drug screening, undergo a criminal background check and are also subject to other employer-related policies specific to each training site. Successful candidates generally have a background in allied health or administrative work, are highly organized and able to multi-task.