Vermont Business Magazine Homework, final exams, and graduation – all in just 14 weeks. Sound too good to be true? Think again. The burgeoning partnership between Community College of Vermont (CCV) and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) fast-tracks students through an accelerated College to Career certification program for Medical Assisting. And this past Tuesday, the partnership program graduated its second class of Medical Assistants.
As part of the joint initiative, BMH provides full scholarships for eight successful applicants to the program. Scholarship recipients have their CCV tuition waived and receive supervised clinical practice at BMH. The eight scholarship recipients are hired as Medical Assistants at BMH upon successful completion of the program.
The majority of the students in the program did not have previous medical training, requiring additional clinical instruction. Upon graduation from the academic portion of the program, students are enrolled in an extensive three month training program led by a registered nurse to enable them to work independently as a Medical Assistant. The training includes rotations throughout the various specialties of BMH’s twelve outpatient practices in order to learn how to operate specific equipment and navigate and document within electronic medical records.
“I’m a little nervous, I won’t lie, but I’m excited,” said student Melissa Buffum. “I’m ready to do this.” Buffum, who is 45, said the program offered the right pathway for her to re-enter the medical field after time away. And like most of the other students here, she is planning to continue her studies and complete an associate degree in medical assisting at CCV.
Medical Assistants (MA’s) support clinicians by preparing patients for their exams, performing basic laboratory tests, and taking the patient’s medical history, among other clinical responsibilities. “Our practices faced a lack of MA’s to support our clinicians’ work,” explained Eilidh Pederson, BMH Vice President of Medical Group Management and Population Health.
She continued, “This opportunity to hire and train additional clinical support will alleviate much of the administrative burden currently facing clinicians, allowing more time for hands-on patient care; not only increasing access to care for patients, but also the satisfaction of both patient and clinician experience.”
“This is a win-win-win,” said CCV president Joyce Judy. “It’s a win for the participants—they get to do work that they are proud of. It’s a win for the hospital. They’ve invested significantly [in the form of] scholarships, time, and energy to create this program, but they’re also getting good employees. They’re figuring out how to grow their own. And for us at CCV it’s a win. We offered the program and we’re seeing people get jobs as a result. It doesn’t get better.”
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital
Founded in 1904, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) is a licensed, 61-bed, not-for-profit community hospital located in southeastern Vermont, serving a rural population of about 55,000 people in 22 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The BMH medical staff includes board-certified providers in primary care and many other specialties, with a shared mission of providing exceptional health care delivered with compassion and respect. The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Health System includes the BMH Medical Group, a multispecialty group practice of primary care and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Over 110 active volunteers assist BMH’s 600 employees in caring for our community.
Community College of Vermont
CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 7,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access CCV’s degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services.
Source: January 29, 2018 (Brattleboro, VT) – CCV