Apprenticeships: Work While you Learn in the Health Care Field
Editors Note: This is the second in a three-part series about apprenticeships in West Michigan.
Part 1: construction
Part 3: manufacturing
We have all been told it’s never too late to make a change or to pursue a different path in life. But the fear of trying something new or going back to school while working might not seem like a real possibility. But it could be. An apprenticeship allows you to work while going to school to pursue an education in the field you are working, all while your company pays for you to gain that experience.
We spoke to Jess King, talent acquisition manager at Spectrum Health, to learn more about the apprenticeship program that Spectrum offers to employees who wish to become medical assistants.
“Our program is a year–long program in partnership with West Michigan Works! and Grand Rapids Community College. We select our own internal employees for the program. They maintain part–time employment with Spectrum Health and attend classes with Grand Rapids Community College two days a week. While working on site you are paid as a team member. Class time is not paid but expenses for class and supplies are covered.” – Jess King, talent acquisition manager at Spectrum Health
Health Care Apprenticeships Lead to Successful Careers
According to King, health care apprenticeships are a great way to develop career skills. Apprentices cement their classroom learning by applying the knowledge immediately in their work at the hospital. Each student is partnered with a preceptor, who will help them grow and build their skills throughout the entirety of the program. Once they have completed the program and passed the certification exam, the employee will be offered a role as a full-time medical assistant.
Like many employers who offer apprenticeships, Spectrum believes in utilizing their own internal staff to become apprentices. It is a great opportunity for staff because there is a demand for medical assistants, and it is a way to grow and advance their career within the organization. People interested in pursuing this opportunity must have a position with Spectrum Health and should let West Michigan Works! know they would like to become involved in the apprenticeship program.
“The time commitment and pressure in the program is intense,” King said. “Be sure you have the support to keep up with the rigorous schedule, grades and attendance in both work and school.”
Want to learn more about an apprenticeship with Spectrum Health to become a medical assistant? Contact West Michigan Works! for more details on the program.