BRATTLEBORO—Homework, final exams, and graduation — all in just 14 weeks.
The burgeoning partnership between Community College of Vermont and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital has created a program that fast-tracks students through an accelerated College-to-Career certification program for Medical Assisting.
And last month, this partnership program graduated its second class of Medical Assistants.
As part of the joint initiative, the hospital provides full scholarships for eight successful applicants to the program. Scholarship recipients have their tuition waived by the college and receive supervised clinical practice at the hospital. The eight scholarship recipients are hired as Medical Assistants at BMH upon successful completion of the program.
Medical assistants support clinicians by preparing patients for their exams, performing basic laboratory tests, and taking patients’ medical histories, among other clinical responsibilities.
According to a news release, the majority of the students in the program didn’t 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 medical assistants.
The training includes rotations throughout the various specialties of the hospital’s 12 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,” student Melissa Buffum said. “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 Community College of Vermont.