Medical Assistant Training
Students for medical assistants training will be accepted into NIMAA through partner host clinic organizations in states where NIMAA is licensed to conduct training.
NIMAA is currently recruiting additional clinic organizations to host students for the program beginning in the fall of 2017. In the future, students will be able to apply directly through NIMAA.
Meet NIMAA Students
After high school, Jenn Deprey went to school to be a hairdresser, a job she still loves. After she got married and started a family, she thought it would make sense to find a job that provided benefits and more stability. She went to school to become a medical assistant and worked for a couple of years at a substance abuse treatment center. When she felt it wasn’t really safe there, she left.
She heard about the NIMAA pilot program, students for medical assistants training, from a family friend who worked at Community Health Center, Inc. and applied. “It seemed like a great way to get back to being a medical assistant, with really good training, for a high performing primary care organization.”
An old fashioned student who loves the traditional classroom, Jenn found the online learning a bit off-putting. “But I am learning to embrace it,” she said. She knows she is on the right track. “The first patient I roomed during training asked for me when she returned. It’s a great feeling.”
After years of working as a medical technician in a hospital in northern Virginia, Nabil Gomez and her young son relocated to Connecticut last year when Nabil joined CHC of Stamford as a patient service associate.
She really liked the work, helping patients navigate the system. “As a PSA, you do so much for patients, making appointments, managing schedules and connecting patients with their providers. You get a good feeling.”
When she learned from her CHC supervisor about the NIMAA program for training medical assistants, she saw it as a great opportunity to see how healthcare works behind the scenes. “As a patient services associate, I feel like I am at the front of the program, helping patients come in. As a medical assistant, I am working with the patients and their providers in the clinics, really connecting people to care they need.”
As Nabil learns the ropes, she welcomes the fact that NIMAA is a new program for students for medical assistants training and that she and the other participants can provide feedback. “Because the program is new and we are the pioneers, we can offer input that will shape the program for those who follow us. We are helping to build something from the ground up. I feel like I am leaving an important mark.”
She looks forward to completing the course and working as a medical assistant and is happy the program helps her learn more about healthcare. “I think the NIMAA program will open doors if I ever decide I want to branch out.”
James Kelley avidly studied accounting in college; however, it was the constant healthcare and medical topics discussed by his father, an employee at CHC, that really piqued his interest. When his father mentioned the new NIMAA training program for medical assistants, James was reminded of the biology courses he had taken in the past and was quick to apply.
He really enjoys working with a preceptor who relates classroom instruction to the patients he sees, giving him the chance to fully understand what’s being taught. “Sometimes you can ace a test without knowing how to really apply that knowledge. This program really helps you understand and practice what you’re learning,” says James. He also likes the independent online learning that can be discussed with other students as needed. “It’s like assisted self-teaching.”
James is excited about becoming a medical assistant. “I see myself actively supporting the providers in their care for patients, and I think I am going to enjoy that. I also believe the NIMAA program prepares me to explore future career options in healthcare and that’s a positive thing.”
One look at Zachary Parker and you can see why he found success as a model. A certain something about his clothes, his stance, gives it away. Modeling was fun and even got him a part in a television series, but his community and healthcare were his real passion. He started as a patient of Community Health Center, Inc. and fell in love with the patient-centered organization.
He learned about the NIMAA pilot program while with CHC as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working as the program coordinator for the Family Wellness Center, helping patients and families connect with resources and CHC services. He applied for the NIMAA program right away and was accepted. After it began, he started working part-time in CHC’s Patient Accounts Department.
He likes learning how to be a medical assistant who is actively involved in working with patients. He hopes to work with CHC and the NIMAA program when he completes the pilot. Then, the goal is to continue on and be the next generation of healthcare. “I think the NIMAA program is a great way for me to get started.”
Grace Valentin was a senior patient services associate for CHC in New London when information about the new training program for medical assistants was posted for employees. She applied and was accepted into the program.
After nine years working with people on the telephone or in person as they arrived for an appointment, she began learning how to care for them as patients. “It’s everything I’m used to doing and more, because I’m learning to provide some clinical services like taking a blood pressure and really understanding the patient needs ,” says Valentin.
While both working and studying puts a premium on her time management skills, it helps that she is familiar with CHC technology and policies. She also enjoys the novelty of the program, the first of its kind in the nation. “I love the fact the CHC and Salud Family Health Centers in Colorado are collaborating to provide this great on-the-job training program and, as the first participants or pioneers, we get to help them make it really good.”