New entry-level training program fast tracks healthcare careers
Kelsey Brownfield's career in nursing has been a diverse one. She’s worked in inpatient nursing, travel nursing, and before becoming a nurse, as a medical assistant.
She’s leveraging those skills to help Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) candidates at Carle.
The program she leads, the CMA in Training Program, was so successful the first year it will expand both in the number of students and number of sessions in 2019.
Working closely with the first batch of CMA trainees, Brownfield, BSN, RN, proudly shares why their work is so important to clinic patients in the region.
“Carle CMAs greet you and bring you to a room for a doctor’s appointment. With outpatient offices now offering kiosks for check-in, CMAs can be the first person a patient works with,” she said. “They take pride in representing Carle. And with CMAs’ national certification, patients know the person taking care of them is not only competent but a compassionate champion of their care.”
Brownfield is happy with her career path.
“It’s been a great transition for me from the hospital setting to the clinic setting,” she said. “It’s completely different, and the work is so rewarding.”
Amber Nibling, MSN, RN-BC, is manager of Clinical Education and Transition to Practice programs and oversees the CMA in Training Program.
"Transition to Practice programs aid in the entry into healthcare, providing education and extra support as orientees become acclimated to their new environment,” Nibling said. “Applicants for the CMA program don’t need to have healthcare experience, but we welcome customer-service experience in our continual work to provide high-quality patient care."
Brownfield’s current round of CMA trainees will take the certification test November 1.
They’ve experienced a host of different departments during their paid training, and Carle staff will place them in jobs that fit their skills and patients’ needs.
“It was important for Carle to develop a hands-on training program to foster individuals interested in the medical assistant career path,” said Kacee Reynolds, Carle Human Resources.
“CMAs are essential in healthcare, and we look forward to this program continuing to enable candidates to achieve great things to serve our patients.”
At Carle, CMAs help staff Primary Care locations – from Pediatrics to Family Medicine to Geriatrics – as well as specialties like urology, dermatology and endocrinology.
“We talk all the time at Carle about providing top-decile care for our patients,” Brownfield said. “CMAs are crucial to that important goal.”
Brownfield encourages those interested to apply at carle.org/careers and watch for information about additional CMA classes.