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Elevating knowledge, increasing quality care

OneWorld provides Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program for staff

Since July 2022, OneWorld’s Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program has helped over 30 medical assistants earn their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.

The program, funded by the Health Center Association of Nebraska and Direct Relief, is hosted online by the National Healthcareer Association and is an integral component of OneWorld’s new Pathways Program. Participants complete 17 modules at their own pace, and once completed, take the official CCMA exam.

“Our health assistants have Certified Nursing Assistant certificates, which provides them with basic knowledge of things like vital ranges, but does not explain why those vital signs are important,” said Amari Ware, MSN/MBA, RN, Clinical Education and Regulatory Manager. “The CCMA certificate elevates their knowledge, and helps them appreciate what their patients are going through because they know the why behind things.”

Ware leads one cohort of 4-6 staff through the apprenticeship program every 5-6 months. During the course, Ware monitors the progress of each participant to ensure they are working through the coursework and are prepared to take the exam.

In addition to the modules, six practice tests are available that provide a focused review to help each participant know areas they need to focus on reviewing to be successful on their official test.

The exam is 180 questions with a 3-hour limit. Ware said the exam is applied-knowledge and scenario-based, so it combines knowledge learned from the course with critical thinking skills.

“This program has been great for our employees,” said Ware. “I had one participant who was so grateful and said that between work and kids she never thought she would be able to get her certificate, but this program gave her that opportunity.”

Once participants earn their certificate, they also receive a pay increase to reflect their hard work in earning their certification.

Ware said she is hopeful that every OneWorld health assistant will have the opportunity to complete the apprenticeship program.

“This program benefits our staff, and that has a ripple effect,” said Ware. “The more well-versed and knowledgeable our employees are the better care we can provide for our community.”

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