Pennsylvania Medical Group Management Association
     The Pennsylvania State Affiliated Chapter of MGMA

On the job training for Medical Assistants?

  • Friday, December 27, 2019 11:16 AM
    Reply # 8401767 on 8396882
    Melissa Fink wrote:

    Since PA does not require licensing for medical assistants, does anyone hire individuals who have not had formal training and provide "on the job" training?  


    We actually developed an "In House" training program to train folks for a job description we call a "Patient Care Technician".  It involved a four week training program that our Education Program handled.  They found a curriculum that was already written.  Then each "PCT Student" is placed in an office setting and trained for an additional two months.  We have competencies that they need to perform successfully before the end of the three months.  They then move into being a Patient Care Technician(PCT).  They remain with the practice for 12 months.  After they have successfully completed 12 months as a PCT they are eligible to sit for a Medical Assistant Certification Exam.  They are not required to sit for that exam, but most want to work toward that. 

    We have just had our first class complete their initial training and two months in the practice.  We started with 6 students.  Three completed the class.  We interviewed probably 12-15 applicants.  If chosen they are actually "hired" as a PCT Student.  We have discovered many pitfalls through the process.  Our intent was to hire the folks and then have them commit to the program.  Unfortunately, many of them are struggling--single mothers, working multiple jobs, caring for ill parents, etc.  This is an entry level job with a very low salary, so some were unwilling to give up their other job and tried to do the classwork and then go to their other job.  This was just too much for them to handle.  Another pitfall encountered was placing some in specialty practices and others in primary care.  Different skills are learned in each and one very strong willed student has made others to feel they are not learning enough in their practices.

     I believe we have learned a great deal from this first round.  The next time I think we would handle things a bit differently with  placement.  But some of these struggles are because we are a multi-specialty practice with different sets of skills.  Overall, this has been successful.  If you are able to offer a higher starting salary for these folks, you may see better results and commitment.   

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 3:24 PM
    Message # 8396882

    Since PA does not require licensing for medical assistants, does anyone hire individuals who have not had formal training and provide "on the job" training?  

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