Dulce Boehme and Jamie Shedd are current LRGHealthcare apprentices studying to become medical assistants (or MA).
Jamie is an NH native and Dulce is originally from Mexico and has been in NH for the last 13 years. Both LNAs at LRGH, the two have aspirations to advance their careers in the healthcare field. We checked in with them to see how the process is going and the impact they hope to make in the future.
ANH: How did you first hear about this program?
Jamie: There was an in-house email that said that they are trying out this new medical assistant apprenticeship program offered to LRGH employees only. Whoever wanted to be in this program was invited to a meeting. I think 15 people ended up signing up for interviews. We had to do an entrance interview to even get accepted into the program. 15 people got interviewed and then seven of us got in.
Dulce: The psychiatrist from senior psych unit told me about it and told me that it sounded like a great opportunity. I went to the meeting and got an interview.
ANH: Why did you apply and why do you want to become a medical assistant?
Dulce: I always knew that I wanted to progress in my education and my goal was to become an RN. Once I found out what a medical assistant REALLY does, which is very similar to an RN, I just decided to give it a try. It sounded like a good opportunity so why not take advantage of it? So I went for it and here we are!
Jamie: Same for me. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to progress in my career and I’ve been an LNA for a long time. I was a health unit coordinator for the last three years here at the hospital. I’ve been waiting for something to come up and I didn’t really know which direction I wanted to go, just that I wanted to be in the medical field. But once I heard about this opportunity, I just kind of knew.
ANH: Do you feel like the medical assistant apprenticeship is helping you?
Dulce: Absolutely. It has given me so much knowledge and has prepared me, and would prepare anybody, to become more.
Jamie: I never thought I wanted to be an RN. Now working as a medical assistant, I see how my job is so similar to an RN. My next step is getting my nursing license and then I was thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner. It will take me a little while, but that’s the long-term goal that I’m seeing right now. It’s really opened my eyes to not being stuck in that LNA position.
ANH: Why do you think LRG would offer a program like this? How does it help a company like them to offer a program like this?
Jamie: I know that they offered it because they had a shortage of medical assistants and wanted to use their own employees. I think that was great because we are here for the long haul.
Dulce: I think that having this program for LRGH is a huge benefit. They can always keep hiring people, but if they can take what they have already and make people even better, it’s a benefit for the whole company AND for us!
ANH: What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
Jamie: My favorite part would be the actual apprenticeship. The hands-on part, getting in there and working with everybody, doctors side-by-side.
Dulce: The clinical part; learning, working with the team in the offices. Both offices are great and they have been so helpful and understanding about the fact that I’m a new medical assistant. Even the providers take the time to just sit and teach me about what they do. It’s such a great feeling when you have a provider come into an office and sit with you for 45 minutes and tell you about the medications they prescribe and testing that they do. It’s such a great feeling.
ANH: How do you think this experience has been different from becoming a medical assistant the traditional way?
Jamie: I think it’s much more personal doing it this way. I feel valued – LRGH values me as an employee already, so it just kind of flowed right into the position, and it’s a nice feeling. I think it is much more comforting and it’s better than going to school and doing it separately.
Dulce: Learning in an apprenticeship doesn’t give you any time to hesitate and question yourself whether you should keep going or not. You just go for it, and you get it done and it’s over with and you move on, I’m so happy that I did it.
Dulce Boehme and Jamie Shedd are both incumbent employees of LRGHealthcare. Before starting this apprenticeship, they were both Licensed Nurse Assistants (LNAs) at the company. Throughout the course of their MA apprenticeship, they will participate in 480 hours of classroom instruction plus 3,600 hours of on-the-job learning in a hands-on environment at one of LRGH’s medical facilities. Jamie and Dulce will be matched with one-on-one mentors who will work with them and support them as they attain new skills.
Jamie lives in Moultonborough and she’s worked at LRGH since August of 2014. She received her LNA certification from Lakes Region Community College in 2012, after graduating from Littleton High School.
Dulce lives in Belmont and has been employed with LRGH since April of 2013. She is a graduate of Belmont High School and has a degree from Plymouth State University.