blog michelle spencer

Campus Blog

Macomb students gain on-the-job training as medical assistants

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 12:00 AM

Macomb Community College students gain on-the-job training through medical assistant apprenticeship program
Medical Assistant Apprenticeship

Macomb students gain on-the-job training as medical assistants 

Macomb students gain on-the-job training as medical assistants through the college’s Medical Assistants Apprenticeship program, providing them with skills that will lead from classroom to career. 

How to gain on-the-job training as medical assistants

Nicole Olszewski and Aisa Pisha may have come from different backgrounds, but at Macomb they’ve found a shared experience in the Medical Assistant apprenticeship.

“I feel like I have learned so much during the past year,” said Olszewski, a 2016 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School. “I won’t be terrified to go out on my own because of everything that I have learned [as an apprentice] at Cornerstone.”

Pisha graduated from high school in the Philippines and had to overcome a language barrier to effectively perform as a medical assistant for Cornerstone Medical Group. Because of the apprenticeship, she learned skills that she never imagined she would have, like how to more effectively communicate and listen.

“It [was] a challenging decision to go back to school,” said Pisha. “Because I choose to help people who are seeking [treatment] for their illnesses, however, it’s the best decision I ever made.”

What does a Medical Assistant Apprentice do?

As apprentices, the two have to split their time between a Cornerstone facility and Macomb. Part of their schedule is working in doctor’s offices as medical assistant apprentices where they learn practical applications for the knowledge they receive in their classroom and lab studies.

A schedule like this is overwhelming. However, for Olszewski and Pisha, some of the pressure is eased by a limited-time grant from the Department of Education that allowed them to concentrate on their studies.  It covers all of their instructional costs while they also receive a wage from Cornerstone. This means that as apprentices they are getting paid, staying out of debt and getting on-the-job experience.

For Olszewski, this has meant gaining the confidence to move forward in a career that had been recommended by her grandmother. 

She said it would be a good steppingstone for my way into the medical field,” Olszewski said. Which has been proven true as her goal now is to return to school to complete a bachelor’s degree.

For Pisha, it has taught her how to ease the fears of those who may be intimidated by a doctor’s office, which is what led her to the field in the first place. 

“The best thing [about] being an apprentice,” said Pisha, who hopes to complete her apprenticeship next year, “is while I’m going to school to be a medical assistant, I’m also gaining valuable on-the-job experience in my career.”

How can I become a medical assistant apprentice?

To learn more about the health care apprenticeships programs at Macomb please visit our Health Care Apprenticeships webpage for information on how to get started.