MA Now: Wider Reach,
Since its launch in 2013, Ochsner’s MA Now medical assistant training program has served as a model to expand career opportunities for unemployed or underemployed adults, while at the same time addressing a growing need for certified medical assistants.
Students enrolled in Ochsner’s MA Now medical assistant training program learn important skills, like how to start an IV, so they are better prepared when they start their career.
In 2019, we expanded this successful and impactful program to Baton Rouge, St. Tammany and Calcasieu parishes, building new career pathways for more individuals in more communities and fortifying our staffing pipeline.
Medical assistants (MAs) are typically the first and last to see a patient, taking vitals and translating patients’ concerns to the physician before circling back at the end of the appointment to take questions and schedule follow-ups. MA Now, developed in partnership with Delgado Community College, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and other community organizations, is a six-month training program that features accelerated classroom, clinical and on-the-job training. The program is tuition-free and includes certification training for students in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Phlebotomy and EKG in addition to certified clinical and certified clerical MA. Since its inception, MA Now has trained hundreds of individuals, most of whom have joined the team at Ochsner.
After successfully completing the program and hiring requirements, all graduates are afforded the opportunity to interview for positions as a full-time MA at one of Ochsner’s health centers or be employed as a phlebotomist, EKG technician or registration receptionist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant is one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers, and it continues to be a position in strong demand within our health system. Once hired, all Ochsner MAs receive additional training to further develop their skills and increase their scope of practice.
Now offered throughout all regions of our health system, MA Now is making a meaningful difference for program participants — and for Ochsner.