The demand for medical assistants in the healthcare field is so high, Kaiser Permanente is offering a 50-percent tuition discount for the first group of students attending its new training program in Richmond.
In April, the Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences in Richmond will officially start classes in its inaugural Medical Assistant education program. The 15-month-long program will provide Associate of Science Degrees in medical assisting for prospective students. The hope is that future graduates will fill the growing need for medical assistants at Kaiser, which currently has 362 openings for medical assistants in Northern California alone. The position is expected to grow by 23 percent between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor says.
Medical assistants at Kaiser earn between $25 – $27 per hour, not including benefits.
The new Associate of Science degree program will launch with 25 students. Graduates will not only earn a degree, but will be eligible to sit for certification exams in basic and advanced phlebotomy and EKG.
“Students will do their clinical training within Kaiser Permanente medical centers and will learn to use the organization’s electronic medical record software, KP HealthConnect,” hospital officials said.
Applications for the inaugural class are due Feb. 1. and can be accessed here. Tuition for the 15-month program will be $7,500 for the inaugural cohort, and $15,000 thereafter. KPSAHS offers loans with forgiveness for those employed after graduation at Kaiser Permanente.
“Some of the large for-profit schools that trained medical assistants have closed over the last two years,” said Tammy Arnold, KPSAHS medical assisting program director. “Combine that with Kaiser Permanente’s growing membership and the increased demand for medical assistants in primary care, and the result is a drastic need for training.”
While graduates “will be very marketable,” the intent is to place them within Kaiser, said KPSAHS Associate Administrator Kristina Lopez.
For more information about the School of Allied Health in Richmond, please visit http://kpsahs.edu/.