Eastern Iowa health care providers recruit CMAs amid shortage
PEOSTA, Iowa (KCRG) - Doctors’ offices and clinics in Eastern Iowa are working to attract Certified Medical Assistants, or CMAs, amid a shortage.
Tuesday, an open house at Northeast Iowa Community College saw businesses offering up programs that would make training free for students. Rachel Schoaf with Medical Associates in Dubuque said the clinic would pay students’ entire way through the one-year program in exchange for the students working for them afterward.
“It’s a fully-funded program, so we cover everything from tuition to books to your certification exam,” said Schoaf.
One of the future CMAs at the open house was Akaya Holt, 19. “It’s cool. You know, you can kind of see what your options are. You’re not limited to one thing, you can see what they have to offer and then choose where you want to go,” said Holt.
The incentives are because there’s “a huge shortage” of health care professionals across the board, according to Robert Wethal, the Vice President of Patient Care Services at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque. He added CMA and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) positions are also lower-paying.
“They’re probably about the same, you know, but under $20— right around that $20 mark, because both are pretty minimal schooling and considered entry level, but really is the, you know, gateway into the next step in their career,” said Wethal.
He added that people who stay in a CMA position for their entire career are also far more rare now.
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