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Online health care training program hopes to ease strain of medical staff shortage

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Many hospitals and health care facilities are still feeling the pinch of worker shortages and other employees being overworked. Because of that, an online training program is hoping to use federal relief money to get people interested in the health care industry.

With the program by MedCerts, students can train completely online for a few months, and after passing the required exams, they’ll walk away with national certification within health care or IT. They wouldn’t pay a dime, thanks to the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Grant.

“Short-term training programs leading to high career opportunities,” said MedCerts’ National Director of Workforce Development, Sandy Mead, describing the program.

Mead said that Richmond alone had over 850 openings for medical assistants since 2020, which is one of the main programs offered. It consists of 27 weeks of training, and after passing exams, students are certified by the National Health Career Association.

“When a person applies for a job with these credentials, it gives [employers] the warm and cozy feeling that the student really does have the knowledge to perform the job responsibilities and take care of their patients,” Mead said.

People can also train for medical office positions, or even IT jobs, like computer support.

Virginia Career Works will handle the registration for Central Virginia, while also vetting interested applicants to see who qualifies for the grant money for the program; some of the qualifications include a high school diploma or GED, and be unemployed or underemployed.

“We’ve been shown time and time again that people stay long-term at jobs when they feel happy, and when they feel prepared and able to do that job. I think this particular program enables folks to get that occupational skills training that otherwise they may not be able to afford or have the time to do,” said Tabitha Taylor with Virginia Career Works.

More information on the program can be found, here.

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