HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing Community College and Sparrow Hospital partnered up to give some students the chance to address a growing need for medical assistants.

“There are not many programs like this,” said medical assistant apprentice Madison Bartshe.

Bartshe is one of the eight students who were chosen to participate in the Sparrow Medical Assistant apprenticeship program.

It serves as a fast-track option to get right in the action and learn from seasoned caregivers, while also helping the medical industry and the dire need for medical assistants.

“I’ve been a nurse for a long long time, and I haven’t seen the need like we have now… It gives me as the manager an idea of what their work ethics are like, what they’re learning what they need to know to be able to function in our practice, and it’s a huge bonus for me because if I have openings, and they’re a good fit in the practice I can always offer them a position,” said RN Manager at Sparrow Holt Joy Barrett.

More than 50 medical assistant positions are currently open at Sparrow Health System.

“They do cover my tuition, they cover my books, they cover my scrubs that I have to wear while being here, and it has been a huge benefit, because not only am I being able to learn, but I am also being able to support myself while doing it,” Bartshe said.

Not to mention the hands-on experience.

“It’s a huge benefit to the practice to have students here. I’ve been a nurse for 29 years, and it’s invaluable, when you are in school this is the time that you need to do everything you can as long as you have a preceptor or teacher with you because before you know it you’re out on your own,” Barrett said.

Having committed to serving Sparrow for two years after graduation, Bartshe is thankful for the opportunity.

“I’m loving, I’m enjoying it, and I’m excited to further my education here.”