SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The coronavirus pandemic left the medical field with shortages and increasing worries about worker burnout, but one health center is doing something about it. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Rocking Horse Community Health Center in Springfield teamed up with Ohio Means Jobs and Clark State College to organize the program

  • The program gives hands-on training to interested candidates who want to become a medical assistant

  • So far, eight people have gone through the program and received their medical assistant certification

Breana Cobb, Danielle Burton and Ashley Ruggles, are three of the eight who went through the program, and they're constantly busy. 

“Everyday we’re running around, just helping all of our different providers,” said Ruggles, a family practice assistant. 

Each employee works in different departments at Rocking Horse Community Health Center in Springfield. They all have different reasons for wanting to get into the medical field despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I was at a position for about six years just doing factory work, and I needed a change of pace and thought why not,” said Ruggles. 

“I decided I didn’t wanna work with adults anymore. I wanted to work with kids so I got on here,” said Cobb, a pediatric assistant. 

“It’s a hard thing to talk about mental illness with just anybody, so I like being that person that will just listen to them,” said Burton, a behavioral health assistant. 

But there is one thing they all have in common — they all just finished a training program that, upon completion, made them certified medical assistants. It qualifies them to take on increased responsibilities like tests and screenings for the nurse. Nursing director, Christy Detrick, says the newly learned skills are critical. 

"I know there’s a lot of burnout in health care, so having these extra hands and these extra skill sets has been very helpful,” said Detrick.

The health center teamed up with OhioMeansJobs and Clark State College to begin the program. They’re planning to keep it going because of the need. 

“We have seen an increased need for care, we have patients that have extra needs, we’re getting a request for new patients every single day," said Detrick.

After more than a year of training and a new certification, it was enough to put into motion what they hope turns into a career helping people.

“I plan on going back to do my LPN,” said Cobb.

“I actually wanna be a behavioral health nurse,” said Burton.

“I would really like to go back to school, I’d like to be a travel nurse,” said Ruggles.

For more information on the program, contact Rocking Horse Community Health Center.