MU Health Care Addresses Workforce Shortages by Training Its Own
Innovative in-house Career Institute offers training for medical assistants, neurodiagnostic techs
Becky Giessman of Columbia began a second career as a unit attendant at University Hospital in 2009, after she and her husband closed their local business.
“We were going through a recession, and it just didn’t make sense for us to keep our business open,” Giessman said. “I was fortunate to find a job with MU Health Care right away.”
Giessman had previous experience working at a family pharmacy, so six months after starting her job at MU Health Care, she accepted a promotion as an anesthesiology technician.
“I loved every minute of working in the operating room,” Giessman said. “But eventually I felt like I had gotten as far as I could. I was ready to take on a new career challenge.”
In January 2017, Giessman enrolled in MU Health Care’s Career Institute. The institute was started in the fall of 2015 to offer employees education and training to further their careers. Employees accepted into the program can choose to study to become a medical assistant or a neurodiagnostic technician.
“There is a high demand for experienced health care professionals today,” said Peter Callan, director of talent acquisition at MU Health Care. “One of the innovative ways we recruit and retain those professionals is by training our own dedicated staff. We developed our Career Institute to help us identify and train our most promising staff members. When they graduate, they automatically receive a full-time position in their chosen field.”
So far, more than 19 MU Health Care employees have graduated and are now working full-time at MU Health Care as either a medical assistant or a neurodiagnostic technician.
Several months of online classes and an externship are required to graduate from the program. Giessman, who had prior medical experience, completed the program in May 2017. She now works as a medical assistant in the outpatient neurology clinic.
Giessman joined 18 of her classmates and colleagues on Aug. 1 for the Career Institute’s first official cap-and-gown graduation ceremony, officiated by MU Heath Care CEO Jonathan Curtright.
“I am absolutely thrilled with this entire process,” Giessman said. “I think it is wonderful that MU Health Care offers employees so many opportunities. They really do reward their employees and it shows.”