Medical Assistant Training in North Dakota

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The most effective path toward becoming a qualified medical assistant in North Dakota is to earn a certificate, diploma or associate degree. While it is not legally required to obtain a license or certificate to work as a medical assistant in the state, gaining vocational training then becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) will give you a competitive edge in the job market and a head start on your career. Increasingly, more and more healthcare employers are seeking candidates who have formal medical assisting skills training.

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Ideally, the training program you choose should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). This is necessary in order to become a CMA. There are currently no programs or institutions accredited by either of these organizations in the state, but distance learning online in conjunction with an internship provides an excellent opportunity to earn your degree from an accredited program. The online programs listed below are offered in North Dakota and are accredited by the ABHES or CAAHEP. It usually takes nine months to a year to complete these programs, and closer to two years if you earn an associate degree in medical assisting.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in North Dakota

Medical Assisting courses cover clinical training as well as administrative training. Medical assistants are the main connection between physicians and their patients, as well as physicians and other healthcare workers. There are many skills to learn in order to fulfill this role effectively. They learn how to conduct some technical procedures, such as taking vital signs and taking blood or running some diagnostic tests and aiding physicians during procedures. Students might learn about human anatomy, pharmacology, or medical terminology. On the clerical side, students will learn the proper procedures for communicating with insurance companies and patients, about billing, record keeping, and office management.

If you complete your training from an accredited program, you are eligible to take the certification exam and become legally certified. This is given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This is a multiple-choice, computer-based exam. It is available to take on a monthly basis throughout the year, and requires a fee. Proof of completion or near completion of an accredited training program is a prerequisite for signing up for the exam. The RMA exam administered by the the American Medical Technologists organization is an alternative and has different eligibility requirements. Graduates of the online medical assisting programs offered below are eligible to sit for either of these exams, however, use the provided contact information to check with the institution first in order to verify their program and school accreditation information.

The outlook for the medical assistant career is very good. There were approximately 580 medical assistants working in North Dakota in 2008, and new jobs openings are projected to increase. According to the North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network, this job is projected to grow 2.7% annually through 2016. This is faster than any other occupation in the state. This growth is in part due to advanced technology enabling a growth of outpatient clinics, and in part due to a growing aging population. The mean annual salary for a medical assistant in North Dakota is $27,690 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the mean hourly rate is $12.96. This will vary depending on location, experience, and skills, however. A more experienced CMA can earn over $30,000, and salaries are also slightly higher in outpatient clinics and hospitals than they are in doctors’ or specialists’ offices. You can also find local AAMA chapters: Northern Valley, Red River Valley-Fargo, and South Central Organization, which can aid you in starting your career and keeping current with industry developments. If you are interested in taking advantage of the growing healthcare field, this is an excellent job to explore. Find out which program is best for you by requesting information from the schools below, and begin training for you career in healthcare.

You may also be interested in checking out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in North Dakota, since they also offer a relatively similar training period and a promising job outlook.
(Sources: AAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CAAHEP, ABHES, North Dakota Workforce Intelligence)

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