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Hospital program pays individuals to become medical assistants

A.R. Gould Hospital is offering a program that pays individuals while they train to become medical assistants, and guarantees them a job once they’ve completed.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 11:37 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

A local hospital is working to solve its need for medical assistants by providing a form of on-the-job training. Kathy McCarty has more.

Having difficulty finding qualified staff to fill vacancies, officials with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital have teamed up with SAD 1′s Adult and Community Education to offer a unique program to train medical assistants.

“It trains people to work in various clinical settings, mostly around, like, doctors’ offices. We do some in-patient medical assistant stuff, but most of it is geared around the out-patient or specialty clinic. So doctor’s office type environment. So they’re trained to do various tasks,” says Ryan Morneault, RN, Clinical Educator with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Those tasks include checking vital signs, charting information, assisting providers with procedures, drawing blood and other skill sets.

“We train them in a broad kind of overarching knowledge of that role, and they’ll specialize when they get to the end of the course and when they accept a position and when they get placed in it,” says Morneault.

Similar to the ongoing CNA program offered by the hospital, participants will be hired by the hospital and paid a wage while they complete the part-time, 14-week training program.

“What we did is we thought if we could train them from scratch, that would be great. So we posted these positions - for a position - they would come in, they would be hired on, we would pay them an hourly wage while they’re training, so we would provide them the education. They would be making money like a - like their regular job, so it’s not like they have to pay for a course, plus they have to lose their income, right? They’re - they’re gonna get both. And so they’ll get their income. They will get their education, and then when they’re done and they’ve tested out, then we put them in a practice. So they automatically have a job,” says Tammy Beaulier-Fuller, Associate V.P. of Nursing with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Morneault says it’s a win-win situation for both students and the hospital. Beaulier-Fuller says all that’s required of the individual is a commitment to work for the hospital for a set period of time, based on their level of training. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

Beaulier-Fuller says while the hospital is one of the first in The County to offer such a training program, she says she’d like to see other businesses use the model to build their workforce and provide good jobs for County people.

To learn more about the program and pick up an application, an informational meeting is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3rd, in the conference center at A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle. For more information, contact A.R. Gould Hospital.

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