Listed below are all of the schools offering Medical Assistant programs in New Mexico. As a rule, you should contact at least 3-5 schools during the course of your research, and ideally more. There are important differences between the programs in terms of cost, admissions requirements, and other characteristics, and, as with many things in life, the way to find the best Medical Assistant program for your needs is to spend some time shopping around.
New Mexico offers excellent options when it comes to Medical Assistant programs. If you are considering attending such a program in this state, it can be hard to decide between the various programs. Here, we will explain what programs are available, and what requirements exist to obtain certification as a medical assistant in the state of New Mexico. Requesting information from the New Mexico med assisting schools listed on this page is another great way to learn more about your options.
What Role Do Medical Assistants Play in New Mexico?
The typical medical assistant works for a hospital, or a private doctor’s office. They are responsible for carrying out the basic clinical tasks for the organization. They may also be required to undertake administrative duties to support the overall functioning of the office. As a medical assistant, some of your responsibilities may include:
- Interacting with nurses, doctors, pharmacists and staff
- Administering blood draws
- Taking vital signs
- Collecting specimens
- Sterilization and Maintenance of Equipment
- Discussing policy issues with insurance agencies
- Setting appointments
- Explaining treatment
- Performing diagnostic testing
- Distributing prescribed medications
In general, Medical Assistants are permitted to perform any activity that is ordered by a supervising physician. However, Medical Assistants are prohibited by law from performing certain actions. For example, a Medical Assistant may not provide aesthetic substances or perform cosmetic injections.
New Mexico does not require any specific education or experience to work as a Medical Assistant. Nonetheless, most employers will not hire for this position unless the candidate possesses certification from one of the national organizations. As a prospective Medical Assistant, you are advised to seek certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or American Medical Technologies (AMT).
Both of the national certification agencies require a candidate to pass a certification exam. However, AAMA requires that the applicant complete a properly accredited medical assistant program. AAMA accepts candidates who have graduated from a school accredited by Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
If you apply through AMT, you can qualify through one of five qualifications. One of the qualification routes includes graduating from an accredited medical assisting program. This program must be accredited by a local or regional agency which is approved by the US Department of Education. Acceptable programs must also include 720 hours of instruction in medical assisting, and 160 hours of clinical externship time.
Medical Assistant Education in New Mexico
New Mexico offers several medical assisting programs to help you start your career. You can decide between a campus based learning experience, and an online school. Schools such as Pima Medical Institute offer a medical assistant undergraduate certificate program. This campus based option takes approximately 35 weeks to complete. Students at Pima will take courses such as Medical Specialty Procedures, Pharmacology, and Anatomy. You will also be required to perform 200 hours of clinical training.
Schools offer financial aid for qualified applicants. There are a few scholarships available such as that offered by the AAMA called the Maxine Williams Scholarship. Current students who have at least a 3.0 GPA can apply for this $1,000 grant.
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Medical Assisting Careers in New Mexico
Becoming a medical assistant is not only financially rewarding for you, it is also a job which has a high degree of career satisfaction. Medical assistants are the first face that greets people in need. Assistants have the ability to make a long-lasting impression on those who are suffering, and are often a source of hope and positive energy. As the patient’s main contact person within the medical office, you will play an important role in making patients feel at home.
As explained above, the role of the medical assistant is also very beneficial to patients, and other medical staff. The medical assistant interacts with patients when other staff members are too busy. They keep patients calm and focused. Assistants also help co-workers by assuming tasks that other workers don’t have time to do. Because of this, medical assistants are often the most liked people in the office.
Future job opportunities for medical assistants in New Mexico are expected to rise steadily within the next decade. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions reports that there were approximately 5,340 medical assistants working in 2012. It is forecasted that the number will rise to 6,340 by 2022. This represents a 19 percent increase in job growth.
The Department of Workforce solutions further estimates that there are roughly 101 jobs opening up on an annual basis. This adds up to an annual percentage change of 1.74 percent. Although the field appears to growing slower than other unrelated occupations, there are still excellent opportunities for you to get into the field.
According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the local wages for medical assistants working in the state is a bit lower than the national average. This difference can be attributed to the lower cost of living in New Mexico. Statewide, the typical annual salary for a medical assistant is $27,530. For entry level workers, the annual salary averages $22,150.
As with any state, those working in metropolitan areas tend to earn more than those in rural locations. In Santa Fe (New Mexico’s biggest city) the typical annual wage is $32,920. In the smaller city of Las Cruces, the annual wage is around $27,260 (NM Dept WS).