Medical Assistant Training in New Hampshire

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Training to become a medical assistant can be done on the job, or by voluntarily undergoing certification first. Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA), while not legally required, has come to be highly preferred by healthcare employers and would better qualify you for your future job. Certification can be obtained in as little as one to two years, and requires both courses and an end examination.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in New Hampshire

Certification programs are readily available in your state, and are available online as well if that is more convenient. You can choose a certification program that requires a year of study, or opt for a more thorough associate degree, which takes two years. Training will cover both the clinical and the clerical side of medical assisting, because medical assistants’ job duties can vary depending on their job and place of employment. You will be trained in medical billing, record keeping, patient and insurance communication, medical terminology and basic pharmacology. You’ll also learn how to assess patients, take blood, prepare patients for procedures, and assist physicians, among other duties. It is important that you choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are currently four community colleges in New Hampshire that offer accredited programs, and you can check CAAHEP’s website for an up-to-date list of accredited programs state-wide.

Once you have completed your training, you will need to register for and pass the certification exam. This is given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It consists of two hundred multiple choice questions and is computer based. Completion or near completion of your training is required before registering. As of 2009, you can take it throughout the year. Once you pass this, you will be a CMA. CMAs can work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or specialists’ offices, such as podiatrists, chiropractors, or optometrists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,330 medical assistants working in New Hampshire in 2008. The mean annual salary is $29,730, and the mean hourly rate is $14.30. You can earn even more by gaining more training and pursuing a specialization. There is an active state chapter of AAMA as well, which can help you network and stay current with your profession throughout your career. This is one of the fastest growing healthcare occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is projected to grow for many years. According to the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, this occupation has been projected to grow 41% from 2006 through 2016. This translates to great job security for you, so get started on your training now for a secure job in a booming healthcare sector.

You may also be interested in learning about the Medical Billing and Coding programs in New Hampshire.
(Sources: AAMA, CAAHEP, The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, New Hampshire State Society of Medical Assistants, New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau)

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