Medical Assistant Programs in New Mexico

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The best way to become a medical assistant in New Mexico is to enter an accredited training program and then take the exam to become a certified medical assistant (CMA). Certification is not required in most states, including New Mexico. However, certification can make you a more qualified job candidate, giving you an advantage in your job search and even a head start on your career. Additionally, more and more healthcare employers are insisting on certification.

In order to become certified you need to enroll in an accredited program. You can choose a certification program or an associate degree in medical assisting. The former requires about nine months to a year, and the later requires two years, depending slightly on the program. Accreditation is awarded by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are currently three certified programs in the state, in Roswell, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. You can check CAAHEP’s website for a current listing or any additions. Alternatively, you can pursue online courses for distance learning.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in New Mexico

Training in these courses will cover both the administrative side of medical assisting, as well as the clinical side. Medical assistants can work behind the desk, or in the examining rooms, but most work on both sides of the job. You will learn how to take blood, assess patients, take vital signs, assist physicians, and record medical histories, among other duties. You will also learn how to best communicate with patients, insurance companies, how to handle billing, record keeping, and other clerical tasks that help a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital run efficiently.

Once you have completed your training, you can enroll and take the certification exam. This is given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). You must register for this and pay a registration fee. It is now offered year round and in many different locations. Completing or nearly completing an accredited program is a requirement for registration. Once you pass this, you will be a CMA.

The outlook for medical assistants is very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2008 there were approximately 3,300 medical assistants working in New Mexico, and this number is growing rapidly. Per the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, healthcare jobs are continuing to grow in every region in the state, despite the downturn in the economy. This translates to great job opportunity and security for you. The mean annual salary in the state in 2008 was $26,400, and the mean hourly rate was $12.69. In towns like Albuquerque, the salary is over $30,000, according to salaryexpert.com. This does not include good benefits and health coverage. If you are seeking a good career in healthcare, you can become a CMA in one year or less. Get started now by choosing the best medical assistant training program for you.

You may also want to check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in New Mexico before deciding on which path to take.
(Sources: AAMA, CAAHEP, Bureau of Labor and Statistics)

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