Medical Assistant Programs in New Mexico

23% job growth is predicted for the medical assistant field through 2018. ~ BLS

Who is a medical assistant? It’s the person who calls out your name in the waiting room, gives a reassuring smile, and walks you down the hallway to get your weight and blood pressure. They may be the person who sits at the front desk, taking your clipboard and scheduling your next appointment. And it may also be the person who draws your blood or processes lab work in the back office of the medical clinic. Medical assistants are, in a word, versatile. They work under a doctor’s license to perform many of those routine medical tasks that require competency, but not a professional level of training. If you’re compassionate, detail-oriented, and like varied work days, and if you want a relatively quick transition into the workforce, you might want to consider a career as a medical assistant.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in New Mexico

New Mexico’s Medical Assistant Organizations/Resources

There are a number of program options in New Mexico, including both associate’s programs and shorter diploma or certificate courses. The programs may go by different names, including medical assisting, medical assisting with laboratory, and medical office specialist. Sometimes these reflect significant differences in curriculum. Programs may focus on the clinical or clerical side of medical assisting or on both. Typical clinical coursework will include procedures for vital signs, specimen collection, and routine diagnostic tests, as well as equipment maintenance and sterilization. Clinical programs will typically incorporate lecture (or distance learning) plus laboratory practice and an externship. Clerical or administrative coursework will include insurance policies, billing, and applicable software.

Anyone who wants certification as a medical assistant through AAMA or AMT will need a combined clinical and administrative program; they will also need to make sure the program is accredited by ABHES, CAAHEP, or a recognized regional accrediting body. There are indeed some accredited programs that offer courses online. Distance learning programs generally place students in healthcare settings near where they live; proper supervision is an accreditation requirement, so a student can feel more comfortable knowing his school meets the protocol. Students who go to qualifying institutions are also eligible to compete for scholarships through professional organizations. AMT offers a technical writing contest, where students can show off their knowledge and flair by writing a field-related article. Cash prizes are small, but a win could be a great way to launch a career.

Job Outlook For Medical Assistants in New Mexico

What does a New Mexico medical assistant earn? The highest wages were reported in Santa Fe; here medical assistants enjoyed an average of $14.08. The largest city, Albuquerque, which employed 1,730, averaged $13.10. Wages were at around $12.00 in both Farmington and Las Cruces. The North and West Central nonmetropolitan regions were substantially higher at $13.08. Los Alamos County was listed at $12.36 There is significant range, though, with 10% of New Mexico’s medical assistants earning less than $8.94 an hour, but another 10% bringing in more than $17.30.

What are job prospects like in the Land of Enchantment? According to 2008 to 2018 employment trends there is 32% growth expected in the occupation in New Mexico, with positions going from 3,600 to 4,750

Various professional resources are available to those making the transition to the workforce. The state branch of AAMA is the New Mexico Society of Medical Assistants. Those seeking employment in the field can look on the site of the New Mexico Workforce Connection. Applicants should highlight the things that may set them apart. AAMA’s legal counsel has noted a growing tendency for employers to seek both formal and education and certification.

In a state like New Mexico, bilingualism, too, is valued. If you speak more than one language, you may want to note it.

Check the New Mexico Health Care Schools main state page to learn about additional allied health, nursing, science and pre-professional programs as well as see if there are any medical assistant programs missed here.

Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State

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