New Mexico Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
New Mexico is known for its stunning mountain vistas and wide-open spaces. Since this state is not very population-dense, residents are spread out and don’t always have access to adequate medical care in all parts of the state. For this reason, the medical field is looking for career-minded individuals to fill in the medical gaps and bring quality care to patients in the state.
Medical assisting is an excellent entry-level choice for those looking to break into the field. You can find job opportunities and educational centers in the following large cities of New Mexico:
- Las Cruces
- Rio Rancho
- Santa Fe
Choosing a medical assisting school is no easy feat, and conducting thorough research on programs is highly recommended. Ensuring that your chosen school is fully accredited to provide medical assisting education, and that it has a good reputation, should be at the top of any prospective student’s list. You will also need to decide what type of degree you are pursuing, how far the location is from your home, and how much time you are willing to devote to your studies. All of these details can figure prominently in making a decision about a medical assisting school.
New Mexico Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Medical assistants are essential healthcare workers. Despite the critical role MAs play in the healthcare field, and unlike other allied healthcare professionals, they aren’t required by state or federal law to hold formal certifications. Regardless, earning one of the two nationally recognized MA credentials can lead to a wealth of opportunities in the field.
There are two highly regarded and nationally recognized certification that those working in the medical assistant field can pursue:
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential which has its certification examination administered by The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential which has its certification examination administered by The American Medical Technologists (AMT)
CREDENTIAL I: The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
In order to be eligible to sit for the AMMA’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential examination, the following requirements must first be satisfied:
- Provide proof of having successfully completed a medical assistant program which:
- Introduces students to both administrative and clinical topics
- Features coursework which includes but isn’t limited to topics such as human anatomy & physiology, record keeping and accounting, medical terminology, medication administration, clinical and diagnostic procedures, medical law & ethics, and patient relations
- Holds an accreditation from either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) or The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- CMAs will need to renew their certifications every 60 months by providing documentation of having completed a certain number of continuing education credits or by passing a 200 question exam
CREDENTIAL II: Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
In order to be eligible to sit for the AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential examination, one of the following requirements must first be satisfied:
Route I: Provide proper documentation of having completed a traditional college-level medical assistant program
- The program must be composed of a total of 880 contact hours: 720 hours of theoretical instruction in an online or in-class setting and 160 hours of hands-on clinical practice at a medical office under the supervision of an instructor or healthcare professional
- The institution’s MA program has to be accredited by a regional or national organization that has been approved by one of the following institutions: the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the American Medical Technologists Board of Directors
Route II: Provide proper documentation of having completed a medical assistant program through the US Armed Forces which has the following attributes: 880 total contact hours; 720 hours of in-class instruction and 160 hours of supervised, on-site clinical training
Route III: Provide proper documentation of having been employed as a medical assistant, carrying out administrative and clinical tasks, for five of the past seven years
Route IV: Provide proper documentation of having been employed as a medical assistant program instructor for at least five years OR more than one year combined with three years of employment as a medical assistant
List of New Mexico Medical Assisting Programs
1. Santa Fe Community College
Locations: Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Community College offers a certificate program in medical assisting. This is a great choice if you do not want to spend a great deal of time in school, as it only takes 18 months – or 3 semesters – to complete full-time. The curriculum aims to prepare students in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains so that they can provide skilled care. Other administrative tasks learned include billing, greeting patients, and maintaining medical records.
2. Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell Campus
Locations: Roswell, NM
Eastern New Mexico University offers a Certificate of Occupational Training as well as a medical assisting AAS through its Roswell Campus. The certificate program consists of 41.5 credits and includes a practicum in a doctor’s office. Students can receive the AAS by completing an additional 27 credits over 2 semesters once the certificate requirements have been fulfilled. Graduates of ENMUR’s medical assistant programs boasted an 84% certification exam pass rate between 2013-2017.
3. Pima Medical Institute
Locations: Albuquerque, NM
The Pima Medical Institute offers a nine month training program in medical assisting. This program results in a certificate, and it focuses on training students for the basics in medical assisting. The curriculum includes courses in anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, and pharmacology. For those who genuinely like helping people, enjoy working in an office environment, and want to cash in on the medical career explosion, this certificate program is likely a great choice for your needs.
4. Brookline College
Brookline College is a private institution with a campus in Albuquerque that offers students a Medical Assistant Certificate. The program prepares students to assist doctors in both clinical and office procedures. In total, the program is composed of 27.5 credit hours, 645 contact hours, and takes 34 weeks (9 months) to complete. Daytime courses which begin at 8:00am and end at 12:00pm and evening courses from 6:00pm to 10:00pm are both available to students. After students have successfully completed the program, they will be we versed in basic healthcare concepts, pharmacology, electrocardiography, medical office administration, and more.
5. Carrington College
Carrington College is a private, for-profit college with a campus in New Mexico that offers students a Medical Assisting Certificate program that can be finished in less than one year. Additionally, the college offers an Associate in Science (AS) in Medical Assisting that can be finished in less than two years. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to perform a wide variety of clerical functions, carry out different diagnostic procedures using various equipment, and assist physicians with routine patient procedures.
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