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How to Become a Medical Assistant in New Hampshire

According to a report issued by the New Hampshire Labor Market Information Bureau, the outlook for medical assistants in New Hampshire is quite good. Between 2012 and 2022, it is projected that job opportunities for medical assistants in New Hampshire will grow by 22.6 percent, or 80 jobs per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reports that medical assistants in New Hampshire earned an average annual salary of $32,180 as of 2013. Those working in certain areas of the state earned higher than average salaries. For example, medical assistants in the Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford MA-NH area earned an average of $35,460 annually; while medical assistants in the Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury MA-NH area earned $35,390 on average.

To become a well-qualified medical assistant job candidate in New Hampshire, follow these steps:

Complete Medical Assistant Education
Pass a Certification Examination
Learn the Duties of a New Hampshire Medical Assistant
Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credential

 


 

Step 1. Complete Medical Assistant Education

Although New Hampshire does not license medical assistants, without field-specific education and training it would be difficult to meet the requirements set by most employers. Likewise, national certification is not mandated for New Hampshire medical assistants, but is recommended for building credentials.

There are two major accreditation bureaus for medical assistant programs nationally:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

    • These programs are found within the following cities in New Hampshire:
      • Berlin
      • Claremont
      • Manchester
    • These programs lead to the following certificates/degrees in New Hampshire:
      • Certificate – Medical Assistant Professional
      • Diploma- Medical Assistant
      • Certificate – Certified Medical Assistant
      • Associate of Science- Medical Assistant
      • Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management

You can expect to take the following classes as you work to become a medical assistant in New Hampshire:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Insurance for the Medical Office
  • Medical Office Procedures
  • Medical Terminology
  • Human Body
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Practicum

Your practicum will vary in length depending upon your school’s requirements and will place you directly into a medical assistant position within a New Hampshire medical facility. You will work under the supervision of licensed health care professionals (such as nurses or physicians) performing the skills and duties you have learned in your medical assistant education program in New Hampshire.

Examples of possible practicum placement locations include:

  • Family Care of Concord- Concord
  • Frisbie Memorial Hospital – Rochester
  • Lamprey Health Care – Nashua
  • Ledgewood Bay Assisted Living and Memory Care – Milford
  • Catholic Medical Center – Manchester
  • Wentworth-Douglas Hospital – Dover
  • Pleasant Street Family Medicine – Concord
  • Huggins Hospital – Wolfeboro
  • Southern New Hampshire Medical Center – Nashua
  • Littleton Regional Healthcare- Littleton

 


 

Step 2. Pass a Certification Examination

You need not become nationally certified in order to work as a medical assistant in New Hampshire. However, most education programs prepare you to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam sponsored by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Furthermore, New Hampshire employers of medical assistants are usually looking for credentialed candidates. It is your choice whether or not to become certified, and by which organization.

To become a CMA you must pass the CMA Certification/Recertification Exam given by the AAMA. Consult these study resources to prepare for the exam, which is given at Prometric centers in New Hampshire and nearby states:

  • Concord, NH
  • North Andover, MA
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Lowell, MA
  • Burlington, MA

Passing the CMA exam will qualify you as a Certified Medical Assistant. You will receive your certificate by mail directly from the AAMA.

To become an RMA you must pass the AMT’s RMA Exam. Consult this study outline to prepare for the exam, which is given at Pearson Vue testing centers in:

  • Concord, NH
  • Waltham, MA
  • Wellesley, MA
  • Boston, MA

Passing this exam will earn you the RMA credential.

 


 

Step 3. Learn the Duties of a New Hampshire Medical Assistant

Before starting work as a CMA or RMA in New Hampshire, you should know what you legally may and may not do. Although the medical assistant profession is not licensed in New Hampshire, there are documents spelling out what duties medical assistants are allowed to perform.

The Medical Assistant Position Statement by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing specifies that medical assistants may perform the following duties under the supervision of a licensed nurse:

  • Medication administration, as long as the medical assistant has completed formal education in pharmacology and is competent in this duty
  • Suture removal if from a simple incision or superficial laceration
  • Phone screening of patients to collect demographic data and document symptoms only

The position statement notes that medical assistants may NOT:

  • Administer narcotics
  • Administer IV medications
  • Administer controlled substances
  • Insert IV’s or conduct IV therapy, including central venous access
  • Conduct telephone triage of patients to determine urgency and complexity of conditions

Other duties that medical assistants may commonly perform in New Hampshire include:

  • Drawing blood
  • Collecting/preparing laboratory specimens
  • Phone prescriptions to a pharmacy
  • Prepare patients for examination, including taking vital signs and medical histories
  • Assist physicians during examination
  • Schedule appointments, fill out insurance forms, handle billing/bookkeeping and answer telephones
  • Arrange laboratory services and hospital admissions by telephone

 


 

Step 4. Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credential

Congratulations! You are now likely either a CMA or RMA in New Hampshire! You must follow the correct procedures to maintain your credential.

If you are a CMA, your credential is valid for 60 months. During that time you must either complete 60 continuing education units (CEUs) (with at least 30 of those CEUs approved by the AAMA), or pass the certification/recertification exam again. If you are an RMA, you must renew your credential annually and complete 30 certification points every 36 months under the AMT’s Certification Continuation Program (CCP).

Professional Organizations for Medical Assistants in New Hampshire

If you are a CMA, consider becoming a member of the AAMA’s local chapter, the New Hampshire State Society of Medical Assistants. This organization has existed in New Hampshire for over 50 years, and has members from not only New Hampshire but also neighboring Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts.

If you are an RMA, consider joining the AMT’s local chapter, the Maine/New Hampshire State Society of American Medical Technologists. Continuing education and networking opportunities are available to members.

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