There are few restrictions on medical assistants in New Mexico that prevent these healthcare support professionals from performing specific medical assisting tasks, provided they work under the direct supervision of a physician.
Formal training and education are not a state mandated requirement for medical assistants in New Mexico since they are not licensed by the state. Still, it is quite common for physicians or other employers to seek out candidates that are adequately educated and trained to serve as competent, entry-level medical assistants in a variety of clinical settings.
To become a medical assistant in New Mexico, you should consider completing the following steps:
|Complete an Accredited Program in Medical Assisting|
|Pursue National Certification in Medical Assisting|
|Learn More about Medical Assistant Jobs in New Mexico|
Step 1. Complete an Accredited Program in Medical Assisting
There is no substitute for a comprehensive educational program in medical assisting, as it prepares students, through education and training, to serve as competent, entry-level medical assistants in any number of clinical settings.
Medical assistant programs may be certificate, diploma, or associate degree programs, with certificate and diploma programs generally lasting between 10 and 15 months, and associate degree programs lasting about 24 months.
When searching for a medical assisting program, consider those that are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), as many employers and national certifying bodies seek medical assistants who have completed accredited programs.
Both CAAHEP and ABHES accredit certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs are found in New Mexico. To date, there are 3 medical assistant programs accredited by the CAAHEP and 2 programs accredited by ABHES that can be found at campus locations in New Mexico.
All accredited programs culminate in a clinical externship.
Step 2. Pursue National Certification in Medical Assisting
Upon completion of an accredited medical assistant program in New Mexico, you may want to pursue national certification through one of a number of certifying bodies:
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), National Healthcare Association
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), American Association of Medical Assistants
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), National Center for Competency Testing
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential, American Medical Technologists
In addition to demonstrating your advanced knowledge of the field, national certification has also become a common requirement for many medical assistant jobs in New Mexico.
The CMA and RMA credentials are two of the most widely recognized credentials, and both may be earned by completing an accredited medical assistant program and passing the related national certification examination.
Step 3. Learn More about Medical Assistant Jobs in New Mexico
The New Mexico Workforce Connection reported that there were 5,337 medical assistants employed in the State in 2012; by 2022, it is projected that medical assistant jobs will increase to 6,343, a growth of 1,006 jobs, or an average, annual increase of 1.7 percent.
The Workforce Connection also reports that there will be, on average, 203 medical assistant job openings each year between 2012 and 2022.
The New Mexico Workforce Connection reported the top employers of medical assistants in 2012 as:
- Ambulatory healthcare services: 3,131 medical assistant jobs
- Hospitals: 1,631 medical assistant jobs
- Educational services: 157 medical assistant jobs
You may therefore find a large number of job openings throughout New Mexico’s largest hospital systems, such as:
- San Juan Regional Medical Center, Farmington
- Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe
- Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque
- Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, Alamogordo
- Mountain View Regional Medical Center, Las Cruces
- University of New Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque
The New Mexico Workforce Connection also reported the highest number of job openings for medical assistants, by county, as of September 2014:
- Bernalillo County, 15 medical assistant job openings
- Dona Ana County, 10 medical assistant job openings
- Santa Fe County, 10 medical assistant job openings
- Taos County, 10 medical assistant job openings
- Chaves County, 9 medical assistant job openings
- Otero County, 6 medical assistant job openings
- Sandoval County, 5 medical assistant job openings
- Lea County, 5 medical assistant job openings
- Los Alamos County, 5 medical assistant job openings