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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you want to be a medical assistant, the Albuquerque, New Mexico area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,930 working medical assistants in New Mexico; this should grow by 31% to 3,830 working medical assistants in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by about 33.9%. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Income for medical assistants is about $12 per hour or $25,890 annually on average in New Mexico. Nationally, their income is about $13 per hour or $28,300 annually. Earnings for medical assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in New Mexico and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: doctor's assistant, optometric assistant, and medical billing coder.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Albuquerque where you can study to be a medical assistant, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Albuquerque area. Medical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a medical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. They also administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes.

Medical assistants ready treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean. They also interview clients to obtain medical data and measure their vital signs and height. Equally important, medical assistants have to show clients to examination rooms and ready them for the physician. They are often called upon to help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments and materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures. They are expected to record patients' medical history, vital statistics and data such as test results in medical archives. Finally, medical assistants greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Every day, medical assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical assistants to inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies and apparatus. They are often called upon to change dressings on wounds. They also contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission. They are sometimes expected to run routine laboratory tests and sample analyses. Somewhat less frequently, medical assistants are also expected to greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Medical assistants sometimes are asked to keep financial reports and execute other bookkeeping duties. They also have to be able to execute general office duties such as answering telephones, taking dictation or completing insurance forms and clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies. And finally, they sometimes have to authorize drug refills and furnish prescription data to pharmacies.

Like many other jobs, medical assistants must be thorough and dependable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Albuquerque include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

IIA College - Albuquerque, NM

IIA College, 4201 Central Ave Nw-Ste J, Albuquerque, NM 87105. IIA College is a small college located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 315 students. IIA College has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute - Albuquerque, NM

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, 9169 Coors Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120-3101. Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute is a small school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 451 students. Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute has a one to two year program in Optomeric Technician/Assistant which graduated one student in 2008.

National American University-Albuquerque - Albuequerque, NM

National American University-Albuquerque, 4775 Indian School Road NE, Suite 200, Albuequerque, NM 87110-3976. National American University-Albuquerque is a small university located in Albuequerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 360 students. National American University-Albuquerque has an associate's degree program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Kaplan Career Institute - Albuquerque, NM

Kaplan Career Institute, 5981 Jefferson NE Suite A & B, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Kaplan Career Institute is a small school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 4 students. Kaplan Career Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 45 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 85 students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Albuquerque, NM

Pima Medical Institute, 2201 San Pedro NE Bldg 3 Ste 100, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 737 students. Pima Medical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 47 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 178 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Assistant: The CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of medical assisting professionalism.

For more information, see the American Association of Medical Assistants website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Coding Associate: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Medical Assistant: A Medical Assistant (MA) is an integral member of the health care delivery team, qualified by education and experience to work in the administrative office, the examining room and the physician office laboratory.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Corporate Certified Opthalmic Assistant: A certification for employees of companies that supply products and services to the.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist: The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) is typically employed or contracted by a health care organization including, but not limited to, health plans, group practices, credentialing verification organizations or hospitals (health systems).

For more information, see the National Association of Medical Services Staff website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LICENSES

Anesthesiologist Asst

Licensing agency: New Mexico Medical Board
Address: 2055 S. Pacheco Building 400, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Phone: (505) 476-7220
Website: New Mexico Medical Board

Medication Aides

Licensing agency: New Mexico Board of Nursing
Address: 6301 Indian School NE Suite 710, Albuquerque, NM 87110

Phone: (505) 841-8340
Website: New Mexico Board of Nursing

LOCATION INFORMATION: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico photo by Debernardi

Albuquerque is situated in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 521,999, which has grown by 16.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Albuquerque, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Albuquerque cost $176,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, 1,067 new homes were built in Albuquerque, down from 2,096 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Albuquerque are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 31.8% of Albuquerque residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Albuquerque is 6.9%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.

The percentage of Albuquerque residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope Church and Baptist Student Union are some of the churches located in Albuquerque. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Albuquerque is home to the Menaul School Historic District and the Volcano Ranch as well as Cutler Park and Eunice Kaloch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Del Norte Parkade Shopping Center, Westway Shopping Center and Winrock Shopping Center. Visitors to Albuquerque can choose from Winrock Inn-Best Western, New Mexico State Government - Health Department- Behavioral Health Services Divi and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.