Allied Healthcare Assistant

The versatile Allied Healthcare Assistant program has been designed to allow graduates to take advantage of expanding health career opportunities. The program consists of courses which can be taken separately for individual certifications, or together as part of a complete college certificate or associate's degree.

Associate's Degree 

  • Medical Assisting - Associate of Applied Science (66 credits)

Certificates of Completion

  • Nursing Assistant (16 Credits)
  • Patient Care Technician ( 38-42 Credits)

Course-Completion Certificates

  • Phlebotomist Basic
  • Electrocardiogram Technician

Clinical course registration is contingent upon completion and submission of the clinical clearance packet to Castlebranch, the results from the New Mexico Department of Health Caregiver Criminal History Screening Program (CCHSP) and drug screen.

Categories of Essential Functions

To participate in the courses offered in the Patient Care Technician Certificate Program, the student must be capable of performing the following:

Observation.

  1. Visually discriminate incremental readings on various types of medical equipment;
  2. Visually discriminate between different colored objects;
  3. Discriminate between various auditory stimuli.

Communication.

  1. Communicate effectively in English, using verbal, nonverbal, and written formats;
  2. Read and interpret the English language without assistance.

Motor.

  1. Stand for at least 5 hours;
  2. Lift/carry 50 pounds; a release from MD may be required
  3. Perform patient-care procedures with finger and manual dexterity.

Intellectual.

  1. Collect, interpret, and integrate information.

Special Pre-Registration Requirements (“The Clinical Packet”)

Before registering for any courses that are a co-requisite for a clinical course or a clinical course (NA 105 Nursing Assistant Clinicals, NA 109 Phlebotomist Basic, NA 110 Electrocardiogram Technician Basic, NA 205 Patient Care Technicians Practicum, NA 214 Medical Assistant Practicum), students must submit documentation of the following on-line to Castlebranch at https://www.castlebranch.com/online_submission/package_code.php:

  • A signed statement that the student can perform the essential functions of the program without restrictions from an MD. (listed above)
  • TETANUS, DIPTHERIA, PERTUSSIS (Tdap)
    • A booster within last 9 years
    • Adult Tdap required once
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
    •  Proof of vaccination (2 doses) OR
    •  Proof of immunity by titers (Rubeola, Mumps, and Rubella). Must include a copy of the lab report
  • VARICELLA (Chicken Pox)
    • Proof of vaccination (2 doses) OR
    • Proof of immunity by titer. Must include the copy of the lab report
    • History of Disease is NOT accepted
  • HEPATITIS B
    • Proof of immunity by vaccination (3 doses) OR
    • Proof of immunity by titer.  Must include a copy of the lab report
  • TUBERCULIN STATUS
    • Annual Tuberculous (TB) status is required. Depending on your past status and testing there are different options.
    • Option 1: Initial Two-Step Skin Test
      • (1) receive the test, (2) return 48-72 hours later for reading, (3) wait 1-3 weeks, (4) repeat steps 1 & 2.
      • If no history or more than 12 months since last Tb Skin Test → 2 step Tb Skin Test required
    • Option 2: Annual Skin Test
      • If negative TB Test within 12 months → one step Tb Skin Test (for a total of 2 within 12 months)
    • Option 3: QuantiFeron Gold (QFT) Blood Test
      • Annual QFT is acceptable instead of Tb Skin Test. Like Tb Test, must be within 12 months and be negative
    • Option 4: History of Positive Tb Skin Test or QuantiFeron Gold (QFT) Blood Test
      • If History of Positive Tb Skin Test, submit the following:
        • Date of Positive Tb with induration (mm)
        • Proof of chest x-ray
        • Complete Symptom Check Sheet (contact Health Services for form)
      • If new positive TB → Follow-up by a healthcare provider. Must complete treatment as recommended
      • If a history of BCG vaccine → TST Skin Testing or QFT as above. If negative → OK; If positive → follow up as above.
  • American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS-CPR card (cannot expire while taking courses); Heartsaver is not accepted.
  • 7-10 panel Drug Screen ordered via Castlebranch and delivered directly to the program.  A drug screen result hand-carried by a student will not be accepted. A positive screening result may prevent the student from gaining employment, obtaining state and national certifications, and continuing in the following courses:
Prefix Title Credits
NA 104Nursing Assistant Fundamentals3
NA 104 LNursing Assistant Fundamentals Lab1
NA 105Nursing Assistant Clinicals4
NA 109Phlebotomist Basic4
NA 110Electrocardiogram Technician Basic4
NA 204Patient Care Technician4
NA 205Patient Care Technicians Practicum4
NA 212Medical Assistant Capstone Course6
NA 214Medical Assistant Practicum6

Additional information regarding specific requirements is available from the program office in DAHL Room 190 and on the program web-page.

Criminal History Screening

Prospective students are required to complete digital fingerprints and receive a clearance letter from N.M. Department of Health Caregiver Criminal History Screening Program. Past criminal violations may prevent a student from obtaining state and national certification, or from gaining employment in the field, and enrolling in the following courses:

Prefix Title Credits
NA 104Nursing Assistant Fundamentals3
NA 104 LNursing Assistant Fundamentals Lab1
NA 105Nursing Assistant Clinicals4
NA 109Phlebotomist Basic4
NA 110Electrocardiogram Technician Basic4
NA 204Patient Care Technician4
NA 205Patient Care Technicians Practicum4
NA 214Medical Assistant Practicum6
NA 212Medical Assistant Capstone Course6

NA 101. Nursing Assistant Theory and Lab

6 Credits (5+3P)

Nurse aide skills with emphasis on a bio-psychosocial-cultural approach to client care. Practice of these skills is provided in the laboratory as well as at a clinical site. Successful completion of the course prepares and qualifies the student to take the NACES certification examination. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): (CCDR 110N with C or better OR appropriate placement score) and (CCDE 110N with C or better OR appropriate placement score) and (CCDM 103N with C or better OR appropriate placement score).

NA 102. Sterile Processing Technician

4 Credits (3+3P)

This course will prepare the student to work as a Sterile Processing Technician, performing critical functions that support both the hospital and Operating Room. The student will learn about infection control, instrument reprocessing, decontamination, disinfection, and sterilization. All critical aspects of sterile processing will be covered to include applicable standards and regulations. This field is constantly evolving and those desiring to work in this profession must ensure that they stay abreast of the science behind the discipline. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses

Prerequisite(s): CCDE 110 N General Composition Placement exam scores, or specific course work.

NA 104. Nursing Assistant Fundamentals

3 Credits (3)

This course prepares students for employment as a Nursing Assistant in a Long Term Care Facility. Theory and basic nursing care skills will be taught with an emphasis being placed on the psychosocial-cultural approach to client care. Students will learn communication skills, basic anatomy and physiology, growth and development, infection control, body mechanics, basic nutrition, client/resident elimination needs, the client/resident unit, vital signs, range of motion exercises, bed making, rehabilitation and restorative care, client admission and discharge, common health problems, dealing with death and dying, and basic medical terminology. NA 104 and NA 104L (laboratory) must be successfully completed with a C- or better in order to continue to NA 105 Nursing Assistant Clinical. NA 105 must also be successfully completed with a C- or better to be eligible to take the state certification competency examination. Attendance is required to meet the federal requirements for training hours and content prior to direct contact with a patient/resident and the state competency examination. Students must test out of all CCDE and CCDR courses and eligible to take ENGL 1110G to enroll in this course. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Corequisite(s): NA 104 L.

NA 104 L. Nursing Assistant Fundamentals Lab

1 Credit (3P)

This course prepares students for employment as a Nursing Assistant in a Long Term Care Facility. Students will learn and demonstrate personal care skills including bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, assisting with eating and hydration, skin care, transfers and positioning. Students will also learn and demonstrate the use of assistive devices, and how to maintain resident safety, dignity and privacy. NA 104 & NA 104L must be successfully completed with a C- or greater in order to continue to NA 105 Clinical. NA 105 must be successfully completed with a C- or greater to be eligible to take the state certification competency examination.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 104. Prerequisite(s): English COMPASS score of 35 or greater or CCDE 110N, and reading COMPASS score of 55 or greater or CCDR 105N. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

NA 105. Nursing Assistant Clinicals

4 Credits (3+3P)

Extension of basic fundamentals of personal care, including theory, skills and clinical experience leading to the certified Nursing Assistant Examination at the conclusion of the semester. Continuation of NA 104. Requires a C or better to pass. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.

Prerequisite(s): C or better in NA 104 or consent of instructor.

NA 109. Phlebotomist Basic

4 Credits (2+4P)

This course provides the latest information, techniques, skills, and equipment for blood and specimen collection based on the standards of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, Needlestick Prevention Act, Joint Commission 2008 National Patient Safety Goals, OSHA and CDC. An advanced skills lab is included in the course to provide a "hands-on" practice experience and a 30 hour practicum in a supervised work environment collecting blood and specimens on actual patients for laboratory tests. Attendance is mandatory. Prepares students for employment as a phlebotomist in health care settings. Requires a "C" or better to pass. Upon successful completion of the course, student has the opportunity to test for National Healthcareer Certification. Consent of Instructor required.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BIOL 1130 or BIOL 2225. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

NA 110. Electrocardiogram Technician Basic

4 Credits (3+3P)

Prepares students for employment as an Electrocardiogram Technician. Includes basic theory of the cardiovascular system, cardiac rhythm interpretation, 12 lead ECG lead placement, and ECG equipment trouble shooting. The course includes an advanced skills laboratory for "hands-on" practice and 16 hours of supervised clinical in the work environment assisting with ECG testing. Attendance is mandatory. Course requires a grade of "C" or better to pass. Upon successful completion of course, student has the opportunity to test for National Healthcareer Certification. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 1130 OR BIOL 2210 & BIOL 2225.

NA 111. Alzheimer/Dementia Care Focus

3 Credits (3)

Students will learn respectful care of Alzheimer/Dementia persons while ensuring their dignity, maximizing safe independence focusing on strengths and abilities.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 104 or NA 101. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.

NA 113. Sterile Processing Practicum

5 Credits (1+4P)

This course will allow students to get hands on training in the Sterile Processing Department. They will perform critical functions learned in the Sterile Processing Technician course. They will apply principles of medical asepsis and infection control and by the end of the practicum be able to independently function in all work areas of the Sterile Processing Department. This field is constantly evolving and those desiring to work in this procession must ensure that they stay abreast of the science behind the discipline. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 102. Prerequisite(s): CCDE 110 N.

NA 115. Phlebotomist Technician

6 Credits (3+6P)

Basic theory and skills of phlebotomy following OSHA and Center for Disease Control guidelines. Prepares students for the requirements of testing for the ASCP certification exam and employment in a healthcare organization as a phlebotomist in licensed settings. Laboratory hours include infection control skills & practice, patient assessment & teaching, and practice in venipuncture. Clinical time includes clinical laboratory processes and operations, patient assessment, venipuncture, and exposure to clinical policies and procedures. Upon successful completion students are workforce ready.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): OEEM 101. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

NA 204. Patient Care Technician

4 Credits (3+3P)

This course will prepare Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to work in the acute care setting through an expansion of their existing basic skill set. Students will acquire expanded acute care skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge in caring for patients of all ages. Currently CNA certified. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): (NA 104, NA 105, NA 109, NA 110, AHS 120, and (BIOL 1130 or (BIOL 2210 & BIOL 2225)).

Corequisite(s): NA 205.

NA 205. Patient Care Technicians Practicum

4 Credits (1+9P)

This course will prepare Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to work in the acute care setting through an expansion of their existing basic skill set. Students will acquire expanded acute care skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge in caring for patients of all ages. Students will go to acute care settings to practice newly acquired skills. Must have a "C" or better to pass. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): (NA 104, NA 105, NA 109, NA 110, AHS 120, & (BIOL 1130 or (BIOL 2210 & BIOL 2225))) Currently CNA Certified.

Corequisite(s): NA 204.

NA 209. Phlebotomy Laboratory Technician

4 Credits (2+4P)

A continuation of NA 109, Phlebotomy Basic. This course furthers the experience, knowledge and skills of the phlebotomist by providing advanced specimen collection techniques, skills to assist with lab management, patient data processing, quality control measures, and customer service. Completion of thirty clinical hours and fifty successful venipunctures are required. Attendance in mandatory. Requires a final grade of "C" or better to pass. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 1110G or ENGL 1110H or ENGL 1110M. Prerequisite(s): (BIOL 1130 or BIOL 2310 & BIOL 2225), and AHS 120, and NA 109.

NA 210. Administrative Procedures for Medical Assistants

4 Credits (4)

This course will provides students with the administrative procedures needed for a medical assistant. Skills will include creating awelcoming environment, cultural considerations, office safety, opening and closing procedures, computer operation andmanagement, written and telephonic communications, financial procedures, patient scheduling, medical record management, andmedical insurance, billing, and coding. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 212. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1215, and ENGL 1110G, andAHS 120, and BIOL 1130 or BIOL 2225.

NA 212. Medical Assistant Capstone Course

6 Credits (6)

This course provides the student with entry-level theory and limited "hands-on" training in basic and routine clinical office tasks. The course will equip the Medical Assistant (MA) student with the competencies required to perform in a medical office under the direct supervision of a physician. The graduate will be able to assist the physician with physical exams, ECGs, phlebotomy, and minor surgical procedures. CNA Certification within the last 5 years.

Prerequisite(s): NA 105, NA 110, NA 109, AHS 120, BIOL 1130, BOT 208, HIT 228, HIT 248.

NA 214. Medical Assistant Practicum

6 Credits (1+6P)

This course is the practicum for NA 212 Medical Assistant Fundamentals Capstone Course. Students will prepare for a career as a medical assistant in medical offices and clinics. During practicum students will observe and participate in 180 hours in a supervised work environment using knowledge and skills learned in NA 212. This course includes weekly post-practicum conferences with the instructor. The student will be evaluated by both the employer and the instructor. Requires a "C" or better to pass. Upon successful completion the student may be eligible to test for National Certification. Students who have been CNA Certified within the last 5 years can use this to enroll into this course. Consent of Instructor required.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 212. Prerequisite(s): NA 105, NA 110, NA 109, AHS 120, BIOL 1130, BOT 208, HIT 228, HIT 248. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.

Name: Sheila Fetherlin, MSN RN Program Director

Email: sfetherlin@dacc.nmsu.edu

Office Location: DAHL 190/191U

Phone: (575) 527-7674

Name: Laura Jarry, BSN RN Clinical Coordinator

E-mail: ljarry@dacc.nmsu.edu

Office Location: DAHL 190/191V

Phone: (575) 528-7271

Name: Sharon Lashley, MBA BSN RN Instructor

E-mail: slashley@dacc.nmsu.edu

Office Location: DAHL 190/191W

Phone:  (575) 528-7027

Website: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/hca/