Health Care Assistant

Certificates of Completion

  • Health Care Assistant
  • Nursing Assistant

Course-Completion Certificates

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care
  • Disabilities Support Services
  • Electrocardiogram Technician
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Phlebotomist Basic

The versatile Health Care Assistant program has been designed to allow graduates to take advantage of expanding career opportunities available throughout the healthcare system. The program consists of courses which can be taken separately for individual certifications, or together as part of a complete program, such as the Nursing Assistant program or the Health Care Assistant program. Individual courses are

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care,
  • Disabilities Support Services,
  • Electrocardiogram Technician,
  • Patient Care Technician, and
  • Phlebotomist Basic.

Course admission is contingent upon results from the N.M. Department of Health Caregiver Criminal History Screening Program (CCHSP) and drug screen.

Categories of Essential Functions

In order to participate in the Health Care Assistant program, the student must be capable of performing the following:

Observation.

  1. Visually discriminate incremental readings on various 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 long periods of time;
  2. Lift/carry 35 pounds;
  3. Perform patient-care procedures with finger and manual dexterity.

Intellectual.

  1. Collect, interpret, and integrate information.

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

Prior to registering for any courses that include a clinical practicum (NA 105 Nursing Assistant Clinicals, NA 109 Phlebotomist Basic, NA 110 Electrocardiogram Technician Basic, and NA 205 Patient Care Technicians Practicum), students must submit documentation of the following:

  • tuberculin (TB) test results within the last year (cannot expire while taking courses);
  • two MMR immunizations and two Varicella immunizations or positive blood level (titers);
  • three hepatitis B immunizations or positive blood level (titer);
  • tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (Tdap) immunization within the last 10 years (cannot expire while taking courses);
  • current American Heart Association BLS-CPR card (cannot expire while taking courses); and
  • 7-10 panel drug screening done by a certified laboratory. A positive screening result may prevent the student from gaining employment, obtaining state and national certifications, and continuing in the following courses:
    NA 104Nursing Assistant Fundamentals3
    NA 105Nursing Assistant Clinicals4
    NA 109Phlebotomist Basic4
    NA 110Electrocardiogram Technician Basic4
    NA 204Patient Care Technician4
    NA 205Patient Care Technicians Practicum4

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

Criminal History Screening

Prospective students are required to complete digital fingerprints and receive a clearance letter from the 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:

NA 105Nursing Assistant Clinicals4
NA 109Phlebotomist Basic4
NA 110Electrocardiogram Technician Basic4
NA 205Patient Care Technicians Practicum4

Certificates of Completion

Health Care Assistant Certificate Program (33-37 credits)

Graduates of the healthcare assistant program may work in a variety of settings, including long-term and acute-care facilities, private homes, clinics, and home care agencies. In most cases, the work involves providing hands-on care for patients and support services such as drawing blood, operating specialized equipment, and furnishing the results of diagnostic procedures.

Employment opportunities are numerous in Doña Ana County and the surrounding areas. Salaries for those who have completed diverse competencies within the program average well above minimum wage. Once employed, many graduates will find opportunities for on-the-job training and advancement.

Students may use the program as an introduction to other healthcare programs, such as nursing, respiratory therapy, and radiologic technology. The program includes classroom theory, laboratory experience, and applied learning in hands-on situations. Because some of the learning takes place off campus, students will need to arrange for their own transportation.

State and/or national certifications are available in certain areas:

  • New Mexico Department of Health—Division of Health Improvement state certification to become a certified nursing assistant
  • National Healthcareer Association EKG technician certification
  • National Healthcareer Association phlebotomy technician certification

Important Facts About This Certificate Program

For information concerning the total cost, financing, time to completion, and job placement rates associated with this program, visit the following web page: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/vd/GEI/DA-OHCA-CT/Gedt.html

Mandatory Attendance

Students must attend all class meetings and lab sessions to be eligible for state or national certification testing.

Nursing Assistant - Certificate of Completion

Nursing Assistant (16 credit hours)

Nursing assistants perform basic nursing functions involving patient care, working under the supervision of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or physician. In general, nursing assistants attend to matters related to personal hygiene, safety, nutrition, exercise, and elimination. Maintaining patient comfort is a priority. Upon successfully completing the course, the student is eligible to take the state nursing assistant exam to become certified as a nursing assistant. Course fee: $150.

Important Facts About This Certificate Program

For information concerning the total cost, financing, time to completion, and job placement rates associated with this program, visit the following web page: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/vd/GEI/DA-NA-CT/Gedt.html

Course Completion Certificates

Alzheimer's/Dementia —(one semester — 3  credit hours)

This course is for specialized nursing assistants that provide personal care for clients with Alzheimer’s or dementia in the home or in a long-term care facility. It helps to provide a basic understanding of the changes in memory, communication, function, and behavior that occur as a result of Alzheimer’s disease and the appropriate intervention strategies to enhance the client’s care.

Disabilities Support Services (one semester — 4 credit hours)

Disabilities Support Staff provide direct care and support for persons with a wide range of disabilities, including developmental and age-related disabilities. This course helps those already employed in the field of support services to develop skills for job enhancement. Upon completion of this course, graduates are prepared for employment in residential, day habilitation, or vocational program of a community based provider agency.

Electrocardiogram Technician (one semester — 4 credit hours)

ECG technician students are trained with 12 lead ECG’s, which are tracings of the electrical impulses transmitted by the heart. The technician attaches electrodes to the patient and then operates the ECG machine to obtain a reading. The ECG is printed out for interpretation by the physician. Upon successfully completing this course, students are eligible to take the NHA national exam to become certified electrocardiogram technicians.

Patient Care Technician (one semester — 8 credit hours)

A patient care technician (PCT) works under the supervision of a registered nurse, using nursing assistant, phlebotomy, and electrocardiography skills to provide patient care in a hospital setting. These courses will prepare students who already have completed a Nursing Assistant course in long-term care to work in the acute-care setting, through an expansion of their existing basic skills set. Students will acquire expanded acute-care skills, critical thinking skills, and knowledge in caring for patients of all ages. Because practicum requires students to demonstrate skills with actual patients in a hospital setting, a completed clinical clearance packet is required to register for these courses. Course attendance is mandatory. Upon successful completion of the two courses, the student is eligible to sit for the NHA national exam to become certified as a Patient Care Technician.

Phlebotomist Basic (one semester — 4 credit hours)

A phlebotomist is a Healthcare Professional that specializes in extracting blood for analysis from patients. Phlebotomists work hand in hand with other Laboratory clinicians in assisting physicians in the diagnosing of diseases and/or disorders. Students are required to complete 30 clinical hours and 50 successful venipunctures. Clinical hours are scheduled individually and separately from class time at laboratory sites. Upon successfully completing the course, the student is eligible to take the NHA national exam to become certified as a phlebotomy technician.

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 103. Introduction to Health Care Services

3 Credits

Introduction to health care services, functions and responsibilities of a nurse aide, ethical and legal considerations, communication and medical terminology.

NA 104. Nursing Assistant Fundamentals

3 Credits

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. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): Test out of all CCDE and CCDR courses and eligible to take ENGL 111G.

Corequisite(s): NA 104 L.

NA 104 L. Nursing Assistant Fundamentals Lab

1 Credit

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 106. Home Health Assistant

4 Credits (3+3P)

Theory, skills and clinical experience leading to a job working with clients in the home environment. Prepares the certified nursing assistant for certification in the home health care arena.

Prerequisite: current CNA or consent of instructor.

Corequisites: CCDM 114N and CCDE 110N.

NA 107. Medication Assistant

5 Credits (4+3P)

Theory, skills, and clinical to prepare the student to meet the State of New Mexico requirements to distribute medication in a residential setting to Medicaid DD waiver clients.

Prerequisites: CCDM 114N and CNA, or consent of instructor.

NA 108. Disabilities Support Services

4 Credits (3+2P)

Beginning level preservice preparation for providing in-home care for individuals with disabilities. Crosslisted with: AHS 108. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.

Prerequisite(s): NA 101 or 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 154 or BIOL 226. 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 154 OR BIOL 225 & BIOL 226.

NA 111. Alzheimer/Dementia Care Focus

3 Credits

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

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

NA 112. Patient Care Assistant

4 Credits (2+4P)

This course prepares students to become patient care assistants (certified nursing assistant [CNA]). The course prepares students in the areas of critical thinking, collaboration with healthcare team members and performance of Certified Nursing Assistant skills within acute care units including: out-patient care unit (pre-operative), medical-surgical unit, orthopedic unit, mother-baby (obstetrics) and the mental health inpatient unit. Lab and clinical time will include learning skills in a practice setting with mannequins and in a hopsital for acute care skill learning and application. Must pass course with a C- or better.

Prerequisite(s): NA-101 or current State of New Mexico Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate (CNA certification must remain current through end of course).

Corequisite(s): Current Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Health Care Provider (American Heart Association) (BLS certification must remain current through end of course).

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 154 or (BIOL 225 & BIOL 226)).

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 154 or (BIOL 225 & BIOL 226))) Currently CNA Certified.

Corequisite(s): NA 204.

NA 212. Medical Assistant Capstone Course

5 Credits (4+3P)

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. May be repeated up to 5 credits. CNA Certification within the last 5 years.

Prerequisite(s): NA 105, NA 110, NA 109, AHS 120, BIOL 154, HIT 110, BOT 208, HIT 228, HIT 248, HIT 258.

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. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Consent of Instructor required.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): NA 212. Prerequisite(s): NA 105, NA 110, NA 109, AHS 120, BIOL 154, HIT 110, BOT 208, HIT 228, HIT 248, HIT 258. CNA Certified within the last 5 years. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Name: Sheila Fetherlin, Program Director

Office Location: DAHL 191C

Phone: (575) 527-7674

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