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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Fairfield, California

Medical assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Fairfield, California area. There are currently 59,500 working medical assistants in California; this should grow 31% to 77,800 working medical assistants in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for medical assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.9% over the next eight years. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Medical assistants earn approximately $14 per hour or $29,650 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year. Medical assistants earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in California and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: certified coding specialist, optometrist assistant, and certified medical assistant .

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Fairfield where you can study to be a medical assistant, among sixteen schools of higher education total in the Fairfield area. Medical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Fairfield 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.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill - Pleasant Hill, CA

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill, 380 Civic Dr Ste 300, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill is a small college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 530 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventy-two and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year.

CSI Career College - Vacaville, CA

CSI Career College, 611 Orange Dr Ste K, Vacaville, CA 95687. CSI Career College is a small college located in Vacaville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 292 students and an admission rate of 94%. CSI Career College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 46 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 29 students in 2008.

Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Heald College-Concord - Concord, CA

Heald College-Concord, 5130 Commercial Circle, Concord, CA 94520-0522. Heald College-Concord is a small college located in Concord, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,107 students. Heald College-Concord has 4 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and seventy-eight students respectively in 2008.

Mt Diablo Adult Education - Concord, CA

Mt Diablo Adult Education, 1266 San Carlos, Concord, CA 94518. Mt Diablo Adult Education is a small school located in Concord, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 513 students. Mt Diablo Adult Education has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 60 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 21 students in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated thirteen, eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Martinez Adult Education - Martinez, CA

Martinez Adult Education, 600 F St, Martinez, CA 94553-3298. Martinez Adult Education is a small school located in Martinez, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 565 students. Martinez Adult Education has a one to two year program in Medical Office Management/Administration which graduated fifty-one 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

Medical Assistant

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Medical Board of California, Licensing Operations Unit, 1426 Howe Avenue, Suite 54, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-2382
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Medical Board of California Licensing Operations Unit

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fairfield, California

Fairfield, California
Fairfield, California photo by Ryanloney

Fairfield is located in Solano County, California. It has a population of over 103,683, which has grown by 7.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fairfield, 143, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fairfield are valued at $197,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Fairfield, down from one hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fairfield are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 20.4% of Fairfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fairfield is 13.1%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fairfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fairfield is home to the Fairfield City Hall and the Dickson Hill Water Treatment Plant as well as Tabor Park and Sunrise Park. Shopping malls in the area include Geri Towne Shopping Center, Mission Village Shopping Center and Solano Mall Shopping Center.