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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Fresno, California

For those living in the Fresno, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for medical assistants. There are currently 59,500 jobs for medical assistants in California and this is projected to grow by 31% to about 77,800 jobs 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.

A person working as a medical assistant can expect to earn about $14 per hour or $29,650 yearly on average in California and about $13 hourly or $28,300 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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: optometric aide, certified professional coder , and doctor assistant.

There are twenty-four schools of higher education in the Fresno area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Fresno where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. Given that the most common education level for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Fresno 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

Kaplan College-Fresno - Clovis, CA

Kaplan College-Fresno, 44 Shaw Avenue, Clovis, CA 93612. Kaplan College-Fresno is a small college located in Clovis, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 584 students. Kaplan College-Fresno has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 75 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 189 students in 2008.

Institute of Technology Inc - Clovis, CA

Institute of Technology Inc, 564 W Herndon, Clovis, CA 93612. Institute of Technology Inc is a small school located in Clovis, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,260 students. Institute of Technology Inc has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 73 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 49 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 214 students in 2008.

Galen College of Medical and Dental Assistants - Fresno, CA

Galen College of Medical and Dental Assistants, 1325 N Wishon Ave, Fresno, CA 93728. Galen College of Medical and Dental Assistants is a small college located in Fresno, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 100 students. Galen College of Medical and Dental Assistants has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated sixty-five students in 2008.

Heald College-Fresno - Fresno, CA

Heald College-Fresno, 255 W Bullard, Fresno, CA 93704. Heald College-Fresno is a small college located in Fresno, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,114 students. Heald College-Fresno has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and twenty students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated three and ninety-two students respectively in 2008.

Milan Institute - Clovis, CA

Milan Institute, 731 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis, CA 93612. Milan Institute is a small school located in Clovis, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 386 students. Milan Institute has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

MCed Career College - Fresno, CA

MCed Career College, 2002 N Gateway Blvd, Fresno, CA 93727. MCed Career College is a small college located in Fresno, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 256 students and an admission rate of 92%. MCed Career College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 32 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 25 students in 2008.

San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno - Fresno, CA

San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno, 295 E Sierra Ave, Fresno, CA 93710-3616. San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno is a small college located in Fresno, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 832 students. San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, associate's degree which graduated 44 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and sixty students respectively in 2008.

Clovis Adult Education - Clovis, CA

Clovis Adult Education, 1452 David E Cook Way, Clovis, CA 93611. Clovis Adult Education is a small school located in Clovis, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,429 students. Clovis Adult Education has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant.

Fresno City College - Fresno, CA

Fresno City College, 1101 E. University Ave, Fresno, CA 93741. Fresno City College is a large college located in Fresno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,063 students. Fresno City College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated eighteen, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 6 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: Fresno, California

Fresno, California
Fresno, California photo by Cadking3

Fresno is situated in Fresno County, California. It has a population of over 476,050, which has grown by 11.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fresno, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fresno are valued at $156,200 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,230 new homes were constructed in Fresno, down from 2,016 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Fresno are health care, educational services, and social assistance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.0% of Fresno 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 Fresno is 14.8%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fresno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pearlygrove Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Golden Harvest Church of God in Christ are all churches located in Fresno. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fresno is home to the Cribari Winery and the Aspen Hall as well as Beiden Field and Woodward Park. Shopping malls in the area include Figarden Shopping Center, First And Shaw Shopping Center and Fresno Fashion Fair Shopping Center. Visitors to Fresno can choose from Bedding & Fine Furniture, Best Budget Inn and Best Value Water Tree Inn for temporary stays in the area.