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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical assistants. Currently, 59,500 people work as medical assistants in California. This is expected to grow by 31% to 77,800 people 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%. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

The income of a medical assistant is about $14 hourly or $29,650 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year on average. Earnings for medical assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in California 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: ophthalmic technician, physician's aide, and sleep technician.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. 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 Santa Clara 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

West Valley College - Saratoga, CA

West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070-5698. West Valley College is a large college located in Saratoga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,585 students. West Valley College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

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

Heald College-San Jose - Milpitas, CA

Heald College-San Jose, 341 Great Mall Pky, Milpitas, CA 95035-8008. Heald College-San Jose is a small college located in Milpitas, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 990 students. Heald College-San Jose 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 two and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and eighty-two students respectively in 2008.

Institute for Business and Technology - Santa Clara, CA

Institute for Business and Technology, 2400 Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051-1303. Institute for Business and Technology is a small school located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 605 students and an admission rate of 100%. Institute for Business and Technology has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated sixty-eight students in 2008.

CET-Sobrato - San Jose, CA

CET-Sobrato, 701 Vine St, San Jose, CA 95110. CET-Sobrato is a small school located in San Jose, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 497 students. CET-Sobrato has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 32 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 52 students in 2008.

San Jose City College - San Jose, CA

San Jose City College, 2100 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95128-2798. San Jose City College is a large college located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,574 students. San Jose City College has a two to four year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant.

Everest College-San Jose - San Jose, CA

Everest College-San Jose, 1245 South Winchester Blvd #102, San Jose, CA 95128. Everest College-San Jose is a small college located in San Jose, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 139 students and an admission rate of 40%. Everest College-San Jose has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year which graduated 76 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 147 students in 2008.

Western Career College-San Jose - San Jose, CA

Western Career College-San Jose, 6201 San Ignacio, San Jose, CA 95119. Western Career College-San Jose is a small college located in San Jose, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 691 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-San Jose has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-four and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated 102 and one students respectively in 2008.

CET-Watsonville - Watsonville, CA

CET-Watsonville, 10 Blanca Lane, Watsonville, CA 95076. CET-Watsonville is a small school located in Watsonville, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Watsonville has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

De Anza College - Cupertino, CA

De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014. De Anza College is a large college located in Cupertino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. De Anza College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, two to four year.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated seventy-three, four, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Gavilan College - Gilroy, CA

Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Gavilan College is a medium sized college located in Gilroy, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,159 students. Gavilan College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

CET-Gilroy - Gilroy, CA

CET-Gilroy, 7800 Arroyo Cir, Gilroy, CA 95020. CET-Gilroy is a small school located in Gilroy, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Gilroy has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Evergreen Valley College - San Jose, CA

Evergreen Valley College, 3095 Yerba Buena Rd, San Jose, CA 95135-1598. Evergreen Valley College is a large college located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,621 students. Evergreen Valley College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cabrillo College - Aptos, CA

Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. Cabrillo College is a large college located in Aptos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,822 students. Cabrillo College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated five, zero, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated twenty, six, and five students respectively 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: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.