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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Visalia, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for medical assistants in the Visalia, California area. 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 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 per hour or $28,300 yearly 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. Jobs in this field include: autopsy assistant, clinical assistant, and optometrist assistant.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Visalia area, including four within twenty-five miles of Visalia 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 Visalia 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

Milan Institute - Visalia, CA

Milan Institute, 3356 South Fairway, Visalia, CA 93277. Milan Institute is a small school located in Visalia, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 324 students. Milan Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 30 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 86 students in 2008.

San Joaquin Valley College-Online - Visalia, CA

San Joaquin Valley College-Online, 3908 W Caldwell Ave Ste A, Visalia, CA 93277. San Joaquin Valley College-Online is a small college located in Visalia, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 343 students. San Joaquin Valley College-Online 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 seventy-six and eighteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated sixty and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

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.

San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia - Visalia, CA

San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia, 8400 W Mineral King Ave, Visalia, CA 93291-9283. San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia is a small college located in Visalia, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,086 students. San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia 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-nine and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eighty-three and eighty-two 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: Visalia, California

Visalia, California
Visalia, California photo by Capricorn90

Visalia is situated in Tulare County, California. It has a population of over 121,040, which has grown by 32.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Visalia, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Visalia are valued at $200,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-four new homes were constructed in Visalia, down from nine hundred twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Visalia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 18.9% of Visalia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Visalia is 10.0%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Visalia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Parkside Chapel Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Grace Lutheran Church and Holy Family Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Visalia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Visalia is home to the Tulare County Juvenile Hall and the Visalia Community Center as well as Pinkham Park and Lincoln Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fairway Shopping Center, Visalia Mall Shopping Center and Towne and Country Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Visalia can choose from Best Western Visalia Inn and Blacklakecondo for temporary stays in the area.