California Medical Assistant Programs

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Check current course listings for campus-based and online Medical Assistant Programs available for California students.

New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in California and Medical Assistant Programs in California

Medical assistants fill a vital and highly versatile role in today's healthcare world, particularly in the state of California. Although definite estimates are hard to come by, it may be the case that more people are wondering how to become a medical assistant in California and pursuing medical assistant programs in California than virtually anywhere else in the United States. Many medical professions are challenging to get into in the state of California, which is known for its extremely tough standards when it comes to patient care. However, since medical assistants have minimal direct patient contact, the role is a perfect starting point!

A medical assistant works in a physician's office or hospital, managing the day-to-day tasks that keep the business end of things running smoothly. California medical assistants usually get to work directly with a physician -- if they are employed in a small office setting -- or with the medical director of a large facility. The medical assistant focuses on scheduling appointments and dealing with medical billing and coding. A skilled medical assistant can progress to the role of financial and insurance advisor to patients who are preparing for treatment at a given facility. Conversely, they can choose to emphasize their medical skills instead.

In some environments, a medical assistant might be responsible or drawing blood and even giving patients their medications -- however, in California it is more likely for a medical assistant to have an entirely administrative function. He or she will have to comply with various California state and federal statutes regarding the privacy of privileged medical information, such as HIPPA. Medical assistants frequently find themselves becoming extremely knowledgeable about California state medical practices and doctors' needs, allowing them to move into nursing roles after sufficient education or pursue opportunities at California pharmaceutical firms. A typical medical assistant course of study takes one or two years.

In California, medical assistants can expect to command a median salary of just under $31,000. This is a good $3,000 higher annually than the national average. California medical assistants may also have greater opportunities for advancement and job placement; however, the outlook for this profession is positive throughout the United States, with an expectation of 31% growth in medical assistant hiring through 2010. On-the-job training is an important part of a medical assistant's life, but it is a good idea to seek out tailored programs from community colleges or state colleges that can provide ongoing training on emerging medical office standards.


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California Board of Registered Nursing
1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite N-217
Sacramento, CA 95834-1924
Phone: (916) 322-3350
Fax: (916) 574-8637

California Board of Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technicians
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-7800
Fax: (916) 263-7859

California Nurses Association

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