About Medical Assisting

Medical Assistant                                                                                                   

Medical Assistants are vital to a smooth running medical office or clinic. Their duties are an interesting combination of patient care responsibilities and general office procedures. They prepare patients to see physicians, make appointments, and assist with exams and minor surgeries. Medical Assistants perform lab tests, give injections, take blood pressures and administer electrocardiograms. As a key office person, they also perform office bookkeeping, schedule surgeries, maintain records, and complete insurance forms.

The medical assistant is a person who is:

  • A team player
  • A life-long learner
  • Flexible and interested in people and in serving them

Students must be able to:

  • Stand for 60+ minutes (up to 4 hours) on a tiled or carpeted surface.
  • Sit for 50 minutes on a chair at a table or desk.
  • Lift and carry various equipment of up to 10 lbs with both hands.
  • Assist patients from a lying position to sitting on the edge of the bed (and vice versa) with varying degrees of assistance, working with up to 200 lbs.
  • Assist patient transfers between gurneys, wheelchairs and beds in a manner to prevent patient falls.
  • Bend, stoop, or crouch to reach a low object.
  • Rotate trunk (spine) from side to side.
  • Rotate forearms to turn knobs and levers.
  • Manipulate small size objects such as small dials and switches, needles and syringes, hospital gown ties, individual keys on a keyboard, etc.?
  • Sit or stand in class or clinic for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Demonstrate proper postures, body mechanics, ergonomics, and lifting techniques.
  • Move with adequate agility and speed to ensure patient safety.
  • Walk and balance well enough to help patients walk and transfer with or without equipment, while preventing injury to patient and self.
  • SEE: all spectrums of colors, read printed information; read small control panels; observe patient skin and coloration before, during and after treatment; read patient identification and medical records on paper and computer screens; observe that the work area is free of obstacles, etc.
  • HEAR: patient and healthcare team questions/comments face to face and without being face-to- face; faint cries for help, emergency call bells, equipment timers, etc.
  • SPEAK: give exam instructions to patients/family members; clarify patient identification and history; provide patient and peer instructions in emergency situations, etc.
  • TACTILE: feel hot and cold sensations, feel liquid that may spill or touch any part of your body, feel pressure such as to avoid accidentally touching or bumping a sterile field with any part of your body
  • Meet class standards for successful course completion.
  • Demonstrate good cognitive, memory and problem solving skills.
  • Behave in an ethically sound, competent, compassionate, and professional manner in the 
classroom, lab and at the clinical site.
  • Complete tasks accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication skills.

Although certification is not mandatory, Certified and registered Medical Assistants have an advantage in the job market. Employment opportunities are excellent, both locally and nationally.

Probable Salary Range for San Diego County

$28,000 – $42,000 per year (average $33,500)      

$10.00 to $20.00 per hour (average $16.63)

Students are expected to arrange their schedule to attend the program as a fulltime student.

“The San Diego Community College District is governed by its Board of Trustees. No oral or written representation by any employee of the college is binding on the SDCCD without the express approval of the Board of Trustees.”