Medical Assisting in California: What You Need to Know

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Did you know that the requirements of your career as a Medical Assistant could depend on where you live? If you’re a Medical Assistant in California, you’ll need to know the basics of the profession, but you’ll also need to understand what the State of California requires of Medical Assistants.

If you want to be a Medical Assistant in California, here’s what you need to know:

The State Doesn’t Require Certification, But Employers Probably Will

Even though California doesn’t require that Medical Assistants be licensed, certified, or registered with the state, it’s a good idea to take those steps. That’s because if you’re looking for a job, you’ll quickly discover that employers demand a level of professionalism that you’ll only get with certification. Often their malpractice insurance will have higher standards than the state, and they may require formal training from a school. Those schools also will have their own set of standards. We know how important it is to patients that all their caregivers are well-trained, knowledgeable, and prepared.

You Need to Meet Training Requirements

The state allows you to meet training requirements by working under a licensed physician or other qualified medical practitioner, or by completing a training program at a college. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll need to meet specific requirements as far as the type of training you complete and how many hours you train in various tasks and procedures. For example, requirements include:

  • 10 hours of training giving injections and performing skin tests
  • Successfully administering at least 10 each of various types of injections and skin tests
  • Training and demonstrating that you understand relevant anatomy and physiology for procedures, correct equipment to use, proper sterilization techniques, hazards and complications, emergency procedures, and patient care after treatments and tests.

You Can Perform Several Procedures…

As a medical assistant, your supervisors, team and patients will rely on you to perform many procedures on patients. As a medical assistant in California, you might:

  • Inject patients with medication
  • Take blood pressure
  • Swab a patient’s throat for throat culture
  • Draw blood via “finger sticks” to collect a sample
  • Perform nasal smears
  • Administer vaccines and flu shots

…But Not Those Considered Invasive

There are things you can and can’t do as a Medical Assistant. Many tasks are considered outside your scope of practice. This includes anything that is deemed to be invasive. For example, you would not be allowed to insert urine catheters, or start, stop or administer medications into IVs.

Your Work Will Be Under the Supervision of a Doctor

Don’t worry that you’ll have to work alone! As a Medical Assistant, you will need to work with a doctor or other supervisor on the premises. This is great, because you can turn to them if you have questions. You will also need to have them verify dosage amounts before you administer any drugs.

To start on the path to a rewarding career as a Medical Assistant in California, contact Charter College today. You can complete the program in as few as 10 months in Oxnard, Lancaster, and Canyon Country.