Medical Assistant

Train to Work as a Medical Assistant

SJVC’s Medical Assistant classes prepare graduates to work in medical offices and specialty clinics. Training helps students learn the skills required to be a valuable member of the healthcare team. Students can prepare for work as a medical assistant by choosing the credential level that best meets their needs and career goals.

The Certificate-level Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program offers all of the basic training required to work in a doctor’s office, with an emphasis on clinical, back-office procedures. Graduates of the Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant (CAMA) program earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree and benefit from advanced training in medical office procedures and increased flexibility with both front- and back-office skills.

Medical Assistant Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Students in our Medical Assistant program learn:

  • Patient care
  • Medical office procedures
  • Laboratory skills
  • Medical administrative practices*
    * CAMA-specific training

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Medical Assistant students include:

Basic and Advanced Phlebotomy Theory
This course covers essential techniques and step-by-step procedures for venipuncture and various specimen collections focusing on the Medical Assistant’s scope of practice for laboratory procedures. Topics include Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) regulations, universal precautions, infection control and sterile techniques. An overview of anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system and hematology are introduced. The Medical Assistant’s responsibility in providing patient education, quality care, and demonstrating professional behavior are emphasized throughout this course.

Medical Assisting Competencies
This course focuses on the role of the Medical Assistant in assisting with various exams. Students will be introduced to fundamental clinical skills such as obtaining and recording vital signs, preparing rooms and setting up trays. Topics include OSHA guidelines, regulations, ambulation and mobility instruction, basic concepts of diet and exercise and the theory of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, emergency procedures and medical office safety procedures. An overview of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology related to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are covered. In addition, students will receive an introduction to basic concepts of radiology. The Medical Assistant’s responsibility in providing patient education, quality care and demonstrating professional behavior are emphasized throughout this course.

Medical Assisting Applications 1
This course teaches pharmacology, administration of medication, and the skills of patient preparation and assessment for various clinical procedures. Sites and techniques of injections, and various other clinical procedures as well as health and nutritional concepts are included in this course. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the three listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Our Medical Assistant students can earn a certificate of completion in approximately 7 months, or an associate of science degree in approximately 14 months.

CMA graduates who earn their Certificates from one of SJVC’s California campuses are eligible to sit for either the California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam, offered by the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCBMA), or the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam, offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

Online campus CMA graduates can sit for the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam, offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

CAMA graduates from SJVC’s California campuses can sit for one of the following:

CAMA graduates from SJVC’s Online division can sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT).

All SJVC CMA and CAMA graduates also earn Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Certification, CPR and First Aid Certification.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Medical Assistant program is available Online and at the following campuses:

Career Opportunities

A well-trained medical assistant is qualified to work in a variety of medical environments such as medical offices, clinics or hospitals. Graduates can expect to perform the following job duties:

  • Take medical histories & vital signs
  • Assist the physician with procedures
  • Clean & sterilize equipment
  • Perform office accounting, bookkeeping & billing*
  • Prepare insurance claims*
    * CAMA program

Accreditation and Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

State Approvals

SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8) and Title 5, Division 7.5 – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations.

Any questions that a student may have regarding the college catalog and/or catalog supplement that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at:

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

Physical Address
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833

Telephone Numbers
Toll free (888) 370-7589
(916) 431-6959

Fax Number
(916) 263-1897


View additional State Approvals for SJVC.