Medical Assisting

Ventura College's Medical Assisting Program is a cohesive program designed to prepare students with the main competencies needed for employment in the medical field as either administrative medical assistants (a career also referred to as front office medical assistant or Medical Secretary) or clinical medical assistants (also referred to as back office medical assistant). This program is also an excellent training program for career enhancement for those seeking to expand their skills in the medical field and advance into new job positions.

Medical Assisting continues to be in the top fastest-growing careers, both in California and nationally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, medical assistant jobs are estimated to grow by 31% from 2010-2020. (, accessed 09-02-12).
Contact:  Debbie Newcomb, Department Chair
Program Purpose:  Students who complete the Medical Assisting program will be able to demonstrate performance of appropriate medical and communication skills necessary in a medical office or clinic environment.  Students will also be able to describe the legal and ethical principles that affect the role of a medical assistant and be able to apply procedures while complying with established risk management and safety practices. 

Jobs in this area include:

  • Front Office Medical Assistantmedical_assisting
  • Medical Secretary
  • Back Office Medical Assistant
  • Entry Level Medical Biller
  • Hospital Admitting Clerk
  • Hospital Unit Coordinator
  • Entry Level Medical Records Clerk
  • Scribe

Medical Assistants work in:

  • Physician, Chiropractor and other healthcare practitioner offices
  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Facilities
  • Laboratories
  • Radiology Imaging Centers
  • Insurance Companies

Medical Assistants play a vital role in the daily operations of a medical practice. They perform administrative services that keep the office operating efficiently and perform services that support the work of the physicians.

What does a Medical Assistant do?

  • Handle phonesmedical_assisting
  • Schedule appointments
  • Process patients in the practice computer management system
  • Data management
  • Billing and coding
  • Take vital signs and prepare patients for examination and office procedures
  • Assist the physician with exams and office surgical procedures
  • Administer injections
  • Perform basic diagnostic testing and EKGs
  • Maintain medical records

For more information, go to and


medical_assistingThe State of California does not require that medical assistants be certified. However, many employers are requiring proof of certification, especially if they are using electronic health records systems. It is highly recommended that all medical assistants obtain certification. Certification is available through the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants. More information is available at


Medical Assisting Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate performance of appropriate medical administrative or clinical skills.
  2. Determine appropriate communication strategies for stakeholders in the medical environment.
  3. Describe legal and ethical principles that affect the role of a medical assistant.
  4. Apply appropriate procedures for complying with established risk management and safety practices.

For course level student learning outcomes, click on this link.


  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting – Multi-Skilled
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting – Administrative
  • Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting – Multi-Skilled
  • Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting – Administrative
  • Proficiency Award in Medical Insurance Billing


Ventura College offers several options for medical assistant training.
  • Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting
  • Associates of Science Degree in Medical Assisting (Certificate of Achievement plus General Education courses)
  • Multi-Skilled Medical Assistant Course (One-semester fast-track)medical_assisting
The Multi-Skilled Medical Assisting Course (BUS V97) is an intensive short-term training program designed to prepare students for employment in the medical field as administrative and clinical medical assistants. This is an 18-week program that runs six hours per day on Monday through Thursday during the Spring and Fall semesters.
Training includes three main areas of study: General Medical Education, Administrative and Insurance Skills, and Clinical Skills.
Students must achieve 70% in all skills to complete the course. Successful students are eligible to take a certification exam offered by the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants to become California Certified Medical Assistants. For more information about certification, go to

What does the Multi-Skilled Medical Assisting course cover?

Front Office Skills:

  • Receptionist Duties
  • Oral Communication Skills (including phone skills)
  • Written Communication Skills
  • Abstracting and Completion of Medical Questionnaires
  • Completing diagnostic test requisitions
  • Appointment Scheduling – Office, Surgery, and Diagnostic Testing
  • Medical Records & Charting
  • Introduction to Electronic Health Records
  • Filing
  • Collection Procedures
  • Bookkeeping & Banking
  • Payroll

Medical Insurancemedical_assistants

  • Government Insurance Plans
  • Private Insurance Plans
  • Worker’s Comp and State Disability
  • Managed Care and Authorizations
  • CPT, ICD9, and HCPCS Coding
  • Insurance Billing
  • Provider Reimbursements
  • Processing EOBs

Clinical Skills:

  • Infection Control & Sterilization Techniques
  • Taking Medical Histories
  • Performing Vital Signs
  • Triage
  • Specialty Procedures (Eye, Ear, Rectal, & Pelvic)
  • Examination Positioning & Preparation
  • Assisting with Special Exams
  • Specimen Collection & Laboratory Procedures
  • EKGs
  • Minor Surgical Preparation & Assisting
  • Administration of Medications & Dosage Calculations
  • Reading and Writing Prescriptions
  • Mobility Assistancemedical_assisting
  • First Aid

General Medical Education:

  • Medical Specialties and Allied Health Professionals
  • Professionalism & Teamwork
  • Medical Ethics
  • Legal Responsibilities & Legal Terminology
  • HIPAA Privacy Training
  • OSHA General Safety and Bloodborne Pathogen Training
  • Medical Terminology
  • Body Systems and Organ Functions
  • Medical Abbreviations
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Computer Skills, including:
    • Word Processing
    • Patient Management Software
    • Appointment Management
    • Insurance Billing
  • Job Search
  • Resume Writing
  • Interviewing Techniques


medical_assistingLucy Baron–Donnelly, R.N. -

Lucy is a Ventura College Alumni. She graduated from San Diego State University with honors in the field of nursing. She has practiced in the health care field since 1996 and has been a registered nurse and public health nurse since 2001. Her back office experience is based in Internal Medicine & Family Practice, as well as medical/surgical nursing. She has taught for Ventura College since 2003.

Linda A. Davis, CCS -

Linda is a certified coding specialist, physician based. She has been in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years. She has taught front office medical courses at Ventura College since 1987.

Kathryn Dunlop,

Kathryn began her career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, subsequently trained as an Emergency Medical Technician, and then obtained her Registered Nursing Degree from Saddleback College. She completed her B.S.N. and Public Health Nursing certification at California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2007.  Her experience includes working as a Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN), nurse in Emergency Departments, and as a flight nurse for Guardian Air. Kathryn has helped several physicians set up and begin office practice. 
She has taught for Ventura College since 2004.

Debbie Newcomb, MBA, CMMdnewcomb@vcccd.edumedical_assisting

Debbie is a full-time instructor in the Career and Technical Education Division and serves as Chair of the Business Department at Ventura College. She received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Fresno and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from University of La Verne. She is a Certified Medical Manager and has taught for over eighteen years. Debbie’s career in the medical field spans over twenty years, as a medical practice manager, medical assistant, allergy technician, biller and coder.


Medical Assisting Advisory Committee - Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes - 5.3.13