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Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

New Class a Shot in Arm for Medical Assistant Careers


Medical assistants can improve job skills and enhance their employability by completing a new course offered this summer at Allan Hancock College. The eight-week class, Success in Medical Assisting Practice (MA 379A), meets 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays June 12 through Aug. 3.

Registration for the course begins May 1, and remains open until June 11.

“The course is designed to prepare new graduates and experienced medical assistants to successfully complete state board-approved certification exams,” said Gerri Osuna, a medical assisting instructor at Hancock College.

“The class will benefit everyone because students will enhance their employability and professional skills in just eight weeks,” Osuna said.

The course is designed for students who have completed a medical assisting program within the last five years, and/or who possess two years of recent work experience as a medical assistant.

The course refreshes the fundamentals of practice by allowing students to review the principles and knowledge necessary to comply with new certification requirements.

These new requirements are mandated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) as part of legislative requirements related to electronic health records (EHR).

An electronic health record is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. They are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users.

According to CMS, medical assistants must be credentialed and certified to access electronic-health records.

“Local clinics and medical offices have responded to the new requirements and are looking for ways to train their current staff,” said Osuna. “They also prefer to hire credentialed medical assistants who have completed and passed their certification exams.”

New students and those without a user name and password must first apply for admission to the college, which can be done at

All students register for classes online via the student portal myHancock. Students should click theStudent tab, then Register/Add/Drop/Search Classes. All California residents pay a $46 per credit enrollment fee. Fees for the summer semester are due at the time of registration.

For students interested in starting a career in health care, applications for fall 2017 are being accepted for the college’s medical assistant and medical billing and coding programs.

Online applications are available at; click on Programs of Study, and select Medical Assisting. Completed applications will be accepted in the college’s Health Sciences office (M-132) on the Santa Maria campus through May 31.

For more information, contact the Allan Hancock College health sciences department, 922-6966 ext. 3384 or [email protected]

— Rebecca Fries for Allan Hancock College.


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