VISTA, CA—The graduation ceremony for the newest cohort of the Medical Assistant (MA) Training Program, a joint offering of Vista Community Clinic (VCC) and Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM), is taking place later this month on February 28th.
The program prepares students to work as medical assistants in doctors’ offices and health clinics. The $3,000 tuition is considerably lower than the cost of programs offered through private universities, and includes the cost of textbooks. The program integrates classroom learning with 160 hours of clinical training at a health care facility. Students learn how to draw blood, administer injections, take vital signs, schedule lab tests and assist physicians. Upon completing program requirements, they become eligible to take the California Certified Medical Assistant exam. VCC offers job placement support with the help of North County Works, and has been able to employ several of the graduates in its own facilities.
The program is currently wrapping up its latest academic term with the third group of students preparing to graduate. The program is admittedly rigorous and fast paced, but nothing short of rewarding. Graduate success is marked by the attentive professional development and job placement assistance provided throughout. Program supervisor Diana Garcia is as committed as they come, personally seeing to it that all of her students have the necessary tools to complete the program. Her dedication to see everyone be successful is obvious when she speaks about it. With a 100 percent graduation rate thus far, Diana thinks of her students as part of her family, saying “it makes me wonder if I failed to do something” if a student is struggling.
With healthcare being one of the fastest growing fields as our population ages, VCC and CSUSM are working together to fill a serious need. This joint partnership is the kind of thing dreams are made of. Those that felt a career in the field was out of reach due to financial or time constraints are now able to see this as an opportunity to better themselves and their families. The hands on approach the two institutions have established fosters the development of a well-trained budding workforce that we can all look forward to enjoying.
The draw is quite diverse, with people from all ages and backgrounds eagerly applying to take part in the newest hand selected group. Since its inception in the fall of 2016, students have run the gamut, from stay at home mom to sandwich maker to college graduate. The interest in the program comes from all corners, and continues to pick up steam as we head quickly into the fourth cohort next month.
The next cohort of the Medical Assistant Training Program begins classes on March 12. To learn more, email MAProgram@vcc.clinic.
About Vista Community Clinic… With eight locations in the cities of Vista, Oceanside, La Habra and Lake Elsinore, VCC provides affordable, high quality health care to more than 60,000 residents in San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties. Services offered by VCC include primary care, pediatrics, prenatal and women’s health, behavioral health, optometry, dental care, and chiropractic services. VCC also offers a wide array of innovative health education programs for all community residents and free health insurance enrollment assistance. VCC is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 (highest) Patient-Centered Medical Home. For more information, please call (760) 631-5000 or visit www.vcc.clinic.
About CSUSM Extended Learnin… As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a leading provider of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties. Offering degree programs, such as a master’s in public health, as well as both academic credit and noncredit professional enrichment courses, Extended Learning helps individuals and organizations achieve their educational and training goals. For more information about Extended Learning at CSUSM, please visit http://csusm.edu/el/.