Medical Assistant

Why Medical Assistant at DCTC?

Are you a multitalented multitasker? Are you a super-organized people person with an aptitude for hands-on work and clear communication? Do you have a strong interest in science, medicine and helping others? If that's the case, then working as a medical assistant is shaping up as a smart career choice.

Medical assistants perform a range of basic medical duties, which vary from state to state due to variations in state laws. Some states allow medical assistants with specialized training to draw blood or take X-rays. In most states, medical assistants take medical histories and record patient weight, pulse rate, blood pressure and other vital signs. They work directly with patients, explaining treatments and procedures as well as preparing them for exams. They also provide clerical support.

Quick Facts

  • Employment for medical assistants in the U.S. is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. (U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Most medical assistants work in physician offices and other health care facilities; most work full-time.

  • DCTC's Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, or CAAHEP, on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board.

  • Medical assistant graduates are fully prepared to take and pass the CMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) certification exam

  • CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of the medical assistant profession and represents a professional edge, increased prestige among colleagues and greater job security.

  • In the first half of 2012, 91 percent of DCTC medical assistant graduates took the CMA exam; 100 percent passed.

  • Instructor Patrice Nadeau has a master's degree in clinical laboratory science from the University of North Dakota; check out her faculty bio.

  • Instructor Margaret Norjean is licensed registered nurse with a bachelor's degree in nursing from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.; check out her faculty bio.

  • Instructor Kathleen Tettam is a 1999 alumna of the program and a practicing certified medical assistant since January 2000; check out her faculty bio.

  • Instructor Chrissy Gallagan earned an A.A.S. degree from the Respiratory Therapist program at Saint Paul College in 1995 before graduating from the Medical Assistant program 16 years later; check out her faculty bio.

  • All four instructors have extensive experience in the health care industry working in hospital and clinic settings. 

  • Medical assistant instructors maintain strong partnerships with many major health care employers in the Twin Cities area. With most in place for more than 15 years, the partnerships are a critical asset for students in the program. The partnerships also provide the health care professionals and experts who serve on the Medical Assistant Advisory Committee, which keeps the program's curriculum vital, informed and current with industry standards.