What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants fulfill a variety of roles within a clinical or medical setting. From taking vitals before a doctor visit to advising patients on treatment plans prescribed by physicians, medical assistants are an essential part of every physician’s office. Medical assistants often fulfill both clinical and administrative duties, and they may even assist with billing, product inventory, and other important processes. The job duties and functions of a medical assistant vary depending on the size and location of the clinic, hospital, or other setting in which they work, but in general, the duties performed by medical assistants include:

  • Greeting and Checking In Patients
  • Compiling Patient History and Medications
  • Taking Vitals and Drawing Blood
  • Taking and Preparing Lab Specimens
  • Submitting Prescriptions and Refills to Pharmacies
  • Scheduling Appointments and Lab Work
  • Obtaining Patient Records and Lab Results
  • Updating Patient Records and Medical History
  • Handling Referrals, Admissions, and Other Paperwork
  • Advising Patients Regarding Treatment Plans
  • Reviewing Proper Use of Prescriptions and Medications with Patients
  • Managing Product and Supply Inventory

What does a medical assistant make?

Most entry-level medical assistants make between $10-$15 per hour, although the range can vary by geographic location, work setting, skill level, experience, and other factors. The nationwide average salary for medical assistants is around $35,000, which is fairly standard for entry-level careers. On average, medical assistants in hospitals and physicians offices have higher salaries than those in other work settings.

What do medical assistants make in Colorado?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Colorado make, on average, $32,000 per year. However, skill set, level of education, experience, work setting, and other factors can have an impact on how much medical assistants make. For example, medical assistants working in hospitals in Colorado can make as much as $55,000 per year with less than 5 years of experience working in the field, while entry-level registered medical assistants in physicians’ offices can expect to make between $30,000 and $35,000 per year.

Where do medical assistants work?

If you have ever visited a physician’s office or a hospital, chances are you have encountered a registered medical assistant. In addition to physicians and nurses, medical assistants are an essential part of every health setting. Medical assistants work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ Offices
  • Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities
  • Community Health Centers
  • Laboratories
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Physical Therapy Centers

How do I become a medical assistant?

Becoming a medical assistant requires some level of technical training, but unlike becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), becoming a registered medical assistant (RMA) does not require a college degree.

What does it take to be a medical assistant?

You can become a registered medical assistant by completing a medical assistant certification program. Colleges like IntelliTec offer registered medical assistant programs with a relatively quick training period, so you can become a registered medical assistant in as little as 10.5 months.


What is the difference between an RN and a RMA?

A registered nurse, or RN, is different from a registered medical assistant, or RMA, in that becoming an registered nurse requires a college degree and a higher level of specialized training, while registered medical assistants are able to fulfill a variety of roles with significantly less time spent in school and with a much lower education cost.

While some of the duties of a registered nurse and a registered medical assistant may overlap, RMAs are often also active in the administrative side of a clinic or hospital setting, and may even work alongside practice owners and managers to implement marketing campaigns and other important functions outside of patient care.

If you’re someone who has always loved helping others, working as a registered medical assistant may be the perfect fit.

Every day, you’ll get to see how much your hard work benefits others.

Before you make any plans, though, let’s take a closer look at what this job entails.

What Is a Medical Assistant?

As a registered medical assistant, you will perform any of a number of different tasks in order to help doctors and other health professionals better do their jobs. This will also include directly assisting patients.

Most medical assistants work at clinics and hospitals, but there are plenty of other options, too. Here are some of the most common alternatives:

  • Community Health Centers
  • Family Practices
  • Hospitals
  • Labs
  • Nursing Homes
  • Physical Therapist Offices
  • Private Practices
  • Sports Medicine Centers
  • Veterinarian Offices

So while your job will always entail helping people feel better, how you do that will depend on where you work.

Medical Assistant Duties

Again, your specific duties will depend on where you perform them. Obviously, a registered medical assistant working at a hospital is going to have a very different day than someone working at a lab.

However, here are the most common tasks medical assistants tend to carry out on a regular basis:

  • Carrying Out Injections
  • Checking Blood Pressure
  • Explaining Treatments/Care to Patients
  • Measuring Vital Signs
  • Patient Care
  • Preparing Patients
  • Setting Appointments/Scheduling

Contact us today and we’ll send you more information about how IntelliTec Colleges can help you pursue this career path and earn your certificate in as few as 10.5 months.

A Day in the Life of a Registered Medical Assistant

To better help you decide if you’d like working as a registered medical assistant, let’s look at what your day would entail based on some of the most common work environments. This will also give you a better idea of where you’d like to work if you decide to pursue this rewarding career.

1. Hospital

Given how busy they are, medical assistants working at hospitals always have a variety of tasks to carry out. While much of their work is similar to that of a nursing assistant, they’re also expected to keep things running smoothly.

This often means helping patients fill out forms, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and handling billing. During the same day, the medical assistant will also work directly with patients and may even have responsibilities to attend to in the lab. Many administer electrocardiogram readings, refer patients to specialists, and refill prescriptions, too.

So if you don’t like dull moments, consider the hospital environment.

2. Clinics

While many people think that clinics and hospitals are basically the same, they’re actually very different.

At clinics, registered medical assistants are required to fill in any gaps in order to ensure the physicians are able to perform necessary procedures.

This is why medical assistants are often called “generalists” in these settings. They greet patients and answer the phones, but they also dress wounds, remove sutures, and carry out other hands-on functions with patients. That includes talking to them about their diets, medicinal procedures, and general care requirements.

Although clinics are much smaller than hospitals, they can just as easily descend into chaos without qualified medical assistants who are able to successfully juggle priorities and keep things running smoothly.

3. Private Practice

For the most part, the more patients a physician can see at their private practice, the more likely they are to succeed.

This is why medical assistants are in such high demand at private practices. The more they can assist physicians in the running of their practice, the more patients they can see.

In this way, your job in this environment may be very similar to what it would be like to work at a clinic. The major difference is that your duties at a private practice will depend much more on its physician – what their specialty is and where they need the most help.

In some practices, this may mean taking on a more administrative role. In others, it will mean a lot more face-time with patients.

Is Being a Registered Medical Assistant Right for You?

First and foremost, do you like working with people?

That is the main requirement of succeeding as a registered medical assistant. You’ll almost always be the person a patient speaks to before they get to talk to their doctor or physician. This will mean answering a wide variety of questions but, in many cases, helping to keep them calm and comfortable, as well.

Second, as you’ve probably realized by now, working as a registered medical assistant means no two days are the same. While a big part of your job will be trying to maintain a schedule as much as possible, any medical assistant will tell you that it’s just as important that you’re able to adapt quickly and keep things running smoothly.

Finally, you must be a team player. Even if you’re the only medical assistant working at a small private practice, your ability to work well with the physician will make all the difference. Of course, if you’re at a hospital, you’ll frequently find yourself working alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical assistants.

Would You Like to Learn More as a Registered Medical Assistant?

Are you excited about the prospect of working as a registered medical assistant? It virtually guarantees you’ll never have a boring day, but you’ll always be helping people.

Contact us today and we’ll send you more information about how IntelliTec Colleges can help you pursue this career path and earn your certificate in as few as 10.5 months.

While most people think of an internship as nothing more than pouring a cup of coffee or filing a pile of documents no one else has time to organize, there is plenty of value that comes with the right experience.

That’s why finding a great externship doesn’t just improve your resume, but it also gives you the hands-on learning opportunities you need to jumpstart an exciting new career.

What is an Externship?

The word “internship” and “externship” may seem interchangeable, but they are quite different in terms of real-life work experience.

In an externship, a student has the chance to shadow a professional in their chosen industry. Depending upon the length of time your externship experience will be – whether a single day or several weeks – you are given a front-row seat to a day in the life of your new profession.

IntelliTec students who participate in the externship program go from learning in our campus classrooms to learning in an occupational setting within the local community.

What are Examples of Externships?

Depending upon what program you are part of at IntelliTec, there are a wide range of externship possibilities for you! Because IntelliTec is active in the communities where our campuses are located, we have established partnerships with many local businesses to help our students get great externship experiences.

As part of the medical or dental assistant program IntelliTec provides, externships are created with local care providers so that students can acquire specific experience and applications needed for their certification completion.

Each participating care provider has an on-site supervisor who works closely with the IntelliTec Colleges Externship Coordinator to create a customized plan of goals and objectives for each externship student. The coordinator then guides the student through real-time learning experiences and evaluates them on demonstrated competency and skill attainment.

Why Does an Externship Matter?

Having an externship is important for students because it allows the combination of didactic and hands-on training in a real-world career setting.

Students are able to perform their learned skills safely with professional, experienced oversight.
This helps build tremendous confidence preparing them for their future career. Also, important feedback is given which enhances their skills even more.

Medical Externships in Colorado and New Mexico

Medical and dental externships are available through IntelliTec Colleges through the Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Pueblo campuses.

In Colorado Springs, a student could have an externship with a variety of ages through Family Practice or help the rehabilitation of patients at Apex Pain Management. Nursing Assistant students can gain experience at Rock Canyon or Villa, among others.

Medical Assistant students can choose to work specifically with Adults at Adult Medicine Specialists or mix in pediatric care with Family Care Specialists, INC or Colorado Springs Family Practice. Additionally, a student may wish to specialize more in cancer care at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers or help combat allergies at Colorado ENT & Allergy.

In Grand Junction, those options are also available with externships at Urological Associates, Community Hospital or Healing Horizons just to name a few. Dental Assistant Students have more than 25 externship opportunities to choose from.

Check the many externship partnerships that IntelliTec offers with the list of locations below. Have questions or want to get started? Contact us today!

Pueblo Medical Assistant Extern Sites:

Adult Medicine Specialists
Southern Colorado Clinic PC
On Point Primary Care
Family Care Specialists, INC
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Pueblo Community Health Center
Hope Internal Medicine of Pueblo, PLLC
Hanson Clinic
Colorado Springs Family Practice
QwikCare MD
Affordable Health Clinic
American Vein & Vascular

Pueblo Nursing Assistant Extern Sites:

Rock Canyon
River Walk Rehab and Secure
Center At Parkwest

Colorado Springs Medical Assistant Extern Sites:

Apex Pain Management
Quest Diagnostics
Family Practice

Grand Junction Dental Assistant Extern Sites:

Jacobson Family Dental
Hudson Family Dental
Marillac Clinic
Jolley Smiles
Fun at the Dentist
Ruby Canyon
Montrose Dental Partners
All in One Dental
Bright Smiles
GJ Oral Surgery
Crested Oak
Monumental Smiles
Parkway Dental
Comfort Dental 25 Road

Grand Junction Medical Assistant Sites:

Healing Horizons
Family Values Clinic
Marillac Clinic
Community Hospital
Primary Care Partners
Good Samaritan Clinic
Urological Associates

Have you ever opened a cookbook to make a recipe, yet found that you had none of the ingredients? Perhaps the recipe calls for a difficult technique, with a piece of equipment you don’t keep in your kitchen. What once started out as a great idea to make a fun meal now seems confusing and like more work than you expected.

Similarly, when you want to begin a job in an interesting field, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to get started. If you walked in on the first day and had no idea what to expect or to do, you are behind.

While there is always room to grow and improve in your career, it definitely helps to have the basic requirements and expectations to succeed. That’s why learning a job first-hand, in real-life settings makes all the difference.

How IntelliTec Students Learn: Our Real World Approach

At IntelliTec College, we understand that the trades our students receive training in require a certain set of skills, certifications, and proof that you can excel in the field. To help students hit the ground running towards a new career, the curricula we offer include real job training.

Along with the important information you learn in the classroom, you gain practical skills that prepare you to start your career right away. How do we do it? See just a few of the ways we accomplish this below!


One of the most common ways that our students gain real career experience is through our externship program. Because IntelliTec is invested in the communities where we are located, we have great connections with businesses, clinics, and more around town.

Thanks to our instructors who know their industries well, and thanks to our helpful career services department, students are able to connect with externship hosts. These externships, offered in a variety of settings for different programs, allow students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining experience and seeing how the day-to-day business is handled.

During your externship, you will shadow, learn from, and begin working alongside a worker in your industry. Students are able to see what their future career looks like and how coursework affects the ability to perform in the workplace.

Our Salons

For students in our cosmetology and massage therapy programs, we offer a truly hands-on approach to honing their skills.

In Grand Junction and Pueblo, we have two cosmetology salons, which are open for customers to come in and let students try out their craft. The salons offer hair, nail, waxing, and skin services to the public.

As an affordable option for our communities, these salons also give great real-life training to students. We ensure that students have had enough experience before working on a customer, but also let them do services to learn tricks and techniques that they cannot learn in the classroom.

Click here to access our cosmetology salon’s page and to learn more about the services offered to customers and the experience students gain!

Similarly, our massage therapy students have their own massage clinics in Grand Junction and Pueblo, too! While some massage services at upscale spas can cost quite a bit of money, our services in the massage clinic provide the same relaxing experience for a fraction of the cost.

Students practice their therapeutic skills with an array of massages – from 30 to 90 minute offerings in various massage options, such as popular Swedish and Deep Tissue massage therapies.

The public is invited to come in, get pampered, and leave feeling renewed, while helping out a massage therapist in training! Click here to visit the massage clinic’s page.


For science-based programs, such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and nursing assistants, laboratories offer real experience for the workplace. Getting into the true science of your new career allows you to find out how medicines work and how to make solutions while on the job.

Additionally, our medically-based programs are able to work within our simulated clinic settings, which are offered on all of our campuses. Inside the clinics, you get a true feel for what it is like to work alongside fellow professionals, how the day flows, and how to handle emergencies.

With these experiences, students in the medical field can not only learn faster, but they also can get a better sense of what type of work they would like to pursue. By giving laboratory and clinic settings at the college, along with externship opportunities in hospitals and other medical settings, IntelliTec allows students to find their true passion and decide on a career that fits their personality.

Equipment and Technology

For some of our programs, the right technology and tools provides enormous value to students. When you are familiar with all of the latest updates in your industry, you can find a job that is innovative and able to adapt, giving you a long-term career where you can always grow as technologies change.

As an example, our new Computer Systems Technician program was recently started to keep up with the booming tech field. Our students are able to complete their own labs, working on actual computer systems and finding solutions to some of the most common industry problems.

For students in programs like our HVAC & Refrigeration or Automotive Technician, having simulated equipment and the right tools makes all the difference in how students learn. HVAC students even receive their own toolkit through the program, which allows them to work with the real-world tools, become familiar with them, and fix issues that arise.

For Automotive Technician students, IntelliTec has an array of Snap-On tools, allowing students to run diagnostics and become familiar with one of the leading brands used in the industry today. In addition, automotive technician students receive their own set of tools upon graduation to ensure they are equipped for their new career!

Additionally, for programs like Personal Training, understanding the equipment and how it affects the body and a client’s results is crucial. In addition to understanding the theory behind their work, personal trainers get hands-on learning in our spacious fitness facility, which is equipped with state-of-the-art practice training equipment. Having the right equipment allows trainers to see it in action, understand its impact, and make recommendations to clients based on their experience.

Think Outside the Classroom with IntelliTec

There’s a reason why IntelliTec College provides more than just a classroom setting. We all learn in different ways, but one of the most effective ways to learn is by doing!

Trying something out for yourself, especially for a new career path, means having consistent practice, becoming familiar, and feeling confident. If we taught just a classroom alone, our students would not have the practical experience and exposure that a potential employer wants.

Through IntelliTec’s programs, students get a distinct advantage above other job seekers. Instead of coming into a job as an entry-level candidate, you have the skills and real-life experience. This allows you to tell an employer directly what you are good at, what you love, and where you see your career headed with them.

Curious about a certain program and how hands-on learning can help you? Browse our programs here, and contact our Career Services department to learn more!

Have you always been drawn to the medical profession? There’s so much to be inspired by: helping others, discovering new things, and even getting your hands dirty with hard, rewarding work.

Not only is the healthcare field a fulfilling place to spend a career, it is also one of the most stable, consistent, and growing industries for jobs today. Unlike many careers that are focused solely on today’s technologies and trends, a healthcare job can continue to evolve with the times, and will always be necessary to have.

Because of the many intricacies of the healthcare system, there are many specialities available, allowing a lot of variety and options when exploring job opportunities. Medical professionals have a lot of freedom to decide what area of medicine is right for them. From caring for older people to finding cures in laboratories to assisting in rehabilitation and therapy, there are so many possibilities to explore!

Think that the medical profession is right for you? As a Medical Assistant, you can start a career in medicine fast. In the reasons below, we outline why a position as a Medical Assistant will benefit you for years to come.

Become Specialized

Training to become a Medical Assistant is a broad, multidisciplinary program, which encompasses many of the skills needed to be adept in any medical setting. This versatility means you know about many things, but have the option to specialize in a specific area of interest.

For instance, our Medical Assistant program gives you the skills you need to take on a career in the healthcare field, but not just limited to physicians offices . Many of our graduates have gone on to work at hospitals, veterinarian offices, or community health centers.

The beauty of a Medical Assistant certificate is that you can do it all, but can also focus your interests into the best career choice for you!

Choose Your Work Setting And Enjoy Normal Working Hours

Again, the best part of Medical Assistant training is the flexibility. Even if you know you want to work in the medical field, you may not be completely sure what type of setting you want.

Becoming a Medical Assistant means you get real, hands-on experience that gives you insight into working in a laboratory, a hospital, a private practice, or a larger facility. Learning about different work environments can help you hone your interests, resulting in a more strategic approach to your job search.

Get People Back on Their Feet

One of the most appealing parts of becoming a Medical Assistant is to help others. No matter if you interact with patients each day, or if you work in a lab to find cures, you are taking a meaningful step in caring for people.

Especially in a physical therapy office, in a sports medicine office, or in a hospital setting, you get to work directly with people who have endured an injury or sickness. You get to help monitor their progress, set goals, and help them towards a recovery that lasts.

During our Medical Assistant program, your training includes externships and potentially community service programs, allowing you to see how you can help people first-hand. Seeing real progress and change in action helps guide you towards a career that you will love.

Be a Helping Hand

Along with physically helping people, you can also help them emotionally. A Medical Assistant plays a vital role in talking to patients, listening to patients, and simply being there for them during some emotional times.

Medical Assistants, especially those who choose to work in a setting closely with patients, are naturally caring people. They know how to lift spirits and handle emotions, giving advice and offering kind words when necessary.

Sometimes, patients just need someone who is there for them. For example, many Medical Assistants pursue careers in nursing homes, pediatrician offices, or long-term care facilities. In each of these instances, it is important to be compassionate and show empathy, while also being an effective communicator. Your presence can make a big impact on someone’s healthcare and overall outlook on life!

Gains Skills and Stability

As we mentioned, the need for healthcare professionals is high and will only continue to grow. In fact, with the aging Baby Boomer generation on the rise, there will be a greater need for staff to cover the number of people going to the doctor, entering hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, physical rehabilitation, and more.

Not only are older people in need of healthcare, but so are people who suffer from various diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other ailments that require greater attention and care. It is important to have Medical Assistants who serve these populations; however, it is just as important to have skilled people conducting research and learning more about these diseases to treat and eventually cure those who are afflicted.

By getting the necessary training now, you can secure a stable, fruitful career path for the future. Being an expert in your role gives you a sense of pride and ownership, allowing you to stay in a job you love even longer.

Medical Jobs: Start Your Career Today

At IntelliTec College, we offer programs that are meaningful, but also those that are guaranteed to jump start a new career for you. We give in-depth courses that cover a lot of material, but also are practical and necessary for real world experience.

That’s why our Medical Assistant certificate program is geared towards finding solutions to real problems in our classes, which take place in a simulated medical office. By learning all the material in a real-world setting, you get an immediate feel for the profession and receive the hands-on training needed for your career.

Best of all: our Medical Assistant certificate program can be earned in a quick 10.5 months! In under a year, you are a skilled professional, ready to enter the medical workforce.

Wonder if our program is right for you? Read our success stories from our Medical Assistant graduates. With our program’s help, you can find a job in healthcare that matches your skills, your passion, and your empathy of caring for others.

Apply to our Medical Assistant program today!

Michael Ybarra - Medical Assistant at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, CO.
Michael Ybarra – IntelliTec College Medical Assisting program graduate – “pays it forward” at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, assisting the elderly and veterans with their medical needs.

Young father sets an academic example for his children by going back to school for medical assisting degree.

Michael Ybarra wouldn’t exactly describe himself as someone excited to return to the classroom. His previous challenges at school left him fearful of the idea of returning to the classroom, but his desire to leave his minimum wage job was even greater. After 10 years serving fast food, his wife and children inspired him to face his fears and enroll in the Medical Assistant program at IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

“My wife signed up for the same program at the same time. She was instrumental in convincing me that I could do this. Plus, I wanted my kids to know that I take my responsibilities as a father seriously, and that going back to school was the only way I could get ahead in life,” explains Ybarra.

Ybarra’s desire to become a medical assistant overshadowed his academic insecurities.

When Ybarra finished high school, he was certain it was the last he would ever see of a school environment. He is self-described as “anti-social” and always felt that other students judged him because he was not part of the popular crowd. However, Peggy Johnson, Medical Assistant Program Supervisor at IntelliTec College of Pueblo, describes Ybarra quite differently.

“Michael is a kind and respectful young man of character. He keeps to himself most times, remaining responsible to his school and his work, and it’s obvious he cares deeply for his family,” remarks Johnson.

His desire to become a medical assistant stems from a yearning to provide compassionate healthcare to the elderly and to give back to America’s military veterans. He believes both groups deserve a type of “pay it forward” approach as these individuals have contributed to our country in their own unique ways.

medical assisting school pueblo graduates
Husband and wife celebrate simultaneous graduations, completing their Medical Assistant degrees (occupational) from IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

Medical Assisting program graduate lands full-time work with professionalism, a strong work ethic and initiative.

Ybarra served his externship with Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo while completing his Medical Assistant degree, and he was immediately offered a full-time position once completing classes and his externship. Johnson is not a bit surprised at the offer.

“Michael’s ability to maintain a level of professionalism and respect in the workplace makes him a desirable employee. I can absolutely see how he is both equally liked and admired for his manner and hard work,” says Johnson.

Dr. Douglas Duffee, MD, maintains SDCIM’s small staff and believes it is imperative for the medical assistant to fit seamlessly into the culture of the office. According to Duffee, Ybarra was the clear choice.

“Michael communicates well on the phone and in the office, and he is able to manage a myriad of tasks. He’s dependable, conscientious, learns quickly, and takes initiative – a very important trait in a smaller, multi-functional office,” explains Duffee.

gradaute of medical assisting program in pueblo
An extended family has always played an important role in Michael’s life. (Medical Assisting graduate from IntelliTec College of Pueblo is pictured in red, back right.)

IntelliTec graduate credits parents in preventing him from following a potentially tragic path.

Michael gives a lot of credit for his work ethic to his mom and dad, who parented with equal parts of love and discipline. Ybarra is all too clear how his life could have taken a completely different path. Born and raised on the eastside of Pueblo came with inherent challenges of gang violence, and he witnessed first hand how children lacking proper parental modeling ended up on the streets or worse.

“My parents were my number one support through it all. I always knew I could count on them to step in whenever things became challenging,” says Ybarra.

And step in they did, assisting with daycare and offering an incredible amount of help and comfort during the birth of his son, and the death of his mother-in-law. As Ybarra explains, it sure “put the brakes on things”.

Pueblo dad hopes to have a positive influence on his children.

A lot has changed for Ybarra. He no longer has only five dollars left in his wallet after each pay period’s bills. He looks to the future, particularly his children’s futures, with confidence and determination.

“I want them to not be afraid of failure, because with failure comes opportunity. I really believe it’s better to have failed than to have never tried at all,” concludes Ybarra.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, massage therapy, and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 719-542-3181.

Valerie Valdez has a whole new outlook on her future as a Medical Assistant
Valerie Valdez – recent graduate of IntelliTec College of Pueblo – has a whole new outlook on her future with a new career as a Medical Assistant.

Pursuing a Medical Assistant Degree from IntelliTec College Runs in the Family

After eight years of struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary, Valerie Valdez had enough. It was time to pursue a career: one that offered a better income now and and professional advancement and financial stability in the future.

“I wanted to provide a better future for my children,” says Valdez, “and I knew everyday I remained in fast food was one day less that I was doing the right thing for me and my family.”

Tragic Endings and a Blessed New Beginning Challenges Valdez During Her Medical Assisting Classes

Valdez’ mother pushed and encouraged her to enroll in IntelliTec College’s Medical Assistant Program in Pueblo, but she sadly passed away before she could attend her daughter’s graduation. Valdez knew the best way to honor her mother’s wishes was to finish what she started.

Coincidentally, Valdez’s mother attended the medical assistant program [tragically she did not complete it due to her illness and subsequent death], as did several other relatives, so a belief in the college ran several generations deep.

“She was my rock,” explains Valdez regarding her mother. “She always pushed me to do my very best, and even after I dropped out of high school, she believed I’d find my way back to school.”

About halfway through her Medical Assistant classes, Valdez found out she was pregnant, and while overjoyed, it meant missing some school. She soon discovered teachers and staff did more than teach and support at IntelliTec. One teacher made graduation not just possible but likely even in the midst of having a baby:

“They emailed me missed homework assignments and even threw me a baby shower,” Valerie remembers.

Valerie Valdez Medical Assisting College Pueblo and her family
Valdez celebrates Christmas with her husband, Michael, and their children, McKenzy (4) and Michael (almost 2).

Valdez Learns to Juggle Full-Time School in Medical Assisting and Full-Time Work

Valdez may have taken a short break to deliver her son, Michael, but for the most part, she worked a full workweek while attending Medical Assisting school. Her perseverance then helped her as she pursued a number of employment opportunities.

After several interviews she finally landed not just a job, but the right job. Family members recommended Valdez apply at the Pueblo Community Health Center, and after interviewing, Valdez knew immediately this was the place for her.

She was originally assigned to fill in with different medical providers, but Virginia Gillispie, FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) was so impressed with Valdez’s organizational skills and interactions with patients, she requested that Valdez be assigned to Gillispie’s own panel.

“Patients of all ages really appreciate her smile and warm demeanor.  She is calmly able to multi-task on hectic days, and is a very quick learner,” remarked Gillispie.

Valdez Turns Tragedy Into Opportunity

Though her mother may no longer be with her, her unwavering belief in Valdez’s dedication endures long after her passing. When life became challenging, Valdez knew that her mother was looking down upon her with an unshakeable confidence. And it is with this belief that she had the conviction to change her life.

“Now everyday I look forward to going to the health center, and working with professionals who encourage me to pursue my dreams. I’m thinking about going back to school to become a registered nurse and maybe even a nurse in the near future,” exclaimed Valdez.

Celebrating is a pair of IntelliTec College of Pueblo Medical Assistant program graduates - Valerie Valdex and her husband Michael Ybarra.
Valerie Valdez and her husband, Michael Ybarra, celebrate graduating from IntelliTec College of Pueblo to become Medical Assistants.

Family Support Means the World to Valdez

Valdez recognizes her journey was possible with the help of family members, who stepped in to help care for her children while enrolled in school and even now while pursuing her career. She no longer lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and credits her husband’s family for helping make it all happen.

“They had my back when I returned to school and now while I work several 12 hour days. Quite simply, they’re a gift from God,” admitted Valdez.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, massage therapy, and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 719-542-3181.

New IntelliTec College Grad’s Likable and Easy-Going Personality Well-Suited to Local Optometrist’s Office Environment

Shauna Matthews displays a calm and caring demeanor at her new job with Our Eye Doctor
Shauna Matthews displays a calm and caring demeanor at her new Medical Assisting job with Our Eye Doctor in Colorado Springs.

Shauna Matthews is a walking endorsement for the saying, “smile – it’s contagious.” She brings a light and positivity into every room she enters, and her self-assuredness lets patients know they have come to the right optometrist’s office.

That’s exactly what Dr. Kara Fedders, O.D. with Our Eye Doctor recognized when she first met Matthews and immediately hired her. Fedders knew she wanted Matthews’ smile and cheerful attitude to be the first thing to greet her patients.

“You can train skills, but I always hire personality. I knew she [Matthews] would fit right in the moment I met her. She comes across as genuine and caring, and patients respond to that,” says Fedders.

Recent Medical Assisting Graduate Overcomes A Lackluster Academic Past

Matthews’ determination helped to increase her 2.0 high school GPA to a 4.0 GPA and placed her in the National Honors Society throughout her entire Medical Assisting program at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, CO. Continue reading “Colorado Springs Medical Assistant Practices Professionalism Beyond the Office Doors”

A Strong Home Life With Love and Support Led IntelliTec Student to a 4.0 GPA and Plenty of Job Opportunities on His Horizon

IntelliTec Medical Assistant graduate Nathan Farris
IntelliTec Medical Assistant graduate Nathan Farris encourages students to “stay focused.” Farris enjoys employment as a Dialysis Technician.

Despite managing a patient’s pain and illness inherent in the medical assisting profession, Nathan Farris starts and ends his day feeling lucky; lucky to have a wife and daughter who encourage him to follow his dreams, and lucky to have a unique opportunity to make people feel better. “I get to help them through some of the toughest times, and that makes me feel pretty good. Not everyone experiences a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for doing their job,” explained Farris, “and at the end of the day, I can’t ask for much more than that.”

It doesn’t hurt to have a positive attitude. Pam Waterman, Director of Career Services Director at IntelliTec College Grand Junction Campus always saw Farris as courteous and polite in the hallways, greeting every type of student. “His positive and calming demeanor exudes a quiet confidence, and peers and patients alike can’t help but react positively to it.”

Confidence and Drive Open up Doors to Employment

“Nathan is not the type of person to rest on his laurels,” said Waterman. “We shared a job posting with him, and by that afternoon he’d applied, had an interview, and was offered the job,” she added. The company even offered him a higher rate than originally posted, and encouraged him to complete specific training essential to their office, for which they would cover the cost.

Farris accepted the MA position, applied his newly acquired skills at a gastroenterology office, and after one month he earned his certification as a Surgical Technician. “I must have impressed the powers-that-be enough to invest this training in me,” Farris replied modestly.

His optimistic attitude and new skill-set landed him a job as a Dialysis Technician at DCI Dialysis with “better pay, awesome benefits, and a shorter work week!” according to Farris. He’s even getting paid to further educate himself with on-the-job training as he studies for to become a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT). An added bonus – his new company will even pay for the exam!

Farris Shares His Advice for Current IntelliTec Students

Every student has his/her own approach to going back to school, but Farris believes the one thing that carried him through working full-time and attending classes in the evening was to stay focused. He explained, “It may seem like a there is no tomorrow, but as long as you really take your education seriously and apply your knowledge to life, the rest will handle itself.”

Farris immediately recognized all the medical assistant courses were designed to intertwine, streamlining the program with the essentials and a lot of ‘practical’ time. “This gives you the opportunity to hit the ground running,” explained Farris.

IntelliTec’s Real Life, Hands-On Training was the Key to Choosing a Program

“This was a genuine opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and create a career for myself,” said Farris. From the moment he opened the doors to IntelliTec College, Farris felt welcomed. Even when the courses became challenging, the staff were always helpful. One teacher in particular shared some helpful advice, but Farris plans to keep that to himself. His philosophy is “when someone gives me really good advice, I don’t like to spread it around for everyone else to use. Keeping it private is what gives me my edge.”

About IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

The Medical Assisting training program in Grand Junction gives you hands-on career training to earn your associate degree (occupational), which is design to be completed in 18 months. Get real-life practice in our modern clinical setting with personalized instruction from our experienced and supportive instructors. Complete an externship and also be prepared for up to five professional certifications.

IntelliTec College in Grand Junction offers hands-on career training in the automotive technician, business/accounting, cosmetology/beauty, dental assisting, medical assisting, pharmacy technician and refrigeration & HVAC technician fields with associate degree (occupational) and professional certificate programs. Request information at or call 1-800-724-9636.








Medical Assisting Careers
Join a growing industry and become part of a profession where preventative healthcare leads the way in the 21st century medical approach.

Medical Assistant’s apply more than bandages – they open their hearts to patients and provide a valuable service to those in need.

It’s an industry where your medical knowledge and care giving desires combine to offer a number of employment opportunities. You already know the health care industry is growing at an accelerated rate. Baby boomers are getting older, and more and more people need medical help. This demand means people like you, who feel compelled to assist others, can find satisfaction in your day-to-day profession.

If you are looking for a reason to become a medical assistant, you don’t have to look far. Here are… Continue reading “Medical Assistants in Today’s World”