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.

nursing assistantIf you’re someone who truly enjoys caring for other people, then you should consider pursuing a career as a nursing assistant.

It’s hard to think of another job where you’ll have more opportunities to look after those in need and help their loved ones care for them, too.

A Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant

There’s no way to accurately summarize a nursing assistant’s daily activities, other than to say that they are constantly caring for others.

Outside of that mainstay, nursing assistants’ workdays depend on where they work and what their patients need. This makes it a great career not just for people who love helping others but also those who crave variety and get bored easily.

What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?

In just a moment, we’ll explore the many different places you could work as a nursing assistant. Where you work will influence the type of work you do every day.

That being said, most nursing assistants will do the majority of the following duties on a regular basis, regardless of where they work:

  • Answering patient calls
  • Assisting patients with light exercise (e.g. going for walks)
  • Changing bed sheets and restocking rooms with necessary materials and supplies
  • Checking patients’ vital signs
  • Cleaning and sanitizing patients’ wounds, infections, surgical areas, etc.
  • Collecting information about patients’ conditions and treatment plans from them and/or their doctors, caregivers, and nurses
  • Examining patients for bruises, injuries, wounds, etc.
  • Lifting patients into wheelchairs, beds, exam tables, etc.
  • Oversee patients’ hygiene (including bathing)
  • Providing and emptying bedpans
  • Serving patients their meals and helping them eat
  • Turning or repositioning bedridden patients as necessary

As you can see, your regular duties as a nursing assistant vary and are very important. Your job is about ensuring patients’ comfort but also helping to facilitate the care they receive from their doctors, physicians, and family members.

Serving as a Conduit

This provides a convenient transition into one of the most important roles you’ll play as a nursing assistant: that of a messenger.

A big part of your job will be relaying important messages between your patients and their caregivers, nurses, doctors, physicians, and even their family members. Your patients will most likely have questions for you on a daily basis, which you’ll need to take to the relevant party (if you can’t answer them yourself).

As we touched on above, this may also mean communicating with doctors when you simply see or sense something isn’t right with a patient, whether or not they actually brought up any problems on their own.

In this way, you’re one of the most important people to the health of these patients.

Don’t be surprised, too, if their family members seek you out for information. Obviously, they’ll always want to talk to the doctor/physician in charge, but you’re the one who will be spending the most time around their family member. It will be you they turn to for updates on their general day-to-day wellbeing.

Where Nursing Assistants Work

Anywhere people need ongoing help from caring, qualified professionals, you’ll find nursing assistants.

Here are the most common places they work:

  • Assisted-Living Facilities
  • Continuing-Care Retirement Communities
  • Home Healthcare Services
  • Hospitals (State and Private)
  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Residential Care Facilities

While the locations are different, the vast majority of your duties as a nursing assistant will remain the same. The biggest differences will simply have to do with the people for whom you’re caring (e.g. someone who needs home health care services will require something different than someone in a nursing home).

Contact us today and we’ll send you more information about working as a nursing assistant and how IntelliTec Colleges can prepare you for this role in as few as four weeks.

Would Working as a Nursing Assistant Be a Good Fit for You?

The obvious “requirement” we’ve already covered is that you should consider working as a nursing assistant if you genuinely enjoy helping others because that is what you’ll be doing each and every day.

That said, having a big heart may not always be enough. Consider the following traits that most nursing assistants also have.

1. Great Interpersonal Communication

Earlier, we mentioned how much of your role will involve communication, so the better you are at this skill, the easier it will be to succeed as a nursing assistant.

If you’ve already been told you’re a “people-person,” that’s probably a good sign that you’d be an ideal fit for this position.

However, you should also know when it’s time to simply listen. Your patients will make it much easier to care for them if you give them the opportunity to talk about how they’re feeling.

2. Dedication

Taking care of people every day is incredibly rewarding. You’ll definitely feel the gratitude, both from your patients and their loved ones.

Of course, that’s because a lot of what you do won’t be very glamorous. You need to be very dedicated to helping others in order to clean their wounds, change their diapers, and help them on and off the toilet.

Every nursing assistant has their own “horror story” to tell, but most will also tell you that it’s completely worth it and that, over time, it just becomes a normal part of a job – and an extremely rewarding one at that.

3. A Certain Degree of Physical Fitness

Some days, working as a nursing assistant will seem relatively routine. Other days, you’ll find that you hardly have a moment to catch your breath.

So if you’re looking for a tedious way to spend your time, this isn’t the career path for you.

Nursing assistants are constantly adapting to change. This also means they’re constantly on their feet and often carrying some amount of a patient’s weight.

You don’t need to be an endurance athlete to enter this field, but it’s best for people who are at least in fairly good shape and plan on keeping it that way.

Would You Like to Pursue a Career as a Nursing Assistant?

Do you love the idea of waking up every morning knowing that there are people who rely on you to make it through the day?

If so, contact us today and we’ll send you more information about working as a nursing assistant and how IntelliTec Colleges can prepare you for this role in as few as four weeks!

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!

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Nursing Assistants make a difference with a compassionate approach.
We offer the hands-on training to help you become an important part of the medical community. Classes start June 23!

As a CNA, you’ll be exposed to many members of the health care team: you get to see nurses, physical and occupational therapists, doctors, med techs, and assistants in action. You’ll soon know whether you have what it takes to further yourself in nursing.

You’ll also have an opportunity to gather experiences not often found in any other career, and take pride in a variety of accomplishments. Also, you’ll make friends with people you would otherwise never meet.

Certified nursing assistants provide basic nursing duties for patients who are temporarily or permanently unable to care for themselves. Continue reading “Nursing Assistant – a Job With a Heart”

Nursing Assistant Program in Pueblo A New Nursing Assistant Program is Coming to IntelliTec this July.[/caption]

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Pueblo, Colorado – IntelliTec College in Pueblo is adding a new four week Nursing Assistant’s Program to its curriculum at the end of July. This accelerated program features brand new, high-tech equipment and professional, dedicated instructors. The course is perfect for someone who wants to break into the medical field and attain licensure in just two months.

Nursing Assistants provide basic care and quality of life services to patients under the direction of a nursing staff. Their duties include feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming and transporting patients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to grow by 20% over the next 8 years, and “because of the growing elderly population, many nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants will be needed in long-term care facilities.”

The Nursing Assistant program officially begins July 22 and will take place Mondays thru Thursdays from either 9am-2pm or 5pm-10pm. There will be a mix of textbook and hands-on learning, followed by clinicals in 2 different local nursing homes. Students of this program will prepare to sit for the State Board exams, for which a passing grade will earn them their licensure. Licensed graduates of the program can work in hospitals, nursing homes, home health care or private care facilities. Program Supervisor Terry Sandoval says “This is the only program that I know of that you can actually have a license in the state of Colorado in 2 months, (which) will also transfer to 24 other states.”

Enrollment is open to anyone who is 18 years or older, has a high school diploma or GED and can pay the tuition fee. Sandoval describes the right candidate as being either “right out of high school, moms who want to work their own hours or anyone wanting to see if the Nursing field is the right choice for them without committing to a lengthy program…”

Continue reading “Aspiring Nursing Assistants Can Now Get Their Training in Pueblo in Just 4 Weeks!”

Career Path Choices
What career path is right for you? Learn the benefits of accelerated career training.

Are you ready for a new career but are unsure of what you want to do? Do you want to make a living doing something you love and are genuinely good at?

Then look into associate degree (occupational) careers or professional certificate careers.

  • These career paths will take you less time than getting your degree through a community college or traditional university.
  • Most programs will also prepare you to sit for professional certification exams; having certifications generally make you more employable.

Associate Degree and Professional Certificate Careers are Rewarding and In-demand

You can complete training for Associate Degree (Occupational) or Professional Certificate careers in only 12-18 months. Explore this sample of six career paths that have positive employment growth:

Continue reading “What Career Path is Right for You?”