De Anza health technologies student finds her passion in medical assisting


Photo provided by Christina Johnson

After years as a veterinary technician, Christina Johnson wanted to be in the medical field, helping people. At 29, she has completed certificates for medical assisting, EKG, and phlebotomy and works as an assistant in De Anza College’s medical assisting program.

“I really like working with people and being able to help somebody’s day get better,” she said. “I felt that (the medical field) was going to be a good area for me to be in with helping patients get better.”

Johnson said De Anza felt like the right place to start her career in health technology.

“When I was looking into medical assisting, the different places I called seemed like nowhere would help me be placed for job opportunities or externships,” she said. “De Anza offered to help place me in externships.”

Johnson completed the medical assistant program in late January, and she said working and taking seven to eight classes at the same time was a challenge.

Currently, Johnson is working as an allied health tutor in De Anza’s medical assisting program.

“For my job, I helped set up different labs for the program such as analysis, strep cultures and needle sticks,” she said. “I also help students with different things that go into the profession of being a medical assistant.”

In the midst of the challenges she faced in the program, Johnson said her favorite memory was participating in the health fair at De Anza.

“All of us students got together and helped out in the health fair,” she said. “(We) helped out with blood sugar levels and flu vaccines.”

Johnson said her sister was a large part of her support system throughout her time in the program.

“She was always encouraging for me to go back to school,” she said. “Now that I’m going into nursing, it’s a huge motivator for me to have her by my side.”

Johnson’s friend Marina Petrova, is also a source of support for her. The 38-year-old nursing major said Johnson is a hardworking person who always has a positive attitude when working with others.

“I admire what she has accomplished and her desire to move forward,” Petrova said.

The health technologies program director, Maureen Miramontes, said Johnson has always been at the top of her class in grades, skills and assignments.

“Christina was well liked in all the five externships she has completed,” Miramontes said. “She is an asset to the medical community.”

She starts work as a medical assistant for Stanford Hospital this month.