Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Medical Assisting

1. Library Catalog - Find Books and Media

The library catalog is a database of books, media and course reserves located in the library's collection. To find resources in the library by subject, you will need a call number which is based on the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification System and leads you to the specific item on the shelf. To find the call number, use the library catalog. (

Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to look for an item using keyword anywhere or in a specific field (eg. title field or subject field).

To find information about a person, use Basic Search within Subject Browse (select from the drop down menu).

To find information on a topic, you can use your keyword search results to identify library subject headings or you can select the Subject tab and type in a library subject heading.

Subject headings:

  • Medical assistants
  • Medical laboratory technology
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical record personnel
  • Medical technologists
  • Physicians' assistants
  • Medical Care
  • Patients--Legal status, laws, etc
  • Patients' Rights
  • Sick--Legal status, laws, etc.

Related subjects (broader, narrower and see also)

  • Hospital patients--Legal status, laws, etc
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Medical ethics
  • Medical records management 
  • Medical records technology
  • Medical terminology
  • Office Procedures
  • Patients, Psychology

To search for a title you have two options: 1. select title from the drop down menu (to search by title keyword) or 2. select title browse from the drop down menu, to search by exact title wording. (Skip the first word of the title if it is an article, e.g. 'a', 'an' or 'the').

To search by author, select the Author tab, then type in the author's last name, first name, e.g. 'Hemingway, Ernest'.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search is used to combine topics, select search fields, and use other limitors to narrow a search.  You may want to search for an item using part of a title and selecting the title field from the drop down menu.  Another option is to search by ISBN.

To search by keyword, type in the words you want to search for then select from the menu whether you want to search for all of these, any of these (e.g., RNA or ribonucleic acid), or as a phrase (e.g., chemical elements).

Examples of combined searches:

Search for: Medical ethics [as a phrase], Search in: [Subject]
Search for: California [any of these], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]

Search for: Medical care,
Search in: [Subject]
Search for: cost policy [any of these], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]

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2. Reference Books

Basically, there are two kinds of reference books: general resources, which are broad in scope and deal with all fields; and specialized resources, which deal with specific disciplines such as health or medicine. The titles cited below are only a representative sample of many specialized reference books that are available in the library.

Specialized Dictionaries

  • Black's Medical Dictionary (Ref 610.3 B 2)
  • Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (REF 610.3 D 1-4)
  • Melloni's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (REF 610.3 D 2)
  • Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary
  • Mosby’s Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary (REF 610.3 M 3) 
  • Stedman's Medical Dictionary (REF 610.3 S1-3)
  • Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (REF 610.3 T 1)

Specialized Encyclopedias

  • Encyclopedia Britannica Online(Although this is also a general encyclopedia, the links to specialized resources are invaluable for discipline-based searches)
  • Encyclopedia of Human Biology (REF 612.003 E 1)
  • Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (616 H 5-4)
  • Heart BookComplete text, from Yale Univ. School of Medicine
  • Magill's Medical Guide (REF 610.3 M 4)
  • Oxford Medical Companion (REF 610.3 O 1-2)

Almanacs and Yearbooks

  • Statistical Abstract of the United States (REF 317.3 U 1)
  • Statistical Record of Health and Medicine (REF 614.0973 S 1)
  • World Almanac (REF 310 W 1)

Handbooks, Manuals, Directories

Book List prepared for the 2003 accreditation

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3. Databases and Indexes - Find Articles

To access databases from the main library page, look under "Find Articles" and click on Databases by Name or Databases by Subject (

  • Use ProQuest, a database of periodical articles, to find articles about medical assisting and health related issues. As with the catalog, search under a variety of terms. Use Proquest also for access to the LA Times, USA Today and New York Times.
  • Use ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source to locate full text articles from journals in nursing and allied health.
  • Use SIRS Knowledge Source, a database of both periodicals and government resources. Look under "Government Reporter", Domestic Affairs, Health Care Industry or search by government department (eg. Health and Human Services Department).

To browse or search to see if the Library has a subscription to a particular magazine, newspaper, or journal title use the Periodical Title List. (

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4. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 site or see recommended websites below.
Hardin MD
Hardin MD Nursing & Nursing Research
Health Answers
Martindale's Health Science Guide
Information on diseases, procedures, and pharmaceuticals
From the NLM, consumer-oriented service providing answers to health questions
Health news and information
Mosby Periodicals Home Page
National Institutes of Health
NOAH New York Online Access to Health
English and Spanish
World Health Organization


American Association of Medical Assistants
American Medical Technologists
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last updated: 07/08/2011 by P. Johnson revision #5