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Medical Assistant Program

Medical Assistant Program Description

Do you enjoy caring for people and want to make a difference in a meaningful way on the job? A medical assistant (MA) cares for patients, engages in a wide variety of physician’s office duties, and serves as an integral part of the health care delivery team. If you would like a role as liaison between the doctor and patient, the role of medical assistant may be right for you! In this post, you’ll learn more about the role of a medical assistant, how to become one and what the job outlook for medical assistants is like.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities such as medical offices and clinics. Medical Assistants are cross trained to perform administrative and clinical duties and are instrumental in helping patients.

Clinical Duties (may include, but not limited to):

  • Taking medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Preparing patients for examinations
  • Assisting the physician during examinations
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
  • Preparing and administering medications, including by intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections—including vaccinations/immunizations, as directed by a physician or other licensed provider (e.g., a nurse practitioner or physician assistant)
  • Transmitting prescription refills as directed
  • Phlebotomy
  • Taking electrocardiograms
  • Wound care and changing dressings

Administrative Duties (may include, but not limited to):

  • Using computer applications
  • Answering telephones
  • Welcoming patients
  • Updating and filing patient medical records
  • Coding and filling out insurance forms
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping

This certificate is designed to be completed in (3) semesters to prepare students for entry-level positions in ambulatory health care settings such as physician offices and outpatient clinics. The program has 3 start dates per year: January, May, and August. Day classes are offered in January and August, while evening class options are available in the summer.

The focus of this program is knowledge, skills, and affective behaviors to perform competently in both the clinical and the administrative areas in a physician office or outpatient care setting. The courses are taught in a hybrid format—there are weekly face-to- face meetings and outside assignments utilizing the Learning Management System (LMS) between class meetings. NO LAB hours are obtained via distance education. This program includes a 160-hour practicum in a physician office and requires taking a national certification examination to obtain a credential for employment.

Program Rationale

The Medical Assistant (MA) Certificate Program is designed to prepare students for employment in healthcare. The United States Bureau of labor statistics predicts strong growth for medical assistants nationally through 2024. The demand for well-trained and credentialed medical assistants who work closely with providers (physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants) has increased over the previous decade and employment opportunities upon completing a program are high. The MA program also is designed to give options to students who want to grow beyond the initial technical certificate as the curriculum of study is embedded in the Associate of Applied Science in Health Science program.

Program Curriculum

The Medical Assistant Certificate consists of 30 credit hours including a 160-hour practicum (Note: students must be available during the daytime hours to participate in the practicum as these are the hours when most ambulatory offices are open for patient care). Upon completion of the program, the student is prepared to seek certification through nationally recognized organizations including the one recommended, the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The certification examination offered by the AMT is the Register Medical Assistant (RMA) and will be required during the last semester of the program. Please note that successful completion of this academic short-term technical certificate does not qualify as a certification, however completing the short-term technical certificate prepares students for passing a national certification examination including the RMA.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate competency as entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and (affective behavior) learning
  • Demonstrate administrative competence in the ambulatory setting.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills based on professional standards.
  • Exhibit professionalism in the ambulatory setting
  • Provide culturally sensitive patient care in an ambulatory setting.

Required Courses –30 Credits
Medical Assistant Program Sample Curriculum Plan

Course NumberDescriptionCredit
First 7 Weeks
ALH 150Clinical Procedures I3
ALH 105Medical Office Procedures I3
ALH 151Clinical Procedures II3
Second 7 Weeks
ALH 152Clinical Procedures III3
COM 101Interpersonal Communication3
Second Semester (15 weeks)
ALH 110Medical Terminology3
ALH 106Medical Billing and Coding3
MTH 107Math for Healthcare Professionals3
BIO 101Human Biology3
Third Semester (15 weeks)
ALH 199Medical Assisting Practicum and Review3

Hospital

The Good Samaritan College campus is located in Good Samaritan Hospital, part of the TriHealth medical system.

Student

Our students practice their medical skills in our nationally-recognized Simulation and Skills Lab.

Faculty

Study under faculty with doctorate degrees in their field.