Medical Assistant Technical Standards

Admission or progression in the Medical Assistant Program will be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards. Technical Standards are nonacademic criteria that are essential for participation in the Medical Assistant Program. These technical standards include personal and professional attributes, skills, knowledge, physical, medical, safety, and other requirements that an individual must meet in order to be eligible for admission the Medical Assistant Program.   These core competencies are considered to be the minimum skills necessary and are essential to protect the public.  Printable Copy (PDF)

  1. Disclosure of a Disability.
    1. Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations should make an appointment with the COCC Disabilities Services Office
      1. Individuals will be asked to provide documentation of the disability in order to assist with the provision of appropriate reasonable accommodations.
      2. Students who disclose a disability and request accommodation after the educational program/course begins may experience a delay in program progression, although all efforts will be made to promptly accommodate the student.
        1. Reasonable accommodations may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and/or program modifications.
          1. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, could jeopardize the health and safety of others, or cause an undue burden to the program are not considered reasonable accommodations.
  2. Functinal Ability:
      1. Individuals must possess a functional level of ability to perform the duties required of a Medical Assistant with or without reasonable accommodations.
          1. If an individual experiences a change during the program, so that the technical standards cannot be met, with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will be withdrawn from the Medical Assistant Program.
          2. In order to assist with the evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the technical standards of the program, the Medical Assisting team reserves the right to require an assessment by a qualified healthcare provider, for cause, at the student’s expense.
  3. Cognitive Standard:
      1. Students must have the ability to:
        1. Interpret and implement complex schedules
        2. Organize tasks for completion by set deadlines
        3. Recall, collect, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information from a variety of sources
        4. Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data
        5. Problem-solve and think critically in order to apply knowledge and skill
        6. Recall clinically relevant drugs, indications and contraindications
        7. Communicate verbally, and through reading and writing, with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
        8. Relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably, and intelligibly to individuals and groups, using the English language.
        9. Some, but not all, examples of learning activities found in the medical assisting curriculum and related to industry standards:
          1. Process information thoroughly to prioritize and implement patient care
          2. Sequence or cluster data to determine patient/client needs
          3. Discriminate fine/subtle differences in medical words
          4. Write and verbally report patient/client data to members of the healthcare team
          5. Read and comprehend care plans and information found in the medical record
          6. Perform basic math computations, both with and without a calculator, for fluid intake and output, percentage of meal consumption, height and weight, medical dosages.
  4. Physical Standard - Motor Function:
      1. Coordinate fine and gross motor movements
      2. Coordinate hand/eye movementsMaintain balance from any position
      3. Maintain balance from any position
      4. Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs
      5. Function with both hands free for performing psychomotor tasks
      6. Maneuver in small areas
      7. Attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for up to 8 hours
        1. Examples of learning activities found in the Medical Assisting curriculum and related to industry standards [examples given are a small representation of industry standards and do not include every standard]:
          1. Transfer patients/clients on and off an exam table, from stretchers and wheelchairs.
          2. Control a fall by slowly lowering patient/client to the floor.
          3. Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
          4. Lift or move (turn, position) patients/clients or objects, pull or push objects, weighing up to 35 pounds and maintain a “medium activity level” as defined by the state of Oregon department of insurance index of occupational characteristics.
          5. Reach to shoulder or higher levels to place or access equipment, bend or squat to access equipment below bed level
          6. Carry equipment and supplies to the patient/client room
          7. Manipulate small equipment, syringes, needles and medical tools.
          8. Dispose of razors, syringes and other sharp objects in sharps container.
          9. Complete assigned periods of clinical practice [8 hours a day and up to 40 hours per week]
  5. Physical Standard - Sensory Function:
      1. Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences, including but not limited to information conveyed through:
        1. online coursework
        2. lecture
        3. small group activities
        4. demonstrations
        5. application experiences
      2. Collect information through:
          1. observation
          2. listening
          3. ouching
          4. smelling
          5. calendars and schedules
      3. Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers:
        1. Examples of learning activities found in the Medical Assisting curriculum and related to industry standards [examples given are a small representation of industry standards and do not include every standard]:
          1. Detect small bubbles in syringes
          2. Detect changes in skin color or condition. (pale, ashen, grey, or bluish)
          3. Detect a fire in the patient/client care environment.
          4. Pour or measure a prescribed quantity, including detecting fine lines related to fluid measurement in syringes.
          5. Identify bevels on small needles
          6. Observe patients/clients in a room from a distance of 20 feet away.
          7. Detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope.
          8. Detect audible alarms generated by mechanical systems such as those that monitor bodily functions, fire alarms, call bells.
          9. Observe and collect data from recording equipment, diagnostic test strips and measurement devices used in patient/client care
          10. Communicate with patient/client and members of the healthcare team in person and over the phone in a variety of settings, including where health team members are wearing masks and there is background noise
          11. Detect foul odors of bodily fluids or spoiled foods
          12. Detect smoke from burning materials
          13. Detect changes in skin temperature
          14. Detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices used in patient and client care
          15. Detect anatomical abnormalities, such as subcutaneous crepitus, edema, or infiltrated intravenous fluids
          16. Feel vibrations such as an arterial pulse.
  6. Behavioral Standard:
      1. Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments.
          1. Maintain effective, mature, and sensitive relationships with others
          2. Examine and modify one’s own behavior when it interferes with others or the learning environment
      2. Possess attributes that include:
          1. Compassion
          2. Empathy
          3. Altruism
          4. Integrity
          5. Honesty
          6. Responsibility
          7. Tolerance
              1. Examples of activities related to industry standards [examples given are a small representation of industry standards and do not include every standard]:
                1. Exercise judgment:
                  1. Carry out classroom and clinical practicum assignments for a particular point in the program within the time allotted
                  2. Work effectively under stress, and adapt to rapidly changing environments in the classroom and in the clinical practicum setting.
                  3. Accept accountability for actions that result in errors or accidents in the classroom, clinical lab or in the practicum setting.
                  4. Deal appropriately and effectively with interpersonal conflicts that arise
                      1. Maintain effective and harmonious relationships with instructors, peers, patients, and members of the healthcare team.
  7. Pregnancy:
      1. Student’s continuation in the Medical Assistant Program during pregnancy is encouraged; however, some tasks may pose risks for the pregnant student.
          1. Students are encouraged to inform the Medical Assistant Program Director of pregnancy.
          2. The student may be required to obtain a signed statement from the primary health care provider verifying that the student may safely participate in the Medical Assistant Program, including meeting relevant technical standards.
            1. A student who is less than six weeks post-partum while in clinical may be required to have have written documentation from her primary health care provider that states the student can meet the technical standards of the Medical Assisting  Program in order to return to clinical practice.
            2. Changes in condition must be reported and further documentation may be required.
  8. Acute Injury:
      1. A student who suffers an injury, or has a surgical procedure during the duration of the Medical Assistant Program, must provide written documentation from their healthcare provider stating that the student can meet the technical standards of the Medical Assisting Program in order to return to the skills lab or to clinical practice.

 Reviewed 7/18/2017