Medical Assistant Program Description

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Program Description

The Medical Assistant program consists of three quarters of core program classes, after the completion of required prerequisites (see Certificate Requirements and Suggested Course of Study). Core program classes start once per year in the fall and include training in both clinical and administrative skill (see Role of the Medical Assistant).  As part of their training, students rotate through local clinics performing the functions of an MA under supervision of qualified personnel.  After completing the program, students are eligible to apply to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.  Only students graduating from certain accredited programs, like COCC, are eligible to sit for the CMA exam and use the widely recognized title of CMA (certified medical assistant).

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply foundations of clinical practice to provide evidence-based, quality care for patients.
  2. Implement concepts of applied communication to optimize patient care and promote positive interactions in the professional environment.
  3. Utilize knowledge of medical business practices in the provision of patient care and services.
  4. Demonstrate medical law and ethics in the application of medical assisting practice.
  5. Implement safety and emergency practices in the course of patient care delivery and outpatient practice.
  6. Display characteristics key to the provision of safe, quality patient care.

Registration Information

-Students get into the Medical Assistant Program by completing all required prerequisites with a “C” or better, then registering for the fall MA classes (MA110, MA111, and MA 150 or MA140).

-Students must be 18 or older to register for program classes

-Core program courses begin once per year in the fall.  Students register for fall classes in the spring or summer. 

-After registration for program classes a letter of instruction is e-mailed to students (via their college email) giving specifics on required immunizations, due dates, steps for completing drug screening and criminal history checks, and instructions for uploading required information. (See Immunizations, Criminal History Check, Drug Screen, CPR).

- Students must submit  a copy of their high school diploma (or GED) and  complete required immunizations, criminal history check and drug screening by the designated dates to keep their seat in program classes (See Registration Information).

- Additional immunizations or criminal history checks may be required by practicum sites at the student’s expense

Program Standards

Due to the high level of responsibility required to care for patients, the following minimum standards are required in program classes to pass and progress to subsequent program classes:

-an average of 75% on tests and 75% overall in each class

-75% average score on lab skills check-offs  

-demonstration all required skills identified by the program accrediting body prior to entrance into the practicum

-completion a minimum of 160 hours of practicum prior to graduation

-demonstration of a high level of proficiency on a drug calculation exam prior to entering their practicum

-students must have a current  American Heart Association compliant, provider level, CPR card and a first aid card prior to entering practicum. Students will be given the opportunity to earn CPR and first aid cards in MA140.  Those not earning cards in MA140, must provide designated cards at their own expense to continue on to practicum

-professional and behavioral expectations for students are outlined in the student handbook (See Medical Assistant Student Handbook)

Students who leave or are dropped from the program may re-enter the next fall with the permission of the program director. In rare cases, a student may re-enter at a different point in the program on a space available basis and with permission from the director of the program. Students may be required to repeat demonstrations of previous competencies to ensure they retained the required skills and knowledge to progress in the program.

Transfer to Other Institutions

This certificate is designed for students planning to enter their chosen career upon graduation. Often, only selected credits are considered transferrable to public or private baccalaureate institutions.