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Medical Assistant Student Handbook

Medical Assistant Handbook: 2019 – 2020


Central Oregon Community College is pleased to welcome you. A career in medical assisting is challenging and rewarding.  You will be learning skills enabling you to enter one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare.  We look forward to working with you to achieve your goal of successfully completing the program requirements and gaining skills and competencies in your chosen field of study.

 We designed this handbook to serve as your guide to general information, concerning the standards and policies of the Medical Assistant Program.



Certified Medical Assistants are multi-skilled, allied health professional, whose members work in a variety of health care settings. They are an integral part of the outpatient health care team, with training in both administrative and clinical procedures.

 Medical Assistants work primarily in medical offices and can be responsible for both front and back office duties. Clinical duties include infection control, taking patient histories and vital signs, preparing patients for medical examinations and procedures, assisting physicians/healthcare providers with examinations and treatments, and administering selected diagnostic tests and medications as directed.  Administrative duties include scheduling and reception, maintaining medical documentation, and handling oral and written correspondence. Medical Assistants must be knowledgeable in the areas of coding, billing, and insurance. A Medical Assistant may also be responsible for equipment maintenance and supply inventories, as well as managing financial records.



The Central Oregon Community College Medical Assistant Program is a certificate program, which can be completed in five to six quarters. Students may elect to complete some of their coursework over a longer timeframe and should work with a faculty advisor to determine the best plan for successful sequencing and completion of coursework.



The Medical Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). 

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs 

25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158

Clearwater, FL 33763


 Upon satisfactory completion of the coursework, students may apply for a Certificate of Completion that is issued by Central Oregon Community College. COCC is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Refer to or you may contact them at the following address:

 Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

8060 165th Ave. NE, Suite 100

Redmond, WA 98052

Phone – 425-558-4224





The primary goal of the COCC Medial Assisting Program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains (as defined by the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Education).



  1. Apply concepts of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, mathematics, infection control and nutrition to provide evidence-based, quality care to patients. (Refer to CAAHEP standards for FOUNDATIONS FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE)
  2. Implement effective communication techniques to optimize patient care and promote positive interactions in the professional environment. (Refer to CAAHEP standards for APPLIED COMMUNICATIONS)
  1. Utilize knowledge of administrative functions, financial practices, third party reimbursement and medical coding in the provision of patient care and services.( Refer to CAAHEP standards for MEDICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES)
  1. Demonstrate legal and ethical behavior in the application of medical assisting practice. (Refer to CAAHEP standards for MEDICAL LAW AND ETHICS)
  1. Implement protective practices in the course of patient care delivery and outpatient practice. (Refer to CAAHEP standards for SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PRACTICES)
  1. Display characteristics key to the provision of safe, quality patient care including dependability, accountability, social perceptiveness, cooperation, ability to accept feedback and ability to follow instructions. (Refer to class and program standards in the Student Handbook, Program Policy and Procedure Manual and Syllabi including standards for behavior, attendance/tardiness, due dates/assignment completion, respect for rules and attitude of accountability towards point loss)



The American Association for Medical Assistants [AAMA] administers the Certified Medical Assistant (C.M.A.) exam at different times during the year. Only individuals who hold a certificate from a CAAHEP or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools [ABHES] accredited program may sit for these exams. Upon passing the certification exam, a medical assistant can claim the credential of Certified Medical Assistant, C.M.A., a title recognized nationwide. Effective January 1, 2003, all Certified Medical Assistants, employed or seeking employment, must have current, certified status to use the C.M.A. credential. Certification is not currently required for initial employment by all local employers, but it is quickly becoming the standard for the medical community at large. The C.M.A. is one of the most widely recognized certifications by employers.



The AAMA [] is a professional association for medical assistants. The purpose of the AAMA is to promote the professional identity and stature of its members and the medical assisting professional through education and credentialing. Certified Medical Assistants are required to accumulate continuing education credits, as specified by the AAMA, to maintain accreditation.



Our advisory board is composed of member(s) from the general community, employers, the physician/provider community, graduates, college administration, faculty and current or recent medical assisting students. The committee meets at least once each academic year. This is an excellent opportunity for student input. Please notify the program director if you have questions or information you would like discussed at these meetings.



The Medical Assisting program allows for admission to core medical assisting classes once per year during , fall term. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis for all applicants who have:

  • met basic competencies in math, reading, writing and computers
  • presented evidence of a high school diploma or equivalent
  • completed the prerequisites
  • initiated required immunizations, drug screen and background check by the established due date

Currently enrolled COCC students may enroll through the early pre-registration process spring term for fall courses. New students enroll on the standard admission dates. New students should contact Enrollment Services - Admissions (383-7500) for additional information.

Students must be registered in prerequisite classes by spring or summer term and pass with a “C” or better for them to count towards entrance into fall medical assisting classes.

Students who leave or drop from the Medical Assistant Program, must receive permission from the program director to re-enter the next fall.  Students given permission to re-enter the following fall will be required to enroll in all core medical assisting with their new cohort no matter what term they leave the program.  All students entering practicum must complete classes covering clinical competencies within the year prior to entering practicum.



All transcripts from other institutions should be forwarded directly to the COCC Records Office, with a request for evaluation and articulation, prior to an advising and registration session. Currently enrolled students, who have taken the placement test, must be assigned to a program advisor prior to program admission.  If a registered student withdraws from the program, students on the waitlist are automatically moved into available seats in the order of their placement on the waitlist.



The COCC Medical Assistant Program does not provide for advanced placement into the core MA classes or give credit for experiential learning, relative to skills taught and measured in the core MA classes. These are classes in which critical competencies, designated by CAAHEP, are taught and measured. In rare instances, a returning COCC medical assistant student might be given advanced placement for administrative classes completed within the last year(they may not need to repeat these classes).  Transfer credit is awarded for other classes such as prerequisites required for the Medical Assisting Certificate according to the COCC transfer credit policy which can be found at




Students must be 18 years of age or older to participate in program classes (those beginning with the letters MA). Documents required for entry into the Medical Assisting Program must be submitted after students register for the program classes. A letter of instruction is e-mailed to all registered and waitlisted students at the end of spring term with an assigned documentation due date. Failure to submit the required paperwork by the assigned date will result in administrative withdrawal from the program. The following documents are required prior to entry into the Medical Assistant program:

  • High school diploma (or high school transcript noting successful graduation) or GED
  • Completion of all pre-requisite classes with a grade of “C” or higher.   
  • Criminal History Check as a condition of acceptance into the program.
  • 10-panel drug screen completed as a condition of acceptance into the program.
  • Documentation of current immunizations

All prerequisite courses must be passed with a “C” or higher by the end of summer term to maintain a spot in Medical Assistant Program classes. Classes starting with the letters MA are considered core program classes.

  • Prerequisite classes:

◦MTH 95 Intermediate Algebra or higher [4 credits]

◦AH 111 Medical Terminology I [3 credits]

◦AH 112 Medical Terminology II [3 credits]

◦BI 121 Human Anatomy and Function I  [4 credits]

◦BI 122 Human Anatomy and Function II  [4 credits]

              ◾BI 231, BI 232 and BI 233 can be substituted for BI 121 and BI 122

◦CIS 120 Computer Concepts or computer competency test [0-4 credits]

◦AH 113 Introduction to Study of Disease [5 credits]

◦WR 121 English Composition [4 credits]

◦SP 218 Interpersonal Communication [3 credits]

Students who have already completed SP111 and a course meeting the human relations requirement may be able to substitute these classes for SP218.  See the Program Director for details.

*CIS 10 is not a prerequisite, but must be completed (or tested out of) prior to graduation



A positive criminal background check, which prevents clinical attendance, will disqualify the student from  completing the Medical Assistant Program.  Practicum completion is required to complete the program.  Practicum participation is contingent on acceptance by a practicum facility.  Practicum facilities are independent intuitions with individual standards regarding acceptable backgrounds.   Students are encouraged to utilize the legal process to expunge crimes when possible.  If a crime is identified on a background check, the director will reach out to sites from participating sites from the prior year to see if facilities will take a student with a particular background.  Students may be asked to provide an explanation of circumstances, submit to an interview or provide other information to a site reviewing a student’s eligibility.  Evaluation of a student’s background by potential practicum sites may not be possible prior to the end of fall term.  Students are responsible for the costs of classes according to the tuition policy of COCC.  In other words, if a student chooses to enter the program with a positive background check, they are responsible for the cost of classes in which they are enrolled past the free drop date, even if they cannot complete the program.  Students are required to sign a consent or memo of agreement indicating that they understand that they may not be able to complete the program, qualify for employment or complete the certification exam with discrepancies on their background check.  See the AAMA website for testing exclusions and the appeals process for students with crimes such a felonies.



A positive urine drug screen will not prevent a student from reapplying for the program the following year; however, students must submit to a 10-panel drug screen each time they apply to the program.   The test will include, at a minimum, testing for the following substances:

Amphetamines [including methamphetamine], Barbiturates,  Benzodiazepines,  Cocaine, Marijuana, Methadone,  Opiates,   Phencyclidine

 Students taking opiate medications under the supervision of a health care provider will not be allowed to participate in the care of individuals in clinical or in lab. See attendance policy in the Medical Assistant Program Student Handbook.

A positive drug screen for stimulants used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD] may be approved only after verification of need with the applicants Health Care Provider. Your provider must send written verification of need, on clinic letterhead, to the Medical Assistant Program Director.

A positive drug screen for benzodiazepines, used in the treatment of seizure disorders may be approved only after verification of need with the applicants Health Care Provider. Your provider must be send a written verification of need, on letterhead, to the Medical Assistant Program Director.

 Students taking opiate medications under the supervision of a health care provider may be allowed to attend classroom lecture (excludes lab and clinical), only after verification of need with the applicants Health Care Provider and Pharmacy. Your provider must send written verification of need, on clinic letterhead, to the Medical Assistant Program Director.




Students must earn qualifying CPR and First Aid cards in MA 140.  If they do not earn these cards in MA140, they must obtain earn American Heart Association or American Red Cross, "Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers, and a First Aid card at their own expense prior to the end of winter term.



Copies of current immunization records must be uploaded to the indicated site no later than the due date indicated on the letter of instruction emailed to students after registration in core MA classes. Students will be administratively withdrawn from the class if all required items are not turned in by the due date indicated on the welcome packet.

The following immunizations are required for Medical Assistant students:

-Hepatitis B Vaccine series and titer showing immunity :

Students having already completed three hepatitis B vaccines will need to provide documentation  to the designated documentation service and:

1. Get a Hepatitis B titer

- if the titer shows immunity, submit the titer to the Allied Health Administrative Assistant

-if the titer does not show immunity

A. Students will need to restart the hepatitis B series and submit documentation of all immunizations to our immunization documentation service Students must show evidence of the full series of three immunizations prior to the end of winter term. (Students have the option of one booster and repeating the titer within one month, but if the titer is negative, they will have to complete two more immunizations and a third titer)

B. Students will need to repeat the titer after completing the series and submit the titer to the Allied Health Administrator

If students have not had three hepatitis B vaccines or series is still in progress

1. Students must provide evidence that the first and second hepatitis B immunization has been completed by the date indicated in the welcome packet by uploading copies to the designated documentation service.

2. One to two months after completing the series, students must submit evidence of a titer to the Allied Health Administrator.

3.Students will need to provide evidence of the full series and titer prior to the end of winter term to be allowed into practicum.


Students must also upload documentation of the following to the designated documentation service by the date indicated in the instruction packet.

-MMR Vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella):

Official documentation of two Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccinations, at least 4 weeks apart


Laboratory evidence of immunity:

-Provide dated copy of the report, with the results of a measles, a mumps and a rubella titer must be included in documentation packet.

-If one component of MMR titer is negative, the student must complete the MMR series.


If the vaccine series is in progress upon entering the program, the student must

-Provide documentation of first dose completed no later than the due date indicated in the pre-registration welcome packet and the second dose received one month after first dose AND completed prior to clinical component of program


 -Varicella (Chickenpox):

Documentation of 2 doses of Varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart;


Serological evidence of immunity [titer] to Varicella;


If the vaccine series is in progress upon entering the program, the student must

-Provide documentation n of the 1st vaccine and documentation of the second dose within the first 4 weeks of the term.


 -Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis:

Documentation of a one-time dose of Tdap as an adult age 18 years or greater.

Documentation of Td vaccine received 10 years after the Tdap or last Td.


-Tuberculosis - Quantiferon Gold or T-Spot blood draw (IGRA)

Documentation of a blood test (IGRA), either Quantiferon Gold or T-Spot, within the past the past 12 months.

If you’re the is positive, the student must:

-Provide documentation of the TB blood draw, a chest x-ray and an evaluation by a physician.


-Students with a past positive TB test must provide documentation of the positive TB test and, if not already completed, provide documentation of a baseline chest x-ray prior to the deadline.


 -Influenza vaccine:

An influenza vaccine is required for students prior to the end of fall term.


*Medical Exemption: If you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a vaccine or any component of a vaccine, you must provide documentation, on letterhead, from your health care provider.

Healthcare providers are under no obligation to accept a waiver of immunizations and may refuse clinical placement.

-Alternative clinical placements may not be available.

-The TB screening cannot be waived.

Facilities used as practicum sites will be informed that these are the standards employed by the Medical Assistant Program.  Keep in mind that individual facilities may request that you provide a copy of your background check, immunization records and /or drug screen for verification. The Program may request a urine drug screen, at any time, for cause at the student’s expense.  Facilities may require additional testing, background check or immunizations at the student’s expense.



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 standards, medical and, safety standards, and other requirements that an individual must meet in order to be eligible for admission and continuation in Medical Assistant Program classes.   These attributes and abilities are considered necessary standards for performing tasks required by the program.  Continuation in the Medical Assistant Program classes will be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards.  Additionally, students must be able to attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for up 9 hours, meet minimum attendance requirements and complete assigned periods of clinical practice [ up to 9 hours a day and up to 40 hours per week].  Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations should make an appointment with the COCC Disabilities Services Office in Boyle Education Center no later than the first week of the term.   Students who disclose a disability and request accommodation after the courses begin may experience a delay in program progression, although all efforts will be made to promptly accommodate the student.  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. 


Cognitive Standard


Students must have the ability to:

-Interpret and implement complex schedules

-Organize tasks for completion by set deadlines

-Recall, collect, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information from a variety of sources

-Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data

-Problem-solve and think critically in order to apply knowledge and skill

-Recall clinically relevant drugs, indications and contraindications

-Communicate verbally, and through reading and writing, with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.

-Relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably, and intelligibly to individuals and groups, using the English language.

-Process information thoroughly to prioritize and implement patient care

-Sequence or cluster data to determine patient/client needs

-Discriminate fine/subtle differences in medical words

-Write and verbally report patient/client data to members of the healthcare team

-Read and comprehend care plans and information found in the medical record

-Perform basic math computations, both with and without a calculator, for fluid intake and output, percentage of meal consumption, height and weight, and medical concentrations and  dosages.


Physical Standard – Motor Function


 Students must have the ability to:

-Coordinate fine and gross motor movements with and without gloves, coordinate hand/eye movements, put on and remove gloves in a safe and sterile fashion

-Maintain balance from any position

-Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs

-Function with both hands free for performing psychomotor tasks

-Maneuver in small areas

- Transfer patients/clients on and off an exam table, from stretchers and wheelchairs

- Control a fall by slowly lowering patient/client to the floor

- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

- 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

- Reach to shoulder or higher levels to place or access equipment, bend or squat to access equipment below bed or exam table level

- Carry equipment and supplies to the patient/client room

- Manipulate small equipment, syringes, needles and medical tools

- Safely dispose of razors, syringes and other sharp objects in sharps container


Physical Standard – Sensory Function


Students must have the ability to:

-Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences, including but not limited to information conveyed through online coursework, lecture, small group activities, demonstrations, and application experiences

-Collect information through observation, listening, touching, smelling, calendars and schedules

-Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers including but limited to:

  1. Identify the bevel on small needles
  2. Detect small bubbles in syringes, changes in skin color, and information on diagnostic test strips, measurement devices and recording equipment
  3. Pour or measure a prescribed quantity, including detecting fine lines related to fluid measurement in syringes
  4. Detect a fire in the patient/client care environment and observe patients/clients in a room from a distance of 20 feet away
  5. Detect foul odors of bodily fluids, spoiled foods or smoke from burning materials
  6. Detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope and detect audible alarms generated by mechanical systems such as those that monitor bodily functions, fire alarms, and call bells
  7. Communicate with patients/clients 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
  8. Detect changes in skin temperature and unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices
  9. Detect anatomical abnormalities, such as subcutaneous crepitus, edema, infiltrated fluids and feel vibrations such as an arterial pulse.


Behavioral Standard

Students must have the ability to:

-Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments including but not limited to the ability to maintain effective, mature, and sensitive relationships with others, as well as examine and modify one’s own behavior when it interferes with others or the learning environment

-Demonstrate attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility, tolerance

-Exercise judgment

-Carry out classroom and clinical practicum assignments for a particular point in the program within the time allotted, work effectively under stress, and adapt to rapidly changing environments in the classroom and in the clinical practicum setting.

-Accept accountability for actions that result in errors or accidents in the classroom, clinical lab or in the practicum setting,

-Deal appropriately and effectively with interpersonal conflicts that arise, as well as  maintain effective and harmonious relationships with instructors, peers, patients, and members of the healthcare team.




Grading policies, class schedules and course objectives will be presented in each class, typically through the syllabus. Please direct questions regarding these policies to the appropriate faculty member or the Program Director. Courses will be graded in accordance with the grading guidelines as outlined in the class syllabus. To maintain enrollment, students must maintain an overall grade of 75% in each core MA class each term, a 75% average on exams in each core MA class each term, and a 75% average on lab check-offs by passing them 75% of skills check-offs on the first attempt each term.  Students must successfully complete 100% of all required psychomotor and affective competencies specified by CAAHEP. 

 Students must pass a drug calculation competency exam with a 90% prior to entrance into practicum (by the end of winter term).  Students will have two chances to pass the drug calculation exam.  Students who do not pass the exam will not be able to continue into subsequent MA classes.

 Students re-entering program classes, must restart at the beginning of the program to demonstrate continuing competency in key skills prior to entering practicum, even if it means repeating classes. Students must have the program director’s permission to re-enter program classes.  Students who have reason to believe that they may not be able to pass a program class are encouraged to discuss dropping from program classes as early as possible.  This limits the need to repeat more classes than necessary.  Students need to be aware that a poor completion rate and taking an excessive number of credits to complete their certificate can affect their eligibility for financial aid.

 Students must maintain an overall 2.0 GPA and a “C” grade or better in all required courses to complete the certificate.

 Core MA classes must be taken in sequence in the designated terms. Core courses are the Clinical and Administrative Medical Assisting courses, designated by the letters “MA” before the course number (example: MA 110): 


Note: Course numbers may be subject to change.



Prerequisite classes:

  • Prerequisite classes:

◦MTH 95 Intermediate Algebra or higher [4 credits]

◦AH 111 Medical Terminology I [3 credits]

◦AH 112 Medical Terminology II [3 credits]

◦BI 121 Human Anatomy and Function I [4 credits]

◦BI 122 Human Anatomy and Function II  [4 credits]

*BI 231, BI 232 and BI 233 can be substituted for BI 121 and BI 122

◦CIS 120 Computer Concepts or computer competency test [0-4 credits]

◦AH 113 Introduction to Study of Disease [5 credits]

◦WR 121 English Composition [4 credits]

◦SP 218 Interpersonal Communication [3 credits]

Students who have already completed SP111 and a course meeting the human relations requirement may be able to substitute these classes for SP218.  See the Program Director for details.

◦CIS 10 Computer Keyboarding or competency test[1 credit] (note: may be taken prior to entry or at any time during the program)


  • Program classes: MA core classes are taken together and sequentially after students have registered for the Medical Assistant Program.


◦MA 110 Introduction to Clinical Medical Assisting  [7 credits]

◦MA 111 Introduction to Professional Medical Assisting [5 credits]

◦MA 150 Pharmacology for Medical Assistants [3 credits]



◦MA 120 Clinical Medical Assisting II [7 credits]

◦MA 121 Administrative Medical Assisting [5 credits]

◦MA 140 *Nutrition, CPR and First Aid for Medical Assistants [3 credits]



◦MA 137 Application of Professional Medical Assisting [4 credits]

◦MA 147 Medical Assistant Practicum I [5 credits]

(note: when adequate clinical placements are not available, practicum may run into other terms)




To drop or withdraw from the Medical Assistant Program must complete the process for dropping a class according to COCC policy.  Students who stop attending without completing the drop process will receive a grade for that course which will typically be an “F”.  The grade will be a permanent part of the student’s academic record and the student will owe all tuition and fees





  • Does the student familiarize themselves with each course syllabi, the student handbook, policy and procedure manuals or facility materials in order to understand program or facility expectations
  • Does the student accept responsibility for arranging adequate time to complete the reading, review, practice and class attendance needed to meet program expectations
  • Does the student create a schedule of due dates and accept responsibility for managing time to complete tasks as assigned
  • Does the student take responsibility for asking questions necessary to understand instructions, schedules and assignments
  • Does the student request assistance in a timely fashion that demonstrates respect for instructor obligations and time constraints
  • Does the student accept responsibility for updating knowledge through current, evidence-based resources
  • Does the student take responsibility for consulting technical support resources necessary to utilize computer and online tools utilized in courses
  • Does the student manage transportation and outside obligations in a way that allows them to meet program or facility expectations
  • Does the student accept feedback and penalties for late. missed or inadequate assignments with a professional attitude of accountability
  • Does the student comply with improvement or action plans


Confidentiality and Safety

  • Is the student’s behavior consistent with the professional obligation to protect patient confidentiality and privacy
  • Is student’s behavior consistent with professional guidelines for safety and infection control
  • Does the student demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge when responding to or working with patients
  • Does the student ask questions of the practicum site team when necessary to assure accuracy of information supplied to the patient
  • Does the student ask questions of the practicum site team when necessary to assure safe patient care
  • Does the student present to the lab and the practicum site physically and mentally able to perform safely when providing patient care.

Due Dates and Alacrity

  • Is the student able to track assignment due dates and turn in assignments on time
  • Does the student turn in required elements for practicum participation on time
  • Does the student plan ahead in order to complete program elements and assignments on time
  • Does the student practice skills in order to be able to perform his/her functions with sufficient speed based on the level of experience
  • Does the student come to class having completed reading and practice needed to follow discussions and complete skills without disrupting flow



Punctuality, Participation  and Attendance

  • Is the student ready to participate in practicum or class at the appointed time
  • Does the student fulfill the entire work, class or lab shift and break when appropriate
  • Does the student notify the supervisor or instructor in case of absence or delay
  • Does the student participate in class respectfully and without disruptive behavior
  • Does the student accept feedback and penalties for absences or tardiness with a professional attitude of accountability
  • Does the student take responsibility for altering factors interfering with punctuality, participation or attendance

Appearance and Grooming

  • Does the student appear for duty or lab in appropriate uniform, neat and well groomed
  • Does the student bring required equipment to class and lab
  • Does the student have his/her student identification when participating in practicum

Ability to Follow Instructions

Ability to Follow Instructions and Learn from Verbal Instruction or Demonstrations

  • Does the student listen quietly and carefully when instructions are given
  • Does the student take notes regarding instructions when appropriate
  • Is the student able to demonstrate skills and behavior consistent with instructions
  • Does the student take steps to retain knowledge and skill consistent with instruction


  • Does the student seek clarification when needed to complete task
  • Does the student seek clarification in a specific and respectful manner
  • Does the student seek clarification in appropriate environments at appropriate times

Ability to Accept Feedback

Response to Instruction and Feedback

  • Can the student accept constructive criticism without becoming defensive
  • Can the student integrate feedback to improve performance
  • Is the student willing to accept supervision from licensed personnel
  • Is the student willing to accept the limitations of their scope of practice
  • Is the student willing to perform within a hierarchical team setting
  • Does the student approach point loss or grading standards specified in syllabi with a professional attitude



  • Does the student maintain a positive attitude
  • Does the student accept change and/or assignments willingly


  • Does the student demonstrate a willingness and ability to interact with co-workers effectively and pleasantly?
  • Does the student show respect for fellow students, faculty, staff and facilities in verbal and written communication


  • Does the student demonstrate initiative to undertake new or additional duties?
  • Does the student notice things that need to be done and begin to do them without need for specific direction (within the limitations of training and team role)?

Social Perceptiveness

Rapport with Patient

  • Does the student demonstrate a mature and understanding demeanor with the patient
  • Does the student demonstrate the ability to put the patient at ease
  • Does the student treat the patient with dignity and respect
  • Is the student responsiveness to patient inquiry

Rapport with Staff, Instructors and Fellow Students

  • Is the student self-aware regarding behaviors that imply disrespect or create conflict
  • Is the student able to take instruction and moderate behaviors that create conflict within a team or hierarchical environment



Because the Medical Assisting Program is a competency based program it is imperative that students participate in class and labs. After more than 20% of absences in a term from  required labs (optional practice labs), for any reason, students will be subject to dismissal from the program. After missing more than 20% of lectures for any reason, students will be subject to dismissal as well.  Attendance will contribute to the overall grade in all core or most of the MA classes, so students should be aware of the need to arrange work or personal obligations to attend classes and labs.



Professional behavior is expected from students during lectures, labs, clinical practicums and any time the student is representing COCC or the program. As representatives of the program, students will be expected to dress in professional attire and speak in a professional manner when going on field trips, entering clinical settings or referring to facilities for any reason.

 To eliminate inadvertent disclosure of confidential information, discretion should be used at all time as to when and where privileged information is discussed. Specifically, students should not:

- post any patient information on social media websites even when not using the patient’s name.

- post information about office staff or physicians, even if they are not identified by name. This information may become public and cause damage to the individual or the medical facility.


Similarly, students should be careful about hallway or elevator conversations involving patients, physicians and staff. These are areas where breaches of confidentiality may occur. Additionally, lab or lecture may involve discussion of sensitive topics or situations involving class or community members.  As a result, pictures and recordings are not allowed, and students are advised to use the same discretion when utilizing social media as with patients. Violations can result in dismissal from the program.




Physical contact between instructors and students, students and students, students and clients in the classroom, clinical lab and in the practicum setting, is an inherent part of the Medical Assistant Program. Students will practice most skills on each other in the clinical lab.  These skills include invasive procedures such as injections and blood draws, and include procedures involving the chest, heart, lungs, throat, arms, digits, hips and thighs.  Students who do are not be able to participate to the extent required by the course may not be able to complete the program and are encouraged to consider other educational options.



After completing the required program coursework and requirements, students will begin their practicum experience. Students will must complete a minimum of 160-hour of practicum for program completion. The purpose of the clinical practicum is to apply the clinical, administrative and general knowledge gained during the formal coursework. Satisfactory performance during the practicum is as important as student achievement in the classroom/lab setting for completion of the program.


Practicum: Student Evaluation

 The clinical experience is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. A Pass grade is required for student to successfully complete the program. Evaluation of the student in the off-campus clinical setting is based on the preceptor’s (clinical supervisor/mentor) assessment of the student’s performance.

Competencies given priority in off-campus clinical evaluation are: safety, asepsis, organization, communication, confidentiality, professionalism, clinical procedures, patient care, front office procedures and the ability to work as an affective team member.

Contact will be maintained with the student and the site members throughout the practicum. A summary evaluation conference will be held at the end of practicum completion to determine whether the student has met the practicum objectives with a “satisfactory” rating which results in a passing grade for the term. If it appears, during practicum, that standards are not being met, faculty and the facility preceptor will develop a plan to address the inadequacy whenever possible. Unresolved issues or inability to find alternative sites to host the student will result in a failing clinical grade, failure of the course and inability to complete the program.  Additionally, behaviors during the practicum that indicate a serious breach of standards in regards to safety, professionalism or competency, including requests by a practicum site for removal of  a student, can result in dismissal from the program.


Practicum:  Responsibilities of Central Oregon Community College

 To maintain contact with the practicum site administration, physicians and preceptors for regular and urgent/emergent correspondence throughout the student(s) clinical placement

  • To assume full responsibility for the Medical Assisting Program planning and execution
  • To abide by the rules of the practicum site and enforce those rules with student placed at the sites
  • To work with the student(s) and the site to schedule student assignments
  • To cover non-paid student(s) with Worker’s Compensation, liability and malpractice insurance under Central Oregon Community College Policies
  • To search for sites expressing a genuine interest in the program and the student’s educational experience
  • To ensure student does not replace a regular employee and that the practicum is a supervised, unpaid learning experience
  • To locate sites that adhere to accepted standards of infection control and occupational safety
  • To locate sites that allow the student to participate in clinical and administrative duties within the confines of the care and procedures rendered by the specific practice/facility
  • To locate sites willing to observe, direct, supervise and evaluate the student
  • To work with sites to address problems, concerns or issues the physician/staff believe warrant discussion (whether positive or negative in nature) as soon as possible
  • To assist the student and COCC program personnel in plan development to correct inadequacies when possible


Practicum: Responsibility of the Medical Assistant Student

 To conduct himself/herself in a professional manner and reflect a positive image

  • To understand that they are representing COCC, the program and the facility they are in at all times
  • To be prompt and present for all clinical assignments and call the supervisor at the practicum site if an absence is necessary
  • To be available when practicum sites and hours are available and to understand that additional practicum hours may not be available (resulting in inability to complete the program) if assigned practicum hours are missed
  • To make up all time missed due to an absence at the convenience of the facility when make-up sessions can be arranged
  • To arrive in the proper attire and with their student identification
  • To honor and protect the patient right to privacy and confidentiality
  • To make the most of their clinical assignment and to be open to learning new and different procedures and protocols
  • To maintain a current and accurate record of practicum hours
  • To adhere to all COCC and Medical Assisting Program regulations during the clinical practicum
  • To adhere to the requirement that the clinical practicum is not to be a paid position
  • To alert the COCC director(s) of any problems, concerns or issues the student believes warrant discussion (whether positive or negative in nature) as soon as possible
  • To assist the practicum preceptor and COCC program personnel in plan development to correct inadequacies whenever possible
  • To maintain contact with the COCC directors during the practicum experience
  • To understand that students may not arrange alternative clinical hours or placements without the knowledge  and approval of the practicum coordinator
  • To adhere to all safety standards, infection control standards and occupational safety standards
  • To alert both the supervisor at the clinic and the COCC director(s) if any accident or blood borne pathogen exposure incident.
  • To comply with the policy that no psychomotor and affective domain objectives are performed in practicum prior to demonstration of competency in classroom or lab
  • To comply with OSHA regulations concerning use of personal protective equipment, biohazard disposal and other hazardous material/chemicals.




Students will be asked to sign a detailed dress code.  This section contains a summary of  requirements.  Uniforms consist of the lab coat  plus scrubs as specified by the program or practicum site.  Shoes are to be clean with flat non-skid soles. No open toed shoes are allowed. Hose or socks must be worn at all times. Students must adhere to the program and facility dress codes.

 Good grooming and hygiene are an important part of professional behaviors.  Student must maintain a well turned out, clean and fresh appearance at all times. This includes oral hygiene. Smokers must take particular care to prevent offensive breath and body odors.

 Hair must be clean and kept back from the face.

  • Hands must be clean; finger nails short and clean
  • Modest jewelry is acceptable. Visible body jewelry is not permitted. Students may wear nude or clear plugs to maintain piercings.
  • No perfume, heavy makeup or highly scented creams, lotions, hair spray, etc.
  • No gum-chewing while on duty.

*Note- Students will sign a more detailed dress code during their first term. Individual practicum sites may have their own dress codes which students are required to follow.



The goal in healthcare is to prevent all accidents and transmission of disease. Unfortunately accidents and injury can and do occur. In the event of accident or injury, it is imperative to respond quickly and safely. Report all accidents and/or injury to the practicum site preceptor/supervisor and the COCC instructor immediately. Students must file an incident report for any of the following:


  • Physical accident or injury incurred by the student
  • Physical accident or injury incurred by a co-worker when the student is involved
  • Physical accident or injury incurred by the patient or someone accompanying the patient
  • Damage to property of any kind


If injured contact Office of Risk Management: Human Resources can assist the injured student to fill out the Report of Job Injury or Illness; Form 801 and the Form 801 Cover Sheet.

Sharla Andresen: Risk Management /Contracts Director

Newberry Hall, Room 117

Phone: 541-383-7208



The health care provider rendering care to the student should be informed that the injury is job related and to send the appropriate form(s) to SAIF Corporation.



Students are not covered by medical insurance while on campus or involved in college classes and activities. Students are responsible for their own medical and dental insurance coverage.



Due to the rapidly changing nature of health care and associated costs and the variety of formats for purchasing books, the following are only estimates.

Cost of Program

In addition to tuition and college fees for 70-78 credits at the current rate (includes prerequisites), the estimated costs for students to complete the entire program are:

  • Stethoscope $30
  • Blood pressure cuff $20
  • Uniform  and watch with second hand  $60
  • Books average $700-1000
  • Course and lab packets $50
  • Lab fees approximately $ 665-765
  • Immunizations & titers $0-685*
  • Criminal history/background check $65
  • Urine drug screen $45
  • Immunizations tracking $10
  • Tracking Fee for Students Rotating Through St Charles $36.50

*may be covered by insurance or free to low-income students