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Medical Assisting Certificate

This program is offered at Clark State's Springfield location.

Medical Assistants perform clinical and administrative tasks in physicians and other health practitioners' offices and outpatient facilities. Specific duties vary from office to office depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. Administrative duties include answering telephones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments and laboratory services, updating and filing patients' medical records, filling out insurance forms, and handling billing and bookkeeping. Clinical duties include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining procedures to patients, preparing patients for and assisting the physician during examinations, collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, sterilizing medical instruments, instructing patients on medications and special diets, preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, and changing dressings.

The primary goal of the Medical Assisting Certificate program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Completion of this certificate will provide the student with the administrative and clinical skills needed for entry-level positions as a medical assistant. Students can fully apply this one-year certificate toward the completion of the Medical Assisting Associate Degree.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Medical Assisting Certificate, a graduate will be able to:

  • Coordinate and facilitate patient care throughout the ambulatory care setting.
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and members of the health care team.
  • Perform clerical functions necessary to maintain medical office appointments, transcription, and medical records.
  • Apply basic billing, collection, insurance, coding, and manage care guidelines needed to maintain office bookkeeping.
  • Collect, transport, and process specimens.
  • Obtain vital signs.
  • Perform, assist, and follow up on diagnostic tests and procedures.
  • Instruct patients regarding health maintenance and disease prevention.
  • Apply legal and ethical concepts.
  • Apply privacy and confidentiality practices.

Scholastic Preparation and Requirements

Students must petition online (apply) for admission to the program. To be eligible to petition to the Medical Assisting program, students must have:

  • A minimum COMPASS reading score of 70. If the student does not obtain a 70, he/she is required to take and pass with a grade of C or better, the appropriate college preparatory course (CPE 0100 and/or CPE 0200).  Students are excused from taking the COMPASS reading test if they have taken the ACT or SAT exam within the last three years and received a reading score of greater than or equal to 21 on the ACT and 450 on the SAT.
  • A minimum COMPASS writing score of 70. If the student does not obtain a 70, he/she is required to take and pass with a grade of C or better, the appropriate college preparatory course (CPE 0300 and/or CPE 0400). Students are excused from taking the COMPASS writing test if they have taken the ACT or SAT exam within the last three years and received a writing score of greater than or equal to 18 on the ACT and 420 on the SAT.
  • Students are excused from taking the reading and writing placement tests if they have obtained a C or better in a college-level Enlgish course.
  • A minimum COMPASS score of 47 on the Pre-algebra and 24 on the Developmental Algebra tests. If the student does not obtain the required scores, he/she must take and pass with a grade of C or better the appropriate college preparatory course (CPE 0500).
  • Students are excused from taking the math/algebra placement test if they have taken the ACT or SAT exam within the last three years and received math scores of greater than or equal to 22 on the ACT and 520 on the math portion of the SAT or have taken and received a C or better in a college-level math course within the past ten years.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or greater in the required courses in the curriculum.

Students who have met the petition requirements and submitted a petition are eligible to start the the Medical Assisting program's technical (MAS) course sequence. Students must contact the Medical Assisting Program Coordinator for academic advising and approval to enroll in the MAS courses. Students must maintain an overall C or 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for the courses in the Medical Assisting curriculum in order to be enrolled in MAS courses.

In order to progress through the program, students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 and a grade of C or better in BIO 1105 and all MAS and MST courses.  Admitted students who drop out must complete and submit a request for reinstatement into the MAS courses.  Students must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and may be required to retake technical courses that are more than one to two years old to be considered for reinstatement.

Technical Requirements

All students accepted into the Medical Assisting program must be able to perform the essential functions of the medical assistant with or without reasonable accommodations. These essential functions are linked to this program page on the College's web site and are also provided to students via the Medical Assisting Student Handbook. Students are required to sign a form indicating they have reviewed these requirements and submit it to the Medical Assisting Program Coordinator when they enter the program. 

Health and Directed Practice Requirements
All Medical Assisting certificate students will complete 200 hours of directed practice at the end of the certificate program.  The directed practice course hours are only available during the daytime hours.

All Medical Assisting students must meet health requirements, obtain a criminal background check, and have current Basic Life Support (BLS)/professional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification prior to entering the directed practice course.  Other requirements may be necessary depending on clinical site placement. All students are strongly encouraged to complete Hepatitis B immunizations prior to their second semester in the Medical Assisting program.

Liability Insurance
Students will be billed for liability insurance for the directed practice courses.

Graduation Requirements
Student must pass all the required courses, have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and must have a C as a minimum grade in BIO 1105 and all MAS and MST courses.

Certification
The Medical Assisting Certificate program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756; phone 727-210-2350; FAX 727-210 2354; www.caahep.org. Therefore graduates of the program are eligible to take a national certification exam to obtain either their Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assisting (RMA) certification credential.

Curriculum
The program schedule that follows is designed for full-time students who have completed all prerequisites and who have no college preparatory recommendations.  Many individuals, especially part-time students and those taking college preparatory requirements, will require additional semesters of study.  Students should consult their academic advisors for help in planning their schedules.

Course Title Credits
Fall
BIO 1105 Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology 3
ENG 1111 English I 3
MAS 1103 Medical Administrative Office I 2
MAS 1104 Exam Room Procedures I 2
MST 1101 Introduction to Health Care 3
MST 1105 Medical Terminology 2
MST 1160 Phlebotomy 2
MST 1161 Phlebotomy Lab 1
 
Spring
PSY 1111 Introduction to Psychology 3
MAS 1105 Medical Administrative Office II 3
MAS 1106 Exam Room Procedures II 3
MAS 1115 Laboratory Procedures for the Medical Office 2
MAS 1112 Pharmacology for the Medical Office 3
MST 1171 Introduction to Electrocardiography 2
 
Summer
MAS 1117 Medical Assisting Directed Practice 2
MAS 1118 Clinical Perspectives Seminar 1
MAS 2100 Medical Assisting Certification Review 2
 
  Total Credit Hours 39