Medical Assisting

2016-17 Edition

Cascade Campus
Technology Education Building (TEB), Room 103

Career and Program Description

Those training in the Medical Assisting Program will find occupations involved within various aspects of health care in clinics and physicians’ offices. The medical assistant performs a variety of clinical and administrative duties. Clinical duties may include: assisting physicians and preparing patients for examinations; taking and recording vital signs and medical histories; performing venipuncture, spirometry, and electrocardiograms; and preparing, administering, and documenting medications; collecting and processing specimens. Administrative duties may include: scheduling and receiving patients; maintaining medical records; handling telephone calls; corresponding authorizations and reports; and insurance and billing matters.

The program curriculum is based on the Patient Centered Model Home (PCMH). Students will understand the importance of a personal clinician to the health of individual patients and the population as a whole; recognize the importance of patient centeredness in successful healthcare outcomes; recognize the importance of continuous quality improvement, using evidence based results to develop best practices for patient care by way of measuring data using proper metrics; and understand the importance of information systems to the functionality of the patient centered medical home; and demonstrate appropriate leadership skills.

Students are prepared to function under the supervision of a licensed provider. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for Medical Assistants Education. Graduates are eligible to take the national certifying examination given through the American Association of Medical Assistants. Individuals who have been found guilty of a felony or pleaded guilty to a felony may not be eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistants Examination (CMA-AAMA). However, the certifying board may grant a waiver based on mitigating circumstances. See the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) CMA Examination application for specifics.

Students may enter the program either in the Fall or Spring Terms. Students must receive a “C” or better in all programs required courses. The program is designed to correlate classroom and laboratory experience with practical experience in health care facilities.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

One-Year Certificate

Medical Assisting

Admission Prerequisites

Academic Prerequisites

  • Completion with a grade of "C" or "P" better in the following:  WR 121, MTH 60, BI 121, and MP 111.
  • This is a limited entry program. Complete a Medical Assisting program application including recommendation forms and transcripts from all colleges attended other than PCC.

Other Prerequisites

  • Students must demonstrate a working knowledge and/or background of basic computer skills including Windows, keyboarding, Internet, and e-mail. Students who are not able to demonstrate a working knowledge and/or background will be required to take a course(s) prior to admission
  • Once conditionally admitted, students must attend a program orientation.
  • Once formally admitted, students will be required to complete various state and program requirements such as a criminal background check, immunizations and drug screening. Contact the department office for more information.
  • Once formally admitted, students are strongly encouraged to meet with a Medical Assisting Program advisor.

Program Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • None

Other Requirements

  • Students must have transportation to clinical facilities throughout the Portland Metropolitan area and surrounding communities.

Medical Assisting One-Year Certificate

Minimum 49 credits. Students must meet all certificate requirements.

Course of Study

The coursework listed below is required. The following is an example of a term-by-term breakdown.

First TermCredits
BI 122Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology II4
HE 113First Aid&CPR/AED Professional Rescuers/HealthCare Providers1
MA 112Medical Office Assistant Seminar I1
MA 117§Medical Office Administrative Procedures4
MA 118§Medical Office Administrative Procedures (Lab)2
MA 120Introduction to Clinical Phlebotomy1
MA 180Coding and Reimbursement2
PSY 101§Psychology and Human Relations4
Second Term
MA 122Medical Office Assistant Seminar II1
MA 123§Medical Office Clinical Procedures4
MA 124§Medical Office Clinical Procedures (Lab)2
MA 136Medications2
MLT 100Medical Office Laboratory Orientation3
MP 150Introduction to Electronic Health Records3
Third Term
MA 131Introduction to Medical Science5
MA 132Medical Office Assistant Seminar III1
MA 270Clinical Practicum6
MP 140Introduction to Health Law and Ethics3
 Total Credits: 49

Course cannot be substituted with another course.

MA 112. Medical Office Assistant Seminar I. 1 Credit.

The study of the health care delivery systems, medical office management, interpersonal communications; and coordination of directed practice which includes a review for the national credential examination.

MA 117. Medical Office Administrative Procedures. 4 Credits.

Covers medical reception room techniques. Includes appointment scheduling, telephone techniques, mail handling, financial record keeping, accounts receivable and payable, insurance, office care and management, and medical records management. Prerequisite/concurrent: MA 118.

MA 118. Medical Office Administrative Procedures (Lab). 2 Credits.

Practice and demonstrate proficiency in the procedures listed under MA 117.

MA 120. Introduction to Clinical Phlebotomy. 1 Credit.

Introduces basic venipuncture and skin puncture techniques as well as proper specimen-handling procedures as dictated by the Clinical and Laboratory Institute Standards (CLSI). Prepares and trains to function as an internal member of the ambulatory clinical lab care setting. Department permission required.

MA 122. Medical Office Assistant Seminar II. 1 Credit.

The study of the health care delivery systems, medical office management, interpersonal communications; and coordination of directed practice which includes a review for the national credential examination.

MA 123. Medical Office Clinical Procedures. 4 Credits.

Introduces principles and applications of patient centered medical home model. Covers provider-patient relationships, and professional communication and behavior. Includes patient preparation and care, managing diagnostic testing, and immunization training and forecasting. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Medical Assisting Program. Corequisite: MA 124.

MA 124. Medical Office Clinical Procedures (Lab). 2 Credits.

Practice and demonstrate proficiency in the procedures in MA 123. Concurrent enrollment in MA 123.

MA 131. Introduction to Medical Science. 5 Credits.

Covers concepts of disease processes as they relate to the normal physiology of the major body systems. Prerequisites: Admission to the Medical Assistant program.

MA 132. Medical Office Assistant Seminar III. 1 Credit.

Covers health care delivery systems, medical office management, interpersonal communications, and coordination of directed practice which includes a review for the national credential examination. Requires admission to the Medical Assisting program.

MA 136. Medications. 2 Credits.

Covers appropriate drug uses, effects, dangers, and precautions; routes of administration, dilutions and calculations, management and control. Reviews common prescription abbreviations, forms of medications and basic drug categories. Prerequisites: MA Program admission or instructor permission.

MA 180. Coding and Reimbursement. 2 Credits.

Introduces coding and reimbursement systems for physician offices and medical clinics.

MA 270. Clinical Practicum. 6 Credits.

Practice administrative skills and clinical skills in a medical clinic/physician office setting. Department permission required.