Medical Assisting

2013-14 Edition

Cascade Campus
Student Services Building (SSB), Room 318

Career and Program Description

Those training in the Medical Assisting Program will find occupations involved with administrative and clinical 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; preparing, administering and documenting medications; collecting and processing specimens. Administrative duties may include: scheduling and receiving patients; maintaining medical records; handling telephone calls; correspondence and reports; insurance matters; office accounts; fees and collections.

Students are prepared to function under the supervision of a licensed physician. 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 Assistance Examination (CMA-AAMA). However, the certifying board may grant a waiver based on mitigating circumstances. See the American Association of Medical Assistance (AAMA) CMA Examination Application for specifics.

Students may enter the Medical Assistant program either in the fall or spring terms. Students must receive a C or better in all program 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

Prerequisites and Requirements

  1. High school completion or GED.
  2. Completion of WR 121, MTH 60, BI 121, and MP 111
  3. Students must demonstrate a working knowledge and/or background of basic computer skills including windows, keyboarding, Internet and e-mail. Students not able to demonstrate a working knowledge and/or background will be required to take a course(s) prior to admission.
  4. Students must meet with a Medical Assisting Program advisor prior to entry.
  5. Students must have transportation to clinical facilities throughout the Portland Metropolitan area and surrounding communities.
  6. Two statements of recommendation from a recent employer, or advisor.
  7. A criminal background check and drug screen. Contact the department office for more information.

Acceptance into the medical assisting program requires that students meet the Compass placement scores and demonstrate satisfactory English language ability through a written and oral interview assessment. Students also must have documentation of the following prior to the beginning of the third term: satisfactory physical examination, current immunizations, Mantoux Test, evidence of immunity to measles and evidence of initiating the immunization series to Hepatitis B or sign a waiver. Qualified applicants are accepted in the order in which the application process is completed. For more information call the department office.

Medical Assisting One-Year Certificate

Minimum 47 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.

Medical Assisting Certificate Credit Summary

Total Credits47

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 117Medical Office Administrative Procedures3
MA 118Medical Office Administrative Procedures (Lab)2
MA 120Introduction to Clinical Phlebotomy1
PSY 101Psychology and Human Relations4
Second Term
MA 122Medical Office Assistant Seminar II1
MA 123Medical Office Clinical Procedures3
MA 124Medical Office Clinical Procedures (Lab)2
MA 180Coding and Reimbursement2
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 136Medications2
MA 270Clinical Practicum6
MP 140Introduction to Health Law and Ethics3
 Total Credits: 47


MA 110. MA Pre-credentialing Seminar. 1 Credit.

MA 111. Medical Terminology. 3 Credits.

Covers prefixes, suffixes, root words, abbreviations, conditions, symptoms and procedure terms. Course taught by body systems. English communication skills necessary.

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. 3 Credits.

Covers medical reception room techniques, including appointment scheduling, telephone techniques, mail handling, financial records, accounting, accounts receivable and payable, insurance, office care and management, and medical records management.

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 121. Medical Legal Aspects. 2 Credits.

Introduces the legal system, emphasizing the doctrine of confidential communication, the relationship to the medical record and the disclosure of information. Includes the concepts of professional credentialing and responsibility, liability, and consents and moral issues.

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. 3 Credits.

Examination room techniques, assisting the physician with examinations, treatment and minor surgery. Covers methods of asepsis and sterilization and the proper care of equipment and supplies. Concurrent enrollment MA 124. Prerequisite: MA 111; BI 55 or BI 122 or BI 233; MTH22A and placement into RD 115 and WR 115.

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 125. Administrative Directed Practice. 2 Credits.

Develop proficiency in administrative duties and other office management tasks in a medical clinic/physician office setting. Department permission required.

MA 131. Introduction to Medical Science. 5 Credits.

Concepts of disease processes as they relate to the normal physiology of the major body systems. Course specifically designed for students currently enrolled in the Medical Assisting program.

MA 132. Medical Office Assistant Seminar III. 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 133. Clinical Directed Practice. 2 Credits.

Develop proficiency in identification and care of equipment, sterile technique and asepsis, diagnostic and examination procedures, therapy, surgery, medication (pharmacology and administration) and handling of medical emergencies in a medical clinic/physician office setting. Concurrent enrollment in MA 131 and MA 136. Department permission required. Prerequisite: MA 123, MA 124; MLT 100; MP104; HE 112.

MA 134. Health Record Transcription (Lab). 1 Credit.

Transcribe medical reports. A proficiency certificate is awarded to students who demonstrate satisfactory transcription speed, accuracy and quality of work. To successfully complete this course students must be able to keyboard 45 words per minute by touch. Prerequisites: MP 111; (BI 55 or BI 122 or BI 233).

MA 136. Medications. 2 Credits.

Covers appropriate drug uses, effects, dangers, and precautions; routes of administration, dilutions and calculations, management and control. Review common prescription abbreviations, forms of medications and basic drug categories.

MA 147. Specialty Directed Practice. 2 Credits.

Practice administrative skills, clinical skills or a combination of both in a medical clinic/physician office setting. Work two four-day, eight hour rotations and attend one six hour seminar at Portland Community College. Prerequisite: MA 125, MA 133, MA 134.

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.