2015-2016 Student Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Assistant, A.A.S.

Contact Information

Program Requirements

Typical Program

Degree/Certificate:   Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS Code:           5214
SUNY Code:            0574
Major Code:            MEDA

The Career

Medical assistants are multi-skilled allied healthcare professionals who perform a wide range of roles in physicians’ offices, clinics, hospitals, HMOs, medical insurance agencies and other healthcare settings. They are cross-trained and proficient in a multitude of administrative and clinical duties. Their versatility makes them employable and they are viewed by doctors as vital members of the healthcare delivery team.

The duties of medical assistants differ from office to office, depending, in part, on size. In smaller practices, medical assistants are usually “generalists.” They handle both administrative and clinical duties. In larger practices, medical assistants tend to be “specialists.”

Administrative Duties:

  • Answering phones
  • Greeting patients
  • Updating and filing patient medical records
  • Completing insurance forms
  • Preparing correspondence, scheduling appointments
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Handling billings and bookkeeping
  • Purchasing and maintaining supplies and equipment

Clinical Duties:

Although clinical duties vary according to state law, they generally include the following:

  • Taking and recording vital signs and medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • Assisting during the examination
  • Collecting and preparing lab specimens or performing basic lab tests
  • Disposing contaminated supplies
  • Sterilizing medical instruments
  • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
  • Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Authorizing drug refills as directed by the supervising physician
  • Telephoning in prescriptions to pharmacies
  • Drawing blood
  • Preparing patients for X-rays
  • Taking EKGs
  • Removing sutures
  • Changing dressings
  • Arranging examining room instruments and equipment

NCCC Approach

Because of the profession, course work consists of studies in clinical and administrative procedures. The student will complete an externship in medical offices or a healthcare facility. The student is responsible for transportation to the externship site.

Clinical course work focuses on Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physicians Office Laboratory Techniques, Phlebotomy, Medical Ethics, OSHA/CLIA Regulations, Patient Communication, Basic EKG, Medical Terminology and Patient Care.

Administrative course work focuses on Medical Office Procedures; Medical Coding, Billing and Insurance; Medical Office Communication; Introduction to Computer Applications in the Medical Office; Medical Records Management; Medical Informatics and Information Processing.

Graduates are qualified for a career involving entry-level clinical and administrative medical office procedures.

Certification in Basic Life Support is required prior to entering MED 137 and must remain current throughout the remainder of the program. This requirement must be fulfilled through successful completion of HED 214 or an equivalent program offered by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. If the Basic Life Support requirement is successfully completed through an equivalent American Red Cross or American Heart Association program, a minimum of 2 credit hours in Health/Physical Education is still required unless successfully challenged.

Policy procedures and competencies for the Medical Assistant program are available from the program coordinator.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the certification exam for Medical Assistant given by the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants). Passing this examination provides the medical assistant with the title CMA (certified medical assistant). Today, most employers are now requiring that graduates have the CMA title.  Students are required to complete 160 practicum hours in a health care setting.  This is an unpaid practicum.

The program is also approved by the National Association for Health Professionals and students are eligible for National Registry Certification in Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, EKG, Administrative Health Assistant and Coding Specialist.

The Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (http://www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB), 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL  33756, (727) 210-2350, http://www.maerb.org.

The program has been placed on Probationary Accreditation as of September 18, 2015.


Admission and Curriculum Change Requirements

Students admitted in fall, spring and summer.

Because of the sequencing of courses, it may take more than four semesters of full-time study if a student begins this program in a spring or summer semester.

All applicants must meet the following admissions requirements:

  1. High school diploma or equivalency diploma. 
  2. Final acceptance into the Medical Assistant program depends upon the student submitting and the Wellness Center approving the physical exam prior to the student entering MED 103L, Phlebotomy, and MED 137N, Medical Assistant Externship. Health records must remain current during this period of enrollment. The student is responsible for the costs associated with the physical examination report.
  3. In order to meet the objectives of the Medical Assistant program, certain essential technical standards must be met. These essential technical standards are available from the Wellness Center. The student must meet technical standards based on the results of the physical examination.
  4. Certification in Basic Life Support or CPR for professional rescuer is required prior to entering MED 137, Medical Assistant Externship, and must be current throughout the program.
  5. If college-level courses were completed prior to the student starting in the Medical Assistant program and these courses are to be used to fulfill degree requirements, a minimum program GPA of 2.0 is required.

Program Long-Range Goals

  • Graduate quality students into the field of medical assistants.
  • Graduate entry-level professionals into the field of medical assistants.
  • To prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  • To prepare students to take the Certified Medical Assistant (C.M.A.) exam and become a certified medical assistant, as per accreditation standards (American Association of Medical Assistants).
  • To prepare and provide students the opportunity to take the National Center for Competency Testing exams in: National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), National Certified ECG Technician (NCETS), National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) and National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA) exams.  NCCC serves as a testing center for the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

Student Learning Outcomes

The student will, upon completion of all courses, successfully complete all of the American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment Entry-Level Educational Competencies to prepare students in performance of psychomotor and effective domain in their practice as medical assistants.  Categories include anatomy and physiology, applied mathematics and applied microbiology/infection control for medical assistants through competency-based educational assessment. (See Medical Assistant Handbook available from the program coordinator in Nursing and Allied Health)

Program Requirements (MEDA)

  1. A total of at least 64-credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the degree.
  2. Medical Assistant: A minimum of 35-credit hours to include:
    MED 101 - OSHA/CLIA Regulations  
    MED 134  -  Medical Terminology 
    MED 261L - Basic Patient Care I Lab 
    MED 262L - Basic Patient Care II Lab 
    PHA 250 - General Pharmacology  
  3. Biology: A minimum of 18-credit hours to include:
    BIO 213  -  Human Anatomy and Physiology I *
    BIO 213L  -  Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab *
    BIO 214  -  Human Anatomy and Physiology II 
    BIO 214L  -  Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab II 
    BIO 221  -  Microbiology 
    BIO 240  -  Biotechniques 
  4. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2-credit hours to include:
    HED 214 - Advanced First Aid and CPR  
  5. Humanities: A minimum of 6-credit hours to include:
    ENG 101 - Writing I *
    ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature  
  6. Social Sciences: A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    PSY 110 - Introduction to Psychology  


Typical Program

Total Credit Hours: 17

Total Credit Hours: 14

Total Credit Hours: 18

Total Credit Hours: 15


* Dependent upon the fulfillment of Academic Foundations requirements.

**Externships are non-paid experiences.

F = offered fall semester

S = offered spring semester

SU = offered summer session

Additional Costs

Students must purchase a uniform, name tag and profession-specific equipment. Detailed information can be obtained by contacting the program coordinator in the Division Office at 614-6410.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students.  Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships . The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.