2012-2013 Student Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2012-2013 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Assistant, AAS

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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
  • 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 procedures and office technology. 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, clinical laboratory techniques, phlebotomy, medical ethics, OSHA regulations, patient communication, basic EKG, medical terminology and patient care.

Office technology course work focuses on medical office procedures, billing, insurance coding, communication, typing, machine transcription and information processing.

Graduates are qualified for a career involving entry-level clinical and 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.

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 (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB), 35 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Ill. 60601, (312) 553-9355.

Admission and Curriculum Change Requirements

Students admitted in September and January.

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 semester.

All applicants must meet the following admissions requirements:

  1. High school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). 
  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 Goals and Objectives

  • To graduate quality students into the field of medical assistants.
  • To graduate entry-level professionals into the field of medical assistants.
  • To prepare students in administrative, clinical and trans-disciplinary areas of medical assistants through competency-based educational assessment.
  • 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 Association for Health Professionals Certification (N.H.P.) exams in: Certified Medical Assistant, Administrative Health Assistant, ECG Technician, Phlebotomy Technician and Coding Specialist.

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 for Administrative, Clinical and Transdisciplinary Competencies. (See the Medical Assistant Handbook available from the program coordinator in the Life Sciences Division)

Program Requirements (MEDA)

  1. A total of at least 68 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 19 credit hours to include:
    MED 101 - OSHA/CLIA Regulations 
    MED 102 - Patient Communication 
    MED 103L - Phlebotomy Lab 
    MED 104L - Basic ECG for Medical Assistants 
    MED 134 - Medical Terminology 
    MED 162 - Basic Patient Care II 
    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. Business: A minimum of 20 credit hours to include:
    OFT 121 - Professional Keyboarding I **+
    OFT 132 - Medical Records Management 
    OFT 139 - Medical Office Communications 
    OFT 153 - Medical Office Procedures 
    OFT 159 - Business English +
    OFT 164 - Medical Transcription 
  5. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2 credit hours to include:
    HED 214 - Advanced First Aid and CPR 
  6. Humanities: A minimum of 6 credit hours to include:
    ENG 101 - Writing I *
    ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature 
  7. Social Sciences: A minimum of 3 credit hours to include:
    PSY 110 - Introduction to Psychology 


Typical Program


* Dependent upon the fulfillment of Academic Foundations requirements.

** Advanced placement in keyboarding is determined by a review and evaluation of high school and/or transfer records of the student by Office Technology faculty. A placement test may be required. Students who are advanced placed into OFT 159 (from OFT 121) due to waiver or testing are still required to take an additional three (3) credit hours in order to fulfill the 68 credit hours necessary to graduate.

+ To challenge this course, a student must initiate the process with the coordinator of Office Technology no later than the end of the first week of classes.

Scholarship Opportunities

All matriculated students in this curriculum are eligible for scholarships. See scholarship  area of this catalog or contact the NCCC Scholarship Office located in the Administration complex, Room A-114, (716) 614-6205, for specific information and criteria.

Additional Costs

Students must purchase a uniform, name tag, profession-specific equipment and, for OFT 164, a headset. Detailed information can be obtained by contacting the program coordinator in the Division Office at 614-6410.

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