Clinical Medical Assisting


Clinical Medical Assisting

Interested in a job in healthcare? Clinical medical assisting may be for you. Medical assistants work alongside doctors, and usually work in outpatient medical offices and clinics.

To become a Clinical Medical Assistant, you will take 3 semesters of classes and complete 160 hours of clinical practicum – typically while working in a doctor’s office. When you finish the program, you will be eligible for the state certification exam. 

About the Program

Prerequisites to Apply

Before you enter the program, you will need to complete the following classes: 

  • HSCI 0003: Medical Terminology (3 units)
  • BUS 0250, IT 0010 or CIS 0050
  • HED 0002: Health Education (3 units)
  • BIOL 0055: General Human Anatomy and Physiology (4 units) or Biology 0005: Human Anatomy and Biology 0006: Human Physiology

Program Requirements

These are the essential functions required of ALL medical assisting students:

Motor Capability

  1. Move from room to room and maneuver in small places.
  2. Transfer patients who may require physical assistance.
  3. Guard and assist patients with ambulation.
  4. Lift and carry 20-30 pounds.
  5. Squat, bend/stoop, reach above shoulder level, kneel, use standing balance and climb stairs.
  6. Use hands repetitively; use manual dexterity.
  7. Adjust, apply and clean therapeutic equipment.
  8. Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  9. Travel to and from academic and clinical sites.
  10. In the average clinical day, students sit 1-2 hours, stand 6-7 hours and travel 1-2 hours.

Sensory Capability

  1. Coordinate verbal and manual instruction.
  2. Assess a client 10 feet away to observe a client’s posture and respond to treatment.
  3. Respond to a timer, alarm or cries for help.
  4. Monitor vital signs.
  5. Hearing, visual and tactile ability sufficient to assess patient status and perform treatments. Examples: color changes in skin, hear heart or lung sounds.

Communication Ability

  1. Communicate effectively in English with patients, families and other health care providers, both verbally and in writing. Examples: explain treatment procedures, teach patient and families, and document in medical records.
  2. Effectively adapt communication for intended audience.
  3. Interact, establish rapport with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
  4. Assume the role of a health care team member.
  5. Function effectively under supervision.

Problem Solving Ability

  1. Function effectively under stress.
  2. Test taking within predefined time constraints.
  3. Respond appropriately to emergencies.
  4. Adhere to infection control procedures.
  5. Demonstrate problem-solving skills in client care (measure, calculate, reason, prioritize and synthesize data).
  6. Use sound judgment and safety precautions.
  7. Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time.
  8. Organize and prioritize tasks.
  9. Follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings.

Medical Assistant Skills

To be a medical assistant, you should:

  • Have great verbal and written communication skills (bilingual desired)
  • Work well both independently and in a team
  • Follow directions, multi-task and observe details well
  • Be comfortable using a computer
  • Have strong math skills

Medical Assistant Training

Graduates receive administrative and clinical training in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to:

Administrative Duties 

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Answering phones
  • Greeting patients
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and lab services
  • Coding and filling out insurance forms

Clinical Duties

  • Taking and recording vital signs and medical histories
  • Preparing patients for exams
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Collecting blood and other lab specimens
  • Assisting the doctor during exams
  • Drawing blood
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings

Academic Plan for Medical Assistant

The plan shows all the courses you need to take to complete your goal from start to finish. Map your education by clicking on the Academic Plan for the certificate you’re interested in earning below.

Medical Assisting—Certificate of Achievement

Term 1

Prerequisites must be successfully completed and student must be ENGL 0001A eligible prior to beginning the Medical Assisting program.

Course Units
HSCI 0003 3
BUS 0250 3
BIOL 0055 4
HED 0002 3
Term 2
Course Units
ALH 0001 2.5
ALH 0002 2.5
ALH 0003 2.5
ALH 0004 3
Total 10.5
Term 3
Course Units
ALH 0005 3
ALH 0006 3
ALH 0007 3
ALH 0008 3
Total 12
Term 4
Course Units
ALH 0009 3
Total 3