Allied Health Education

Your pathway to caring for others

Allied Health Education

High-Demand & Diverse Career Track

Allied Health Education

Your pathway to caring for others

Healthcare is the second fastest growing industry in the United States with opportunities in direct patient care and support occupations. Whether you are looking to enter the healthcare field or supplement your current skills, we have designed our programs to meet your needs.

Program Catalog Information

Program Options

The Allied Health Education (AHE) designation includes all courses required for certificates offered in Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding Specialist, and Pharmacy Technician. A two-year Medical Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) is available. Our focus is to offer entry-and intermediate-level healthcare career options and to provide a stepping stone into other healthcare professions. The educational goal is to provide quality programs that will give students the skills and knowledge needed to provide quality care for diverse patient populations.

America needs more healthcare workers. Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and the list of high demand occupations continues in the healthcare field. The aging population, new medical technologies, and changes in the way healthcare is and will be delivered in the future are opening doors for people who want to train for a job that pays well and gives them a chance to help other people.

Degree Paths

Medical Assistant, AAS

Certificate Options

Dental Assisting Bridge Certificate
Dental Foundations Certificate
Medical Assistant Certificate
Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Certificate
Pharmacy Technician Certificate
Veterinary Assistant Certificate
Veterinary Fundamentals Certificate

Program Courses

Courses List

Allied Health Education

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Veterinary Assistant

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Graduates of the Medical Assistant program will be able to:
Knowledge (Cognitive):

  • Demonstrate the application of foundational core curriculum to clinical and administrative practices.
  • Accurately relate law and ethics as it applies to the medical assisting scope of practice and patient care.

Psychomotor (Skills):

  • Perform clinical and administrative skills with a high degree of accuracy and consistency.
  • Demonstrate the ability to anticipate and prioritize workflow given varied patient scenarios and clinical situations.

Affective (Behaviors):

  • Recognize the needs of diverse patient populations, demonstrate cultural competence and appropriate communication methods to facilitate excellent patient care.
  • Model the qualities of valued healthcare team professionals including timeliness, reliability, integrity, interpersonal and communication skills.

Graduates of the Pharmacy Technician program will:

  • Possess the knowledge needed to analyze the Top 200 most prescribed drugs to include their brand and generic names, therapeutic class, use, dosage forms, dosing, pregnancy category, and patient information labeling.
  • Create patient profiles, prescription order entry, & fill prescriptions with acceptable speed and accuracy.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of IV preparation and aseptic techniques.
  • Use appropriate medical language to effectively communicate with members of the healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills needed to prioritize, anticipate and analyze problems, and to evaluate and implement solutions.
  • Accurately apply mathematical principles required in the preparation and distribution of drugs.
  • Communicate respectfully and professionally with co-workers, health care professionals, customers, patients, and their families.
  • Use effective written and oral communication and listening skills in interactions with a diverse patient population.
  • Understand and practice the professional work habits expected in a Pharmacy setting, including confidentiality and ethical practices.
  • Practice within the professional and legal parameters for the role of a Pharmacy Technician.
  • Possess a commitment to diversity and enhanced employability through the understanding and practice of human relations, teamwork, and patient service skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to research employment opportunities, prepare an effective employment package, including resume, and present oneself positively in a job interview.
  • Identify and access professional organizations and continuing educational resources.
  • Apply for a Pharmacy Technician License from the Washington State Board of Pharmacy.
  • Identify the required information to successfully complete the required National Certification Exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
  • Have knowledge of current Washington State Law as it applies to pharmacy.

Learn from Experienced Healthcare Professionals

Our instructors, experienced health care professionals, will guide you through classroom and laboratory activities to learn about the health care environment, personal skills to make you successful in the health care workplace, and the specific skills required in your chosen profession. Our affiliations with local health care facilities will enable you to obtain the clinical hands-on experience to hone your skills in the health care environment.

Why Skagit Valley College?

  • State of the art science and health occupations training facility
    (Laura Angst Hall).
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health
    Education Programs.
  • A variety of program specialties with multiple degree and certificate options.
  • All programs include hands-on training and clinical simulation.
  • Meets the requirements of Washington State’s Healthcare Assistant Law.
  • Exceptionally high scoring on American Association of Medical Assistants
    National Certification Exam.
  • Flexible class schedules for working professionals.
  • Clinical experiences in a variety of health care settings provide students with real world experience and create employment networks.
  • Student graduates are prepared to take national industry recognized certification exams.

Program Entry

Please apply to the Admissions Office and attend a program information session. Admission and registration guidelines are listed in the catalog and on the college website. Some degrees/certificates and some key courses are only offered during specific quarters of the year. Students should contact the Allied Health Department Chair or a counselor for help preparing their course schedules. It is strongly recommended that students entering any of the AHE program options be able to read, write, and compute at the college level and have basic keyboarding skills.

Program Entry Guidelines

Prerequisite Courses May Be Required

Prerequisite courses in the structure and function of the human body, basic medical terminology, computers skills and HIV/AIDS and CPR for Healthcare Professionals may be required for admission to some programs. Please consult the individual program planning sheets or an adviser for more information.

Background Check and Drug Screening

All students entering health care programs must pass a multi-state, multi-zip code criminal background check as well as a drug/illegal substance screening. This requirement is based on medical industry standards and Washington State laws protecting vulnerable populations (RCW 43.43.880 and 43.43.842).  Drug screens and background checks are required by clinical agencies where students complete their practicum experience. Students should be aware that certain gross misdemeanors and felonies may disqualify them from participating in practicum and unable to complete their certificate or degree program. Future employment opportunities in the healthcare field may also be affected. Students will complete the background check and drug screening process when enrolled in AHE 100 (AHE 130 for Pharmacy students). Students who are unable to pass these screenings will be removed from the program.


Medical facilities require immunizations for all personnel who interface with patients. Students participating in practicum experiences require the same immunizations. The immunization cost is the responsibility of the student. Immunizations must be completed before registering for certain courses or applying for a practicum. The following are required for participation in most Health Care programs – students will be advised which immunizations (if any) are required for their particular program:

  • Negative TB test or chest X-ray (1 every 12 months)
  • Tetanus/diphtheria vaccination (within last 10 years)
  • 2 MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccination or positive titer
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (series of 3 immunizations)

Additional immunizations may be required if recommended by instructor or required by practicum placement:

  • Flu Vaccine
  • Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap)
  • Varicella Vaccine
  • Rabies Vaccine (Veterinary Assistant program only)

Occupational Exposure

Students planning to enter any of the healthcare professions are advised that as a health care provider they are at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Tasks and procedures performed by the healthcare professional involve risks classified by the Center for Disease Control in the following way:

  • Category I – Direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids to which universal precautions apply.
  • Category II – Activities performed without blood exposure but exposure may occur in emergencies.
  • Category III – Task/activity does not entail predictable or unpredictable exposure to blood.

Practicum Experiences

Students enrolled in the Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and Phlebotomy programs are required to complete a practicum experience.  Practicum experiences are at local healthcare facilities which may involve travel to various regions of Skagit, Whatcom, Snohomish, and Island counties. All students accepted into the practicum experience must have reliable transportation. All practicum experiences will be under the supervision of personnel at the medical facilities. Students will not be allowed to choose their practicum site. The department chair selects the facilities used for practicum sites and places qualified students.

Placement Rate

Skagit Valley College’s Medical Assistant program has a 100% employer satisfaction rate with an 89% pass rate of students who take a national exam.

Placement and Completion Data

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