Medical Assistant

Your pathway to caring for others

Allied Health Education

High-Demand & Diverse Career Track

Medical Assistant

Your pathway to caring for others

Medical Assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically educated to work as a member of a health care team, performing a broad range of clinical and administrative tasks under the supervision of a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

Program Options

Program graduates assist health care professionals in many aspects of medical practice, including patient care management, administrative, and clinical procedures.  Students learn about the administrative duties of scheduling and receiving patients, preparing and maintaining medical records, performing basic secretarial skills and medical transcription, handling telephone calls, writing correspondence, serving as the liaison between the physician and other individuals, and managing practice finances. The clinical phase of the program is taught through intense training and hands-on application. Students learn to perform clinical duties, including asepsis and infection control, taking patient histories and vital signs, first aid and CPR, preparing patients for procedures, assisting the physician with examinations and treatments, collecting and processing specimens, performing selected diagnostic tests, administering injections, and preparing and administering medications as directed by the physician.  Primary employers for medical assistants include: ambulatory health care settings, extended health care facilities, public health agencies, schools medical schools, research institutes and medical insurance firms.

All students in the MA degree/certificate program take the same practicum training and administrative skill coursework. The estimated program length is based on full-time enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss sequencing and work out their individual schedule with a counselor or program advisor. Any developmental coursework a student may be required to complete may increase the program length. Neither the certificate nor the degree is intended for university transfer.

Degrees/Certificates Credits Estimated Program Length Admission Dates
Medical Assistant AAS 93 6 Quarters Fall and Winter Quarters
Medical Assistant Certificate 88 6 Quarters Fall and Winter Quarters

Degree Paths

Medical Assistant, AAS
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Certificate Options

Medical Assistant Certificate
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Program Courses

Course List
AHE 101 - Healthcare Interactions: D

AHE 101 - Healthcare Interactions: D

(3)
Self-awareness training. Receiving, organizing, prioritizing and transmitting effective and therapeutic communications with patients who have a variety of diagnoses. Development of team member and leadership skills. Discussion of death, dying and the grieving process of a variety of different cultures. See Allied Health department to apply and for permission code. Concurrent enrollment required in CSS 103.

AHE 102 - Basic Medical Terminology

AHE 102 - Basic Medical Terminology

(5)
Learning word parts of medical terms; word building and definitions; medical terms as related to each system of the human body. Correct spelling of medical terms and medical conditions is emphasized. Influence of different cultures on medical terms. None.

AHE 103 - Law, Ethics, and Professionalism in Healthcare

AHE 103 - Law, Ethics, and Professionalism in Healthcare

(5)
Legal and working relationships between medical personnel and patients; professional liability; intentional and unintentional torts; contracts; law of agency; informed consent; professional practice requirements; medical ethics; public duties and responsibilities; licenses and accreditation; workplace legalities; influence of cultural mores. Professionalism and image, goal setting, time management, and relationships between healthcare teams. Prerequisite: AHE 101, or concurrent enrollment, or department chair permission.

AHE 105 - Electronic Medical Documents and Administrative Procedures

AHE 105 - Electronic Medical Documents and Administrative Procedures

(6)
Learn about Electronic Medical Records (EMR), bookkeeping and basic accounting in todays medical office. Covers appointment scheduling, telephone practices, processing mail, downloading/uploading electronic medical records information, inventory, office insurance, ordering and maintenance of office equipment and supplies; banking, payroll, credit and collection; organizing a procedure manual, time-management techniques, and cultural differences concerning perception of time and expectation. Prerequisite: AHE 101, or concurrent enrollment; 30 wpm typing speed strongly recommended.

AHE 106 - Anatomy & Physiology

AHE 106 - Anatomy & Physiology

(6)
Study of the structure and function of the multiple systems of the human body. Study how the body systems are interdependent in maintaining homeostasis. Develop an understanding of how cultural influences may alter the external appearances and internal functioning of different populations. Significant virtual laboratory component required. Prerequisite: AHE 102 (or AHE 160 and 161) or equivalent with minimum C grade or department chair permission.

AHE 107 - Clinical Non-Sterile Procedures

AHE 107 - Clinical Non-Sterile Procedures

(6)
Definition and theory of medical asepsis; information on non-sterile procedures/tests, i.e. temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, electrocardiograms, audiograms, visual acuity, colorblindness, spirometry, height and weight, physical examinations, charting and documentation. Awareness of universal precautions to protect the patient and the healthcare professional. Discussion of cultural beliefs and expectations concerning health care interactions. Includes lab practice of selected non-sterile procedures. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 108 and department chair permission.

AHE 108 - Clinical Sterile Procedures

AHE 108 - Clinical Sterile Procedures

(6)
Theory of surgical asepsis and proper disposal of biohazardous and contaminated materials. Discussion of body mechanics and rehabilitative medicine. Principles of nutrition and diet therapy. Awareness of culture, ethnicity, and economics regarding patient compliance. Accurate charting and documentation principles. Includes lab practice of selected sterile procedures. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 107 and department chair permission.

AHE 109 - Medical Disease & Pathology

AHE 109 - Medical Disease & Pathology

(4)
Overview of the many diseases and conditions affecting the human body. Includes discussions of how cultural perceptions and influences affect medical disease and pathology. Disease prevention and lifestyle for health. Prerequisite: AHE 106 or equivalent with minimum C grade and department chair permission.

AHE 110 - Introduction to Medical Coding and Insurance

AHE 110 - Introduction to Medical Coding and Insurance

(5)
Use of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manuals to properly code and process government and private insurance forms. Other procedure/diagnosis coding systems include: Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS); and managed care referrals and pre-certifications. Prerequisite: AHE 102 (or AHE 160 and 161) and OFTEC 162 with minimum C grade, or department chair permission.

AHE 112 - Basic Pharmacology

AHE 112 - Basic Pharmacology

(5)
Introduction to drugs: sources, schedules, forms, uses and actions, side effects, adverse effects and classifications. Contributions of different cultures to drug therapy. Information regarding medication orders and prescriptions. Prerequisite: AHE 101, or concurrent enrollment, or dept. chair permission

AHE 113 - Introduction to Phlebotomy

AHE 113 - Introduction to Phlebotomy

(3)
Review government regulations concerning blood products. Perform venipunctures and capillary punctures. Perform selected blood tests. Discussion of cultural/religious beliefs concerning blood products. Prerequisite: AHE 108 with a grade of C or higher; and concurrent enrollment in AHE 114. Must provide documentation of first two injections of Hepatitis B vaccination series prior to registering for class.

AHE 114 - Microbiology/Medical Lab Procedures

AHE 114 - Microbiology/Medical Lab Procedures

(5)
Methods of collecting, processing, preparing, and preserving lab specimens. Discussion of government regulations and cultural beliefs concerning specimens. Urinalysis, pertinent hematology, immunology and microbiology tests and procedures are presented. Prerequisite: AHE 108 with a grade of C or higher; and concurrent enrollment in AHE 115. Must provide documentation of first two injections of Hepatitis B vaccination series prior to registering for class.

AHE 115 - Injection Therapy

AHE 115 - Injection Therapy

(4)
Procedures of oral administration of drugs. Familiarization with equipment and supplies for parenteral administration of medications. Theory and practice of reading the medication order, drawing up of medications and parenteral administration of medications, and theory of IV therapy. Cultural aspects of medication administration are discussed. Upon successful completion of AHE 115, each student must meet all requirements for practicum placement. Prerequisite: AHE 108 and AHE 118 with grade C or higher; and concurrent enrollment in AHE 114. Must provide documentation of first two injections of Hepatitis B vaccination series prior to registering for class.

AHE 116 - Medical Assistant Clinical Practicum

AHE 116 - Medical Assistant Clinical Practicum

(6)
Supervised practicum in an approved medical facility for medical assistant students. Application of knowledge learned in previous courses; experience to increase understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Interact with other health care professionals and patients to enhance the development of a professional demeanor. Prerequisite: Complete each course in the AHE certificate with a minimum C grade; have current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) card; have current First Aid card; have completed immunization requirements; present evidence of a current negative TB test; and submitted evidence of attending the required 7-hour AIDS prevention seminar. Must have permission/endorsement of the department chair to enroll. Concurrent enrollment in AHE 117 required.

AHE 117 - Medical Assistant Clinical Practicum Seminar

AHE 117 - Medical Assistant Clinical Practicum Seminar

(1)
Discussion and critical analysis of student experiences in their various practicum placements. Topics include legal concepts, professionalism, and aspects of culture and application of front office and clinical skills. Includes a community service project and sitting for the CMA (AAMA) exam. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 116.

AHE 118 - Drug Dosage Calculations

AHE 118 - Drug Dosage Calculations

(5)
Application of arithmetic skills and metric system to the calculating of ratios and percentages related to drug dosages. Prerequisite: MATH 96 (or college level math) with a C grade or better.

AHE 122 - Ambulatory Care Coding Procedures

AHE 122 - Ambulatory Care Coding Procedures

(6)
Application of professional skills in abstracting medical records and assigning appropriate ICD-10-CM, CPT-4 and HCPCS codes for data retrieval and claims processing in ambulatory healthcare settings. Prerequisite: AHE 106 and 110 with minimum C grade or department chair permission.

AHE 123 - Hospital Care Coding Procedures

AHE 123 - Hospital Care Coding Procedures

(5)
Application of professional skills in evaluating medical records for accuracy and completeness in the hospital health care setting. Covers assignment of correct code numbers to diagnoses and procedures for data retrieval and UB-04 claim form submission. Prerequisite: AHE 122 with minimum C grade or department chair permission.

AHE 128 - Introduction to Dental Clinic

AHE 128 - Introduction to Dental Clinic

(2)
Introduction to a variety of clinical responsibilities designed to enhance competence in performing dental assisting functions. Duties include assisting a RDH with operatory set up and post-op disinfection as well as gathering information through an observation format. Gain hands-on clinical experience in front office, clinical coordination, radiographic techniques, bitewing x-ray exposure, patient management, sterilization and disinfection procedures and maintaining equipment and operatory. Emphasis on professionalism and image, attitude and demeanor, appropriate communication skills, and functioning as a team member. None

AHE 130 - Orientation to Pharmacy Practice

AHE 130 - Orientation to Pharmacy Practice

(4)
Introduction and orientation to the influence that medication laws, standards and regulations have on pharmacy practice and the concept of quality assurance and its procedures. Focuses on the patient care continuum and the pharmacy technician’s role in its delivery with emphasis on the different roles of pharmacists and technicians. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 131 and 118; completion of AHE 102 (or AHE 160 and 161), AHE 112 and OBT 162 or higher with minimum C grade.

AHE 131 - Pharmacy Technician Terminology

AHE 131 - Pharmacy Technician Terminology

(3)
Emphasis on specific medical terminology and mathematics related to pharmacy. Focuses on how to interpret prescription or medication orders, including how to interpret medical abbreviations, terminology, pharmaceutical equations and solutions. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 130.

AHE 132 - Applied Pharmacology

AHE 132 - Applied Pharmacology

(5)
Use and side effects of prescription medications and alternative therapies commonly used to treat diseases affecting the various systems of the human body including psychiatric disorders. Prerequisite: AHE 130 and 131 with a minimum C grade; concurrent enrollment in AHE 133.

AHE 133 - Pharmacy Records Management

AHE 133 - Pharmacy Records Management

(4)
Purchasing pharmaceuticals, devices and supplies, including acquisition in emergency situations. Controlling inventory of medications, equipment, and devices according to an established plan. Introduction to the concept of troubleshooting, maintenance and repairing pharmacy equipment, devices and facilities. Use of various forms of technology for storing, accessing and recording pharmacy data. Includes specialized terminology, filing rules and systems, paper-based and electronic files management, records security, ethical concerns with emphasis on pharmaceutical practical records and applications; regulations regarding tracking and tracing drug shipments. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in AHE 132.

AHE 134 - Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs

AHE 134 - Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs

(2)
Covers medications available to patients without prescription, including herbal medications and supplements, cold/flu preparations, gastrointestinal preparations, topical products, etc. and conversion of legend drugs to OTC status. Prerequisite: AHE 132 and 133 with minimum C grade; concurrent enrollment in AHE 135.

AHE 135 - Community & Hospital Drug Dispensing/Management

AHE 135 - Community & Hospital Drug Dispensing/Management

(4)
Introduction to the role of pharmacy technicians in the community and hospital pharmacy setting. Filling orders under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Use of hospital based equipment for the processing of sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. Discussion and demonstration of sensitivity when working with a multicultural population. Prerequisite: AHE 132 and 133 with a minimum C grade; concurrent enrollment in AHE 134.

AHE 136 - Community Clinical Experience/Pharmacy Technician

AHE 136 - Community Clinical Experience/Pharmacy Technician

(3)
Practical experience in the role of a pharmacy technician in a community setting to integrate knowledge and enhance skills. Prerequisite: AHE 134 and 135 with minimum C grade; concurrent enrollment in AHE 137 and 138.

AHE 137 - Hospital Clinical Experience/Pharmacy Technician

AHE 137 - Hospital Clinical Experience/Pharmacy Technician

(3)
Practical experience in the role of a pharmacy technician in a hospital setting to integrate knowledge and enhance skills. Prerequisite: AHE 134 and 135 with minimum C grade, department chair or instructor approval, and concurrent enrollment in AHE 136 and 138.

AHE 138 - Pharmacy Technician Clinical Experience Seminar

AHE 138 - Pharmacy Technician Clinical Experience Seminar

(1)
Discussion and critical analysis of student experiences in their various clinical experience placements. Topics include legal concepts, professionalism, and aspects of culture and application of various pharmacy skills. Job search readiness including finding jobs, completing applications, developing effective resumes and interviewing skills. Prerequisite: Completion of AHE 134, 135, and 200 all with a minimum C grade.

AHE 160 - Medical Dialogue I

AHE 160 - Medical Dialogue I

(3)
Learning word parts of medical terms; word building and definitions; medical terms as related to each system of the human body. Correct spelling of medical terms and medical conditions is emphasized. Influence of different cultures on medical terms. (AHE 160 is equivalent to the first half of AHE 102) Prerequisite: AHE 101, or concurrent enrollment, or department chair permission.

AHE 161 - Medical Dialogue II

AHE 161 - Medical Dialogue II

(3)
Continuation of AHE 160 and the study of medical terminology word-building, pronunciation, and spelling. Includes discussions on how cultures may affect medical terms. (AHE 161 is equivalent to the last half of AHE 102). Prerequisite: completion of AHE 160 with a minimum C grade or department chair permission.

AHE 199 - Cooperative Education Experience

AHE 199 - Cooperative Education Experience

(1-5)
Supervised cooperative education relative to program course in Allied Health Education. Prerequisite: Department chair permission required.

AHE 200 - First Aid and Emergency Procedures

AHE 200 - First Aid and Emergency Procedures

(3)
Prepares students to recognize, respond, and manage First Aid, and CPR emergencies. Covers disaster preparedness training. First Aid, AHA Basic Life Support (BLS), and 7 hour HIV/AIDS prevention certificates are awarded after successful completion of this course. Prerequisite: AHE 101, or concurrent enrollment, or department chair permission.

Course List

 

Outcomes

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.
    Program Costs

    Program cost information available for Certificate Options only
    Medical Assistant

    Program Accreditation

    The Skagit Valley College Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). Skagit Valley College’s Medical Assistant program has a 5 year average of a 100% employer satisfaction rate with over 89% of our graduates passing the CMA (AAMA) national exam.

    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
    25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158
    Clearwater, FL 33763
    www.caahep.org

    Skagit Valley College’s Medical Assistant program has a 100% employer satisfaction rate with over 89% of our graduates passing the CMA (AAMA) national exam.

    Certification/Licensure Options

    Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant Certificate or AAS Degree program, graduates are eligible to take the national Certified Medical Assistant certification exam offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Upon satisfactory completion of the exam, graduates will be qualified to use the credentials of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA, AAMA). The CMA credentials are recognized nationally; however, each state mandates the scope of practice for Medical Assistants. In the State of Washington, you will be qualified to practice under Categories A, C and E of the Healthcare Assistant Act (RCW 18-135, WAC 246-826). Employers prefer to hire certified workers who have passed the national exam.

    American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
    20 N. Wacker Dr., Ste. 1575
    Chicago, IL 60606
    312.899.1500
    www.aama-ntl.org

    Program Entry

    Apply to the Admissions Office for an application to Skagit Valley College. Make an appointment to take your COMPASS Test. It is strongly recommended that candidates be a high school graduate or have passed the General Education Equivalency (GED) exam to enroll in the program. To be eligible to take the National Medical Assistant Certification Examination upon graduation, candidates must have a high school diploma or a GED. Students may enter this program during Fall and Spring Quarters only and attend classes on a part-time or full-time basis.

    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.

    Immunizations

    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)

    Background Check and Drug Screening

    All students must pass a multi-state, multi-zip code criminal back ground 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 practicums and unable to complete their certificate or degree program. Future employment opportunities in the health care field may also be affected. Students will complete the background check and drug screening process when enrolled in AHE 100. Students who are unable to pass these screenings will be removed from the program.

    Practicum Experiences

    The Medical Assistant program includes a required practicum experience. Practicum’s are at medical 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 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. Each student is evaluated for Practicum readiness according to the Allied Health Student Handbook guidelines (Student Evaluation section).

    View Allied Health Educaiton Practicum Requirement for more information.

    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.

    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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