Medical Assisting

Home/Programs/Health Science/Medical Assisting

The Medical Assisting curriculum prepares multi-skilled health care professionals qualified to perform administrative, clinical, and laboratory procedures.

Course work includes instruction in scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, computer operations; assisting with examinations/treatments, performing routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration; and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care.

Graduates of CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting programs may be eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants' Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants. Employment opportunities include physicians' offices, health maintenance organizations, health departments, and hospitals.

A goal of the Medical Assisting A.A.S. program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

The Wilkes Community College Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Learning Outcomes

  • Display professionalism by projecting a positive attitude, working as a team member, and showing initiative and responsibility.
  • Practice in a legal and ethical manner upholding the five high principles of the AAMA’s Code of Ethics.
  • Demonstrate competence and quality reasoning in the performance of administrative duties as outlined in the AAMA’s DACUM for entry-level medical assistants.
  • Demonstrate competence and quality reasoning in the performance of clinical skills as outlined in the AAMA’s DACUM for entry-level medical assistants.
  • Demonstrate competency in general business, administrative, and clinical areas on the certified medical assistant national examination (AAMA).

Program Outcomes

Below are the Wilkes Community College Medical Assisting Program Outcomes as reported to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board for the 2020 Annual Report:

  • The Medical Assisting program at Wilkes Community College has a retention rate of 75% for the admission cohort that entered in 2018. There are several support services available to students so that they can complete the program.
  • The Medical Assisting program at Wilkes Community College has a job placement rate of 93.3% for the 2018 graduates.
  • The Medical Assisting program at Wilkes Community College has an exam passage rate of 66.67% for the 2018 graduates.

Job Outlook

Annual demand for Medical/Clinical Assistant in our service area is currently 258 job openings. This is expected to increase by 0.52% in the next year.

Contact Information

Image of Erica Harper
Erica Harper, CMA(AAMA),MA,LCMHC,LCAS
Director-Medical Assisting and Human Services Technology
Phone: 336-838-6523
esharper121@wilkescc.edu

Pathways

Course Requirements

    First Year - Fall Semester
    • ACA 115 Success & Study Skills

      This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

    • BIO 163 Basic Anat & Physiology

      This course provides a basic study of the structure and function of the human body. Topics include a basic study of the body systems as well as an introduction to homeostasis, cells, tissues, nutrition, acid-base balance, and electrolytes. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology and their interrelationships.

    • MED 110 Orientation to Med Assist

      This course covers the history of medicine and the role of the medical assistant in the health care setting. Emphasis is placed on professionalism, communication, attitude, behaviors, and duties in the medical environment. Upon completion, students should be able to project a positive attitude and promote the profession of medical assisting.

    • MED 118 Medical Law and Ethics

      This course covers legal relationships of physicians and patients, contractual agreements, professional liability, malpractice, medical practice acts, informed consent, and bioethical issues. Emphasis is placed on legal terms, professional attitudes, and the principles and basic concepts of ethics and laws involved in providing medical services. Upon completion, students should be able to meet the legal and ethical responsibilities of a multi-skilled health professional.

    • MED 121 Medical Terminology I

      This course introduces prefixes, suffixes, and word roots used in the language of medicine. Topics include medical vocabulary and the terms that relate to the anatomy, physiology, pathological conditions, and treatment of selected systems. Upon completion, students should be able to pronounce, spell, and define medical terms as related to selected body systems and their pathological disorders.

    • MED 130 Admin Office Proc I

      This course introduces medical office administrative procedures. Topics include appointment processing, written and oral communications, medical records, patient orientation, and safety. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic administrative skills within the medical environment.

    • MED 140 Exam Room Procedures I

      This course provides instruction in clinical examining room procedures. Topics include asepsis, infection control, assisting with exams and treatment, patient education, preparation and administration of medications, EKG, vital signs, and medical emergencies. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in exam room procedures.

    First Year - Spring Semester
    • ENG 111 Writing and Inquiry

      This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.

    • MED 122 Medical Terminology II

      This course is the second in a series of medical terminology courses. Topics include medical vocabulary and the terms that relate to the anatomy, physiology, pathological conditions, and treatment of selected systems. Upon completion, students should be able to pronounce, spell, and define medical terms as related to selected body systems and their pathological disorders.

    • MED 131 Admin Office Proc II

      This course provides medical office procedures in both economic and management skills. Topics include physical plant maintenance, equipment and supplies, liability coverage, medical economics, and introductory insurance procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to manage the economics of the medical office and supervise personnel.

    • MED 150 Laboratory Procedures I

      This course provides instruction in basic lab techniques used by the medical assistant. Topics include lab safety, quality control, collecting and processing specimens, performing selective tests, phlebotomy, screening and follow-up of test results, and OSHA/CLIA regulations. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic lab tests/skills based on course topics.

    • MED 240 Exam Room Procedures II

      This course is designed to expand and build upon skills presented in MED 140. Emphasis is placed on advanced exam room procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate enhanced competence in selected exam room procedures.

    Second Year - Fall Semester
    • ENG 112 Writing/Research in the Disc

      This course, the second in a series of two, introduces research techniques, documentation styles, and writing strategies. Emphasis is placed on analyzing information and ideas and incorporating research findings into documented writing and research projects. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources using documentation appropriate to various disciplines.

    • HUM 115 Critical Thinking

      This course introduces the use of critical thinking skills in the context of human conflict. Emphasis is placed on evaluating information, problem solving, approaching cross-cultural perspectives, and resolving controversies and dilemmas. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate orally and in writing the use of critical thinking skills in the analysis of appropriate texts.

    • MAT 110 Math Measurement & Literacy

      This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy using technology to solve problems for non-math intensive programs. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; financial literacy; and statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and charting of data. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the use of mathematics and technology to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

    • MED 230 Admin Office Proc III

      This course provides advanced medical office administrative procedures. Emphasis is placed on management skills including personnel supervision, practice management, public relations, and insurance coding. Upon completion, students should be able to exhibit advanced managerial medical assisting skills.

    • MED 232 Medical Insurance Coding

      This course is designed to develop coding skills. Emphasis is placed on advanced diagnostic and procedural coding in the outpatient facility. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in coding for reimbursement.

    • PSY 150 General Psychology

      This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

    Second Year - Spring Semester
    • BUS 121 Business Math

      This course covers fundamental mathematical operations and their application to business problems. Topics include payroll, pricing, interest and discount, commission, taxes, and other pertinent uses of mathematics in the field of business. Upon completion, students should be able to apply mathematical concepts to business.

    • MED 260 MED Clinical Practicum

      This course provides the opportunity to apply clinical, laboratory, and administrative skills in a medical facility. Emphasis is placed on enhancing competence in clinical and administrative skills necessary for comprehensive patient care and strengthening professional communications and interactions. Upon completion, students should be able to function as an entry-level health care professional.

    • MED 262 Clinical Perspectives

      This course is designed to explore personal and occupational responsibilities of the practicing medical assistant. Emphasis is placed on problems encountered during externships and development of problem-solving skills. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate courteous and diplomatic behavior when solving problems in the medical facility.

    • MED 264 Med Assisting Overview

      This course provides an overview of the complete medical assisting curriculum. Emphasis is placed on all facets of medical assisting pertinent to administrative, laboratory, and clinical procedures performed in the medical environment. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in the areas covered on the national certification examination for medical assistants.

    • MED 270 Symptomatology

      This course covers the study of disease symptoms and the appropriate actions taken by medical assistants in a medical facility in relation to these symptoms. Emphasis is placed on interviewing skills and appropriate triage, preparing patients for procedures, and screening test results. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize how certain symptoms relate to specific diseases, recognize emergency situations, and take appropriate actions.

    Course Requirements

      Fall Semester
      • ACA 115 Success & Study Skills

        This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

      • BIO 163 Basic Anat & Physiology

        This course provides a basic study of the structure and function of the human body. Topics include a basic study of the body systems as well as an introduction to homeostasis, cells, tissues, nutrition, acid-base balance, and electrolytes. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology and their interrelationships.

      • MED 110 Orientation to Med Assist

        This course covers the history of medicine and the role of the medical assistant in the health care setting. Emphasis is placed on professionalism, communication, attitude, behaviors, and duties in the medical environment. Upon completion, students should be able to project a positive attitude and promote the profession of medical assisting.

      • MED 118 Medical Law and Ethics

        This course covers legal relationships of physicians and patients, contractual agreements, professional liability, malpractice, medical practice acts, informed consent, and bioethical issues. Emphasis is placed on legal terms, professional attitudes, and the principles and basic concepts of ethics and laws involved in providing medical services. Upon completion, students should be able to meet the legal and ethical responsibilities of a multi-skilled health professional.

      • MED 121 Medical Terminology I

        This course introduces prefixes, suffixes, and word roots used in the language of medicine. Topics include medical vocabulary and the terms that relate to the anatomy, physiology, pathological conditions, and treatment of selected systems. Upon completion, students should be able to pronounce, spell, and define medical terms as related to selected body systems and their pathological disorders.

      • MED 130 Admin Office Proc I

        This course introduces medical office administrative procedures. Topics include appointment processing, written and oral communications, medical records, patient orientation, and safety. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic administrative skills within the medical environment.

      • MED 140 Exam Room Procedures I

        This course provides instruction in clinical examining room procedures. Topics include asepsis, infection control, assisting with exams and treatment, patient education, preparation and administration of medications, EKG, vital signs, and medical emergencies. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in exam room procedures.

      Spring Semester
      • ENG 111 Writing and Inquiry

        This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.

      • MED 122 Medical Terminology II

        This course is the second in a series of medical terminology courses. Topics include medical vocabulary and the terms that relate to the anatomy, physiology, pathological conditions, and treatment of selected systems. Upon completion, students should be able to pronounce, spell, and define medical terms as related to selected body systems and their pathological disorders.

      • MED 131 Admin Office Proc II

        This course provides medical office procedures in both economic and management skills. Topics include physical plant maintenance, equipment and supplies, liability coverage, medical economics, and introductory insurance procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to manage the economics of the medical office and supervise personnel.

      • MED 150 Laboratory Procedures I

        This course provides instruction in basic lab techniques used by the medical assistant. Topics include lab safety, quality control, collecting and processing specimens, performing selective tests, phlebotomy, screening and follow-up of test results, and OSHA/CLIA regulations. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic lab tests/skills based on course topics.

      • MED 240 Exam Room Procedures II

        This course is designed to expand and build upon skills presented in MED 140. Emphasis is placed on advanced exam room procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate enhanced competence in selected exam room procedures.

      Summer Term
      • MED 260 MED Clinical Practicum

        This course provides the opportunity to apply clinical, laboratory, and administrative skills in a medical facility. Emphasis is placed on enhancing competence in clinical and administrative skills necessary for comprehensive patient care and strengthening professional communications and interactions. Upon completion, students should be able to function as an entry-level health care professional.

      • MED 262 Clinical Perspectives

        This course is designed to explore personal and occupational responsibilities of the practicing medical assistant. Emphasis is placed on problems encountered during externships and development of problem-solving skills. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate courteous and diplomatic behavior when solving problems in the medical facility.

      • MED 264 Med Assisting Overview

        This course provides an overview of the complete medical assisting curriculum. Emphasis is placed on all facets of medical assisting pertinent to administrative, laboratory, and clinical procedures performed in the medical environment. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in the areas covered on the national certification examination for medical assistants.

      • PSY 150 General Psychology

        This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

      Technical Standards

      The Medical Assisting program technical standards have been developed to inform students of the nonacademic essential functions of the program and profession. Examples are not all inclusive.

      Standard Essential Function Examples
      Communication
      Oral / Written
      • Skills sufficient to communicate information and ideas so others will understand
      • Skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
      • Document relevant patient information (manual or via computer) using correct terminology and spelling
      • Interpret doctor’s orders
      • Record patient responses to treatments
      • Establish rapport with patients, families, and other health care providers
      Mobility / Motor Skills
      • Motor skills sufficient to move the hands and use hands to grasp or manipulate objects
      • Mobility sufficient to perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving the whole body
      • Utilize instruments with patients
      • Maneuver in confined spaces
      • Physical activities may include:
        • Bending
        • Stooping
        • Lifting
        • Reaching
      Physical Strength and Stamina
      • Ability to stand for extended periods of time
      • Ability sufficient to lift and carry up to 30 pounds
      • Stand and walk up to 8-hour shifts
      • Lift and move equipment
      Sensory

      • Sight
      • Sound
      • Taste
      • Touch
      • Smell
      • Visual skills sufficient to see details at close range and manipulate equipment
      • Listening skills sufficient to communicate with others
      • Identify various sounds
      • Ability to touch and locate anatomy on patients to perform physical assessments
      • Ability to tolerate various odors
      • Observe patient responses to treatment
      • Hear equipment/emergency alarms, call bell, or call for help
      • Listen to heart, lung, and blood pressure sounds
      • Feel for pulse
      • Work with patients with poor hygiene
      Environmental / Occupational Exposure
      • Exposure to communicable and infectious diseases, secretions, blood, and bodily fluids
      • Exposure to environmental hazards
      • Possible exposure to X-ray radiation
      • Ability to work under high stress situations and respond promptly
      • Possible exposure to HIV, hepatitis, etc.
      • Exposure to X-ray radiation, medicinal preparations, latex, and toxic substances
      • Respond appropriately in emergency to maintain patient safety and care
      Field or Industry Professional Standards
      • Criminal background check
      • CPR certification

      Disability Services Statement

      Wilkes Community College is an ADA compliant institution. WCC does not discriminate based on a disability in the admissions process or in access to its programs, services, and/or activities for qualified individuals who meet eligibility requirements. WCC will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities who are eligible to receive or participate in college programs, services, and/or activities. If a student believes that he/she cannot meet one or more of a program’s essential functions without accommodations, the student is encouraged to disclose this to Disability Services as soon as possible.

      2+2 Information

      A 2+2* agreement is an opportunity for students to complete their Associate's degree at Wilkes Community College and then transfer into a specified program at a partnering four-year institution for their Bachelor's degree. Wilkes Community College has the following 2+2 agreements for our Medical Assisting graduates:

      * The 2+2 model is the proposed timeframe, but may be subject to change.

      Enroll in Medical Assisting