According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the need for health care support workers to meet both short-term and long-term workforce needs is high. In Minnesota, the employment for medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2012. A medical assistant will have direct patient contact and work closely with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. Medical assistants are multi-skilled individuals who are able to competently perform clinical and laboratory duties including collecting medical histories, taking and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures, preparing patients for examinations and x-rays, administering medications, removing sutures, changing dressings, sterilizing medical instruments, preparing examining room equipment and instruments, assisting the physician during examinations, preparing laboratory specimens, drawing blood, and performing basic laboratory tests. They may also perform duties that include answering phones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, as well as other administrative duties.
The 44-credit Medical Assistant Program is designed to prepare students for career opportunities in the rapidly growing, high-demand field of health care support. Instruction is focused to enable graduates to perform clinical, laboratory, and administrative tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health care practitioners running smoothly.
Upon successful completion of all coursework and a 270 hour clinical internship during the summer session, students will be prepared to sit for the national AAMA certification exam to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) AAMA, or sit for the national AMT certification exam to become a registered medical assistant (RMA)
The Medical Asstistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), on the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). In addition, the program is also accredited by the American Medical Technologists.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
1. Interact with patients, families, physicians and healthcare teams in a respectful and caring manner
2. Apply administrative business and office procedures and implement medical documentation systems
3. Assist physicians and healthcare teams in clinical procedures related to examination and treatment
4. Effectively use quality assurance requirements in performing clinical and laboratory procedures
5. Perform common diagnostic procedures under a licensed healthcare provider ensuring patient comfort and safety
6. Demonstrate professional behaviors and attitudes consistent with delivery of safe, ethical, legal and compassionate patient care
Progression through the program is sequential. Admission start date is Fall semester. High school diploma or GED required. Healthcare Provider CPR is a prerequisite for this program. Students are encouraged to complete Medical Terminology (SECM 1360) during the Summer to reduce the credit load Fall semester. Please contact the Admissions Department on the Brainerd or Staples campus for information or to apply to the program.
Some courses within the program may be used as elective credits toward an associate degree.
Students may take a national certification exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant or Registered Medical Assistant.
Because the medical assistant is cross-trained in clinical, laboratory, and administrative duties, the occupation is in increasingly high demand as the population ages and the need for health care increases. Employment options are varied and can be found in clinics and hospitals, as well as other medical facilities.