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2008-2010 Catalog 
2008-2010 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Office Assistant, A.A.S.

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Degree: Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS Code: 5214
Curriculum Code: 0602
Campus Location: North
Health Sciences Division

Pre-Admission Recommendations: Required 80% Average (High School), Biology, Keyboarding
Recommended High School Courses and/or Experiences:
Math I
Career Opportunities/Further Education: Physicians’ Office, Medical Health Care Facilities, Chiropractic Offices, Private Industry

Program Description

Rapid changes in health care delivery have increased the demand for competent medical assistants. Graduates of the Medical Office Assistant curriculum are prepared for employment in a variety of medical and health care settings. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner’s specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators.

Medical assistants perform administrative tasks which may include updating and filing patients’ medical records and filling out insurance forms. They also perform tasks less specific to medical settings, such as answering telephones, greeting patients, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments and handling billing and bookkeeping.

Medical assistants also perform clinical duties which may vary according to what is allowed by state law. Some common tasks include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, preparing patients for examinations and assisting physicians during examinations. Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens and sometimes perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies and sterilize medical instruments. They might draw blood, perform electrocardiograms, remove sutures and change dressings.

Medical assistants also may arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean.

The goal of this program is to produce graduates who possess the necessary knowledge of contemporary medical office practices and the skills to be an efficient medical office assistant. Through a series of specialized courses, laboratory work and practical field experience, students acquire the competencies and standards of proficiency which are required for certification by the American Association of Medical Assistants. The program also provides a broad base of information which allows graduates to successfully continue their education in a related medical field.

This curriculum includes a 24.5-credit hour core of liberal arts, social science and science courses chosen from the areas of anatomy/physiology, microbiology, social science and English. The remainder of the coursework has been designed to build clinical, administrative and secretarial skills. Lectures help students build a professional vocabulary of medical terminology and teach medical law and ethics for health care professionals, basic medical assisting theory and concepts. College laboratories are well-equipped with modern instrumentation to allow students extensive and varied training in a simulated office setting. Students learn clinical office assisting techniques and clinical diagnostic procedures on campus. Computers are used by the students in these laboratories for patient data recording and for retrieval of patient data. In office management and administration courses, computers are used for the word processing of written communications and for office billing procedures. Courses in medical transcription, medical coding and reimbursement provide additional useful skills. In the final semester, students participate in an off-campus supervised internship. Each student is assigned to an approved physician’s office for additional training for a minimum of 160 clock hours. Students shall not receive pay for the externship experience.

Upon successful program completion, graduates may apply to take the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) national certification examination. Graduates passing this Certified Medical Assistant examination may use the credential MOA, CMA.

Many graduates of the Medical Office Assistant program immediately assume positions as medical assistants in private doctors’ offices. Others work in various health care facilities. Graduates may continue their education for one additional semester at ECC in the Health Information Technology program and obtain a dual degree and credentials in the area of HIT. Students may then transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in HIT.

Admission Requirements

Applicants need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Recommended high school courses include mathematics, health, biology, typing, bookkeeping, computers and office skills. Applicants must have attained at least an 80 percent average in high school subjects, Volunteer experience in the health care field also is helpful.


  • All developmental, pre-requisites, co-requisites and MA courses may be repeated only once if a grade below “C” or “W” (Withdrawal) is received. MA courses are integrated and sequenced in a specific manner to enable students to attain program competencies. All required courses must be passed each semester in order to advance to the following semester.
  • Any two failures (grade below a “C”) or withdrawal (W) in any of the required MA courses will result in dismissal from the Medical Office Assisting program
  • Because of the critical nature of the profession, deviations from professional conduct may adversely affect the patient’s well being. Therefore, the department reserves the right to immediately remove the student from didactic, clinical procedures/laboratory and office externship work and/or dismiss that student from the program if the department determines that the student has acted in an unprofessional manner or if the student is unable to provide safe office practices.

Department Notes

  • Lab coats must be worn and all safety protocol followed in all clinical office courses
  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off-campus office externship sites utilized for medical office training
  • Students must carry student liability insurance

Graduation Requirements

  • Students must complete all MA courses within a four year limit
  • For graduation, students must have an overall QPA of 2.0 and a minimum grade of “C” in MA and OF courses

Graduates of the MOA Program are eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistant Certified Medical Assistant Board Examination.

Essential Functions

Medical assistants deal with the public; therefore, they must be neat, well groomed and have a courteous, pleasant manner and they must be able to put patients at ease and explain physicians’ instructions. They must respect the confidential nature of medical information. Clinical duties require a reasonable level of manual dexterity and visual acuity. Medical assistants may have to handle several responsibilities at once.


The Medical Office Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Sciences Education Programs (CAAHEP), on recommendation of the Curriculum Review Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Endowment (AAMAE) Committee on Accreditation for Medical Assistant Education.

AAMA and CAAHEP accreditation guidelines require that a procedure be established for determining that the applicants’ or students’ health will permit them to meet the technical standards of the program. In compliance with this provision, a pre-admission medical health examination is required of all applicants after acceptance to the program. Medical office affiliates require that this health information be current and on file before students are placed for their medical office internship experiences.

Health Science Report Form:
A pre-admission physical examination including an immunization report is required to be submitted, for any student in the Health Science Division, to ensure that matriculated students are in good physical and mental health and capable of completing the program requirements as well as providing immunization records. The immunization report strongly recommends that students entering the MOA program receive immunization against Hepatitis B. Students need to be tested annually for TB and should have a tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years. MOA students must be compliant with the college immunization requirements as well. The department requires that this specific health information be on file before students begin in core medical office coursework. The immunization record is required to be current in order for the student to participate in clinical rotations. The college reserves the right to deny progression in the MOA program when students have incomplete or unacceptable physical exam reports.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Office Assistant, the graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate good telephone techniques and skills
  • Act as receptionist and public relations liaison
  • Handle incoming and outgoing correspondence
  • Schedule appointments, meetings, surgeries and hospital admissions
  • Maintain patient records and files
  • Accurately complete insurance forms and reports
  • Maintain records of accounts receivable/payable
  • Handle emergencies
  • Assist physician with patient procedures
  • Participate in patient education
  • Demonstrate proper sterilization/disinfection techniques
  • Demonstrate skill in basic laboratory techniques
  • Perform administrative duties
  • Perform clinical duties
  • Maintain an inventory of medical supplies and office supplies
  • Use computer skills in performing administrative and clinical duties
  • Demonstrate behavior consistent with acceptable professional conduct standards, such as appearance, quality of work, quantity of work, human relation skills, leadership skills, written and verbal communications skills


Information regarding scholarships is on file in the MLT Department Office B613.


Total Degree Credits: 70.5

First Year, First Semester

Second Year, First Semester

Second Year, Second Semester


* Students will work under supervision in an approved physician’s office or health care facility as part of the course requirement.

NOTE: This is a recommended sequence. Many courses have prerequisites or co-requisites. Student should consult his/her academic adviser prior to registering.

In order to be granted an associate degree, a student must demonstrate proficiency in algebra at the level of MT 106.

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