Nov 30, 2021  
2021-2022 Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Catalog

Medical Assisting, A.A.S.


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Degree: Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS Code: 5214
Curriculum Code: 1967.MOA
Campus Location: North

Health Sciences Division

Pre-Admission Recommendations: Required 85% Average (High School), Biology, Keyboarding
Career Opportunities/Further Education: Physicians’ Offices and Medical Health Care Facilities

 

Program Description

The evolving landscape of healthcare delivery has increased the demand for competent, versatile Medical Assistants. Graduates of our Medical Assisting AAS degree program are prepared for employment in a variety of medical and healthcare settings.

The duties of Medical Assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the specialty of the practitioner. In small practices, Certified Medical Assistants perform both administrative and clinical duties and report directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those employed in larger practices tend to specialize in a specific area under the supervision of a department manager or administrator.

Medical Assistants perform administrative tasks which may include updating and filing patient 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 insurance reimbursement.

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, and change dressings. Medical Assistants also may arrange examining room instruments/equipment and purchase/maintain supplies and equipment.

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 Assistant. Through a series of specialized courses, laboratory work and practicum 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.

The curriculum includes a 22 credit hours of general education core courses in liberal arts, social science, and science courses: specifically, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Psychology, Mathematics and English. The remainder of the coursework has been designed to build clinical and administrative 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. Students also learn clinical office procedures, clinical skills, and laboratory skills in on-campus laboratories equipped with modern instrumentation to allow students extensive and varied training in a simulated office environment. Additionally, computer skills are stressed using a Microsoft Windows environment and the MEDENT medical practice management program. Students use these applications to record and retrieve simulated patient data, schedule appointments, create communication and correspondence to other healthcare personnel, and billing office procedures using proper ICD-10-CM and CPT codes.

Throughout their time in the Medical Assisting program at SUNY Erie Community College, students acquire the necessary cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domain standards to become effective entry-level Medical Assistants and, in their final semester, will have an opportunity to apply their knowledge, skills and abilities at an affiliated clinical site during a 160-hour, off-campus, supervised  Practicum externship experience. This unpaid Practicum Experience will bridge the gap between student and allied healthcare professional and provide an opportunity for practical clinical and administrative experience observing, performing and/or assisting with medical assisting procedures while interacting with other members of the healthcare team. The Medical Assisting Department is not responsible for re-assigning students due to absenteeism and/or non-compliance with Practicum site requirements.

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 CMA (AAMA). Many graduates of the Medical Assisting Program immediately assume positions as Medical Assistants in private physician offices. Others work in various healthcare facilities.

A career in Medical Assisting can provide personal fulfillment and build professional experience while working alongside physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and other medical assistants, doctors and nurses, they may take patient histories, get vital signs, draw blood, handle specimens, or perform diagnostic tests. Medical Assistants possess the necessary cognitive, psychomotor and affective knowledge, skills and abilities to perform a blend of clinical and administrative procedures and activities and become valued members of the allied heath team. Medical Assistants also schedule appointments, file medical records, and work with insurance companies. Medical Assistants work in numerous ambulatory healthcare settings including medical offices, medical billing and coding departments, and various areas of hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes and laboratories.

The Medical Assistant is an entry-level healthcare position and is of the few careers in the allied healthcare field that can provide traditional “9-5” hours and/or the flexibility to work around other life obligations. Once a Medical Assistant has gained experience, (s)he may use it as a bridge to other careers by focusing on the aspects that best suit them. Medical Assistants who prefer providing direct patient care may wish to pursue further education in nursing, while those who prefer the administrative aspects of this field may seek to advance their career in heath information technology, healthcare informatics and security, or as an office manager.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 23% increase in the employment of Medical Assistants from 2018 to 2028; this is much faster than the average anticipated growth rate for all other occupations. The growth of the aging population will continue to increase the demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more Medical Assistants to perform routine clinical and administrative duties, allowing physicians to see more patients.

Admission Requirements

Admission Criteria include:

  • High school degree or HSE (High School Equivalency)
  • Completion of all developmental English and math courses
  • Completion of BI 147 & BI 148 (or equivalent courses) within the past 5 years achieving a minimum grade of “C-“
  • Minimum college GPA of 2.5 within the last 5 years OR minimum grade of 85% final grade in high school general biology within the past 5 years  

Progression

Students must maintain a minimum grade of C in all Medical Assisting (MA) courses and a minimum grade of C- in all other required courses. If minimal grades are not attained or if the student has withdrawn (W) from the course, a second failure in a repeated course (a grade below a C in MA courses; or grade below a C- in all other required courses), or a second withdrawal (W) from that course will result in dismissal from the Medical Assisting Program. All courses may be repeated only once. 

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, laboratory and clinical course 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 laboratory practices.

Off-Campus Participation

This program requires students to participate in college sponsored off-site activities. According to SUNY policy #3200 (Admissions of Persons with Prior Felony Convictions), SUNY Erie must inquire if a student has a prior felony conviction before the student can participate in any college sponsored off-site activity. Screening may be completed at tinyurl.com/ErieBoxedOut.

Note: Failure to complete this screening will affect the completion of the Medical Assisting program and a felony conviction may impede a student from completing degree requirements, such as the Practicum Experience component required for degree completion and the ability to sit for the CMA (AAMA) examination.

Department Notes

  • Lab coats must be worn and all safety protocol followed in all clinical and laboratory courses.
  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off-campus clinical sites assigned for the Practicum Experience to observe and/or perform clinical and administrative skills for 160 hours in a practical setting.
  • Student accident insurance is available and highly recommended for part-time students.
  • Students who have previously taken a medical terminology course at another institution or who have had experience working in the medical field, may elect to schedule a proficiency test to obtain credit for Medical Terminology I (MA 115) and/ or Medical Terminology II (MA 125). Upon successful passing of the Medical Terminology I (MA 115) proficiency test, the student may elect to take the Medical Terminology II (MA 125) proficiency test. Any interested student should call the Department Secretary at 716-851-1554 to schedule an appointment to take the test. Note: Students MUST take the proficiency tests PRIOR to attending the respective courses.
  • MA courses are integrated and sequenced in a specific manner to enable students to attain program competencies.

Graduation Requirements

  • Once accepted into the program, students must complete all Medical Assisting courses within a four-year time period
  • For graduation, students must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum grade of C in all Medical Assisting courses
  • Upon completing all required coursework for the Medical Assisting program, students must apply for graduation at www.ecc.edu/graduate
  • Earning an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree in Medical Assisting does not constitute certification
  • The issuance of an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree in Medical Assisting is not contingent upon passage of any external certification examination
  • Graduates of the Medical Assisting Program are eligible to sit for the national Certified Medical Assistant examination sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Upon passing the certification examination, students will hold the CMA (AAMA) credential.

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 physician instructions. They must respect the confidential nature of medical information.

Clinical and administrative duties require a reasonable level of physical strength, manual dexterity and visual acuity in order to successfully perform required competencies. Medical Assistants are often called upon to multi-task and may have to handle several responsibilities at once.

In order for students to perform the essential functions of the Medical Assisting profession, the Medical Assisting student must meet the essential functions in ALL of the following areas:

  • Visual Acuity: The Medical Assisting student must be able to read charts and graphs, discriminate colors, read instrument scales, observe microscopic materials and record results.
  • Speech and Hearing: The Medical Assisting student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively in order to assess both verbal and non-verbal communication and share information with other members of the health care team.
  • Observation and Communication: The Medical Assisting student must possess the ability to communicate effectively and read, write and use the English language to communicate detailed information verbally and in writing with individual patients, families, visitors and other members of the healthcare team and complete required medicolegal documentation. Additionally, students must functionally use all senses: vision, touch, hearing, and smell which are essential in assessing patients and maintaining safety.
  • Sensory/ Motor Functions: The Medical Assisting student must possess the physical strength and stamina necessary to execute the clinical and administrative tasks delegated to medical assistants, such as obtaining and recording vital signs, manipulating instruments and equipment, preparing patients for physician examination, collecting specimens, performing clinical procedures such as phlebotomy or CLIA-waived laboratory tests, transferring patients, and responding to emergency situations.
  • Psychological Stability: The Medical Assisting student must demonstrate the emotional health required for full utilization of the applicant’s intellectual abilities. The student must be able to handle stress and take appropriate actions when emergency situations arise.
  • Affective Behaviors: In addition to meeting the safety and technical requirements of the program, Medical Assisting students must also possess emotional stability and flexibility to develop the ability to think critically, exercise sound judgment, function effectively in stressful situations, accept constructive criticism, adapt to change, maintain confidentiality, and demonstrate appropriate behavior toward patients and other members of the healthcare team

Accreditation

The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

9355 - 113th Street North, #7709

Seminole FL 33775-7709

727-210-2350

www.caahep.org

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 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 practicum experiences.

Licensure Compliance Statement

The SUNY Erie Community College Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and its curricula and program of study meets current CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines, MAERB Core Curriculum competency requirements and has been approved by the State University of New York (SUNY) and New York State Education Department (NYSED) to ward an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in Medical Assisting.

Graduates of the SUNY Erie Medical Assisting program are eligible to sit for the national Certified Medical Assistant examination sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Upon passing the Certification examination,
students will hold the CMA (AAMA) credential. Although Scope of Practice laws vary from state to state, the CMA (AAMA) credential has reciprocity in all fifty (50) states.

Health Science Division Student Health Report Form:

The Commission on Accreditation of Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accreditation guidelines require that a procedure be established for determining that the health status of a student will permit them to meet the physical and technical standards of the program. In addition to the immunization documentation required for registration and attendance at SUNY Erie, Medical Assisting students are also required to complete a Health Science Division Student Health Report Form. This form provides documentation of evidence physical examination, that matriculating students are in compliance with this provision and are in good physical and mental health, capable of completing the program requirements. It also provides documentation of following program requirements:

  • Most recent PPD and Influenza Vaccine (MUST be within a year)
  • BOTH dates for MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella); (or positive titer results)
  • BOTH dates for Varicella Vaccine (Chicken Pox); (or positive titer results)
  • All THREE dates for Hepatitis B Vaccine (or positive titer results); (or declination form)
  • Most recent Tetanus Vaccine (MUST be within 10 years)

All students rotating to off-campus clinical sites are required to have this form completed in full and signed by a physician or other qualified representative of the physician office. All vaccination and immunization documentation must include the name and address of who and where the vaccine was ordered and/or administered as well as the date of vaccination. Health Science Division Student Health Report Forms are required to be on file in the Medical Assisting Department prior to the completion of MA 126 coursework, will be reviewed with students in MA 216 in anticipation of MA 223. Student Health Forms must be current in order to participate in the Medical Assisting Practicum Experience.

The college reserves the right to deny progression in the Medical Assisting Program to students who submit incomplete or otherwise unacceptable physical exam reports. Additionally, students will not be eligible to participate in off-campus Practicum rotations without this form and will not graduate.

Program Competencies

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

  • Describe the structure, function, organization, and common pathologies of the human body with regard to nutrition, infection control and bloodborne pathogens
  • Perform administrative skills; including identifying styles and types of applied communications as they relate to medical documentation and computer applications, and maintain records of Accounts Receivable/Payable and supply inventories
  • Create and organize electronic medical records in a practice management system, record and retrieve simulated patient data, schedule appointments, create healthcare communication and correspondence, and bill office procedures using proper procedural and diagnostic coding for third party reimbursement
  • Recognize the legal implications and ethical considerations of personal and professional ethics regarding the delivery of healthcare
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic and applied mathematics for managing medical business practices and finances, as well as measuring patients and recording vital signs and administering medication
  • Perform clinical skills; including phlebotomy, electrocardiography, pulmonary function testing, capillary puncture, and obtaining specimens to perform CLIA waived testing
  • Perform professional level CPR skills and first aid procedures for bleeding control, fractures, seizures, shock, syncope, and diabetic patients
  • Demonstrate the necessary cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domain standards and apply appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities consistent with acceptable professional conduct standards while performing clinical and administrative medical assisting procedures, including quality assurance practices in healthcare

 Medical Assisting Program Efficacy

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is granted to each student who successfully completes all coursework and the Medical Assisting Practicum Experience and is eligible to sit for the national Certified Medical Assistant examination sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Upon passing the certification examination, students will hold the CMA (AAMA) credential.

CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination Outcomes

The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) has established > 60% as the passing outcome threshold for the CMA examination. The chart below reflects the SUNY Erie AAMMA (CMA) Examination outcome results for 2015-2019. Each year, from 2015-2019, the SUNY Erie CMA Examination Pass Rate is above the MAERB threshold. Furthermore, the three-year average SUNY Erie CMA Examination pass rate is 89.4% which is well above the 60% MAERB passing outcome threshold.

Graduation

Year

Total # Who Took an Exam

Total # Passing

CMA (AAMA)

SUNY Erie

CMA Exam Pass Rates

2019

5

4

80%

2018

7

7

100%

2017

4

4

100%

2016

25

20

80%

2015

14

13

93%

Total

55

48

87%

   

    Threshold:

60%

 

Medical Assisting Job Placement Outcomes

As of 2019, Positive job placement rates reflect the number of Medical Assisting graduates employed as a Medical Assistant or in a related field based on Calendar Year of Graduation. The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) has established > 60% as the job placement outcome threshold for all CAAHEP-accredited Medical Assisting Programs. The chart below reflects the SUNY Erie Medical Assisting Graduate Job Placement Rate for 2019 at 86.67% and the average positive placement rate over the past two years for SUNY Erie Medical Assisting graduates is 82.61%, both of which exceed the 60% MAERB threshold.

Year of Graduation

Total Number
of SUNY Erie
MA Graduates

Number of SUNY Erie MA Grads Employed in as a Medical Assistant or in a related field

Number of SUNY Erie MA Grads who continued their education or enlisted in the military

Number of SUNY Erie MA Grads whose job status is unknown

Positive
Placement
Rate

2019

15

13

0

2

86.67%

2018

8

6

0

2

75%

Total

23

19

0

4

82.61%

 

 

 

 

Threshold:

60%

 

Medical Assisting Job Placement Outcomes

Prior to 2019, positive job placement rates reflected the number of Medical Assisting graduates employed as a Medical Assistant or in a related field based on Calendar Year of Admission. Positive job placement rates reflect the number of Medical Assisting graduates employed as a Medical Assistant or in a related field. The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) has established > 60% as the job placement outcome threshold for all CAAHEP-accredited Medical Assisting Programs. The chart below reflects the SUNY Erie Medical Assisting Graduate Job placement rate. The three-year average rate for SUNY Erie Medical Assisting Graduate Job Placement from 2015-2017 is 79.5% which exceeds the MAERB threshold.

Calendar Year of Admission

Total Number of SUNY Erie MA Graduates

Number of SUNY Erie MA Positive Placements

Number of SUNY Erie MA Grads Employed in as a Medical Assistant or in a related field

SUNY Erie MA Graduate Placement Rate

2017

8

7

5

87.50%

2016

23

18

18

78.26%

2015

22

16

15

72.73%

Total

53

41

38

79.50%

     

Threshold:

60%


Scholarships

SUNY Erie offers scholarship opportunities through its Foundation; a complete listing of scholarship opportunities can be found on the college website at ecc.edu/foundation.

Additional Medical Assisting program scholarship information for the Maxine Williams (AAMA) and Dorothy Ross (NYSSMA) scholarships is available from the full-time Medical Assisting Faculty.

 

Curriculum

Total Degree Credits: 60

Second Year, Second Semester


Note:


* Students will work under supervision in an approved physician’s office or health care facility as part of the course requirement. Students shall not receive pay for the externship experience.

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

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