Medical Assisting

The Medical Assisting Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn a Medical Assisting Certificate or Associate Degree in Medical Assisting.   Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for positions as medical assistants and can work in a variety of medical settings.  During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in clinical and administrative duties.  Students will gain knowledge in patient care and operational functions.

Medical Assisting Certificate (MASC) (New)1

Medical assistants perform a combination of clinical and administrative duties. Clinical duties include assisting doctors with examinations, drawing blood, placing patients in rooms, administering immunizations, removing sutures, assessing vital signs, and applying wound care. Administrative duties include scheduling appointments, answering phones, billing insurance companies, making referrals, and phoning in prescriptions. Because medical assistants work in an office environment, most work regular day-time hours. Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant Certificate, graduates will be eligible to sit for a certification exam as a medical assistant and seek employment as a certified medical assistant.   The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP), on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Review Board: CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756; phone 727-210-2350. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Associate Degree Program.

Year 1
FallCredits
Cycle 1  
MAS 105Introduction to Medical Assisting 2
Cycle 2  
MAS 208Principles Of Pharmacology 2
Full Term  
ENG 101College Writing I 3
MAS 130Medical Terminology and the Body Systems 4
MAS 207Medical Assisting Clinical Procedures 4
Spring
Cycle 1  
MAS 230Finance & Practice Management 4
Cycle 2  
MAS 240Medical Assisting Seminar 2
MAS 250Externship 4
Full Semester  
MAS 206Medical Assisting Lab Procedures 4
 Total Credits: 29
1

 Pending Department of Education Approval – Contact Admissions with questions.

Helpful hints

Some courses are offered only in the semester they are shown in the guide; students must register for these courses when they are offered.

Special requirements

Students must demonstrate keyboarding proficiency by either successfully completing CIS 101 Keyboarding or successfully passing the keyboarding placement exam. Immunizations, additional liability insurance, and a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check are required for student externs. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations. Students must pass all MAS and BIO courses with a C+ or better to remain in good standing in the MAS program.

Certification

Graduates of MWCC’s accredited program can become certified by taking and passing the national Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam through the AAMA. (Only students who graduate from an accredited program are allowed to sit for this exam).

Career options/Earning potential

Please click here for career options.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Medical Assisting Degree (MAS)

Medical assistants perform a combination of clinical and administrative duties. Clinical duties include assisting doctors with examinations, drawing blood, placing patients in rooms, administering immunizations, removing sutures, assessing vital signs, and applying wound care. Administrative duties include scheduling appointments, answering phones, billing insurance companies, making referrals, and phoning in prescriptions. Because medical assistants work in an office environment, most work regular day-time hours.  The completion of this degree program provides students with the requirements for eligibility to take a certification exam to be a certified medical assistant.  The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP), on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Review Board: CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756; phone 727-210-2350. Clinical courses are offered only during the day.  This degree is particularly beneficial to students who are interested in the completion of an Associate Degree to advance their employment in the medical field.

Year 1
FallCredits
Cycle 1  
Cycle 2  
MAS 208Principles Of Pharmacology 2
Full Term  
ENG 101College Writing I 3
MAS 207Medical Assisting Clinical Procedures 4
MAS 130Medical Terminology and the Body Systems 4
MAS 105Introduction to Medical Assisting 2
Spring
Cycle 1  
MAS 230Finance & Practice Management 4
MAS 206Medical Assisting Lab Procedures 4
Cycle 2  
MAS 240Medical Assisting Seminar 2
MAS 250Externship 4
Year 2
Fall
ENG 102College Writing II 3
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics (or higher) 4
CIS 103Word Processing Applications 3
Science Elective  4
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
Spring
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
PER 130Health, Fitness, And Wellness 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
Humanities Elective  3
General Elective  3
 Total Credits: 61
1

Humanities Electives: ART, ASL, DAN, ENG, FRE, HUM, MUS, PHL, SPA, SPC or THE

Professional Electives

Credits
ASL 101Basic American Sign Language I3
MAS 209Medical Legal Concepts, Practices, And Ethics3
SPA 103Spanish For Health Care Professionals3
MGT 105Leadership And Management For The Health Care Professional3
HEA 101Health And Disability In The Older Adult3
HEA 103Medical Interpretation4

Helpful hints

Some courses are offered only in the semester they are shown in the guide; students must register for these courses when they are offered.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here.

Special requirements

Students must demonstrate keyboarding proficiency by either successfully completing CIS 101 Keyboarding or successfully passing the keyboarding placement exam. Immunizations, additional liability insurance, and a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check are required for student externs. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations. Students must pass all MAS and BIO courses with a C+ or better to remain in good standing in the MAS program.

Certification

Graduates of MWCC’s accredited program can become certified by taking and passing the national Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam through the AAMA. (Only students who graduate from an accredited program are allowed to sit for this exam).

Career options/Earning potential

Please click here for career options.

Program Competencies for MAS (Days only) (Selective)

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to perform the following administrative, clinical, and transdisciplinary competencies:

  • Clerical functions
  • Bookkeeping procedures
  • Special accounting entries
  • Insurance claims
  • Fundamental principles
  • Specimen collections
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Patient care
  • Communication
  • Legal concepts
  • Patient instruction
  • Operational functions

Technical Standards1 for MAS

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Be able to type 30 words per minute for three minutes with three or fewer errors using the "touch" method of typing.
  • Distinguish shapes and colors under a microscope.
  • Read typewritten text and patient data from a computer screen with or without corrective devices.
  • Discriminate color in order to identify reagents and other materials such as laboratory media, stained preparations, and the physical properties of various body fluids.
  • Possess the manual dexterity required in such tasks as performing phlebotomy; operating blood analyzers and laboratory information systems; handling small containers of potentially biohazardous specimens (one inch by one inch); using sample measuring devices such as pipettes; giving injections and being able to adequately focus and manipulate a microscope and, using the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on machinery.
  • Traverse the hospital and laboratory corridors, passageways, and doorways (minimum width, three feet).
  • Communicate with patients and staff in the English language.
  • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
  • Possess hearing with or without corrective devices to be able to transcribe medical dictation from recorded media.
  • Comprehend and respond to the spoken word of all age-specific groups.
  • Function without causing harm to self or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Function without causing harm to others. This would include situations that may result from chronic mental or physical conditions.
  • React quickly, both mentally and physically.
  • Work as a member of a team.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
  • Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s safety and intervene quickly, with an appropriate solution, in a crisis situation.
  • Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
  • Respond to distress sounds, visual distress cues, emergency alarms, and vital sign assessment equipment.

Courses

MAS 102. Medical Terminology. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with a clear understanding of medical vocabulary. A workbook-text format is used to develop word-building activities that guide students through exercises that teach and reinforce medical terminology. Numerous and varied activities challenge students to understand and remember the significant concepts of medical word building. Audio cassettes provide reinforcement of pronunciation, definition of medical words, and spelling practice. Prerequisite: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

MAS 105. Introduction to Medical Assisting. 2 Credits.

This course provides a foundation of the adminstrative skills required to function as an entry-level medical assistant in an ambulatory care facility. Focus is placed on psychological, social, and developmental concepts applicable to caring for individuals and families in a variety of healthcare settings. Students will be introduced to administrative functions, telephone techniques, appointment scheduling, patient reception and processing, and legal concepts affecting patient care, drug regulations, and employment. Students will develop interpersonal communication and organizational skills to work professionally in a medical office. Emphasis is placed on high standards of ethics in relation to the patient and profession. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098.

MAS 130. Medical Terminology and the Body Systems. 4 Credits.

This course is designed to provide students with a clear understanding of medical vocabulary. It offers an introduction to medical terms through an analysis of their construction (prefix, suffix, root, and combining forms.) A workbook-text format is used to help understand the theory of word building. Numerous and varied interactive activities challenge the student to understand and reinforce medical terminology. The structure and function of each body system will be explored. The digestive system will also include instruction on dietary nutrients, needs, supplements, and meal planning. It will compare the structure and function of the human body across the life span. The online Medical Language Lab and the DavisPlus Resource Center provide reinforcement of pronunciation, spelling, definition of medical words, and basic anatomy and physiology of the body systems. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098 or placement. Fall.

MAS 201. Medical Machine Transcription. 3 Credits.

This is a beginning medical transcription course designed to provide students with a working knowledge of the transcription of medical reports. Medical reports will be transcribed from ten individual case studies, each of which concerns a specific system of the body. The case studies have been taken from hospital medical records. The medical reports included are history and physical examinations, radiology reports, operative reports, pathology reports, requests for consultation, discharge summaries, and death summaries. Prerequisites: CIS 101 or placement, MAS 130. Spring.

MAS 206. Medical Assisting Lab Procedures. 4 Credits.

Students are introduced to clinical laboratory aspects of medical assisting and learn to perform the following: use quality control principles during patient specimen collection and instrument and reagent preparation; prepare and maintain quality control records; perform routine urinalysis; perform and record results for basic hematologic, chemistry, serologic, and microbiologic tests; collect and label biological specimens including blood, urine, stool, sputum, throat, and vaginal; process, prepare, store, deliver and dispose of specimens along with collection equipment; and use universal precautions and laboratory safety protocols. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098 or placement. Spring.

MAS 207. Medical Assisting Clinical Procedures. 4 Credits.

Students will learn to perform clinical duties which include: apply aseptic technique with infection control; perform selected tests that aid with diagnosis and treatment; prepare and administer medications; take vital signs; recognize emergencies; prepare/maintain treatment areas; interview and take patient history; prepare patient for procedures; run electrocardiograms and record results; assist with exams and treatments; screen and follow-up test results; and maintain records. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098 or placement. Fall.

MAS 208. Principles Of Pharmacology. 2 Credits.

This course examines current and commonly used practices, procedures, medications, and drug preparations. Emphasis is placed in three areas: medication calculations; drug book usage; and the effects of drugs on the body systems. Instruction on the system of measurements and conversions used to calculate medication dosages will be provided. The use of a drug book will be taught with emphasis on drug classifications, routes of administration, drug preparation, and patient education. Discussion on the effects of drugs on the body systems will include interactions and vitamins and supplements. Additional topics will include safety protocols, compliance with drug regulations, and quality control of prescription requests. Students will apply critical thinking regarding patient assessment and develop skills for effective patient communication, care, and education. Prerequisites: ENG 101; FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement. Fall.

MAS 209. Medical Legal Concepts, Practices, And Ethics. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students to work in a medical office. All aspects of medical employment are explored from new laws relevant to the medical office to OSHA, DEA, CDC, and HIPAA regulations most important to medical office workers. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098 or placement. Spring.

MAS 211. Externship Experience for Medical Office Certificate. 2 Credits.

This externship experience will allow student to apply knowledge, perform administrative procedures and develop professional attitudes for interacting with other professionals and healthcare consumers. Placements include actual medical offices, clinics, and/or healthcare facilities. One seminar hour and 12.5 hours of field experience per week are required, totaling 75 hrs over the semester. Prerequisites: CIS 101, CIS 103 (or co-requisite), MAS 105, MAS 130, MAS 201, MAS 230. Spring.

MAS 230. Finance & Practice Management. 4 Credits.

This course provides a foundation of the financial and additional administrative skills required in an ambulatory care facility. Students will gain knowledge and experience with both paper and electronic medical records. This course is designed to provide students with a clear understanding of scheduling and bookkeeping. The regulations of various medical insurances, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Workman’s Compensation will be presented. Students will learn and complete procedural and diagnostic coding and medical billing. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to function effectively within the administrative area of a medical facility. Prerequisite: MAS 105. Spring.

MAS 240. Medical Assisting Seminar. 2 Credits.

This course is designed to help students integrate knowledge from across the medical assisting curriculum in preparation for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam. Students will integrate and apply both administrative and clinical knowledge, theory and understanding from their previous course work in the medical assisting program. The HESI application from Elsevier will be used for initial testing, individualized remediation for each student will be provided, and an exit exam will be conducted. They will be tested on their administrative, clinical and general medical knowledge. Areas that will be tested include: office and financial management, diagnostic and treatment services, pharmacology, and laboratory services, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and healthcare law and ethics. Study and test taking techniques will be reviewed and practice sessions for the exam will be available. Registration is restricted to students who are preparing to take the CMA exam. Prerequisites: MAS 105, MAS 130, MAS 206, MAS 207, MAS 208, MAS 230 successfully completed with a grade of C+ or better. Spring.

MAS 250. Externship. 4 Credits.

This externship will provide supervised placement in a non-classroom setting at a health-care facility, medical office or other appropriate site. This experience will enable the student to synthesize and apply concepts and skills learned in the Medical Assisting program. This externship consists of a minimum of 160 hours of unpaid, supervised experience at an approved clinical site of Mount Wachusett Community College. The experience is to be divided as 40 administrative hours and 120 clinical hours. This will allow the student to be involved in the total environment of a health care facility. In addition, there will be an online component to this experience. Enrollment requires permission of the MA program director, CORI/SORI check, up-to-date health requirements, and provider/professional level CPR. An appointment with the program director is required both before and after the externship. Prerequisites: MAS 105, MAS 130, MAS 206, MAS 207, MAS 208, MAS 230 successfully completed with a grade of C+ or better. Spring.