Medical Assistant Program Details

The goal of the DMACC Medical Assistant Degree program is to prepare medical assistants who are competent​ in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession. Medical assistants are the only allied health professionals specifically trained to work in ambulatory settings, such as physicians' offices, clinics and group practices. As multi-skilled allied health team members, medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical procedures in these settings.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistants are healthcare professionals who work under the direct supervision of licensed healthcare practitioners in medical clinics and offices.

What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical assistants perform routine administrative, clinical, and laboratory tasks to keep the physician’s office running smoothly. Some of the responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Perform administrative duties such as: billing and coding, insurance claims filing, authorization, referrals
  • Participate in Emergency Preparedness
  • Assist with risk management, Continuity of Care, Quality Assurance
  • Prepare patients for various examinations and treatments, obtain vital signs, and perform EKGs
  • Give injections and instruct patients about medications
  • Clean instruments, order supplies, and maintain treatment rooms
  • Schedule appointments, answer telephones, and greet and dismiss patients
  • Obtain blood specimen for analysis using venipuncture and finger stick techniques
  • Perform lab tests on specimens (urinalysis, complete blood count, blood chemistries, etc.) as ordered by physicians
  • Assist with minor surgery, apply bandages and dressings
  • Maintain patients' records
  • Take x-rays of chest and extremities
  • Assist in patient education, serve as a patient navigator

Occupational Risks

Medical Assisting is a profession with many rewards, as practitioners can perform both administrative and clinical services, filling several roles in a variety of healthcare environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly outlines that it is a growth field, with an anticipated 18% growth from 2020 to 2030.

Medical Assistants work directly with providers and patients, with the goal of providing healthcare and ensuring patient safety. It is a position with a great deal of responsibility.

As with any healthcare position, there are certain occupational risks that come into play with being a medical assistant, and those hazards include the following:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Sharps injuries (example: needle sticks)
  • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks
  • Latex allergies
  • Mental and physical stress

At the same time, there are protections set up with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and those protections are particularly important within a healthcare environment. OSHA has a series of standards that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients.

​Accredited medical assisting programs are required to teach students about the hazards that they face on the job and the protocols that can be put into place to ensure a workplace culture that prioritizes safety.

How long is the Medical Assistant Program at DMACC?

The program begins each fall. It may be completed over the course of one (1) year if taken as a full time student or may be taken part-time over two (2) years.

What time of day are classes offered?

​This program requires courses that are offered during daytime hours and cannot be completed online or in the evening.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Submit proof of high school graduation or HiSET completion.
  3. Complete required entry assessments. Complete ACCUPLACER Next Gen Reading (248 or above), ACCUPLACER Next Gen Writing (254 or above), and ​ALEKS Math assessment (14 or above). Or, ACT scores in Reading (19 or above) English (19 or above), Math (14 or above).
  4. Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school biology or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Biology I & II or ​​BIO 157.​
  5. Please complete the online Medical Assistant information session​.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Perform activities in an organized and detailed manner.
  • Apply knowledge from the biological and social sciences.
  • Must have necessary physical and emotional stamina to meet demands of a rigorous schedule.
  • View Core Performance Standards. Some employers may require candidates to pass a strength and agility test prior to hiring.
  • Must have self-discipline and ability to take initiative.

Technical Standards:

Technical Standards, as distinguished from academic standards for admission and retention in the Medical Assistant Program, consist of the minimum physical, cognitive and behavioral requirements which must be met, with or without reasonable accommodations, to provide reasonable assurance that students can participate fully in all aspects of training, complete the entire course of study and develop the professional attributes required by the faculty and future employees.

Physical Requirements


  • The student must have good visual acuity, as well as accurate color discrimination, both macroscopically and microscopically.
  • The student must have functional use of the sense of hearing.
  • The student must have adequate tactile discrimination.

Observational Skills:

  • The student must have the ability to observe and acquire information through the visual, auditory and somatic senses.

Motor Skills:

  • The student must have sufficient upper body muscle coordination to safely and accurately practice specimen procurement, processing and analysis
  • The student must have sufficient manual dexterity in order to perform detailed, delicate manipulations using thumb/hand/wrist movements and hand/ arm movements

Mobility and Stamina:

  • The student must have sufficient mobility for the bending, stooping and twisting necessary in manipulating equipment, operating instruments, accessing supplies, assisting in patient care
  • The student must possess the stamina to physically tolerate lengthy periods, (8 hour day or longer), of physical activity to include moving quickly and at times continuously throughout the day with limited breaks. Must be able to lift 25 pounds regularly or 50 pounds occasionally or higher).

Cognitive Requirements

  • The student must be able to effectively read, write, and speak English.
  • The student must be able to follow oral and written instructions correctly.
  • The student must have the ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervisory help and consultation
  • The student must have the abilities necessary to master relevant content in basic science and clinical courses at a level deemed appropriate by the faculty.
  • The student must work within precise limits or standards of accuracy.

Behavioral Requirements

  • The student must be able to perceive events realistically, think clearly and rationally and function confidently.
  • The student must possess the following attributes: empathy, integrity, responsibility, and the emotional stability to function effectively under stress.
  • The student must be aware and work within the scope of practice for the Certified Medical Assistant
  • The student must be compliant with all federal, state and local laws regarding the practice of CMA in healthcare setting
  • The student must be able to project an image of professionalism and practice principles of medical ethics
  • The student must have emotional stability required for full utilization of intellectual abilities and for handling workplace relationships.

Criminal Background Check

Criminal background checks will be completed on each student. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may prevent students from participating in practicum education experiences. Students unable to participate in practicum education will be unable to complete the Medical Assistant Program. A felony conviction may prevent applicants from being eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Medical Assistant certification examination.​


Addional Resources