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Student training in a medical classroom

Medical Assisting

Why Study Medical Assisting?

Medical Assisting is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic fields in healthcare. Medical Assistants are multi-skilled, versatile, and essential members of the allied health professionals who perform a range of professional duties to provide compassionate care to the public. Medical Assisting students in the program perform a 160-hour clinical rotation through an Emergency Department, Laboratory, and Family Care Center to gain hands-on experience with our community partner practitioners.

All students successfully completing the Medical Assisting A.A.S. will have received exceptional instruction and appropriate applied learning experiences to prepare them as competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Program Options

Credits: 64 | Time to Completion: 2 years

Curriculum Code: 1967 I Liberal Arts Credits: 21 I Program Credits: 43

Columbia-Greene’s Medical Assisting A.A.S program is one of a select few programs in the region to receive accredited program status with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Medical Assisting students can sit for the national certification exam offered by the AMCA (American Medical Certification Association) for:

  • Medical office secretary (after completing medical office procedures, billing, and coding) 2 semesters
  • Billing and Coding certificate (after completing the billing and coding course) one semester (SPRING)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant- (after completing the MA program) 2 years
  • EKG technician certification (after completing the EKG lecture and lab course) 1 semester (SPRING)
  • Phlebotomy technician certification (after completing the venipuncture lecture and lab course and a 60-hour clinical rotation at a laboratory) 2 semesters

Students can also opt to fast-track with the Health Care Facilitator Microcredential which provides students with the skills and knowledge to help healthcare facilities and providers in their telemedicine endeavors. The Health Care Facilitator is a knowledgeable person who will provide confidential one-on-one assistance in connecting patients with their healthcare providers.

Medical Assisting is affiliated with Columbia Memorial Health and Greene County Family Planning

Course CodeCourseCredits
BI 112Human Biology I 3
EN 101English Composition 3
EN 102

EN 105
Composition and Literature
Technical Writing
3
HU ELEHumanities Elective 3
MA ELEMath Elective 3
PY 101General Psychology 3
SL ELESocial Science Elective 3
Liberal Arts Credits:21
AH 106Medical Assisting I 4
AH 108Medical Assisting II 2
AH 109EKG 2
AH 125Medical Office Procedures 3
AH 126Medical Billing 3
AH 129Medical Terminology 3
AH 132Medical Coding 3
AH 202Pharmacology 3
AH 203Medical Assisting Externship 3
AH 207Medical Assisting III 2
AH 208Venipuncture/Phlebotomy 2
BI 115Human Biology II 3
CE 101College Experience 11
CI 105Computer Applications 3
CO 102Interpersonal Communication 3
HE 201First Aid & Safety 3
Program Credits:43
Minimum Credits:64

There are a number of holistic support services available to students so they can successfully complete the Medical Assisting program at Columbia-Greene Community College, saving students time and money. The retention rate for the admission cohort that entered in 2023 was 80%.

Medical Assisting - First Aid and Safety/CPR - Phlebotomy - EKG

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
  • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks.
  • Latex allergies
  • Stress
  • Particular hazards specific, but not limited to radiation, hazardous drugs, and emergency response hazards.

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.