health care students

Medical Assistant - FAQ

Do you still have questions about the program, careers after graduation, or how to get started? Take a look at the frequently asked questions or talk with an advisor to get the help you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

The classes are offered Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. All lecture courses are offered online, with lab courses and clinical courses in person.

The answer to this question is different for everyone. If you have a job and a family, the workload will be heavier than if you are not working and/or have fewer responsibilities.

This is a full-time program with 13 credits during the summer term, 12 credits during the fall term, and 12 credits during the winter term.

A good way to estimate how much time you will spend studying would be to take the number of credits per week and multiply that by two hours of homework per credit. For example: 12 credit hours multiplied by two homework hours would equal 24 hours per week. Add the two: 12 hours in school + 24 hours of homework = 36 hours per week.

If you have a criminal history, we strongly encourage you to contact Jean Anne Parker, program director or the dean of health professions for more information.

Students are able to sit for certification with the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) exams. These exams will make you eligible for many job prospect nation wide.

Please email Jean Anne Parker, the program director. If you need help during the spring term (April through July), please contact academic advising.

IMMUNIZATIONS: Accepted students must complete a measles immunization clearance certificate for school attendance form. Students must provide documentation of varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus, COVID-19, and diphtheria immunization status before beginning their first year. In addition, students will be required to have an up-to-date tuberculosis test.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS: You will be required to complete a criminal background check upon acceptance into the program. In addition, some clinical sites retain the right to require an additional criminal background check. Please note: the criminal background check requires a fee and the applicant's Social Security number. Clinical placement may be prohibited for students with a criminal background. Without successful completion of clinical experience, students will be unable to complete the program, thus resulting in dismissal. The health professions dean can provide further information on this matter.

RESTRICTIONS: If you have been convicted of a felony, please be advised that this conviction may prevent you from placement in clinical training and from obtaining a license to practice within the field. A medical assistant advisor can provide further information on this matter.

DRUG SCREENING: All students will be required to complete drug screening before clinical placement. Please note, this drug screening will check for drugs that contain amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, benzodiazepines, and marijuana. If you are taking any prescribed medication that may contain these drugs, you will need to meet with the program director before completing the drug screen. Program faculty will provide further information including when to have this done. A positive drug test may exclude you from clinical placement. All students will be asked to complete a consent-to-test form upon acceptance into the program.

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

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Sharps injuries
  • Blood-borne pathogens and biological hazards
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks
  • Latex allergies
  • 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. 

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