Description - Riverland

Medical Assistant

medical CTA

What Is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics.

What Will I Study?

This one year, three semester diploma program is designed to prepare students for employment as Medical Assistants.

  • Body Structure, Function & Applied Terminology
  • Clinical Procedures for Medical Assistants
  • Disease Conditions
Clinical and laboratory duties may include:
  • gathering complete medical histories and recording vital signs
  • explaining treatment procedures
  • preparing patients for and assisting providers with examinations and procedures, collection and preparation of laboratory specimens
  • performance of CLIA waived laboratory tests
  • sterilization of medical instruments, administration of medications
  • immunizations, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms
  • removing sutures, changing dressings
  • authorizing and telephoning prescription refills as directed
Administrative duties may include:
  • answering telephones
  • greeting patients
  • updating and filing patient medical records
  • filing insurance forms
  • handling correspondence, scheduling appointments
  • arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • diagnostic and procedural coding
  • patient billing and bookkeeping.
  • View a complete list of course offerings.

Career Outlook

Current Demand
  • This career is currently in very high demand.
  • This career is seeing very high growth compared to other careers.
  • There will be a need for about 14,507 new Medical Assistants to meet market demand between 2018-2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
Typical Work Tasks
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Interview patients to gather medical information.
  • Explain technical medical information to patients.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Conduct diagnostic tests to determine patient health.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
Job Title Examples
  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT)
  • Doctors Assistant
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Phlebotomist 
Where Do Medical Assistants Work?
  • Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Educational Services

(source: Minnesota State CAREERwise Education)

Program Requirements

Background Study Requirement

Students accepted and enrolled in an Allied Health Program must complete a Department of Human Services (DHS) background study. The background study will be initiated through the Allied Health Department at the college. Students will receive further details including the DHS privacy practices notice prior to the study being initiated.

Download Background Study Requirement

Program Accreditation

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

MEDICAL ASSISTANT PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT

Riverland Community College’s Medical Assistant Program prepares competent ethical entry-level medical assistants to provide safe, quality, patient-centered, compassionate care in the clinical, laboratory, and administrative healthcare settings.

Program Scholarships

The college offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.

Program Related Scholarships

Next Steps..

Want to learn more about Riverland Community College? For more information about Riverland or to request program-specific materials, please complete the request information form

Last Updated: May 5, 2017

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