Medical Assisting

The Medical Assisting curriculum prepares multi-skilled healthcare professionals qualified to perform administrative, clinical, and laboratory procedures.

Coursework includes instruction in scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, computer operations, assisting with examination/treatments, performing routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration; electronic medical records management; and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care.

Graduates of CAAHEP accredited medical programs may be eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants. Employment opportunities include physician’s offices, health maintenance organizations, health department, and hospitals.

The Wilkes Community College Medical Assisting diploma program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Program Goal

The goal of the WCC Medical Assisting Diploma program is to prepare medical assistants who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate competence and quality reasoning in the performance of administrative duties for entry-level medical assistants.
  • Demonstrate competence and quality reasoning in the performance of clinical skills for entry-level medical assistants.
  • Demonstrate competency in general business, administrative, and clinical areas on credential examinations.

Program Outcomes

Below are the Wilkes Community College Medical Assisting Program Outcomes as reported to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board for the 2022 Annual Report:

  • The Medical Assisting program at Wilkes Community College has a retention rate of 86.67% for the admission cohort that entered in 2020. There are several support services available to students so that they can complete the program.
  • The Medical Assisting program at Wilkes Community College has a job placement rate of 91.67% for the 2020 graduates.

Contact Information

Image of Erica Harper
Erica Harper, EdS,CMA(AAMA),LCMHC,LCAS
Director of Medical Assisting and Human Services Technology
Phone: 336-838-6523
esharper121@xahuachuang.com

Pathways

This part of the website is currently undergoing maintenance. Please refer to the WCC Catalog for program information.

Technical Standards

The Medical Assisting program technical standards have been developed to inform students of the nonacademic essential functions of the program and profession. Examples are not all inclusive.

Standard Essential Function Examples
Communication
Oral / Written
  • Skills sufficient to communicate information and ideas so others will understand
  • Skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
  • Legibly document relevant patient information (manual or via computer) using correct terminology and spelling
  • Interpret doctor’s orders
  • Record patient responses to treatments
  • Establish rapport with patients, families, and other health care providers
Mobility / Motor Skills
  • Motor skills sufficient to move the hands and use hands to grasp or manipulate objects, pinch with thumb or forefinger
  • Mobility sufficient to perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving the whole body
  • Mobility sufficient to reach above shoulder height
  • Mobility sufficient to bend and retrieve items below waist level
  • Utilize delicate instruments with patients
  • Maneuver in confined spaces
  • Twist body to adjust equipment and obtain supplies in various positions
  • Physical activities may include:
    • Bending
    • Stooping
    • Lifting
    • Reaching
    • Kneeling
    • Crouching
    • Squatting
Physical Strength and Stamina
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time
  • Ability sufficient to lift and carry up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to support and assist patients
  • Ability to push 200 pounds
  • Stand and walk up to 12-hour shifts
  • Lift and carry equipment
  • Assist patient in and out of a wheelchair and on/off an examination table
  • Push a patient weighing 200 pounds in a wheelchair
Sensory

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Taste
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Visual skills sufficient to see details at close range and manipulate equipment
  • Visual skills sufficient to discriminate shapes and colors
  • Listening skills sufficient to communicate with others
  • Identify various sounds
  • Ability to touch and locate anatomy on patients to perform physical assessments
  • Ability to tolerate various odors
  • Read accurately numbers, letters, and cursive writing on instruments, equipment, computer screens, and paper
  • Identify reagents and other materials such as laboratory media and the physical properties of various body fluids
  • Observe patient responses to treatment
  • Hear verbal communication from patients and other health care team members
  • Hear equipment/emergency alarms, call bell, or call for help
  • Listen to heart, lung, and blood pressure sounds
  • Feel for pulse
  • Differentiate between temperature and pressure variations
  • Work with patients with poor hygiene
Environmental / Occupational Exposure
  • Exposure to communicable and infectious diseases, secretions, blood, and bodily fluids
  • Exposure to environmental hazards
  • Possible exposure to X-ray radiation
  • Ability to work under high stress situations and respond promptly
  • Ability to use personal protective equipment correctly
  • Possible exposure to HIV, hepatitis, etc.
  • Exposure to X-ray radiation, medicinal preparations, latex, and toxic substances
  • Respond appropriately in emergency to maintain patient safety and care
Field or Industry Professional Standards
  • Criminal background check
  • CPR certification
  • Adhere and follow the Medical Assisting Education Review Board technical standards

Disability Services Statement

Wilkes Community College is an ADA compliant institution. WCC does not discriminate based on a disability in the admissions process or in access to its programs, services, and/or activities for qualified individuals who meet eligibility requirements. WCC will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities who are eligible to receive or participate in college programs, services, and/or activities. If a student believes that he/she cannot meet one or more of a program’s essential functions without accommodations, the student is encouraged to disclose this to Disability Services as soon as possible.

Occupational Risks in Medical Assisting

Medical Assisting is a highly rewarding profession encompassing a wide range of administrative and clinical duties, enabling practitioners to contribute significantly in various healthcare settings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a remarkable 18% growth in this field from 2020 to 2030, highlighting its promising future.

As Medical Assistants work closely with healthcare providers and patients, their role involves the critical tasks of delivering quality healthcare and upholding patient safety. However, like any healthcare profession, Medical Assistants are exposed to certain occupational risks that demand attention and precautionary measures. These risks include:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases: Medical Assistants may come into contact with infectious diseases, making it crucial to follow appropriate infection control procedures to minimize the risk of transmission.
  • Sharps injuries: Accidental needlesticks or other sharp instrument injuries pose a potential hazard. Proper handling and disposal techniques and the use of safety-engineered devices can significantly reduce the risk of such injuries.
  • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards: Medical Assistants handle blood samples and bodily fluids, necessitating adherence to strict protocols to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other biological hazards.
  • Chemical and drug exposure: Working with various chemicals and medications carries the risk of exposure. Adhering to safety guidelines, utilizing personal protective equipment, and maintaining proper storage and handling practices are essential for minimizing the associated hazards.
  • Ergonomic hazards: Medical Assistants may face ergonomic challenges resulting from lifting heavy objects, prolonged sitting, and repetitive tasks. Implementing proper lifting techniques, ergonomic workstations, and regular breaks can help mitigate these risks.
  • Latex allergies: Some individuals may develop allergic reactions to latex, which is commonly found in medical gloves. Identifying latex-sensitive individuals and using latex-free alternatives can prevent adverse reactions.
  • Stress: The demanding nature of the profession and exposure to critical situations can contribute to occupational stress. Implementing stress management techniques, fostering a supportive work environment, and promoting work-life balance are vital for the well-being of Medical Assistants.

Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides crucial safeguards for healthcare workers and patients. OSHA has established comprehensive standards to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those working in healthcare environments.

Accredited medical assisting programs play a pivotal role in educating students about the potential hazards they may encounter in their profession. These programs emphasize the importance of following protocols and fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes safety, ultimately equipping future Medical Assistants with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate their roles with confidence and precaution.

By understanding and proactively addressing these occupational risks, Medical Assistants can continue to excel in their vital contributions to the healthcare field while safeguarding their own well-being and that of their patients.

Associate to Bachelor Agreements

An Associate to Bachelor agreement is an opportunity for students to complete their Associate's degree at Wilkes Community College and then transfer into a specified program at a partnering four-year institution for their Bachelor's degree. Wilkes Community College has the following Associate to Bachelor agreements for our Medical Assisting graduates: