Medical Assisting

 

Program Description
Rapid changes in health care delivery have increased the demand for competent medical assistants. Graduates of the Medical Assisting curriculum are prepared for employment in a variety of medical and health care settings. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators.

Medical assistants perform administrative tasks which may include updating and filing patients' medical records and filling out insurance forms. They also perform tasks less specific to medical settings, such as answering telephones, greeting patients, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments and handling billing and insurance reimbursement.

Medical assistants also perform clinical duties which may vary according to what is allowed by state law. Some common tasks include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, preparing patients for examinations and assisting physicians during examinations. Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens and sometimes perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies and sterilize medical instruments. They might draw blood, perform electrocardiograms, and change dressings. Medical assistants also may arrange examining room instruments/equipment and purchase/maintain supplies and equipment.

The goal of this program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Through a series of specialized courses, laboratory work and practical field experience, students acquire the competencies and standards of proficiency which are required for certification by the American Association of Medical Assistants. The program also provides a broad base of information which allows graduates to successfully continue their education in a related medical field.

This curriculum includes a 20.5 credit hour core of liberal arts, social science, and science courses , specifically, courses such as anatomy/physiology, clinical microbiology, psychology, math of dosage, and English. The remainder of the coursework has been designed to build clinical and administrative skills. Lectures help students build a professional vocabulary of medical terminology and teach medical law and ethics for health care professionals, basic medical assisting theory and concepts. College laboratories are well-equipped with modern instrumentation to allow students extensive and varied training in a simulated office setting. Students learn clinical office assisting techniques and clinical diagnostic procedures on campus. Computers are used by the students in these laboratories for patient data recording and for retrieval of patient data. In office management and administration courses, computers are used for the word processing of written communications and for office billing procedures. Courses in medical transcription, medical coding and reimbursement provide additional useful skills. In the final semester, students participate in an off-campus supervised practicum. Each student is assigned to an approved physician's office for additional training for a minimum of 160 clock hours. Students shall not receive pay for the practicum experience. If a student is not in compliance with a requirement of the site, it is not the department's responsibility to re-assign the student.

Upon successful program completion, graduates may apply to take the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) national certification examination. Graduates passing this Certified Medical Assistant examination may use the credential CMA (AAMA).Many graduates of the Medical Assisting Program immediately assume positions as medical assistants in private doctors' offices. Others work in various health care facilities.

Program Details

Campus: North

Pre-Admission Recommendations:
Required 85% high school average
Biology
Keyboarding

Admission Criteria

  • high school degree or HSE (High School Equivalency);
    an 85% final grade in high school general biology or completion of Biology 147 achieving a minimal grade of "C-" within the last 5 years;
  • a minimum college GPA of 2.5 within the last 5 years;
  • completion of all developmental English and math courses.

Health Science Report Form
A Health Science Health Report Form is required to be submitted to ensure that students are in good physical and mental health and capable of completing the program requirements. In compliance with this provision, a physical examination and specific immunization records are required of all students prior to acceptance into the program. In addition to the college immunization requirements, the SUNY system highly recommends that students handling fluids that have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as directly linked to the transmission of HBV or HIV (blood, blood products, body fluids, etc.)be vaccinated against Hepatitis B. Students need to be tested annually for TB (PPD test) and must have a tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years. Students must also have documentation of either a history of Varicella (chicken pox); two dates of VZV immuniations; or VZV titer results. The MA department requires that this specific health information be on file before students complete MA 126 coursework. Furthermore, the NYS Department of Health mandates that all students participating at practicum sites receive the Influenza vaccine or, if declined, the students must wear a mask during office practicum rotations.

Note: The immunization record is required to be current in order for the student to participate in an off-site practicum. The college reserves the right to deny progression in the MA Program when students have incomplete or unacceptable physical exam reports.

Essential Functions
Medical assistants deal with the public; therefore, they must be neat, well groomed and have a courteous, pleasant manner and they must be able to put patients at ease and explain physicians' instructions. They must respect the confidential nature of medical information. Clinical and administrative duties require a reasonable level of physical strength, manual dexterity and visual acuity in order to successfully perform required competencies. Medical assistants may have to handle several responsibilities at once.


An Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is granted to each student who successfully completes all coursework and the MA practicum experience. Upon graduation from the program, an individual is eligible to apply for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) Certification examination.

MA (CMA) Certification Examination Outcomes
The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) has established > 60% as the passing outcome threshold for the CMA examination. The chart below reflects the SUNY Erie MA (CMA) Examination outcome results for 2013-2017. Each year, from 2013-2017, the SUNY Erie CMA Examination Pass Rate is above the MAERB threshold. Furthermore, the three-year average SUNY Erie CMA Examination pass rate is 85% which is well above the 60% MAERB passing outcome threshold.

Graduation Year

# Who Took an Exam

# Passing CMA (AAMA)

CMA Exam Pass Rates

2018

6

6

100%

2017

4

4

100%

2016

24

19

79%

2015

14

13

93%

2014

22

17

77%

Total

70

59

84%

 

 

Threshold

60%

MA Job Placement Outcomes
As of 2019, Positive job placement rates reflect the number of MA graduates employed as an MA or in a related field based on Calendar Year of Graduation. The Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) has established > 60% as the job placement outcome threshold for all CAAHEP-accredited Medical Assisting Programs. The chart below reflects the SUNY Erie MA Graduate Job Placement Rate for 2018 at 75% which exceeds this threshold.

Year Admitted

# of Graduates

Employed in as a Medical Assistant or in a related field

Continued education or enlisted in the military

Job status is unknown

Positive Placement Rate

2018

8

6

0

2

75%

     

 

MAERB Threshold

60%

 

Year Admitted

# of  Graduates

Positive Placements

Employed as a Medical Assistant or in a Related Field

Placement Rate

2017

8

7

5

87.5%

2016

23

18

18

78.26%

2015

22

16

15

72.73%

2014

25

19

18

76%

Total

78

60

56

78.6%

 

 

 

Threshold

60%


SUNY Erie Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The curricula of SUNY Erie are approved by the State University of New York (SUNY) and are registered by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED).

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

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 N Ste 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

CAAHEP accreditation guidelines require that a procedure be established for determining that the applicants' or students' health will permit them to meet the technical standards of the program. In compliance with this provision, a medical health examination is required of all applicants after acceptance to the program. Medical office affiliates require that this health information be current and on file before students are placed for their medical office practicum experiences.


 

For more information:
David Sylvia, North Campus
Room B606A
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
(716)-270-5298