The Medical Assistant curriculum prepares students to become valuable members of the health care professional team, of prime importance in helping physicians respond successfully to a rapidly changing environment. Northampton developed its diploma program in response to requests from physicians who were looking for workers trained in both office and clinical skills. The coursework includes classroom and lab instruction, and commences with hands-on clinical instruction in physician offices.
As assistants in the clinical setting, graduates perform duties such as vital signs, exam room preparation, patient data collection, simple dressing changes, lab tests, phlebotomy, medication instruction and EKGs. The specialized diploma can be completed in one calendar year (with students electing to attend the program on a part-time or full-time basis) and allows successful students to gain employment at the earliest point in their academic program. Students can also choose to continue their studies in a specialized field through direct articulation with other Healthcare Administration programs.
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Your Career as a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants support healthcare facilities by performing both clerical and clinical duties. Medical assistants work in private practice offices, general hospitals, outpatient care facilities and surgical centers. Their clinical medical assisting duties vary by individual skill level, location and the needs of the facility in which they work.
Some examples of administrative tasks typically performed by medical assistants include answering phones, filing insurance claims and scheduling appointments. In small offices, medical assistants are likely to execute a number of different jobs; however, in larger facilities like hospitals and clinics, they typically specialize. Some of the duties typically assigned to clinical medical assisting professionals include taking patients' vital signs, collecting and discarding laboratory specimens and assisting physicians during exams.
Medical Assistant Career Paths
- Medical Assistant
Degrees We Offer
- Specialized Diploma | 1 year
If you are a Northampton Community College student living outside of Pennsylvania or intending to complete an internship or clinical placement outside of the state in a NCC program leading to professional licensure, you should review requirements on the state board website to make sure that the program qualifies.
Licensure requirements vary from state to state and you may require additional authorization from the professional licensing agency in that state. Participating in a program from outside of Pennsylvania, if not properly authorized by that state's professional licensing board, could result in loss of licensing eligibility. If you need help or have questions, please contact the Program Director for more information.Program Details view official course information in our 17-18 college catalog Program Map View Your Suggested Semester Map (PDF)