1300 145th Street East • Rosemount, MN • 55068-2999
Welcome to the Medical Assistant Program of Dakota County Technical College
(DCTC). We are pleased you chose this college and program for your Medical Assistant
career. As faculty we are here to guide you during your study and practice of Medical
Assisting. We are all well versed in the Medical Assistant profession and have many
years of experience in the field and in teaching.
The department has developed this handbook as a companion to the DCTC handbook,
which you received during your orientation to the campus. This handbook is designed to
inform you about program procedures that fit within the policies of the college.
The program is accredited by the “Commission of Accreditation for Allied Health
Education Programs” (CAAHEP), after assessment of quality by the American
Association of Medical Assistants Curriculum Review Board.
PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Dakota County Technical College Medical Assistant Program is to
provide a supportive environment in which students will develop attitudes, knowledge
and skills essential for the successful practice of Medical Assisting.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Conceptual Framework/Entry Level Competencies for the Medical Assistant 1
Program Design and Progression 4
Program Policies 4
Transfer Credit/Credit by Exam 5
Transfer of Credit Procedure 5
Denial of Credit 5
Status Change/Readmission 5
Readmission to Medical Assistant Major 5
Clinical Courses 6
Repeating a Course 6
Academic Dishonesty/ Plagiarism 7
Student Health/Immunizations 7
Student Life 8
Liability Insurance 8
Student Organizations 8
Graduates of the Medical Assistant program will be prepared for immediate employment
in the Medical Assisting field.
Graduates will be able to successfully take and pass the national certification exam.
Graduates will be experienced in medical clinic protocol and this transition will
familiarize them with the world of work.
The conceptual framework of the Medical Assistant Program is based on the Commission
on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) Standards &
The curriculum sequence starts with simple and ends with more complex concepts.
Starting with core health courses in terminology, anatomy and math and progressing with
the hands on skills needed to perform as a Medical Assistant in the clinic. The unpaid,
276 hour externship is the culmination of the course-work put into action in a clinic
setting under the guidance of a supervisor.
The Standards and Guidelines require the inclusion of the following content areas:
Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, Medical Law and Ethics, Psychology,
Communication, Administrative Procedures, Clinical Procedures, Professional
Components, and Externship.
In addition there are 62 required skills competencies that must be assessed.
These are entry-level competencies of the profession.
Entry-Level Competencies for the Medical Assistant
From the 1999 Standards and Guidelines
Competency content in all areas (administrative, clinical & trans-disciplinary) should be
presented utilizing manual and state-of-the-art methods.
Invasive procedures must be taught to clinical competency.
Patient care instructions should encompass all phases of the life cycle: pediatric, adult and
Adaptations for special needs patients should be addressed.
(1) Perform Clerical Functions (1) Fundamental Principles
a. Schedule and Manage appointments a. Perform hand-washing
b. Schedule inpatient and outpatient b. Wrap items for autoclaving
admissions and procedures c. Perform sterilization techniques
c. Perform medical transcription d. Dispose of bio-hazardous materials
d. Organize a patient’s medical record e. Practice standard precautions
e. File medical records
(2) Perform Bookkeeping Procedures (2) Specimen Collection
a. Prepare a bank deposit a. Perform venipuncture
b. Reconcile a bank statement b. Perform capillary puncture
c. Post entries on a day-sheet c. Obtain throat specimen for microbiological
d. Perform accounts receivable procedures d. Perform wound collection procedure for
e. Perform accounts payable procedures microbiology testing
f. Perform billing and collection procedures e. Instruct patients in collection of a clean-
g. Prepare a check catch mid-stream urine specimen
h. Establish and maintain a petty cash fund f. Instruct patients in the collection of fecal
(3) Prepare Special Accounting Entries (3) Diagnostic Testing
a. Post adjustments a. Use methods of quality control
b. Process credit balance b. Perform urinalysis
c. Process refunds c. Perform hematology testing
d. Post NSF checks d. Perform chemistry testing
e. Post collection agency payments e. Perform immunology testing
f. Perform micro-biology testing
(4) Process Insurance Claims g. Screen and follow-up test results
a. Apply managed care policies and h. Perform electrocardiograms
b. Apply third party guidelines i. Perform respiratory testing
c. Obtain managed care referrals and pre-
d. Perform procedural coding (4) Patient Care
e. Perform diagnostic coding a. Perform telephone an in-person screening
f. Complete insurance claim forms b. Obtain vital signs
g. Use physician’s fee schedule c. Obtain and record patient history
d. Prepare and maintain examination and
e. Prepare and maintain examination and
f. Prepare patients for and assist with routine
and specialty examinations
g. Apply pharmacology principles to prepare
and administer oral and parenteral
h. Maintain medication and immunization
(1) Communicate (3) Patient Instruction
a. Respond to and initiate written a. Explain general office procedures
b. Recognize and respond to verbal b. Instruct individuals according to their
c. Recognize and respond to non-verbal c. Instruct and demonstrate the use and care
communications of patient equipment
d. Demonstrate telephone techniques
d. Provide instruction for health maintenance
(2) Legal Concepts and disease prevention
a. Identify and respond to issues of e. Identify community resources
a. Perform within legal an ethical boundaries
b. Establish and maintain the medical record (4) Operational Functions
c. Document appropriately a. Perform and inventory of supplies and
d. Perform risk management b. Perform routine maintenance of
administrative and clinical equipment
*May be addressed in clinical, administrative, or c. Utilize computer software to maintain
both areas. office systems
The Medical Assistant program requires 42 credits for completion of the diploma
program or 62 credits for completion of the AAS degree. A grade of ‘C’ or better is
required in ALL required courses. Faculty and student services counselors are available
to assist in planning full or part-time class schedules to ensure timely completion.
The Medical Assistant courses are presented in three settings: classroom, learning
laboratory, and clinical sites. In the classroom, the instructor uses textbooks, instructor
designed materials, audio-visual materials and class discussion to facilitate theory
learning. Library references, periodicals, anatomy models and other learning resources
are available for students.
Learning laboratories include clinic exam rooms, laboratory facilities, computer use for
medical records, and x-ray equipment typically used in physician offices and clinics.
Skills are presented in the classroom with audio-visual aides and/or demonstrated by the
instructor in the laboratory setting. Each student must complete each scheduled lab and a
test out of each demonstrated skill to pass the course. These skills are also known as
The clinical practice is an unpaid externship where students develop competence in
medical assisting skills while caring for patients in clinics and physicians offices. Each
student must be recommended by the medical assistant instructors to participate in
externship. This recommendation is based on attendance, successful demonstration of
competencies, professionalism, and grades of “C” or better in all course work. Program
instructors make assignments and supervise these learning experiences. Clinical sites
used by the program are varied according to the needs of the current student population.
Students are assigned tasks according to the objectives of the clinical course. As members
of the health care team, students assist staff in various duties.
Background studies are required for health care providers with direct patient contact.
This study may be at the cost of the student. Students who have not completed a
Background Study or who have been disqualified by the MN Dept. of Human Services
will not be allowed to participate in the Externship.
TERMINATION FROM AN EXTERNSHIP
Students who are terminated from an externship due to their own behavior or
choose to end their externship, will be required to find their own clinic to complete
the externship. Faculty will not set up a second externship for students who are
terminated in this way. This is a rare occurrence and usually occurs because of
attendance issues or unprofessional conduct. Behaviors that jeopardize the safety or
health of patients or staff may lead to dismissal from the program.
Descriptions of all courses are listed in the DCTC catalog. The college publishes a class
schedule prior to registration. The department posts semester course offerings for the
The following Medical Assistant Program policies have been developed to comply with
student policies of DCTC, rules of the Accreditation Agency, agreements with clinical
facilities, and standards of medical assistant practice.
TRANSFER CREDIT/CREDIT BY EXAM
Transfer of credits of ‘C” or better from other approved educational institutions is
accepted according to DCTC policy. Medical Assistant courses must have been
completed within three years of application to the Medical Assistant Program. The
program faculty will review the transcript of credits. According to DCTC policy, students
who feel they have gained knowledge and experience parallel to a particular course, but
have no formal transcript, may be eligible to apply for credit by exam. If the student
successfully achieves a ‘C’ and/or satisfactorily completes skills competency testing,
credit will be granted on a “Pass” basis according to DCTC policy. Students with transfer
credits may be required to demonstrate competency in the required skill areas before
transfer is granted.
TRANSFER OF CREDIT PROCEDURE
The transfer of credit procedure will be in accordance with the DCTC school policy and
handled through the registrar’s office and with consultation with the MA program
DENIAL OF CREDIT
The Medical Assistant Program reserves the right to deny requests for transfer of credit
Credits are not applicable to the Medical Assistant major.
Credit/syllabus does not have current value due to new technology.
The DCTC student handbook outlines the procedure for withdrawing from a program or
the college. Students are responsible for following college procedure.
Please inform the program’s Student Service counselor if you plan for program
progression change. Examples include a decision to part time, or to temporarily be on
inactive status. When you plan to return to program, you must plan with the counselor for
your readmission. These plans should be made at least 6 weeks in advance. See policy for
Medical Assistant major readmission. Clinical courses have limited enrollment and full
time continuing students have priority. Students who have been out of a skills class
(Lab Skills II, Clinical Procedures II or Pharmacology) for more than 3 months will
be required to register for up to 3 credits of Special Topics in order to refresh their
READMISSION TO MEDICAL ASSISTANT MAJOR
An inactive student (not enrolled for two consecutive semesters) must apply for
readmission. An interview and Special Topics course must be completed for Lab Skills
and Clinical Procedures. This is to assure the student will be successful when resuming
the learning program. Students will be given information regarding the procedure at the
time in inquiry for admission.
Attending every class session contributes to your success as a student. This attendance
practice in the work place will contribute to your success as a Medical Assistant. The
DCTC student handbook identifies college attendance policies in the “student conduct
rules and procedures” section.
All MDAS courses follow the “Standards of Professionalism” agreement signed by each
student at the beginning of the program. Each student retains a copy of this agreement
but may request a copy from the Program Director.
To meet the goals and objectives of the Medical Assistant program and the requirements
of the accreditation body (CAAHEP) students must achieve a degree of competence in
patient care activities. Medical Assisting skills are acquired through instructor supervised
practice and simulated clinical setting practice and during externship.
Occasionally, students are absent during externship for a variety of personal and family
emergencies. In externship a student making satisfactory progress according to program
standards may have one clinical absence in an 8-week period. Any additional absences
must be made up.
Grading criteria will be specifically outlined in each course syllabi and addendum. The
letter grade and percentage are based on the following:
93.5-100 = A
86.5-93.4 = B
79.5-86.4 = C
72-79.4 = D
In order to progress in the Medical Assistant major the student must attain ‘C’ or better in
all required program courses.
REPEATING A COURSE
A course may be repeated one time. If the course is not completed the second time with a
grade of “C” or better, the student must meet with the appropriate Dean for approval to
take the course again.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY/ PLAGIARISM
The primary mission of Dakota County Technical College is “Education for Employment.” DCTC
“is committed to the creation and maintenance of an academic community, which fosters
intellectual, personal, social, and ethical development of its students”. A primary goal of this
mission and commitment includes the exploration, dissemination, and application of knowledge.
Academic honesty and integrity are vital to the fulfillment of this goal. Thus, academic dishonesty
in any form (cheating, plagiarism, and/or collusion) will not be tolerated. It is expected that
students in this class will be accountable and solely responsible for all work submitted in his/her
name. Additionally, all work submitted in each course should represent the individuals own
efforts. In other words, it is expected that all work submitted by the student shall be the original
work of that student. If this is not the case, or if a student cheats on an exam, an “F” will be given
for the course unless the student withdraws.
Students must complete a health assessment form when completing the application to the
Medical Assistant major. This form will be kept in your file until program completion.
Immunizations: Medical Assistant Program clinical sites require proof of immunity for
several contagious diseases. Copies of immunization records are required. Proof of HBV
vaccination or a signed declination form must be on file before invasive procedures are
performed in the fall semester. Physical exams are recommended before the externship.
This information is documented on the health assessment and immunization forms. You
are responsible for keeping this information current. Students without proper
documentation for immunizations and physical exam will not be allowed to progress to
the clinical sites.
Student Health: You are responsible for your health and any related problems. You must
receive medication or care from your personal physician. You are NOT to consult a staff
physician in the clinical area. Illnesses and medication use must be reported to the
instructor. You are responsible for your own medical and hospitalization insurance.
Emergency treatment if needed, will be given in the clinical site if you become ill or
injured in the clinical area. Emergency care at the college is available through Health
Services. Incidents are to be reported to the instructor. In either case the student must
report the incident to DCTC Health Service.
A member of the Medical Assistant faculty will be assigned to you as an academic
advisor. This advisor will answer questions and assist you in registering each quarter to
assure that you follow the correct progression of courses.
The Medical Assistant Program is assigned a counselor from Student Services who is
also available to assist you. Nancy Bailey is the current counselor for Medical Assistant
students. Appointments can be made in student services.
The department schedules a mid-quarter advising time to provide you and your advisor
an opportunity to review program progression and clarify procedures. It is your
responsibility to make an appointment to meet with your advisor.
The faculty desires to have students receive information as promptly as possible. Several
avenues of sending information are used. Announcements will be made in class or posted
on the bulletin board outside the laboratory. Instructors have voice mail and e-mail
addresses at DCTC. These will be listed on the class syllabus.
The life of a student is busy and challenging. It is especially so for a Medical Assistant
student. Today’s students have family, work, and many other responsibilities in addition
to class and study time. There are several things to consider when organizing your
personal, family and employment time. It may be helpful to know that the technical
college credit system expect two hours of outside study time for every hour of lecture
class and one hour outside study time for every two hours of a lab class. For example a 4-
credit lecture class, which meets four hours per week, requires eight hours of study time
per week. Some students are successful with less study time and others find they need
Each student is required to carry professional liability insurance. This covers you during
all clinical courses. The one time non-refundable fee is paid at the time tuition is paid for
the first clinical course.
The Student Senate at DCTC represents the college student body. It is a part of the state
organization of technical college students and is composed of member from the college
majors. Students are encouraged to participate in Senate sponsored activities and to run
for Senate offices.
The student will also be provided information related the DCTC chapter of Phi Theta
Kappa (a national honor) society as well as student memberships in the AAMA.
Attendance at the Annual Spring AAMA meeting may be required of all graduating
At the beginning of the final semester students intending to graduate will be given a
“graduation check list”. This listing outlines required and optional activities for DCTC
Diplomas or Degrees are issued by DCTC to students who successfully complete the
Medical Assistant Program requirements. Requests for transcripts must be made in
writing to Student Services.
Graduates of the Medical Assistant Program are eligible to apply for the certification
exam given yearly in January and June. Information regarding fees and the necessary
forms will be provided during the externship. This is a national exam and allows the
graduate to practice as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) in any state as allowed by
The following courses are required for graduation with a diploma:
Full Time Student Schedule
HEAL 1101 Anatomy and Physiology 4
HEAL 1502 Medical Terminology 2
MDAS 1122 Laboratory Skills I 5
MDAS 1140 Phlebotomy 1
MDAS 1130 Clinical Procedures I 3
HEAL 1150 Health Careers Math 1
OFFC 1130 MS Word I 2
MDAS 12110 Disease/Medical Treatment (including 3
MDAS 1222 Laboratory Skills II 4
MDAS 1230 Clinical Procedures II 3
MDAS 1240 Medical Office Procedures 3
MDAS 1700 Pharmacology for Medical Assistants 3
MDAS 1250 Fundamentals of Radiographic 2
MDAS 2970 Externship 6
Total Credits 42
In addition a current CPR/First Aid card is required for externship.
A part time schedule can be worked out with your advisor.
An AAS degree requires 20 additional credits as described in the DCTC catalog.