Medical Assistant

The Medical Assistant is a link between health care providers and their patients, their professional associates, and the suppliers of equipment and medications.  The Medical Assistant is the team member who assists the qualified provider in the office or other medical setting, performing administrative and/or clinical duties.

Demand for the Medical Assistant may also occur in business or industrial health centers, health insurance companies and emergency care centers.  The Medical Assistant has a wide range of duties supportive to the provider’s practice.  Business/administrative duties include scheduling and receiving patients, obtaining patient information, maintaining medical records, maintaining supplies and equipment, and assuming responsibility for office care, insurance matters, office accounts, fees and collections.  Medically related duties include assisting with examinations and treatments, taking health histories, performing certain diagnostic tests, carrying out laboratory procedures and sterilizing instruments and equipment.

The Medical Assistant Supervised Externship experience takes place during the last weeks of the final semester of the program.  The student must have satisfactorily completed all of his/her program courses prior to this experience and agree to participate without remuneration.  During externship, each student will spend two rotations in health care facilities.  One rotation will focus on administrative or business skills.  The other rotation will focus on clinical and laboratory skills.  The externship experience allows students to become familiar with a variety of experiences they might encounter in the work place.

Program Goal

The goal of the Blackhawk Technical College Medical Assistant Program is to prepare competent, Entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Perform clerical functions
  • Perform bookkeeping procedures
  • Prepare special accounting entries
  • Apply principles of medical asepsis
  • Perform specimen collection
  • Perform diagnostic testing
  • Process insurance claims
  • Provide patient care
  • Communicate effectively
  • Apply legal and ethical concepts
  • Instruct patients
  • Perform medical office operational functions
  • Demonstrate professionalism in a health care setting

The American Association of Medical Assistants awards the title of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) to those who pass a national written examination.

Beginning with the January 2001 Certification Examination, felons are not eligible to sit for the examination without a waiver from the certifying board.

The Blackhawk Technical College Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Curriculum Review Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Endowment (AAMAE). Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 35 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1970, Chicago, Illinois 60601-2208, (312) 553-9355.

Program Requirements:

The following program requirements must be met.

Obtain minimum scores or successful completion of the designated courses with a grade of C or better.

  • Writing Requirement:  COMPASS 70, ACT English 16, 10.5 TABE OR Written Communication (801-195)
  •  Reading Requirement: COMPASS 80, ACT Reading 16, 10.5 TABE OR Medical Terminology (501-101)
  • Math Requirement: COMPASS (Pre-Algebra) 40, ACT Math 16, TABE 8.9 OR Pre-Algebra (834-109)
  • Typing Requirement: 30 words per minute for a three (3) minute timing with 3 or fewer errors.

Program Pre-requisite: Keyboarding

Program Co-requisite: CPR and First Aid for Health Professionals (must be completed prior to Medical Assistant Externship) The standard for promotion in the Medical Assistant program requires a “C” in all courses. Satisfactory completion of all on-campus courses and a physical examination are required before externship. Note: A Caregiver Background Check is required.

Important Change:  Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, the Medical Assistant core courses MUST be completed in one year (two semesters); students will no longer have the option to complete the core courses in three or four semesters.

Students may also elect to talk to their counselors regarding taking associate degree courses that may substitute for the Technical Diploma courses.

Information Meetings

Students are strongly advised to attend a program information meeting prior to registering for program courses. Topics included in these meetings include:

  • College application and admission
  • Financial aid
  • Course registration
  • Health requirements and background check
  • Classes and schedules
  • Program policy and procedure

Information Meeting dates for the 2016 – 2017 Academic Year:

  • 29 February 2016, 5:30 PM, Triangle Room
  • 1 March 2016, 3:00 PM, North Commons
  • 14 June 2016, 5:30 PM, North Commons