Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog

Medical Assistant, Certificate

Location(s): Ankeny

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To prepare medical assistants who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession. Medical assistants are the only allied health professionals specifically trained to work in ambulatory settings, such as physicians’ offices, clinics and group practices. As multiskilled allied health team members, medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical procedures in these settings.

Students gain a basic knowledge of clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, medication administration, first aid, office practices, patient relations, medical law and ethics, communication skills, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, laboratory procedures, administrative procedures and patient care techniques. These content areas are presented in the classroom, practiced in the laboratory setting and utilized in a supervised practicum experience in an ambulatory setting. A student may be compensated for Practicum hours if the student is involved in a hospital or clinic affiliated program, or a workforce program, outside of DMACC. 

The DMACC Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP www.caahep.org), 9355 113th Street N. #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, phone 727-210-2350, upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB), of the American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment (AAMAE), 2339 N. California Ave. #47138, Chicago, IL 60647, www. maerb.org, phone: 1-800-228-2262. DMACC graduates are eligible to take the certification examination [CMA (AAMA)] given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Criminal background checks will be completed on each student. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may prevent students from participating in practicum education experiences. Students unable to participate in practicum education will be unable to complete the Medical Assistant program. A felony conviction may prevent applicants from being eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Medical Assistant certification examination.

Program Details

Pathway: Health Science & Fitness

More information on this Pathway.

Students may start this program Fall semester

The Medical Assistant Certificate program Fall start will be delivered face-to-face on the Ankeny campus.

The Medical Assistant Certificate program Spring start will be web-blended with courses being offered online and hands-on skills portion on campus.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Submit proof of high school graduation or HiSET completion.
  3. Complete required entry assessments. Complete ACCUPLACER Next Gen Reading, ACCUPLACER Next Gen Writing and ALEKS Math assessments, obtaining satisfactory scores in reading (248 or above) writing (254 or above) ALEKS math placement(14 or above)or ACT scores in Reading (19 or above) English (19 or above), Math (14 or above).
  4. Attend a required Medical Assistant information session.

Program Graduation Requirements

To earn a Medical Assistant, Certificate, a student must complete all required coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Total Credits Required to Complete this Award - 36

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$193.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 500    
Supplies 65   25  
Uniforms, Shoes, Watch, Stethoscope 50 200  
Certification Test Fee     125
AAMA student membership fee   45  
Physical Exam (approx.)   80    
CPR Healthcare Provider   68  
Immunizations/titers 150    
Materials Fee 115 125  

The Medical Assistant program utilizes a background check service (www.viewpointscreening.com), ViewPoint, to conduct criminal background/abuse checks and to track immunizations, health records and CPR certification for each student after their acceptance into the program.

Approximate total cost for the program: **$8,496

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Arrange hospital admissions, schedule laboratory and outpatient appointments.
  • Perform Quality Control Procedures.
  • Prepare patients for various examinations and assist with examinations and treatments.
  • Obtain vital signs.
  • Perform ECGs.
  • Administer injections and instruct patients about medications and TB testing.
  • Sterilize instruments, order supplies and maintain treatment rooms.
  • Schedule appointments, answer telephones and perform patient check-in and check out functions.
  • Code and complete insurance claim forms.
  • Obtain blood specimen using venipuncture and finger stick techniques.
  • Perform laboratory tests (urinalysis, complete blood count, blood chemistries, strep tests, etc.) as ordered by physician.
  • Assist with minor surgery, apply bandages and dressings and remove sutures.
  • Maintain patients’ records and take medical histories.
  • Assist in patient education.
  • Serve as a patient navigator.
  • Document patient care.
  • Utilize electronic health records.
  • Transmit prescription orders as directed.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Perform activities in an organized and detailed manner.
  • Apply knowledge from the biological and social sciences.
  • Must have necessary physical and emotional stamina to meet demands of a rigorous schedule. Some employers may require candidates to pass a strength and agility test prior to hiring.
  • Must have self-discipline and ability to take initiative.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Individuals who have been found guilty of a felony, or pleaded guilty to a felony, are not eligible for the AAMA (CMA) certification exam.  However, the certifying board may grant a waiver based upon mitigating circumstances.
  • You will be required to communicate easily and clearly with patients and coworkers.
  • You must accept responsibility for your actions.
  • You will stand and walk most of the day.
  • Working under pressure requires good physical health and emotional stability.
  • Average starting salary $38,270 (2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Program Competencies

  1. Apply concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the normal function of the human body and to the understanding of disease processes
  2. Implement current principles and guidelines related to laboratory testing, infection control and aseptic techniques in the medical office
  3. Perform effective administrative procedures related to patient reception, medical office billing (insurance, coding and patient accounts)
  4. Adhere to legal and ethical standards governing the practice of medical assisting
  5. Demonstrate effective communication and the ability to establish positive working relationships with diverse patient populations and members of the healthcare team


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Executive Campus Dean’s office, the Executive Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at Academic Pathway website.(2024)

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