Program Overview

Northwest State’s medical assisting program is a 2-year, associate degree program that includes classroom, lab and practicum experiences. Medical Assistants are trained in both clinical and administrative duties for a variety of healthcare settings. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers. Advances in technology, a growing population of elderly Americans and an increasing number of outpatient facilities mean trained Medical Assistants are in demand.

The Medical Assisting program at Northwest State Community College meets the state education requirements in the state of Ohio. Northwest State Community College has not determined if the Medical Assisting program at Northwest State Community College meets the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia.


About Medical Assistants

See links below for information:
  • What is a Medical Assistant?
  • What is a Certified Medical Assistant, and how do I earn the credential?
  • What is the job outlook for Medical Assistants?

    Job Responsibilities

    Medical assistants are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties, as evidenced by the Occupational Analysis of Medical Assistants. Below is a quick overview (duties vary from medical practice to medical practice depending on location, size, specialty, and state law)


    Clinical Duties

    May include, but not limited to:
    • Taking medical histories
    • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
    • Preparing patients for examinations
    • Assisting the physician during examinations
    • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
    • Performing basic laboratory tests
    • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
    • Preparing and administering medications, including by intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections—including vaccinations/immunizations, as directed by a physician or other licensed provider (e.g., a nurse practitioner or physician assistant)
    • Transmitting prescription refills as directed
    • Phlebotomy
    • Taking electrocardiograms
    • Wound care and changing dressings


    Administrative Duties

    May include, but not limited to:
    • Using computer applications
    • Answering telephones
    • Welcoming patients
    • Updating and filing patient medical records
    • Coding and filling out insurance forms
    • Scheduling appointments
    • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
    • Handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping


    Occupational Risks

    Medical Assisting is a profession with many rewards. As practitioners, they can perform both administrative and clinical duties, filling several roles in a variety of healthcare environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly outlines that it is a growth field, with an anticipated 18% growth from 2020 to 2030.

    Medical Assistants work directly with providers and patients, with the goal of providing healthcare and ensuring patient safety. It is a position with a great deal of responsibility.

    As with any healthcare position, there are certain occupational risks that come into play with being a medical assistant, and those hazards include the following:

    • Exposure to infectious diseases
    • Sharps injuries
    • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards
    • Chemical and drug exposure
    • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks
    • Latex allergies
    • Stress

    At the same time, there are protections set up with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and those protections are particularly important within a healthcare environment. OSHA has a series of standards that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients.

    The Northwest State Medical Assisting Program teaches students about the hazards that they face on the job and the protocols that can be put into place to ensure a workplace culture that prioritizes safety in the workplace.


    Technical Standards

    All students entering into the medical assisting program should carefully review the technical standards and decide if he or she has any limitations that may restrict or interfere with the satisfactory performance of any of these requirements. The applicant should consult with the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health or the Medical Assisting Program Coordinator to discuss any individual situation that would prohibit the applicant from meeting any of these technical standards. The applicant may also contact the Accessibility Services Office to coordinate reasonable accommodations arising from a documented disability.

    The Medical Assistant specializes in the application of scientific knowledge and theory in the skillful performance of their profession. Therefore, all applicants should possess:

    Physical Standards:

    • Lifting Requirements: 50 pounds. Lift and carry equipment and patients up to 50 pounds. Support and assist patients in and out of a wheelchair, and on and off an examination table. Frequency of the lifting requirement is 0-25% of the time.
    • Pushing requirement 200 pounds. (Push a patient weighing 200 pounds in a wheelchair).
    • Average percent of time during a regular workday spent walking, squatting, sitting, bending and reaching is 25%.
    • Average percent of time during a regular workday spent standing is 75%.
    • Kneel, bend, stoop and/or crouch to perform CPR, assist patients, and to retrieve items from cabinets located below waist level.
    • Bend, reach above shoulder height, and or twist to position examination tables, adjust equipment, or obtain supplies.
    • Fine motor dexterity should be adequate to grasp with both hands, pinch with thumb or forefinger, to manipulate equipment and delicate instruments such as microscopes, sphygmomanometers, and perform tasks such as phlebotomy, electrocardiography, drawing up and administering parenteral medications, handling small containers of potentially biohazardous specimens (one inch by one inch), using sample measuring devices such as capillary tubes, setting up and maintaining a sterile field, putting on personal protective equipment, and operating controls on instruments and equipment, operating multi-line telephone systems, computer keyboards, and ten-key adding machines, and the ability to talk on the telephone and write simultaneously.

    Tactile Standards:

    • Palpate pulses, muscle contractions, bony landmarks and edema.
    • Differentiate between temperature and pressure variations.

    Visual Standards:

    • Adequate visual acuity, such as is needed in the preparation and administration of all forms of medication, the performance of diagnostic laboratory procedures, and for observation necessary in patient assessment and care.
    • Read accurately numbers, letters, and cursive writing on instruments, equipment, computer screens and paper.
    • Discriminate shapes and color in order to identify reagents and other materials such as laboratory media, stained preparations and the physical properties of various body fluids.
    • All the above with or without corrective devices.

    Auditory Standards:

    • Adequate auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health care team either in person or over the telephone.
    • Hear heart sounds, blood pressure sounds, patient distress sounds to assess health needs of patients.
    • Hear instrument timers and alarms.
    • Hear over the telephone, paging systems or intercom in order to communicate with patients and other members of the health care team.
    • All of the above with or without corrective devices.

    Communication Standards:

    • Adequate communication skills (verbal, nonverbal, and written) to interact effectively with individuals.
    • Speak in the English language in a clear, concise manner in order to communicate with patients (such as interviewing and taking patient history, obtaining chief complaints, and providing patient education regarding treatment plans, disease prevention, or health maintenance), families, healthcare providers, other members of the healthcare team and the community.
    • Comprehend oral and written language including medical terminology in order to communicate with patients, families, healthcare providers, other members of the healthcare team and the community.
    • Write in English clearly, legibly, for documentation in the medical record, completion of forms, and to initiate written communication.

    Mental/Cognitive Standards:

    • Sufficient intellectual and emotional functions to plan and implement assigned duties in a responsible manner.
    • Function safely, responsibly and effectively under stressful situations.
    • Remain alert to surroundings and potential emergencies.
    • Interact effectively and appropriately with patients, families and coworkers.
    • Display attitudes and actions consistent with ethical standards of medical assisting.
    • Maintain composure while managing and prioritizing multiple tasks.
    • Communicate an understanding of the principles of confidentiality, respect, tact, politeness, collaboration, teamwork and discretion.
    • Handle difficult interpersonal situations in a calm and tactful manner.
    • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
    • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
    • Function without causing harm to others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
    • Function without causing harm to others. This would include situations that may result from any mental or physical conditions.


    CMA (AAMA)® Certification

    Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or even insist, that their medical assistants are CMA (AAMA) certified.


    Program Accreditation

    The medical assisting program at Northwest State Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).


    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
    9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
    Seminole, FL 33775


    Learn more about accreditation here:
    What is Accreditation and Why is it Important?


    Medical Assisting Uniforms

    Uniforms can be purchased using a credit card or financial aid. If you would like to use financial aid, select that option and include your N number in the box.

    Uniform shoes are not available from this site and should be purchased at the uniform shop of your choice. Shoes must be white leather or vinyl. For safety reasons, no holes or mesh are permitted.

    If you have questions or concerns regarding uniforms, contact the Division Office at 419.267.1246.

    Purchase medical assisting uniforms here

    Program Stats

    Northwest State Community College's Medical Assisting Program Outcomes

    Graduate and Employer Satisfaction

    The Medical Assisting Program at Northwest State Community College has a five-year average Graduate and Employer Satisfaction rate of 100% for the years 2018-2022.

    Job Placement

    The Medical Assisting Program at Northwest State Community College has a five-year average of 97.14% for job placement for the years 2018-2022. Support services are available to assist students with job placement.

    Exam Passage Rate

    The Medical Assisting Program at Northwest State Community College has a five-year average certification exam passage rate of 91.8% for the years 2018-2022.

    Retention Rate

    he Medical Assisting Program at Northwest State Community College has a five-year average retention rate of 72.5% for the years 2018-2022. Support services are available for students to help them complete the program successfully.


    Start on the pathway to your career at Northwest State Community College today!


    Administrative Assistant

    Kristi Vondeylen