Medical Assisting Certificate

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The Medical Assisting program is a competency based curriculum that uses a combination of online learning, hybrid and face to face classes. Currently, students may enter the program any quarter.  Students must practice the hands-on competency skill procedures in the classroom with an instructor during designated times.  North Seattle College’s Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on recommendation of the Curriculum Review Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Endowment (CRB-AAMAE).  CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 210-2350.  Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam following graduation and are also eligible for the Washington State Medical Assistant-Certified License upon completion of the entire Medical Assisting program including the externship.  The CMA credential is obtained through a national exam given by the AAMA. Medical Assistants enjoy an exciting, challenging career that is essential to patient care.  Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties.  The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being, and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.  The North Seattle College program requires self-motivation, time management skills, critical thinking, attention to detail; the ability to read and comprehend college-level texts in English, to write accurately and communicate in English.  It also requires psychomotor skills, sufficient vision, hearing, and manual dexterity to perform procedures. In addition to tuition, lab and other fees charged by the college, students will have additional expenses, such as scrubs and accessories, a national background check, a $35.00 application fee, physical examination and an immunization registry that is online.   
Learning Outcomes
Prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
  • Communicate effectively in a medical office setting
  • Identify and maintain legal standards appropriate for the field
  • Function as a health care advocate and patient educator as appropriate
  • Perform appropriate operational functions of medical assisting
  • Perform clinical skills and follow diagnostic procedures effectively
  • Perform appropriate administrative and finance tasks effectively
Many classes have prerequisites.  Prerequisites are those classes that prove eligibility for entry-level classes by testing or by having satisfied prior course work.  Course work earned at other institutions must be unofficially evaluated or approved by a program advisor before registering.  See catalog for more information. Medical Assisting Program Prerequisites:
  • AHE103 Math for Health Careers (3 credits)
  • BUS169 Using Computers in Business  or equivalent (5 credits)
  • ENGL&101 English Composition or equivalent  (5 credits)
Prerequisite courses must be taken within the last ten years.
  • Certification in American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider and First Aid (American Heart Association or Red Cross) are required prior to enrolling in AMA 290 Externship.
Note: Advanced placement testing, work experience, and transfer of credits may result in course waivers, credit transfer, and advanced placement. To complete the program a 3.0 grade or higher is required in all AMA courses and a 2.0 grade or higher is required in all other courses.
Course Number Certificate Requirements  (86 credits) Credit hours
AMA100 Introduction to Healthcare and Critical Thinking 5
AMA101 Intercultural Communications in Healthcare 3
AMA102 Medical Law and Ethics 2
AMA117 Medical Terminology 4
AMA118 Disease and Pathology for Medical Assistants 5
AMA119 Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants  5
AMA120 Front Office Basics 4
AMA125 Introduction to Medical Insurance and Coding 5
AMA140 Patient Care 5
AMA230 Medical Office Management 3
AMA231 Pharmacology 3
AMA232 Sterile Procedures 4
AMA233 Diagnostic Procedures 4
AMA234 Phlebotomy for the Medical Assistant 3
AMA235 Urinalysis, Microbiology and Chemistry 4
AMA236 Credentials and Employment 2
AMA250 Medication Administration 5
AMA290 Externship and CMA Review 9
NUTR&101 Nutrition  5
PSYC&100 General Psychology 5
Total Credits -- Minimum
This program of study is outlined by quarter, and courses should be taken in the indicated sequence. However, it should not be concluded that students will always proceed through their program of study exactly as prescribed here.  The number of quarters listed here is minimal.  Not all courses are offered every quarter. Individual student experiences, educational and training background, and personal schedules and demands all may affect the time it takes to finish this program. Also, in general, summer quarter is not considered one of the full-time quarters in the program. 1st quarter:  AMA 100, AMA 117, AMA 119 2nd quarter:  AMA 101, AMA 102, AMA 120, AMA 140 3rd quarter:  AMA 125, AMA 232, NUTR& 101 4th quarter:  AMA 118, AMA 230, AMA 233 5th quarter:  AMA 231, AMA 235, PSYC& 100 6th quarter:  AMA 234, AMA 236, AMA 250 7th quarter:  AMA 290  
Sequence Type

What Skills do I need to be successful in this field?

  • Greet and login in patients arriving at office/clinic
  • Interview and record patients’ medical history, vital signs, weight, height and other health information in medical records, i.e. written or electronic forms
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by physician
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens and prepare them for testing
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to the pharmacy
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets or physicians’ instructions to patients
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies in accordance with standards
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures
  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission
  • Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment
  • Operate X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests
  • Change dressings on wounds
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients
  • Schedule appointments for patients
  • Perform general office duties such as answering telephones, completing insurance forms

What are some potential job titles?

  • Medical Assistant-Certified
  • Medical Assistant-Registered
  • Medical Assistant-Phlebotomist

Wages, employment trends and pathways:

  • Wages: Median annual wage was $29,960 per year, $14.41per hour in 2014.
  • Employment trends: Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.  The growth of the aging baby boom population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians.  As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.
  • Pathways: RN, Physician Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technician, Clinical Laboratory Assistant

Program Contact  

Francie Mooney, Program Coordinator
(206) 934.6067


For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed these program, and other important information, please visit our website at

Effective beginning: Spring 2016 
Medical Assisting
381B / 51.0801