Medical Assistant

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Business (ASB) Degree Program
Available in State College (ABHES Accredited*), Altoona (ABHES Accredited*), and Lewistown**

The Medical Assistant program at South Hills will prepare you to use both administrative and clinical skills in a medical setting. Students learn to perform tasks such as records management and billing, as well as clinical procedures ranging from collecting specimens to administering medication (as state law permits).

Our MA graduates work alongside physicians in a wide variety of settings, including: medical and surgical hospitals, medical offices and clinics, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, ambulatory care facilities, and professional schools. Other career opportunities include: electrocardiography technician, phlebotomist, and emergency department technician.

In order to be successful in this program, students must be comfortable working closely with people of all kinds, drawing blood, and handling lab specimens. Additionally, they must demonstrate integrity and respect and embrace change, growth, and learning.

Upon successful completion of Medical Assistant program at State College or Altoona, graduates are eligible to apply to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination. MA graduates at the Lewistown location are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam.

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* The specialized associate degree Medical Assistant program at the State College and Altoona campuses is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant program at State College or Altoona, graduates are eligible to apply to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination.

** Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant program at Lewistown, graduates are eligible to apply to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.

“One unique feature of our program is that students complete their competencies before their internship. As a result, we receive a lot of compliments from the internship sites, and many of those internships turn into full-time jobs for the students.”

Crystal Douglas
MA State College Main Campus Program Coordinator / Instructor at the State College Main Campus

MA Graduates Can Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Only Two Years with St. Francis University!

South Hills students graduating with the Associate in Specialized Business Degree in Medical Assistant are eligible for a bachelor degree completion program in Healthcare Management or Health Studies through St. Francis University Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies.

Finish your Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management or Health Studies in only two years or less through online, weekend, and evening classes in State College or Altoona. South Hills students will be guaranteed acceptance with a 2.0 GPA and up to 64 credits from our HIT program will automatically transfer into the program. Students and alumni may transfer in additional credits through military or other colleges as applicable, accepting up to 98 credits. The customizable curriculum allows you to take as few or as many classes as you want so you can balance work, family, and life. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. This program can also be completed fully online. Both programs are also fully online.

For more information about Bachelor's degree completion, visit the St. Francis website or call the Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies at 814-472-3012.

Objectives and Skills


Through a comprehensive educational training program including attention to theory, practice, and application, students in the Medical Assistant program will develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes:

  1. To prepare the student to function competently at an entry level, principally in a physician’s office or clinic.
  2. To provide adequate information, demonstration, and practice of medical assistant administrative skills for the healthcare field to insure student competency in this area.
  3. To provide adequate information, demonstration, and practice of medical assistant clinical skills for the healthcare field to insure student competency in this area.
  4. To provide adequate information, demonstration, and practice of medical assistant laboratory skills for the healthcare field to insure student competency in this area.
  5. To provide an adequate foundation of knowledge in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, disease processes and conditions.
  6. To provide an adequate foundation of knowledge and hands on practice to understand proper aseptic techniques, and diagnostic and treatment procedures commonly performed in the physician’s office.
  7. To prepare the student for employment in the health care field, emphasizing the need for maturity, responsibility, and attention to detail that is essential for all health care employees.
  8. To provide the student with information and skills needed to take the CMA (AAMA) exam.

At the completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively and professionally in speech and in writing.
  2. Use appropriate technological tools to assist in the efficient completion of assigned job responsibilities.
  3. Perform administrative duties as assigned in a medical office.
  4. Perform clinical duties as assigned in a medical office.
  5. Conduct themselves appropriately in order to maintain positive working relationships with employers, co-workers, and clients.
  6. Acquire the background knowledge necessary in order to understand historical and current business practices in their field.
  7. Function competently in a business environment, displaying traits of and meeting expectations for a valued employee.
  8. Identify print and electronic resources to continually expand their knowledge and skills through on-going professional development.
  9. Respect confidential information obtained through employment unless legally authorized or required by responsible performance of duty to divulge such information.

Complete Course List

Medical Assistant Course List for 2016-17

This program information appears in the 2016-17 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
 
FIRST TERM
MD102Anatomy & Physiology I5.560
MD103Anatomy & Physiology I Lab0.510
GE179Mathematics for Health Care Professionals460
OS103Keyboarding120
GE207Applied Psychology in Health Care336
EN104Business English I460
PD110Professional Development224
MD108Medical Terminology I336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23306
 
SECOND TERM
MD106Anatomy & Physiology II5.560
MD107Anatomy & Physiology II Lab0.510
MD109Medical Terminology II336
CP284Microsoft Word4.560
HI228Introduction to the Health Care Field460
EN105Business English II460
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS21.5286
 
THIRD TERM
GE210Business English III3.560
MA305Electrocardiography4.560
HI226ICD Coding I4.560
HI102Pathophysiology5.560
MA206Clinical Skills 4.560
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS22.5300
 
FOURTH TERM
MA111Laboratory Procedures I460
HI227ICD Coding II4.560
HI225CPT-4448
CP283Microsoft Office460
MD240Medical Administrative Skills I4.560
MD242Pharmacology336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24324
 
FIFTH TERM
CD207Job Search Skills224
MD241Medical Insurance Forms4.560
MA306Medical Seminar2.536
MA207Laboratory Procedures II4.560
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
HI229Medical Legal Aspects336
DS103First Aid & CPR-AHA0.510
GE213Oral Business Communications224
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS21.5286
 
SIXTH TERM
CD308Career Preparation0.510
CD309Certification Preparation for the Medical Assistant221
MA603Medical Assistant Internship11330
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS13.5361

Careers in Medical Assistant


Our MA graduates work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics. Other opportunities include:

  • Electrocardiography Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Emergency Department Technician

Our students are placed in outstanding internship environments where they have the opportunity to put their classroom experience to work in the real world prior to graduation. We have placed interns at locations including but not limited to:


South Hills Medical Assistant graduates are well-trained and in demand for their skillsets and work ethics. Some of the many locations employing our graduates including but not limited to:

Program Advisory Board Members

State College Main Campus
NameTitleCompany
Deborah Aigner CRNPACCESS CoordinatorAltoona Area School District
Mary BresslerRevenue Cycle ManagerMount Nittany Physician Group
Gail A. Brown MOAIIMOA2 SupervisorPenn State Hershey Medical Group
Laurie HallManager, Organizational DevelopmentUniversity Orthopedics Center
Carol HaywoodClearMed ProviderClearfield Hospital
Shannon HilliardDirector of NursingMount Nittany Physician Group
Jennifer LongstrethClinic SupervisorGeisinger Clinic – Philipsburg and Bellefonte
E. Louise MyersPractice ManagerTyrone Medical Associates
Sonya Witmer, MS, RHIA, CDIPSr. Quality Informatics SpecialistPenn State Hershey Medical Center
Altoona Campus
NameTitleCompany
Ann Marie BombaPractice AdministratorENT Associates of Central PA
Kathy WilkOffice ManagerMainline Medical Associates
Deborah Aigner, CRNPACCESS CoordinatorAltoona Area School District
Amy ReighardNurse ManagerBlair Gastroenterology Associates
Elizabeth Zabinski, CMA (AAMA)Medical AssistantAllegheny Health Care Staffing
E. Louise MyersPractice ManagerTyrone Medical Associates
Mary ThayerOffice ManagerCardiology Associates of Altoona
Michele ScanlanHR DirectorHome Nursing Agency
Patricia GeeseyEmployment CoordinatorUPMC Altoona
Sherri StayerPractice ManagerAltoona Lung Associates
Lewistown Location
NameTitleCompany
Maryann BrownDirector-School of NursingLewistown Hospital
Tracey CarolusRecruiterGeisinger-Lewistown Hospital
Lori EckleyClinic SupervisorGeisinger
Mary Alyce NelsonFacultyLewistown Hospital School of Nursing
Phyllis PalmRetired 
Daniel PotutschnigDirectorMifflin-Juniata Career & Technology Center
Nicholas PriceAssistant ChiefFame EMS

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Medical Assistant Disclosures page on our website.