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.

Apply now

* 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 form 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

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 2015-16

This program information appears in the 2015-16 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
 
FIRST TERM
MD120Anatomy & Physiology I3.558
MD123Anatomy & Physiology I Lab0.514
CP101Introduction to Computing1.530
OS101Keyboarding0.515
GE177Mathematics for Health Care Professionals360
GE170Business English I2.560
PD102Professional Development124
MD114Medical Terminology I236
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS14.5297
 
SECOND TERM
MD121Anatomy & Physiology II3.558
MD125Anatomy & Physiology II Lab0.514
MD105Medical Terminology II236
CP226Microsoft Word360
HI222Introduction to the Health Care Field360
GE171Business English II360
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS15288
 
THIRD TERM
GE245Business English III2.560
MA102Clinical Skills I360
HI213ICD Coding I360
MD101Fundamentals of Medical Documentation1.530
HI100Pathophysiology472
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS14282
 
FOURTH TERM
MA202Clinical Skills II360
HI214ICD Coding II360
HI212CPT-42.548
CP212Microsoft Office360
MD237Medical Administrative Skills I360
MD200Pharmacology236
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS16.5324
 
FIFTH TERM
MD301Medical Administrative Skills II2.560
MD207Medical Insurance Forms360
MD239Practice Management & EHR260
MA303Electrocardiography360
MA105Laboratory Procedures I360
HI205Medical Legal Aspects236
DS101 First Aid & CPR-AHA0.512
 Optional Elective(2)(36)
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS16348
 
SIXTH TERM
CD204Job Search Skills124
MA205Laboratory Procedures II360
MA304Medical Seminar1.536
GE250Oral Business Communications124
GE172Human Relations in the Workplace1.536
GE253Applied Psychology in Health Care236
MG195Customer Relations236
 Optional Elective(2)(36)
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS12252
 
SEVENTH TERM
CD307Career Preparation1.521
CD305Certification Preparation for the Medical Assistant1.521
MA602Medical Assistant Internship9378
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS12420

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.