Medical Assistant Programs


Erica Mullins
Assistant Master Instructor

Career Description

Medical Assistants (MAs) are the only allied health professional trained specifically for the ambulatory care setting. The career is identified by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow faster than the average for all occupations at 29% from 2012 through 2022. Part of the reason is the increase need in the number of ambulatory health care facilities who provide preventative care demanding a flexible medical assistant who can perform a variety of skills. Skills acquired in the MA Program include (but not exclusively) administrative such as answer telephones, greet patients, file, complete insurance forms, handle correspondence, schedule appointments, arrange for other health care services, treatments, procedures, handle billing and bookkeeping; and clinical based on state law such as taking medical histories, obtaining/recording vital signs, prepare and administer medications as directed by the physician, preparing/assisting in client examinations, collect and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies, sterilize medical instruments, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, change dressings, and educate clients in treatments/procedures. MAs who specialize may perform additional skills.

Medical assistants interact with a variety of people in pleasant-physician office/clinic environments typically during day hours Monday through Friday. The Medical Assistant is not limited to clinical practice with the potential for advancement in areas such as office manager, administrative support occupations, or teaching future medical assisting.

For a more complete description of careers in medical assisting, refer to the website of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Program Overview

BPCC’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Technical Diploma, and Certificate of Technical Studies in MA Programs consist of Qualification Courses and Program Courses. The AAS program also includes Additional Required courses. Students may work at any pace (part time/full time) to complete the qualification and additional required courses. When the qualification courses have been completed (with a “C” or better) and successfully completed either ALHT 201 or ALHT 203, students may apply for admission to the program component. The additional required courses may be completed at any time prior to graduation. The program is designed so that a student may complete the Associate of Applied Science in MA program in 5 semesters, the Technical Diploma in MA program in 3 semesters, and the Certificate of Technical Studies in 2 semesters.