Medical Assisting

Medical Assisting student

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics. Medical assistants are instrumental in helping patients feel at ease in the physician’s office and often explain the physician’s instructions. Our Medical Assisting graduates are recognized for their training and are likely to find employment.

The Medical Assisting program at Yakima Valley College (YVC) combines convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice. Preparing students for employment in a flexible field that provides the opportunity for change and growth. Graduates can expect to practice their profession in medical offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings.

Application and Acceptance Period

YVC offers one opportunity for application and acceptance to the program. A separate program application is required, with 35 students accepted annually, each fall quarter with a deadline of August 1st by a competitive point system.

Program Outcome Information

Outcomes from 2019
Student Retention – 100%

Program Curriculum

Medical Assisting, AAS Option

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, this certificate prepares students for a career as a medical assistant. Instruction includes core courses essential to health care professionals and specialty courses in medical assisting. Simulations of patient examination rooms, a laboratory, and a front office reception and business area in the allied health laboratory allow for hands-on practice of essential psychomotor skills. Clinical practice in local physician’s offices and clinics provides actual experiences to prepare students for entry-level positions as a medical assistant.

This Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is 90 credits in length. A program application is required after students complete the first 38 credits of core courses, with 35 students accepted annually each fall quarter (August 1st) by the use of a competitive point system. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will receive an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Medical Assisting.

Students may complete the course of study in four quarters of full-time attendance. Part-time study is also available. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will receive an AAS degree in Medical Assisting.

Medical Assisting AAS Program Courses

Suggested sequence for full-time students

This Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is 90 credits in length. Students must place into ENGL& 101 before they can start Medical Assisting Program coursework.

Fall quarter

  •  PTECH 120: Technical Writing 5 Cr or ENGL& 101 5 Cr
  • AH 119: Medical Terminology 5 Cr
  • AH 140: Medical Law and Ethics 2 Cr

 Winter quarter

  • AH 105: Introduction to Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AH 108: Communication and Cultural Concepts in Health Care 3 Cr
  • AH 110: Human Body in Health & Disease I 5 Cr
  • AH 155: First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogen Training 2 Cr

Spring quarter

  • AH 120: Human Body in Health & Disease II 5 Cr
  • AH 104: Math for Health Professions 3 Cr
  • AHBC 101: Introduction to Medical Coding 3 Cr
  • AHBC 102: Introduction to Medical Billing 2 Cr

Medical Assisting course sequence upon acceptance into the program

Fall quarter:

  • AHMA 115: Clinical Theory I 5 Cr
  • AHMA 116: Clinical Lab Skills I 2 Cr
  • AHMA 117: Clinical Theory II 2 Cr
  • AHMA 118: Clinical Lab Skills II 1 Cr
  • AHMA 125: Administrative Procedures 5 Cr (can be taken before acceptance)
  • AHCN 105: Essentials of Care Navigation II 1 Cr (can be taken before acceptance)

Winter quarter:

  • AHMA 201: Medical Assisting Externship 7 Cr
  • AHMA 202: Medical Assisting Externship Seminar 1 Cr
  • AHMA 203: Medical Assisting Certification Examination Preparation 4 Cr

Additional courses for Medical Assisting AAS

  • Social Science 5 Cr
  • Natural Science 5 Cr
  • Electives 14 Cr

Total Credits 90

 Recommended Electives: AHCN 200, AHCN 210, CMST& 101, IT 102, IT 222 (or any college level course over 100)

Catalog Curriculum Sequence

Medical Assisting Certificate

Combining convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice, this certificate prepares students for a career as a medical assistant. Instruction includes core courses essential to health care professionals and specialty courses in medical assisting. Simulations of patient examination rooms, a laboratory, and a front office reception and business area in the allied health laboratory allow for hands-on practice of essential psychomotor skills. Clinical practice in local physician’s offices and clinics provides actual experiences to prepare students for entry-level positions as a medical assistant.

This certificate program is 66 credits in length. A program application is required after students complete the first 38 credits of core courses, with 35 students accepted annually each fall quarter (August 1st) by the use of a competitive point system. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will receive a medical assisting certificate.

Part-time study is also available. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will receive a medical assisting certificate.

Medical Assisting Program Courses

Suggested sequence for full-time students

This certificate is 66 credits in length.  Students must place into ENGL& 101 before they can start Medical Assisting Program coursework.

Fall quarter

  • PTECH 120: Technical Writing 5 Cr or ENGL& 101 5 Cr
  • AH 119: Medical Terminology 5 Cr
  • AH 140: Medical Law and Ethics 2 Cr

Winter quarter

  • AH 105: Introduction to Pharmacology 3 Cr
  • AH 108: Communication and Cultural Concepts in Health Care 3 Cr
  • AH 110: Human Body in Health & Disease I 5 Cr
  • AH 155: First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogen Training 2 Cr

Spring quarter

  • AH 120: Human Body in Health & Disease II 5 Cr
  • AH 104: Math for Health Professions 3 Cr
  • AHBC 101: Introduction to Medical Coding 3 Cr
  • AHBC 102: Introduction to Medical Billing 2 Cr

Medical Assisting course sequence upon acceptance into the program

Fall quarter:

  • AHMA 115: Clinical Theory I 5 Cr
  • AHMA 116: Clinical Lab Skills I 2 Cr
  • AHMA 117: Clinical Theory II 2 Cr
  • AHMA 118: Clinical Lab Skills II 1 Cr
  • AHMA 125: Administrative Procedures 5 Cr (can be taken before acceptance)
  • AHCN 105: Essentials of Care Navigation II 1 Cr (can be taken before acceptance)

Winter quarter:

  • AHMA 201: Medical Assisting Externship 7 Cr
  • AHMA 202: Medical Assisting Externship Seminar 1 Cr
  • AHMA 203: Medical Assisting Certification Examination Preparation 4 Cr

Total Credits 66

Catalog Curriculum Sequence

Program Information

Medical Assistants are versatile health care professionals that have specific training to work in a physician’s office or clinic. Medical Assistants may perform administrative skills and basic clerical functions, including writing business letters and memos, filing patient records, scheduling, preparing requisitions, telephone services, transcription, monitoring third-party reimbursement, and medical coding. Additionally, Medical Assistants are proficient in many clinical skills, a few of which are obtaining vital signs, sterile technique, assisting with physical examinations and minor surgery, administering injections, laboratory procedures, phlebotomy, and sterilization of equipment by autoclaving.

For up to date information consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 

Growing Career Opportunities

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest growing careers. Labor projections for 2016 through 2026 from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that while average job growth is seven percent, medical assistant job growth is twenty-nine percent. The BLS attributes this job growth to the following factors:

  • Predicted surge in the number of physicians’ offices and outpatient care facilities
  • Technological advancements
  •  Growing number of elderly Americans who need medical treatment

The average wage in Washington State is $19.88/hr., in Yakima County the average starting wage is $16/hr.

The profession of Medical Assisting requires the ability to multi-task and use critical thinking skills. Prospective students should possess personal integrity, have the ability to pay close attention to detail, be conscientious, and orderly. Physical requirements include the ability to either sit or stand for long periods of time and the strength to lift supplies, lift and move patients, and maneuver heavy equipment. The nature of the career requires adequate vision, hearing and manual dexterity. Additionally, students must be willing to continue their education throughout their career to keep abreast of new developments in the field.

The Medical Assisting program at Yakima Valley College Combines convenient online instruction, laboratory simulations, and supervised clinical practice. Preparing students for employment in a flexible field that provides the opportunity for change and growth. Program activities are planned to achieve graduate competencies as set forth by MAERB, and are designed to prepare medical assisting students who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession. The program is in accordance with the Washington State Laws, rules, and regulations relating to the practice and training of medical assisting. Graduates can expect to practice their profession in medical offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. YVC Medical Assisting graduates are recognized for their training and are likely to find employment.

Students can earn either a Medical Assisting Certificate or a Medical Assisting Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The Medical Assisting Certificate, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) requires 66 credits of coursework. The AAS degree requires the same 66 credits of coursework, as well as an additional 24 credits of coursework that can be completed before or after completing the Medical Assisting Certificate curriculum.

The curriculum is designed to provide those interested in becoming medical assistants with the skills necessary to utilize well-defined professional skills to perform basic patient exam techniques, clinical, and business procedures commonly performed in the physician’s office or clinic, and increase the effectiveness of communication between themselves and their patients.  YVC and the Medical Assisting Community Advisory Committee have identified the following Medical Assisting Program educational goals to meet accepted national standards as well as community specific interests.

  1. Apply the fundamentals obtained in medical assisting courses to safely, efficiently, and accurately perform clinical and administrative competencies.
  2. Utilize knowledge gained in interrelationship and social science courses to recognize the cultural, legal, and ethical implications of their actions in relating to their patient and as a member of the healthcare team.
  3. Integrate knowledge gained in medical assisting courses to prepare for and assist with medical emergencies.
  4. Use technology skills, including computer hardware and software, in the performance of clinical and administrative competencies.
  5. Employ appropriate medical terminology to communicate in the clinic setting and to provide for accurate documentation.
  6. Exemplify the characteristics of professionalism as they relate to the practice of medical assisting on the personal, institutional, local, state, and national levels.

To prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate competent entry-level clinical medical assisting skills that are based on the affective, cognitive, and psychomotor learning domains set forth by MAERB curriculum and includes the full scope of medical assisting practice in Washington state.
  • Demonstrate competent entry-level administrative medical assisting skills that are based on the affective, cognitive and psychomotor learning domains set forth by MAERB curriculum.
  • Demonstrate professional communication skills.

Immunizations and training

Students are required to complete CPR/First Aid/7-hr HIV/AIDS training and immunizations prior to submitting an application. Proof of completion via a community source is acceptable. Certifications must remain current through completion of the Medical Assisting Program Externship courses.

Immunization Requirements

The Medical Assisting Program’s affiliation agreements with clinical and practicum training sites require students to be complete with all immunizations and tuberculosis (TB) screening as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for healthcare personnel. The requirements reduce the risk of exposure to communicable diseases for students and their patients/clients.

Students who have applied, or plan to apply, to the Medical Assisting Program must supply official documentation of their immunization status with their application to the program.

If Immunization status is not verified at time of application, the application will be ineligible for review.  Failure to maintain immunization records with annual updates will impact enrollment status, jeopardize clinical participation, and continued program participation will be prohibited. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all immunizations and/or proof of immunity documentation be submitted on time (prior to the start of the program and any quarter thereafter). Immunizations, and any needed laboratory testing, are done at the student’s expense.

Current Immunization requirements are as follows:

  • Tetanus Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) injection:Within the last eight years. If you have had a Tdap prior to the eight-year mark, a regular tetanus shot may be used.
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR): Documentation of two injections. If this documentation cannot be provided, then serum titer must be done to demonstrate immunity. If any portion of the titer is negative, a booster must be conducted followed by a retiter 30 days after the booster, for the portion the applicant is negative.
  • Hepatitis B:The series of three injections must be given over a period of months. The second injection is administered one month after the first, with the third administered six months after the first. The series of three injections must be given over a period of months, followed by a post immunization titer. The second injection is administered one month from the first, with the third administered six months after the first.  Documentation must be in the student’s file proving the immunization has been completed prior to participation in the program. A positive Hepatitis B titer may be used to replace evidence of the shot series.
  • Hepatitis B titer:  A serologic titer with LAB results for  Hepatitis B demonstrating immunity. If the titer is negative for immunity, a restart of the series is required. Documentation demonstrating the restart of the series, using the CDC guidelines must be included with titer results.
  • Tuberculin skin test (PPD):Required once a year after the two-step baseline has been established. Evidence of recent, three, current consecutive years of testing history is accepted in place of the two-step baseline, provided they are annually and timely. Students with a positive PPD must have a chest x- ray demonstrate that they are negative for active disease and provide documentation to the Medical Assisting Program office. Once a chest x-ray is performed, the student must have an annual questionnaire in place of the PPD. The student should have a repeat PPD if exposed to a patient with active TB. A tuberculin titer, known as a Quantiferron, may also be used.
    1. Date Administered/Date read and read results.
    2. Date Administered/Date read and read results.
  • A PPd 2-step baseline is an injection, read and results that are repeated within 10 days.  All PPd records must demonstrate the date administered, the date read, with results to be valid.
  • Hepatitis A injection: Currently not required, however, some facilities require a minimum of one injection prior to student placement so it is highly recommended to have at least one administered.
  • Varicella: Provide proof of two doses of inoculation, or titer lab results
  • Flu: Proof of seasonal flu immunization-If the application deadline precedes the shot availability, it will be due at the time of final acceptance to the program.
  • CPR: First Aid/CPR – For The Healthcare Provider Level/American Heart Association
    • BLS for the Healthcare Provider (Must include Adult/Child/Infant & AED)
    • First Aid (Heart saver First Aid)
  • COVID-19: 2 vaccinations for Moderna 21 days apart, 2 vaccinations for Pfizer 28 days apart, or 1 vaccination for Johnson & Johnson

Background check and drug screen

Criminal history background information and drug screening are required of students applying to the Medical Assisting program. Information obtained from the background check and/or drug screen will be considered in determining student eligibility to enter the program and/or complete clinical courses. Inability to participate in clinical experiences due to information obtained from the criminal history background check and/or drug screen may result in the student’s inability to satisfactorily complete program requirements.

The following costs are estimates of the expenses students can expect during the program. These costs do not include coursework taken prior to starting Medical Assisting program courses.

Tuition per quarter (resident-$121.09 per credit*) $1335.42*
Books, supplies and miscellaneous fees $300-$700
Immunizations (varies) $300-$500
Acceptance Fee $37.00

Verified Credentials

  • Additional Requirements $35.00
  • Background Check $80.00

MA-C credential application $145.00

Total approximate costs for the one-year certificate program are $9,461.94
Total approximate costs for the Associates of Applied Science (AAS) program is $12,852.46

*Tuition is based on full-time (12 Credits) *Tuition and lab fees are subject to change.
**Rate subject to change; please see current rate.
The estimated costs do not include transportation, room and board, or other personal needs.
The above costs are based on full-time status and may vary for part-time students.

Approximate Additional Costs: Students may expect additional costs for these items if they are not already owned. These costs are approximate only and may vary widely.

  • Shoes (for clinical lab and externship) $30-$100
  • Uniform-scrub pants and tops (for clinical lab and externship) $40-$70 per set
  • Watch with a second hand or mode $20-$50
  • Stethoscope with a bell and diaphragm $40-$100

The Yakima Valley College Medical Assisting Certificate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727/210-2350

Informed Acknowledgment of Hazards and Risks 

Medical assisting is a profession that involves health risks. The following discussion of potential hazards and risks will assist the student to make an informed decision regarding participation in the YVC Medical Assisting Program. Some medical assisting program courses contain classroom, laboratory, and clinical activities where learning requires the use of fellow students as part of the training procedures and/or demonstrations. Safety issues and concerns when dealing with occupational exposures are a major focus in the medical assisting curriculum.

The medical assistant may be exposed to various chemicals used in disinfecting and sterilization, laboratory testing, biohazard waste and blood borne pathogens, and communicable diseases. Participation in the practice of medical assisting and the YVC Medical Assisting Program may involve injury, illness, or death to one’s self or others. Injury or illness can include, but is not limited to, improper use of equipment or substances by one’s self or another, or exposure to infectious diseases, hazardous materials, and/or radiation. Accidental injury may also occur in the externship setting, or enroute to or from the externship site. Any injury or illness may affect one’s personal health or the health of an unborn child. An injury or illness may impair one’s general physical and/or mental health and may affect one’s future ability to earn a living, engage in other business, social, or recreation activities, or generally impair one’s ability to enjoy life. One might become paralyzed, meaning the inability to move the body part that has been affected by injury or illness.

Do not plan to complete your class on smart phones or tablets. Some of the McGraw Hill Connect system functions may not work well or at all on mobile devices. A computer and access to wifi is needed to complete this course.

Computer Specifications 

Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size

A minimum of 1024×600. That is the average size of a netbook. If you want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Operating Systems

  • Windows XP SP3 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux – chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  • iOS 7 and newer
  • Android 2.3 and newer

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer no older than 5 years old when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.

  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

Application Process

Selective Admissions Process

Application and Acceptance Period

A program application is required after students complete the first 38 credits of core courses, with 35 students accepted annually each fall quarter (August 1st) by the use of a competitive point system.

Step 1: Apply for Admission to Yakima Valley College

Step 2: Request a Medical Assisting Handbook

Step 3: Submit Medical Assisting Advising Form Requirements

Step 4: Submit Medical Assisting Application Form (Preview the Medical Assisting Application.)

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913

Lisa DominguezAllied Health Faculty
Cami PangraziMedical Assisting Program Chair/Allied Health Faculty
Allied Health Program Assistant

Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.Caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727.210.2350. The optional associate of applied science degree in medical assisting requires the student to complete 24 additional credits for a total of 90 credits.

Learn more about Allied Health Programs

YVC offers a unique approach to obtaining a variety of health professional certificates or degrees.

  • Our shorter-term certificate offerings range from 5 to 69 credits in length.
  • Our Associate of Applied Science Degree, we offer several options which range from 90 to 106 credits in length.

Our Allied Health Technology programs provide career and enrichment coursework and clinical experiences in order to build the knowledge, skills, and competencies for providing care for people of all ages in a variety of medical professions. Each program has different admission criteria, coursework, and degree options, ranging from introductory classes and certificates to associate of applied science degrees focused on a specific area of study. The majority of courses are offered in an online format. Clinical laboratory practice and clinical externship are required in some program courses.

West Campus Allied Health Building

YVC’s recently opened West Campus features expanded classrooms and labs for five of the college’s Allied Health programs: Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Sterile Processing Technician, and Surgical Technology. The new facility is designed to prepare students to excel as healthcare professionals by providing spaces that mimic real-life healthcare settings. Learn more about West Campus and the Allied Health Building.

Contact Allied Health

Email: alliedhealth@yvcc.edu  or Phone: 509.574.4913