Medical Assistant Certificate

Description and Outcomes

The objective of the Medical Assistant Certificate program is to prepare you with the knowledge, technical skills, and work habits to pursue an entry-level position in the ambulatory medical field. The Medical Assistant Certificate program is designed to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. This program concentrates on helping you acquire knowledge and develop skills in performing laboratory, clinical, and medical office procedures in a physician's office or ambulatory care clinic.

Prior to or upon graduation from the program, you may be eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination given by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination given by the American Medical Technologists, the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) examination given by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) examination given by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and the Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) examination given by the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA). A choice of one of these national credentialing exams is included as part of your program and expected to be completed during MA295 Medical Assisting Externship and Evaluation. Refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section for important program disclosure information.

Workplace duties may include performing CLIA-waived tests, venipuncture, urinalysis, and electrocardiograms. You may also assist the physician in patient preparation and patient relations.

Clinical Experiences

The program blends online coursework with on-ground experiences. You will need to complete clinical experiences at an approved clinical site for MA280 Clinical Competencies III. You must also complete an unpaid externship (160 hours) in a physician's office or clinic to complete the course of study. Refer to the General Policies section for criminal background check information and the Progression Requirements section for additional requirements.

Program Length

The Medical Assistant Certificate program consists of a minimum of 58 quarter credit hours. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be awarded a certificate.

Program Outcomes

  1. Clinical: Demonstrate the core competencies of medical assisting clinical practice.
  2. Administrative: Perform clerical and administrative functions required of a medical assistant.
  3. Standards, Laws, and Ethics: Practice professional, ethical, and legal standards in health care settings.
  4. Professionalism: Exhibit professional behavior as defined by the health care industry.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.

Policies

Progression Requirements

  1. Prior to beginning the first clinical experience, you must provide documentation of completion of an approved health care provider CPR training course. Approved courses include: American Heart Association (Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider), American Red Cross (BLS for Healthcare Providers), and ProCPR (Healthcare BLS).
  2. Prior to the first clinical experience, you are required to submit a health clearance form signed by a MD, DO, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. You will also be required to provide evidence of two MMR vaccines or a positive blood titer; tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years; varicella vaccination, a positive titer, or documentation of disease; negative tuberculin test within the last year; three Hepatitis B vaccines, a positive titer, or a written waiver opting out of vaccination; and completion of a COVID vaccine or written waiver opting out of vaccination. If you fail to submit the required immunizations and health clearance, you will be removed from the course prior to the start of the term.
  3. You will be withdrawn from the program if you are unable to successfully complete the following courses on the second attempt:
    Code Title Credits
    MA280Clinical Competencies III1
    MA295Medical Assisting Externship and Evaluation5
  4. If you are a medical assisting student and drop, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence longer than 6 months after beginning and prior to completing clinical coursework (MA250 Professionalism in Health Care, MA265 Clinical Competencies I, MA275 Clinical Competencies II, MA280 Clinical Competencies III, and MA295 Medical Assisting Externship and Evaluation), you will be required to retake one or more of these courses to ensure currency of skills.

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams

Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or nongovernmental certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation.

Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. If certain licensed occupations, vocations, or professions are not explicitly listed, Purdue Global has not reviewed the licensure or certification requirements of those occupations, vocations, or professions, nor intended the program to meet such requirements. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, meeting other certification requirements, or the program or the University itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure.

Certification Examinations

The Medical Assisting Certificate program is designed to prepare you with clinical and administrative skills to provide outstanding patient care. The program is structured to provide appropriate academic preparation in pursuing national certification as a medical assistant. Prior to or upon graduation from the program, you may be eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination given by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination given by the American Medical Technologists, the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam given by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam given by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and the Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) examination given by the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA). A choice of one of these national credentialing exams is included as part of your program and expected to be completed during MA295 Medical Assisting Externship and Evaluation

Washington Students

The state of Washington requires all medical assistants to be certified or registered. Eligibility for certification requires graduation from a postsecondary school or college accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes a minimum of 720 clock hours of training in medical assisting skills, including a clinical externship of no less than 160 hours.

In addition, graduates must successfully pass, within 5 years before submitting an initial application for certification, a certification examination issued by the AAMA, AMT, NHA, or NCCT. Students who have completed all requirements except for passage of the examination may obtain interim certification, which will allow them to provide the Medical Assistant—Certified's full scope of practice. This interim certification expires when the graduate obtains the Medical Assistant—Certified credential or after 1 year and cannot be renewed.

Washington students also may obtain a Medical Assistant—Registered credential if they obtain an endorsement from a health care practitioner, clinic, or group practice. Medical Assistant—Registered individuals may perform only the medical tasks listed in their current attestation of endorsement and cannot transfer the registration to another health care practitioner, clinic, or group practice.

For more information, please visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/MedicalAssistant.

Nebraska Medication Aide Registry for Medical Assistants

Medical assisting students completing an externship in the state of Nebraska will be required to complete a Medication Aide application with competency validation by an approved Nebraska licensed provider prior to the externship. In addition, you will be required to provide any associated required documentation to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that may include certified copies of court documents for criminal convictions.

South Dakota Students

Medical assistants in South Dakota must meet requirements to practice and must register with the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners in order to practice.

Requirements for registration include:

  1. Proof of graduation from a medical assistant program approved by the boards;
  2. Proof of good moral character;
  3. Proof the applicant has graduated from high school or passed a standard equivalency test;
  4. Documentation showing the applicant is at least 18 years of age; and
  5. Proof of having passed a national certifying exam approved by the boards.

For more information, please visit https://www.sdsma.us/scope-of-practice-c113q.