Catalog 2020-2021

Medical Assisting

Essential Functions

The purpose of the technical standards list is to allow prospective students who are considering a career to be informed of the physical, emotional, and psychological demands related to training and employment in a field of study. These lists are provided to allow prospective students to make informed career choices by providing them with a summary of the physical abilities and personality traits that are generally required for the successful completion of a curriculum and result in employment in a field of study after graduation. According to the nature of the work required in the Medical Assisting program, students must be able to perform the following technical standards:

Physical Standards

  • Lift and carry equipment weighing up to 50 pounds, support and assist patients in and out of a wheelchair, and assist patients on and off of examination tables (up to 25 percent of the workday is spent lifting equipment and patients).
  • Push a patient weighing 200 pounds in a wheelchair.
  • Kneel, bend, stoop, and/or crouch to perform CPR, assist patients, and retrieve items from cabinets located below waist level.
  • Bend, reach above shoulders, and/or twist to position examination table, adjust equipment, or obtain supplies.
  • Have fine motor dexterity in order to grasp with both hands, pinch with thumb or forefinger, manipulate equipment and delicate instruments such as microscopes and sphygmomanometers, perform tasks such as phlebotomy and electrocardiography, draw up and administer medications, handle small containers of potentially biohazardous specimens, use sample measuring devices such as capillary tubes, set up and maintain a sterile field, put on personal protective equipment, operate controls on instruments and equipment, talk on the telephone and write simultaneously, and operate multi-line telephone systems, computer keyboards, and ten-key adding machines.

Tactile Standards

  • Palpate pulses, muscle contractions, bony landmarks and edema.
  • Differentiate between temperature and pressure variations.

Auditory Standards

  • Have adequate auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and other members of the healthcare team either in person or over the telephone.
  • Hear heart sounds, blood pressure sounds, and patient distress sounds to assess health needs of patients.
  • Hear instrument timers and alarms.
  • Hear over the telephone, paging systems, or intercoms in order to communicate with patients and other members of the healthcare team.

Communication Standards

  • Have adequate communication skills (verbal, non-verbal, and written) to interact effectively with individuals.
  • Speak in the English language in a clear, concise manner in order to communicate with patients (such as interviewing and taking patient history, obtaining chief complaint, and providing patient education regarding treatment plans, disease prevention, or health maintenance), families, healthcare providers, other members of the healthcare team, and the community.
  • Comprehend oral and written language including medical terminology in order to communicate with patients, families, healthcare providers, other members of the healthcare team, and the community.
  • Write in English clearly and legibly in order to document information in medical records, complete forms, and initiate written communication.

Mental/Cognitive Standards

  • Have sufficient intellectual and emotional functions to plan and implement the duties of a medical assistant in a responsible manner.
  • Function safely, responsibly, and effectively under stressful situations.
  • Remain alert to surroundings and potential emergencies.
  • Interact effectively and appropriately with patients, families, and coworkers.
  • Display attitudes and actions consistent with ethical standards of medical assisting.
  • Maintain composure while managing and prioritizing multiple tasks.
  • Communicate an understanding of the principles of confidentiality, respect, tact, politeness, collaboration, teamwork, and discretion.
  • Handle difficult interpersonal situations in a calm and tactful manner.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
  • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
  • Function without causing harm to others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
  • Function without causing harm to others, including situations that may result from any mental or physical conditions.