Nursing RN

Medical Assistant

The Medical Assistant Specialized Degree prepares students to become valuable members of a professional health care professional team, helping physicians respond successfully to a rapidly changing environment. Northampton developed its diploma program in response to requests from physicians who were looking for workers trained in both office and clinical skills. The coursework includes classroom and lab instruction and commences with hands-on clinical instruction in physician offices.

Graduates of this program are qualified to work as clinical medical assistants, working with physicians in many different capacities. Students can also choose to continue their studies in a specialized medical assistant field through direct articulation agreements with other Healthcare Administration programs.

The Medical Assistant Specialized Degree can be finished in one calendar year. With a flexible structure, students can choose between a full- or part-time schedule at both our Bethlehem and Monroe campuses.

The Medical Assistant Specialized Degree is a fall-start clinical program. The application opens on October 1 and must be completed by July 1.

This is a selective program, please carefully review all provided information and requirements.

Admissions Requirements Program Details

Degree Programs

Semesters: 3
Credits: 34
Program Map: Download PDF
Program Details: View More Information
Campus: Bethlehem|Monroe
Program Type: Specialized Diploma

Northampton developed its Medical Assistant specialized diploma program in response to requests from physicians who were looking for workers who were trained in both office and clinical skills. The coursework includes both classroom and lab instruction. Students develop their skills in the academic setting prior to experiencing hands-on clinical instruction in physician practices.


Program Information

The curriculum of the medical assistant program progresses sequentially. Students first master basic skills and competencies required for all general office work and then move on to more challenging and medically specific procedures. The program finishes with a capstone clinical externship. During the externship, students work in a medical office setting, gaining real-world experience under the direct supervision of a clinical preceptor.

Coursework covers topics such as keyboard skills and the fundamentals of healthcare reimbursement. By the time you graduate, you will confidently know how to execute history taking, vital sign measurement, documenting on the patient record, medication administration, phlebotomy, and EKGs.

This program is designed to ready students for employment, bolstering your resume with practical, clinical experience and equipping you with the basic office skills and specialized medical assistant skills required to land your first job. After completing the program, students are qualified to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant American Medical Technologist (RMA-AMT) Certification Exam.

If you are a Northampton Community College student living outside of Pennsylvania or intending to complete an internship or clinical placement outside of the state in a NCC program leading to professional licensure, you should review requirements on the state board website to make sure that the program qualifies.

Licensure requirements vary from state-to-state and you may require additional authorization from the professional licensing agency in that state. Participating in a program from outside of Pennsylvania, if not properly authorized by that state's professional licensing board, could result in loss of licensing eligibility. If you need help or have questions, please contact the Program Director for more information.


Career Opportunities

Medical assistants support healthcare facilities by performing both clerical and clinical duties. They work in private practice offices, general hospitals, outpatient care facilities, and surgical centers. Their clinical medical assisting duties vary by individual skill level, location, and the needs of the facility in which they work.

Some examples of administrative tasks typically performed by medical assistants include answering phones, filing insurance claims, and scheduling appointments. In small offices, medical assistants are likely to execute a number of different duties; however, in larger facilities like hospitals and clinics, they typically specialize. Some of the tasks typically assigned to clinical medical assistant professionals include taking patients' vital signs, collecting and discarding laboratory specimens, and assisting physicians during exams.

Our graduates find careers as medical assistants working in the offices of physicians, dentists, and podiatrists, as well as in medical clinics, with chiropractors, as part of an ambulatory surgical unit, and in various hospital departments.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a medical assistant in 2017 was $32,480. Job opportunities in this field are expected to grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than most other areas.

Future Career Paths

  • Medical Assistant

Need help deciding which major might be right for you? Explore our Focus2 tool and zero in on what programs suit you best, then start building your network by creating a profile on our Handshake App!

Join Handshake Now
Schedule time with a Career Counselor
Explore With Focus2!
Register now with access code: spartan