Medical Assisting

Cheryl Kuck, MS, Coordinator
Phone: (419) 995-8256
Office: 102J Tech Edu Lab

Medical Assistants are multi-skilled professionals who assist physicians with the administrative and clinical aspects of patient care in their offices or other ambulatory care settings, including clinics and hospitals. 

Duties may include

As a medical assistant, you will be the health care provider's assistant, increasing productivity in the workplace and improving patient outcomes. Medical assistants are essential members of the health care team that work closely with providers in the offices in handling patient care.

Clinical Duties

  • Take medical histories
  • Measure and record patients' vital signs
  • Prepare patients for examination, and explain treatment procedures to patients
  • Assist the medical professional during exams and minor office surgeries
  • Collect and prepare laboratory specimens, like drawing blood
  • Perform basic laboratory tests
  • Instruct patients about medications and special diets
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a medical professional
  • Authorize prescription refills as directed
  • Remove sutures and change dressings 
  • In the state of Ohio, the medical assistant may also perform clinical duties as directed by a certified nurse practitioner and a physician assistant.

Administrative Duties

  • Use clinical and computer applications
  • Answer telephones, greet patients and schedule appointments
  • Update and file patient medical records, typically in an electronic health record
  • Apply medical codes to services and diagnoses
  • Facilitate submission of insurance forms
  • Arrange for hospital admissions, surgeries, imaging, and laboratory services
  • Handle correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping
  • Purchase supplies and maintain administrative and clinical equipment

With advanced skills, education and/or experience, medical assistants may: 

  • Advance to office manager with supervisory functions
  • Oversee compliance with federal, state and regulatory agencies
  • Establish & utilize computer information systems, creating spreadsheets and databases
  • Be responsible for the overall financial management of the office

The U. S. Department of Labor predicts that the employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 22.6 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations as the health services industry expands due to technological advances in medicine, and a growing and aging population. Employment growth is driven by the increase in the number of group practices, clinics, and other health care facilities that need personnel who are cross-trained and can provide considerable flexibility to the physician office. Medical assistants primarily work in outpatient settings with good hours. This allows for a better balance in life between work, family and personal life. Because of Rhodes State accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), Rhodes State students are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)  Certification Exam given by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Mission Statement

The Medical Assisting program prepares students to be competent, professional health care providers.

Notice to Prospective or Current Medical Assisting Students

You are at risk if you have been convicted of a prior felony and/or some misdemeanors. You may not be able to participate in clinical education experiences at some hospitals or other clinical sites, therefore, preventing you from completing the program. A criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining a license or certificate in your chosen healthcare profession. Because health care employers routinely perform background checks on prospective employees, a criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining employment in your chosen field after graduation.

Technical Standards

See here for details

Tech Prep Partner

See here for details.

"C" Grade Policy


Medical Assisting​
Associate of Applied Science Degree

Structured Course Sequence (4 Semester Plan)

First Year
First SemesterHours
BIO 1110Anatomy and Physiology I 4
COM 1110 English Composition 3
BHS 1380Introduction to Medical Terminology 2
CPT 1250Computer Applications in the Workplace 3
MAT 1010 Medical Assisting I 3
SDE 1010 First Year Experience 1
 Term Hours16
Second Semester
BIO 1120Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BHS 1390Medical Terminology 2
BHS 1330Foundations in Pharmacology 1
COM 2213Verbal Judo 3
MAT 1020Medical Assisting II 4
MAT 1300Medical Office Procedures I 3
 Term Hours17
Second Year
First Semester
MAT 2010 Medical Assisting III 6
MAT 2300Medical Office Procedures II 4
MTH 1100Math of Business 3
BHS 1310CPR 0.5
BHS 1160Medical Law-Ethics Healthcare 2
 Term Hours15.5
Second Semester
MAT 2020Disease Processes 3
MAT 2410Medical Office Coding 4
PSY 1010 General Psychology 3
MAT 2510 Medical Assisting Clinical (Practicum) 2
MAT 2520   Capstone for Medical Assisting 2
 Term Hours14
 Total Hours 62.5

NOTE: The “C” grade policy applies to:

All MAT Courses
BIO 1110Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 1120Anatomy and Physiology II4
BHS 1380Introduction to Medical Terminology2
BHS 1390Medical Terminology2
BHS 1160Medical Law-Ethics Healthcare2
BHS 1330Foundations in Pharmacology1

In addition, if a student also desires to pursue the Medical Coding Certificate, the “C” grade policy will apply to AOT 1060 Keyboarding Accuracy and Speed and CPT 1250 Computer Applications in the WorkplaceCourses are sequential and must be completed with a “C” or better to continue in the program.

Portfolio Course

Capstone Course

Students should check course prerequisites before registering. 

MAT 1010 — Medical Assisting I
3 Credit hours  

Introduces the student to the health care system and the role of the medical assistant and scope of practice in different health-care environments. Overview of the health care industry, including organization of ambulatory care practice groups, solo practice, offices, hospitals, professional organizations and federal health care programs and health care delivery trends and issues. Identifying and demonstrating concepts of effective communication with the health-care team, patients and their families is explored. Investigation and exploration of technologies used in the healthcare setting, including, but not limited to: HIPAA security & privacy, telemedicine, medical transcription and technology as it relates to various specialties. Introduction of electronic medical records (EMR). Current technologies will be added to the course as needed. Students need a solid knowledge base of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and computer skills to perform many of the functions in this class.
Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Medical Assisting Program.
Corequisites: MAT-1010L, BIO 1110, BHS 1380.

MAT 1020 — Medical Assisting II
4 Credit hours  

Demonstrates knowledge of the techniques employed by the medical assistant during a general physical examination, taking and recording vital signs, proper chart documentation, practicing and applying medical and surgical asepsis and infection control. An introduction to diagnostic laboratory procedures performed in the physician's office laboratory and medical laboratory science. Principles of laboratory procedures will be studied by observation, discussion and practice in the laboratory sessions. Emphasis on collection, proper handling, including blood and body fluid restrictions, basic hematology procedures, routine urinalysis, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment- waived laboratory testing, capillary puncture and venipuncture for competency. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: MAT 1010, BIO 1110, BHS 1380
Corequisites: MAT-1020L, BIO 1120, BHS 1390.

MAT 1030 — Introduction to Laboratory Science
3 Credit hours  

Provides a basic introduction into the various areas of the clinical laboratory including phlebotomy, hematology, urinalysis, immunology, microbiology, and chemistry. Pipettes, glassware, safety, quality assurance, medical ethics and instrumentation are also discussed. Emphasis on collection, proper handling and CLIA waived laboratory testing utilized in the physician office laboratory (POL) and medical laboratory. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to perform basic laboratory testing in a POL or medical laboratory.
Corequisites: BHS 1840 and MAT-1030L.

MAT 1300 — Medical Office Procedures I
3 Credit hours  

Introduces the theory and practice of administrative skills used in the medical office. Topics included are receiving patients in the office, appointment management, telephone techniques, records management, filing procedures, office brochures, office inventory, patient coaching, patient navigation, processing mail and correspondence in the medical office and composing professional/business letters.
Prerequisites: MAT 1010 and currently enrolled in the Medical Assisting Program.
Corequisites: MAT 1020, MAT-1300L.

MAT 1990 — Independent Study in MAT
1-5 Credit hours  

Guides exploration of an independent study designed to provide the medical assisting student with the opportunity for in-depth work on a selected topic, within the field of medical assisting for which the student was unable to pursue to the desired degree of depth in regular course offerings. Medical Assisting students will have several options to complete this course including observation of skills, research papers and skill development. During the first week of the semester, the student will meet with the Chairperson and submit in writing the proposed topic of study he/she wishes to pursue and the methods of pursuit that will be used. A faculty member will be assigned to the student for support throughout the project. No more than 3 credit hours of independent study will count toward graduation. This course is graded S/U.
Prerequisites: MAT 1020.

MAT 2010 — Medical Assisting III
6 Credit hours  

Investigates numerous clinical exam room procedures. Classroom and lab instruction on outpatient specialty procedures employed in a general medical examination including assisting with minor office surgery, instrument identification and specialty exams associated with all body systems, performing EKG and pulmonary function testing. Understanding and assessing the differences in working with pediatrics, geriatrics, female/male systems and assisting the physicians in exams with each of these. Also covered in this course will be the theories and principles of medication administration across the life span and the equipment used to deliver medication within the medical assistant's scope of practice. Clinical procedures in each of these areas will be practiced and evaluated in the campus lab. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: MAT 1020, MAT-2010L, BIO 1120.

MAT 2020 — Disease Processes
3 Credit hours  

Introduces basic information on common medical conditions, human diseases and the disease process. Emphasis will be placed on signs/symptoms, diagnostic tests indicated and treatment. Client teaching is required and ways to validate a patients' understanding of their diseases and treatment. Office safety and emergency preparedness for the medical assistant will be covered and participation in a mock environmental exposure event.
Prerequisites: MAT 2010.

MAT 2300 — Medical Office Procedures II
4 Credit hours  

Continues the theory and practice of administrative skills of the medical office is offered. Topics include management of the medical office, basic medical practice of finances including accounts payable/receivable, banking and collection procedures in manual and computerized formats. This course also addresses the theory and practice of processing insurance claims in the medical office, applying managed care policies and procedures, third-party guidelines of documentation and processing to ensure federal, state, and third-party reimbursements and completion of insurance claim forms. A computer-based medical office software package will be used to simulate a real medical office environment.
Prerequisites: MAT 1300
Corequisites: MAT-2300L.

MAT 2310 — Healthcare Reimbursement
3 Credit hours  

Examines the basic types of medical insurance available in today's healthcare environment. It acquaints students with billing formats, claim form processing, and the necessary skills to master basic aspects of medical insurance billing and adjudication. Current reimbursement methodologies and compliance will also be covered. This course covers both outpatient physician and inpatient/outpatient hospital situations. Recommended that students have Medical Coding experience. "C" grade policy applies.

MAT 2410 — Medical Office Coding
4 Credit hours  

Introduces medical coding for the entry-level professional with emphasis on theory and development of skills required to code outpatient and ambulatory services coding for physical reporting requirements. Introduction to the basic principles and fundamentals of the International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision classification system, as well as the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision classification system. Introduction to the basic principles and fundamentals of the Physician's Current Procedure Terminology coding nomenclature. The student should have sufficient background in medical terminology and anatomy/physiology to provide a solid foundation for coding knowledge. This may be acquired through course work or workplace experience. "C" grade policy applies.

MAT 2420 — Medical Coding - Advanced
2 Credit hours  

Applies the principles of procedural and diagnostic coding theories. Students should have completed MAT 2410 successfully or have a minimum of two years full time documented coding experience in the healthcare setting. This course is designed to serve as a review course for Certified Procedural Coding examinations. College credit from this course may be utilized as continuing education for many health professions. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: MAT 2410.

MAT 2510 — Medical Assisting Clinical (Practicum)
2 Credit hours  

Provides participation in a 180 hour non-reimbursed, on-the-job, supervised clinical (practicum) in an ambulatory healthcare medical facility. This class enables the student to apply all of the classroom training to an actual work situation and is an integral part of the Medical Assistant Program. The student will observe, assist and demonstrate administrative, general and clinical skills in the office. All required courses must have been successfully completed or must be taken concurrently. If any required courses being taken concurrently are dropped, the clinical (practicum) may be terminated also. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: MAT 2010, MAT 2300
Corequisites: MAT 2020.

MAT 2520 — Capstone for Medical Assisting
2 Credit hours  

Provides assessment of medical assisting knowledge presented in a capstone experience. Students will demonstrate their proficiency by integrating technical knowledge with core skills and abilities. Through discussion boards, roundtable discussions, psychomotor demonstrations and various other learning modalities, the student will demonstrate their core skills and abilities that have reinforced throughout the program. All required courses must have been successfully completed or must be taken concurrently. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: MAT 2010, MAT 2300, MAT 2020
Corequisites: MAT 2510.

Once the student is admitted into the Medical Assisting program, the program admitted students must show completion of the below requirements prior to start of term:

  1. Evidence of sufficient physical and mental health to engage in the practice of medical assisting as evidenced by a physical evaluation by a licensed practitioner (MD, DO, NP, PA), including specified laboratory tests and immunizations.
  2. Hepatitis B vaccine series started prior to MAT 1010 Medical Assisting I and with the series completed prior to entrance into MAT 1020 Medical Assisting II.

Note: The Medical Coding Certificate does not require any formal admission process. 

The Rhodes State College Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program  (CAAHEP)) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). Questions regarding accreditation should be directed to CAAHEP, 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Ste., 158, Clearwater, FL  33763, Phone: (727) 210-2350 or

Questions regarding professional certification may be directed to the American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Drive, Ste. 1575, Chicago IL 60606-2903, Phone: (312) 899-1500 or


Medical Coding Certificate

Medical coders read a patient's medical chart and analyze it, determining the patient's diagnoses and any procedures performed. Those diagnoses and procedures are then assigned specific numeric or alphanumeric codes within various classification systems and used for insurance reimbursement purposes.  In other words, a medical coder translates the documents in a patient's chart into codes. Coders are an invaluable part of the healthcare team that helps facilitate income into the medical office. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for certified medical coders is expected to increase 11-16 percent from now through the year 2028.

The Medical Coding Certificate at Rhodes State College serves as a gateway to the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) national certification examination.  Upon successful completion of this certificate, the student is eligible to take the AAPC's national certification examination, the Certified Professional Coder (CPC).  An experiential pathway is available in lieu of some coursework for those students who can demonstrate previous healthcare experience and knowledge.

Successful completion of the certification exam results in the student becoming a Certified Professional Coder-Apprentice (CPC-A). When the student can document two years of employment as a professional coder, the student will become a CPC.  CPCs are employed in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, physician's offices, clinics, insurance companies, ambulatory care centers, home health agencies, and working remotely from home.

To be eligible for the Medical Coding Certificate, a student must have received a grade of "C" or better for each course required for the certificate and completed all courses within four (4) years of applying for the certificate, or at the discretion of the Chair.

Medical Coding

BHS 1160Medical Law-Ethics Healthcare2
BIO 1110Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 1120Anatomy and Physiology II4
CPT 1250Computer Applications in the Workplace3
BHS 1380Introduction to Medical Terminology2
BHS 1390Medical Terminology2
MAT 2410Medical Office Coding4
MAT 2420Medical Coding - Advanced2
AOT 1060Keyboarding Accuracy and Speed2
Total Hours25

See for additional information on certificates.