The Medical Assisting Technology (MAT) degree is designed to prepare students to assist the physician in providing patient care in physician’s offices, minor emergency centers, long-term care facilities, and other types of freestanding medical clinics. Medical assistants are also prepared to assume administrative roles in physician’s offices, including dealing with billing protocols, coding mechanisms and office transcription.

NWSCC also offers a 12 credit hour Short-Term certificate in Phlebotomy, which prepares the student for work in acute care settings such as major hospital laboratories, minor emergency centers, and freestanding laboratories, working under the supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers. The course will provide both classroom and clinical experiences.

The Medical Billing and Coding Option short-term certificate will prepare students for careers in the health care field by offering courses in both the clinical and administrative functions of a physician’s office.

Medical Assisting student simulates drawing blood

Programs of Study

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Short-Term Certificates

See the College Catalog for additional program information.

Click Here to Complete the MAT Program Application

Accreditations

The Northwest Shoals Community College Medical Assisting Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB)
2339 N. California Avenue, # 47138
Chicago, IL 60647
312-392-0155
www.maerb.org

Articulation

The NWSCC Medical Assisting Technology program does not have articulation agreements with other educational agencies.

Program Outcomes

The Medical Assisting Program at Northwest Shoals Community College has a five-year average of 84.69% for job placement for the years 2018 –
2022.

The Medical Assisting Program at Northwest Shoals Community College has a five-year average of 100% for graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction for the years 2018 – 2022.

Medical Assisting is a profession with many rewards, as practitioners can perform both administrative and clinical services, filling several roles in a variety of healthcare environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly outlines that it is a growth field, with an anticipated 18% growth from 2020 to 2030.

Medical Assistants work directly with providers and patients, with the goal of providing healthcare and ensuring patient safety. It is a position with a great deal of responsibility.

As with any healthcare position, there are certain occupational risks that come into play with being a medical assistant, and those hazards include the following:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Sharps injuries
  • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks
  • Latex allergies
  • Stress

At the same time, there are protections set up with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and those protections are particularly important within a healthcare environment. OSHA has a series of standards that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients.

Accredited medical assisting programs are required to teach students about the hazards that they face on the job and the protocols that can be put into place to ensure a workplace culture that prioritizes safety.

THE ALABAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM MEDICAL ASSISTING TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The ACCS endorses the Americans’ with Disabilities Act (ADA). In accordance with College policy, when requested, reasonable accommodations may be provided for individuals with disabilities. Physical, cognitive, psychomotor, affective and social abilities are required in unique combinations to provide safe and effective care. The applicant/student must be able to meet the eligibility criteria with or without reasonable accommodations throughout the program of learning. Admission, progression and graduation are contingent upon one’s ability to demonstrate the eligibility criteria delineated for the program with or without reasonable accommodations. The program and/or affiliated clinical agencies may identify additional eligibility criteria. The program reserves the right to amend the eligibility criteria as deemed necessary. In order to be admitted and to progress in the program one must possess a functional level of ability to perform the duties required of a nurse. Admission or progression may be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the eligibility criteria with or without reasonable accommodations. The eligibility criteria delineated are those deemed necessary the ACCS health studies programs. No representation regarding industrial standards is implied. Similarly, any reasonable accommodations made will be determined and applied to the medical assisting technology program and may vary from reasonable accommodations made by healthcare employers.  The eligibility criteria delineated below are necessary for program admission, progression and graduation and for the provision of safe and effective care. The eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Sensory Perception
    • Visual
      • Observe and discern subtle changes in physical conditions and the environment
      • Visualize different color spectrums and color changes
      • Read fine print in varying levels of light
      • Read for prolonged periods of time
      • Read cursive writing
      • Read at varying distances
      • Read data/information displayed on monitors/equipment
    • Auditory
      • Interpret monitoring devices
      • Distinguish muffled sounds heard through a stethoscope
      • Hear and discriminate high and low frequency sounds produced by the body and the environment
      • Effectively hear to communicate with others
    • Tactile
      • Discern tremors, vibrations, pulses, textures, temperature, shapes, size, location and other physical characteristics
    • Olfactory
      • Detect body odors and odors in the environment
  • Communication/ Interpersonal Relationships
    • Verbally and in writing, engage in a two-way communication and interact effectively with others, from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds
    • Work effectively in groups
    • Work effectively independently
    • Discern and interpret nonverbal communication
    • Express one’s ideas and feelings clearly
    • Communicate with others accurately in a timely manner
    • Obtain communications from a computer
  • Cognitive/Critical Thinking
    • Effectively read, write and comprehend the English language
    • Consistently and dependably engage in the process of critical thinking in order to formulate and implement safe and ethical decisions in a variety of health care settings
    • Demonstrate satisfactory performance on written examinations including mathematical computations without a calculator
    • Satisfactorily achieve the program objectives
  • Motor Function
    • Handle small delicate equipment/objects without extraneous movement, contamination or destruction
    • Move, position, turn, transfer, assist with lifting or lift and carry clients without injury to clients, self or others
    • Maintain balance from any position
    • Stand on both legs
    • Coordinate hand/eye movements
    • Push/pull heavy objects without injury to client, self or others
    • Stand, bend, walk and/or sit for 6-12 hours in a clinical setting performing physical activities requiring energy without jeopardizing the safety of the client, self or others
    • Walk without a cane, walker or crutches
    • Function with hands free for care and transporting items
    • Transport self and client without the use of electrical devices
    • Flex, abduct and rotate all joints freely
    • Respond rapidly to emergency situations
    • Maneuver in small areas
    • Perform daily care functions for the client
    • Coordinate fine and gross motor hand movements to provide safe effective care
    • Calibrate/use equipment
    • Execute Movement required to provide care in all health care settings
    • Perform CPR and physical assessment
    • Operate a computer
  • Professional Behavior
    • Convey caring, respect, sensitivity, tact, compassion, empathy, tolerance and a healthy attitude toward others
    • Demonstrate a mentally healthy attitude that is age appropriate in relationship to the client
    • Handle multiple tasks concurrently
    • Perform safe, effective care for clients in a caring context
    • Understand and follow the policies and procedures of the College and clinical agencies
    • Understand the consequences of violating the student code of conduct
    • Understand that posing a direct threat to others is unacceptable and subjects one to discipline
    • Meet qualifications for licensure/certification by examination as stipulated by the respective program
    • Not to pose a threat to self or others
    • Function effectively in situations of uncertainty and stress inherent in providing care
    • Adapt to changing environments and situations
    • Remain free of chemical dependency
    • Report promptly to clinicals and remain for 6-12 hours at the medical facility
    • Provide care in an appropriate time frame
    • Accept responsibility, accountability, and ownership of one’s actions
    • Seek supervision/consultation in a timely manner
    • Examine and modify one’s own behavior when it interferes with care or learning

Upon admission, an individual who discloses a disability can request reasonable accommodations. Individuals will be asked to provide documentation of the disability in order to assist with the provision of appropriate reasonable accommodations. The respective College will provide reasonable accommodations but is not required to substantially alter the requirements or nature of the program or provide accommodations that inflict an undue burden on the respective College. In order to be admitted, one must be able to perform all of the eligibility criteria with or without reasonable accommodations. If an individual’s health changes during the program of learning, so that the eligibility criteria cannot be met with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will be withdrawn from the program. The faculty reserves the right at any time to require an additional medical examination at the student’s expense in order to assist with the evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the eligibility criteria.

Requests for reasonable accommodations should be directed to: Sharon Jo McBride, at 256.331.5262 or mcbride@nwscc.edu

If you are interested in the MAT program at NWSCC, please contact:

Katie McBay, Program Director/Instructor
katherine.mcbay@nwscc.edu 
256-331-8059

Morgan Suggs, Instructor
morgan.suggs@nwscc.edu
256-331-8074