Courses & Programs

Medical Assistant Certificate

what will you learn?

This certificate program prepares students for employment in health care clinics, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies or physician's offices. 

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Maintain electronic health records for patient data, reimbursement, claims submission and payment.
  • Perform basic phlebotomy techniques.
  • Describe the major organ systems and pathological conditions that affect the human body.
  • Perform electrocardiography procedures.
  • Describe the major drug classifications, regarding indications and mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions.
  • Obtain patient history, vital signs and prepare the patient for examination.

Upon successful completion of the medical assisting registry exam, as administered by the American Medical Technologists, the student will become a registered medical assistant (RMA).

what will you do?

Continue your education or enter the workforce! This program prepares students for employment in:

  • physicians offices
  • nursing homes
  • hospitals
  • hospices
  • adult day care centers
  • rehabilitation centers
  • assisted living facilities
  • patients homes

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center and at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

25 total credits

25 program requirements

No online courses are available for this program.


An introduction to the terminology of medicine and health care, based on the study of medical word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology is presented according to physiologic systems. In addition to basic medical terminology, the course introduces medical abbreviations and some common pharmacological terms.
This course is designed to teach data entry skills needed by clerical workers staffing a health care facility that maintains an electronic records management capability. Emphasis is placed on basic theory and data input into the Medical Manager software.
Designed to provide students with an understanding of the health care reimbursement system as it relates to the financial management of a health care facility. It will provide both general and detailed information that will enable the student to better understand the third party reimbursement process, including claims submission and payment. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Designed to introduce students to practices and procedures common to the operation of a health care office. Topics include group dynamics, personal strategies for managing time and stress, and techniques of communication that enhance the relationship of the health office staff with clients. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
This introductory course provides the student with the knowledge and utilization of basic phlebotomy skills. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
Presents an introduction to the human anatomy and physiology with an emphasis on how pathology affects the human body. Physiology will be emphasized in respect to how it causes disease and how the disease is diagnosed and treated. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
This introductory course is designed to provide the student with an orientation into the field of Medical Assisting. The student will explore communication skills, stress reduction; ethnical conduct, legal/ethical issues, and confidentiality/privacy within the health care field. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Designed to introduce the students to the basics of a Twelve-Lead Electrocardiogram. This course will cover anatomy of the heart, details of the electrical activity of the heart, cardiac arrhythmias, and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias based on the standards of the American Heart Association. Students will perform electrocardiography (12-lead EKG) on fellow students. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
Introduces the major drug classes, their indications, mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions as well as the fundamental terminology that is essential to understanding the basics of drug therapy. Other basic drug therapy concerns, including age, weight, organ function and body homeostasis will be included. Prescription interpretation, implementing Latin abbreviations used in prescription writing and filling, as well as illustrating the role and contribution of the pharmacy profession within the field of medicine. A basic mathematical aptitude is expected in the application of some topics.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101Note: Students cannot receive credit for both HTH 130 and MEA 150.
This course teaches the student the basic components necessary to work in a clinical environment. Topics include obtaining patient history, vital signs, preparing the patient for examination, medical asepsis and sterilization procedures. The student will also become certified in basic first aid and CPR. Prerequisite: MEA 110 and Eligibility for ENG 101
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.


Drug Screening Policy

Several Health Care facilities affiliated with the College's Health Division are now requiring that students have a negative drug screen prior to beginning clinical experiences in their facility. In addition, a clinical facility may require the student to submit and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that facility. Therefore, passing a drug screen will now be considered an essential function for all students participating in the Health Division programs. If a student fails drug screening, retesting occurs within 24 hours of notification of results. Failure to pass a drug screen or refusal to submit to screening will make the student ineligible for clinical placement. Failure and/or refusal for drug screening are grounds for immediate removal from the Health Division program. Students will be provided with the drug screen procedure during the orientation process. All screening will be at the student's own expense. The Work Connection at Holyoke Medical Center has been selected as the Division of Health's exclusive laboratory for student drug testing.

Acceptance to the Medical Assistant Certificate Program will be on a selective basis.

  • Students must be eligible for ENG 101.
  • Successful completion of HTH 114 Medical Terminology and PSY 110 Intro to Psychology with a C or better.
  • Prospective students must file an application with the Admissions office.

Once accepted to the program, students are required to attend the Medical Assistant Orientation.

  • All academic MEA courses are offered in the evening only.
  • There will be a mandatory orientation prior to the start of the program.
  • A grade of C or better in all MEA course work is required.
  • Students are required to have updated physical and immunizations.
  • Students must complete a CORI / SORI screening upon acceptance into the program and before externship.
  • Clinical Externships are approximately 25 hours per week (160 total) in facilities with primarily daytime hours.
  • Students who have completed BIO 111 or BIO 217 and BIO 218 with a C or better within the last seven years do not need to take MEA 109.

Please note:

*Uniforms will be required for the following courses: MEA 108, MEA 125, MEA 210.

MEA 220 is the last course to be taken.

Additional Course Fee: $15.00 Malpractice Insurance (The fee is subject to change.)

Course Sequence

  • First semester: MEA 104, 106, 109, 110 
  • Second semester: MEA 107, 108, 125, 150, MEA 210 or 
  • Third semester: MEA 210 
  • Fourth semester: MEA 220 (offered every semester)

*MEA 109: Students who have completed BIO 111 - Human Biology or BIO 217 and BIO 218 -Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2, with a grade of C or better within the last 7 years do not need to take MEA 109 - Human A&P and Disease Processes for Medical Billing