Core Performance Standards

The Medical Assistant program prepares students to be entry-level medical assistants in a clinical setting. The profession’s scope of practice requires demonstration of responsibilities and accountability within the role and the competencies expected of a medical assistant. It is important to note that the medical assistant profession is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.

The School of Health Studies is committed to providing reasonable accommodation in its academic programs to qualified individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to learning disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not require a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or lower academic and/or clinical standards.

Throughout the program, students must be able to perform in a reasonably independent and timely manner that does not affect the quality of care, the safety of patients or other individuals, and in a way that does not adversely affect the School of Health Studies, clinical affiliates, or any member of the healthcare team.

Students must be able to meet all of the performance standards outlined below, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be admitted and progress in the program. Individuals requiring accommodations while enrolled in the program are encouraged to speak with a representative of the College’s Office of Accessibility Services before enrolling in clinical and/or laboratory courses.

Some chronic or recurrent illnesses and problems could interfere with patient care and safety, and may be incompatible with a career as a medical assistant. Students in the Medical Assistant program are not required to disclose any chronic or recurrent illness and/or disability; however, those with concerns about meeting any technical standards are strongly encouraged to discuss the issues with the Department Chair and/or the Office of Accessibility Services.

It is the student’s responsibility to understand the duties, responsibilities, skills, and abilities required to be a medical assistant. In addition to the technical standards described below, students are encouraged to review the information regarding medical assisting at the O*NET website.

The following list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but instead it offers examples of required activities. Students are encouraged to review the standards carefully; if there are any questions or concerns, they should be discussed with the Chair of the Allied Health – Medical Department and/or the Office of Accessibility Services.

Communication-Based Standards

  • Able to effectively communicate with others in English, both verbally and in writing
  • Possess sufficient communication skills (verbal, nonverbal, and written) to interact with others
  • Ability to hear and observe clinical staff and patients in order to accurately assess vital signs; elicit information; perceive nonverbal communications; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and recognize and respond to an emergency situation
  • Possess appropriate interpersonal communication skills to interact positively with all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation
  • Apply the principles of confidentiality, respect, and discretion

Physical Strength (Gross Motor Control) 

  • Ability to lift 25 pounds unassisted in a safe manner, thereby protecting yourself, the client, and those in close proximity to you.
  • Bend and/or lift to assist client with activities of daily living and manipulate client equipment.
  • Lift to safely transfer or position all clients in various situations.
  • Move, push, or pull equipment such as beds, stretchers, wheelchairs, etc.
  • Ability to raise arms over one’s head in order to assist clients and manipulate equipment.
  • Walk/stand for extended periods and distances over an eight-hour period.

Manual Dexterity (Fine Motor Movement) 

  • Accurately manipulate dials, gauges, buttons, and switches to set, monitor, and care for client care-related equipment.
  • Safely and effectively perform dressing procedures without contaminating the wound.
  • Successfully don and remove protective apparel (including sterile gloves) to maintain standard precautions.
  • Perform all laboratory and clinical skills within a pre-established timeframe that ensures safe patient care.