Medical Assisting: Clinical Certificate Health Sciences Total Units: 38.0

Term Effective: Fall 2006

The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.

Term Inactive: Fall 2014

Previous Versions:

Medical Assisting: Clinical - effective Fall 1997


The Medical Assisting: Clinical Certificate of Achievement prepares students for work in physicians' offices, medical clinics, hospital outpatient clinics, health agencies, and educational institutions. Students completing the program will be eligible to take the California Examination for Certified Medical Assistants. This program provides training in clinical (back office) skills.

The duties of a medical assistant vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the physician's specialty. In small practices, medical assistants are usually generalists, handling both clerical and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager or physician. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department administrators.

Clinical Medical Assistants duties vary according to state law and according to the size and specialty of the medical practice. These duties include preparing clients for examinations, taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, explaining treatment procedures to clients, and assisting during examinations. Clinical Medical Assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens and perform basic laboratory tests. They instruct clients about medication and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, remove sutures and change dressings. They may also arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean. Some Clinical Medical Assistants may specialize; for example, there are podiatric and opthalmic medical assistants, among others.

The employment outlook is very good. Job titles include clinical medical assistant in medical offices, clinics or hospital outpatient departments, or work as a hospital unit secretary.

Students interested in the order for taking classes in this program, can view the recommended course sequence.

Click here for supplemental information about the program, and contact the Health Sciences Department for more information.

This program of study is also available as an Associate degree major option.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate ability to perform clinical tasks such as taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, explaining treatment procedures to clients, preparing clients for examinations, and assisting during examinations;
  2. collect and prepare laboratory specimens and perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments;
  3. present in an instructional manner information about medication and special diets;
  4. demonstrate ability to perform other clinical tasks such as preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, authorizing drug refills as directed, telephoning prescriptions to a pharmacy, drawing blood, preparing clients for x-rays, taking EKG's, removing sutures and changing dressings; and
  5. arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for the Medical Assisting: Clinical program are:

  • Complete 38.0 units from
    • Medical Assisting Core Requirements
    • Medical Assisting: Clinical Requirements

Medical Assisting Core Requirements - complete 18.50 units
BOT 73.12AMicrosoft Word--Core Level for the Office Professional1.50
HLC 160Medical Terminology3.00
MA 160Introduction to Medical Office Practice3.00
MA 161Law and Ethics for Medical Assistants1.00
MA 162Disease Processes4.00
PSYCH 1AGeneral Psychology3.00
Complete a combination totaling at least 3.00 units from the following:
ANAT 58Introduction to Human Anatomy3.00
Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology2.00
HLC 140Health Care Implications of Anatomy and Physiology1.00
Medical Assisting: Clinical Requirements - complete 19.50 units
MA 163AClinical Procedures 13.00
MA 163ALClinical Experience 12.00
MA 163BClinical Procedures 23.00
MA 163BLClinical Experience 23.00
MA 164Laboratory Techniques2.00
MA 165Pharmacology & Administration of Medications3.00
MA 166.4Externship: Clinical Medical Assisting3.50

Course Prerequisites and Advisories:

Courses in a program of study may have prerequisites or advisories; that is, courses that must or should be completed before taking that course. Please check for prerequisites or advisories by clicking on the course numbers in the Program Requirements section.

It is important that students who are completing an Associate Degree and desire to transfer to a four-year institution meet with a counselor to plan their lower division coursework. While many majors at SRJC are intended to align with lower division major preparation required by California public universities, specific lower-division major requirements vary among individual campuses. See a counselor, visit the Transfer Center, and check Guides For Transfer in Specific Majors, and ASSIST to review transfer preparation guides for specific schools and majors.


Students who are on a "fast track" and are interested in completing the program more quickly, are encouraged to take HLC 160 in the summer.
All courses must be completed with a 'C' or better to receive the certificate.

Phone Email Website
(707) 522-2816