Mar 08, 2021
The Medical Assisting curriculum prepares multi-skilled health care professionals qualified to perform administrative, clinical, and laboratory procedures.
Course work includes instruction in scheduling appointments, coding and processing insurance accounts, billing, collections, medical transcription, computer operations, assisting with examinations/treatments, performing routine laboratory procedures, electrocardiography, supervised medication administration, and ethical/legal issues associated with patient care.
Graduates of CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting programs may be eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants. Employment opportunities include physicians’ offices, health maintenance organizations, health departments, and hospitals.
The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being and requires a master of complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.
The Gaston College Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively as a health care professional.
- Demonstrate the ability to perform administrative competencies related to the practice of medical assisting utilizing necessary computer applications when applicable.
- Demonstrate the ability to perform clinical competencies related to the practice of medical assisting.
- Demonstrate the ability to perform laboratory procedures related to the physician’s office laboratory.
- Demonstrate the ability to implement legal and ethical concepts in the medical office setting.
- Demonstrate knowledge of biological sciences, medical terminology and disease processes.
- Demonstrate knowledge of management skills relevant to the medical office setting.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply clinical, administrative and laboratory skills in the office setting and function as an entry-level health care professional.
Applications are accepted January-July. Interviews for admission are conducted March-July. Acceptance letters are mailed as students are accepted. Individuals applying for admission to the Gaston College Medical Assisting Program must meet the requirements for general admission to Gaston College and the requirements for admission into the Medical Assisting Program.
Please complete the admission process in the order listed below:
- Complete the Gaston College Application. This form can be obtained from the Gaston College Office of Admissions: 704.922.6214 or through the Gaston College web page: www.gaston.edu
- Submit an official copy of high school transcript with graduation date or GED transcript with graduation date directly to the Gaston College Office of Admissions. (Have your high school mail this for you.)
- Submit official college and/or university transcripts, if applicable, to the Office of Admissions at Gaston College.
- Complete the Gaston College Medical Assisting Program Application form. This form can be requested through the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Office: 704.922.6377 or online at http://www.gaston.edu/programs/health_sciences/ma/program_links.php. Enrollment in the Medical Assisting Program is limited to 45 students. APPLICANTS ARE ADVISED TO APPLY EARLY.
- Schedule and take the College Placement Test (ACCUPLACER) to determine Math and English placement at Gaston College. This can be scheduled through the Katherine Harper Testing Center: 704.922.8739. Applicants must complete any identified developmental courses in the areas of Math, English, and Reading in order to receive full acceptance into the program.
Students who score 500 or higher on the Verbal or Critical Reading portion of the SAT are not required to take the Reading portion of the placement test. Students who score 500 or higher on the Writing portion of the SAT are not required to take the Writing portion of the placement test. Students who score 500 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the SAT are not required to take the Mathematics portion of the placement test. Students who score an 18 or higher on the English portion of the ACT are not required to take the Writing portion of the college's placement test. Students who score 21 or higher on the Reading portion of the ACT are not required to take the Reading portion of the college's placement test. Students who score a 22 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the ACT are not required to take the Math portion of the college's placement test. Official test score results must be no more than 5 years old and they must be received and evaluated by the Gaston College Office of Admissions.
- Complete the online "New Student Orientation" for Gaston College. This must be completed before you can register for classes.
- Schedule and take the ACT exam. The ACT exam is taken in addition to the College Placement Test (ACCUPLACER). Applicants should schedule and take the ACT examination to determine acceptance scores for admission into the Medical Assisting Program. Contact the Katherine Harper Testing Center (704.922.8739) for instructions on registering for the ACT. Individuals with a previous college degree will have the ACT and/or SAT examination waived with proof of graduation from an accredited college.
PLEASE NOTE: SAT score can be accepted in place of the ACT score. Applicants must attain a minimum composite score of 17 or higher on the ACT examination or a score of 830 or higher on the SAT examination to receive full acceptance into the Medical Assisting Program. These scores must be current within five (5) years of program admission.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for an admission interview by the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Department after receipt of the Medical Assisting Program application. Acceptance letters will be mailed to qualified applicants after the admission interview and verification of files being complete through Gaston College (ACT/SAT scores, College Placement Test (COMPASS) and transcripts.
Students meeting all admission requirements will be considered for full admission status.
Students who have not met all of the requirements for full admission may still be considered for possible conditional acceptance as determined by the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Coordinator. Students accepted through conditional acceptance will be allowed to take Medical Assisting courses for one semester while working toward meeting full acceptance requirements.
Applicants will be notified by mail of their admission status by the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Coordinator. Those students who are not admitted to the Medical Assisting Program must reapply. Students reapplying for admission must meet the admission requirements current at the time of their application and must submit a new application. Conditional acceptances are not granted for readmissions.
English as a Second Language
United States resident applicants whose primary language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. This may include scoring no less than 540 (207 on the computer) on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Coordinator, in consultation with the Department Chairperson of Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, and Health Promotions and the Dean of Health and Human Services, will determine the means of demonstrating proficiency on an individual basis.
The following are special health requirements that are to be met by all medical assisting students:
- A physical exam is due on the date stated in the applicant’s admission letter. The form, “Student Medical Form for Programs that Require Health Forms in the North Carolina Community College System Institutions”, will be mailed with the applicant’s admission letter. The form must be completed in its entirety and must demonstrate evidence of a physical exam within 6 months prior to the date of the submission of the form. The form must document satisfactory emotional and physical health.
- Prospective students with known or suspected communicable or other serious illnesses are ethically and legally obligated to evaluate their health status in light of client safety. In addition, a physician’s statement documenting that the disease state is resolved or adequately controlled must be provided.
- The health form must be completed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner and must be submitted to the Medical Assisting Department by the specified deadline given to students.
- Two out of the series of three Hepatitis B Vaccine (required immunization) must be completed by the end of the fall semester, freshman year, unless proof is provided from a physician as to why the student should not take this vaccine or proof is provided showing the student has had the vaccine within the past five to seven years and is “immune”.
Those students who do not pursue immunization for Hepatitis B will be required to sign a waiver releasing Gaston College and the Medical Assisting Program of any responsibility for the possibility of their contracting Hepatitis B. (Waiver may be picked up in the Medical Assisting Office, DBC 247).
NOTE: A complete listing of the immunization requirements for N.C. Students entering college can be found on the last page of the Medical Assisting Program Application.
- Enrolled students should report any changes in health status to the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Coordinator immediately. Documentation of satisfactory emotional and physical health may be required to remain in the program.
General Program Information
- A minimum grade of “C” (80%) in all Medical Assisting courses is necessary for progression in the Medical Assisting program. In courses that have a lab component, students must receive a passing grade in both theory and classroom skills procedures in order to pass the course. A minimum grade of “C” is also required in all non-medical assisting courses listed in the Medical Assisting Curriculum (A45400) or the course will have to be repeated.
- A Medical Assisting student should complete all related courses prior to entering the fifth (last) semester of the program. Related courses are those that do not have the “MED” prefix.
- Professional liability insurance (malpractice insurance) is required for students after admission to the program. This insurance is arranged through the Gaston College Business Office and the premium is paid by the student at the appropriate time. (at the beginning of the first semester and again at the beginning of the fourth semester of the program).
- The required keyboarding class for the Medical Assisting Program is OST 130 (Comprehensive Keyboarding). This course must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” by the end of the spring semester of the freshman year.
- OSHA Safety Training: All students enrolled in the Medical Assisting Program are required to participate in OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens and HazCom Safety training sessions.
- The Medical Assisting Program does not grant credit for experiential learning. Students may challenge certain classes for credit by exam, if approved by the appropriate faculty member.
Criminal Background Checks, Fingerprints & Drug Screening
In order to comply with current Student Affiliation Agreements students accepted into the Associate Degree Medical Assisting Program will be required to submit a Criminal Background Check, Fingerprints and Drug Screening according to Gaston College procedures prior to placement in a clinical facility. The facility reserves the right to deny the student access to the facility. If the student is denied access, the student will not be allowed to complete the program. Completion of clinical experiences is required for the satisfactory completion of the program. More information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
NOTE: All information should be accurate to the best of the applicant's knowledge. Giving false information or withholding necessary information to the College/Program may result in dismissal from the College/Program. Questionable situations shall be discussed with the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy Coordinator and the Department Chairperson for Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, and Health Promotions and the Dean of Health and Human Services.
Total Semester Hour Credits: 74