Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants are multi-skilled practitioners who perform in a wide range of skills in medical offices, hospitals, and other health care settings.

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the medical assisting

medical assisting

If you’ve been to a doctor recently, the medical assistant is the person who takes you into the exam room, collects your weight, blood pressure, and medical history, and prepares you for your exam. Medical assistants may also help with the physical exams, collect samples for the lab, and help patients understand information from the doctor or other provider.

“Students love the hands-on work, and giving back to the community and connections they can make with patients,” said Tara Layton, healthcare programs instructor. “They look forward to  being a part of the larger picture of the medical community.”

Medical Assistants provide a wide range of services to healthcare practitioners and patients. For example, they assist with patient care management, administrative, and clinical procedures, such as physical examinations, phlebotomy, injections, electrocardiograms, and instrument sterilization.

Positions are most often available in hospitals and clinics, physician offices, and outpatient care facilities.

Medical Assistant Education Plan

Emphasis: Medical Assistant
Associate in Applied Science
Total Credits:

First Year  
Fall Quarter
  • ENGL& 101 English Composition I OR WRT 105 Writing in the Workplace - 5 credits
  • HLSV 131 Nursing Assistant Certification OR MA 140 Medical Assisting Intro - 5-9 credits
  • MA 139 MA Medical Terminology* - 5 credits
Winter Quarter
  • BIOL& 170 Human Biology* - 5 credits
  • BTEC 101 Keyboarding for Business OR BTEC 102 Skillbuilding I - 3 credits
  • MA 130 Medical Math OR MATH& 146 Intro to Stats* - 5 credits
Spring Quarter
  • BTEC 266 Medical Law & Ethics - 3 credits
  • HR 110 Human Relations in the Workplace - 5 credits
  • PSYC& 100 Psychology OR PSYC& 200 Lifespan Psychology - 5 credits
  • Health and Fitness Distribution - 3 credits
Second Year  
Fall Quarter
  • MA 241 MA Clinical Procedures - 7 credits
  • MA 249 MA Admin Procedures - 8 credits
Winter Quarter
  • MA 242 Medication Administration - 7 credits
  • MA 246 MA Laboratory Procedures - 10 credits
Spring Quarter
  • MA 208 MA Electrocardiography - 2 credits
  • MA 243 MA Clinical Procedure II - 6 credits
  • MA 244 MA Externship Seminar - 1 credit
  • MA 245 MA Clinical Externship - 6 credits
  • MA 247 National Board Review - 1 credit

* BIOL& 170 - students may subsitute BIOL& 241

** BTEC 101 offered in the fall

Students interested in fulfilling baccalaureate admissions requirements should seek the guidance of an advisor.

The MA program is affiliated with the American Medical Technologists (AMT), one of four national credentialing organizations that provide written examinations for graduates to become nationally certified. This national certification is now required to work in the state of Washington.

Upon successful completion of the national exam, the MA will be awarded the national credential Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through AMT. The national RMA credential is equivalent to the national CMA credential, and should be recognized as such by all potential employers. Once nationally certified, graduates will be required to complete continuing education units to renew the national credential per the AMT renewal schedule.

It is the responsibility of the MA graduate to apply to the AMT to take the national boards and to pay all incurred costs with this national written examination.

Centralia College's MA program meets all criteria for graduates to be eligible to work in the state of Washington as a Medical Assistant-Certified (MA-C), once the graduate has passed their national boards. This certification requires renewal every two years.

Once hired, the graduate's employer will obtain from the state an interim MA-C certificate that is good for exactly one calendar year from the date it is issued. The one-year interim period is to allow the new graduate to start work even if they have not passed their national boards yet. However, they must pass their national boards within that one-year interim period; otherwise, the MA-C will be revoked and they will only be allowed to work from that point forward in Washington as a Medical Assistant-Registered (MA-R), which is a lesser credential.


Career & Technical Education
Tech (TEC) Building, Room 114
Tara Layton
Office: SWFT Center
Email Tara Layton