Medical Assisting Standards and Skills

Standards are critical areas of competency aligned to industry identified needs and Industry Recognized Credentials (IRCs) that will support student success in the field. Standards provide the structure that empowers the teacher to choose the best curriculum and instructional approaches to guide skill and knowledge development for students. The standards below are cross-walked with the Essential Industry Credentials.

Health & Safety Standards

Standard 1: Health and Safety in the Medical Assisting Field

Standard 1: Health and Safety in the Medical Assisting Field

Students will apply health and safety standard precautions and infection control measures, management of medical instruments and equipment, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), workspace ergonomics and personal safety practices.

OSHA
CCMA

Skills:

  1. Describe disaster and fire evacuation plans used by various facilities and statewide alert codes.
  2. Demonstrate health and safety practices.
  3. Demonstrate medical asepsis hand wash technique.
  4. Utilize procedure for client identification according to current industry standards.
  5. Demonstrate transfer techniques according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  6. Demonstrate effective body mechanics and ergonomics.
  7. Demonstrate barrier protection according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  8. Define emergency codes used in office/medical facility.
  9. Demonstrate needle safety and sharps disposal.
  10. Explain handling and disposal of bio-hazardous materials according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  11. Recognize signage in the healthcare environment.
  12. Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE), following OSHA regulations and industry standards.
  13. Remove and dispose of contaminated gloves according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  14. Complete incident/variance report.
  15. Demonstrate comprehension of emergency protocols during an in-office emergency.
  16. Demonstrate understanding of EMS activation procedures.

Technical & Integrated Academic Standards

Standard 2: Healthcare Organizational Structures and Professionalism
Standard 2: Healthcare Organizational Structures and Professionalism Students will be able to understand healthcare organizational structures, credentialing and professionalism including the patient Bill of Rights and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

CCMA

Skills:

  1. Identify essential functions, similarities, and differences of healthcare facilities (e.g., acute care, long-term care, assisted living, homecare, rehabilitation, and hospice).
  2. Examine ethical and legal issues and the standards for healthcare professions (e.g., standards of care, code of ethics, facility ethical protocol, and appropriate legal documents).
  3. Analyze Protected Health Information (PHI), authorization to release and rescind release.
  4. Identify regulations associated with Consent (e.g., verbal, written, implied, verbal, and exceptions.)
  5. Identify professional healthcare workers’ organizations and credentialing requirements.
  6. Identify the organizational structure of the health care team.
  7. Demonstrate professional behavior in clinical practice.
  8. Demonstrate professionalism as a healthcare worker.
  9. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  10. Describe the role of the mandated reporter.
  11. Identify the types of health care.
  12. Demonstrate the standards of a professional appearance.
Standard 3: Healthcare Careers and Professionalism

Standard 3: Healthcare Careers and Professionalism

Students will examine and explain the roles and responsibilities of the healthcare team, organizational structures, credentialing requirements and professionalism.

CCMA

Skills:
  1. List strategies used to obtain the patient’s symptoms.
  2. Obtain the patient’s symptoms via telephone.
  3. Obtain the patient’s symptoms via face-to-face triage.
  4. Demonstrate verbal and nonverbal communication.
  5. Greet and introduce oneself to patients.
  6. Adapt communication according to the patient’s needs.
  7. Identify barriers to open communication.
  8. Provide a verbal patient report.
  9. Complete a written patient report.
  10. Collect a Medical History.
  11. Identify and document pertinent patient information.
  12. Employ the use of appropriate medical terms and abbreviations.
  13. Demonstrate how to respond to patients’ needs.
  14. Explain the importance of responding to a patient’s needs in a timely, compassionate, and professional manner.
  15. Demonstrate respect for cultural diversity and orientations.
  16. List strategies used to maintain patient dignity at all times.
  17. Accommodate patients with special needs.
  18. Demonstrate emergency management skills, evaluate, and record incident, identify the appropriate response, and complete variance reports based on injuries.
  19. Employ medical emergency protocols in office/facility including activation of EMS and notification of appropriate medical personnel.
  20. Demonstrate basic life support (CPR) at the minimum accepted standard of practice (e.g., compression, AED, and breathing techniques).
  21. Perform standard first aid skills (e.g., hemorrhage, shock, fainting, choking, and burns).
  22. Identify skills and protocols vital in an environmental injury situation or chemical exposure.
Standard 4: Office Management and Administrative Tasks

Standard 4: Office Management and Administrative Tasks

Students will be able to intake and discharge patients, schedule appointments, maintain electronic medical records, utilize business management software to code procedures and diagnostics for billing and insurance purposes.

CCMA

Skills:

  1. Answer, prioritize, and accurately address in-office and phone calls from patients, vendors, and other industry professionals.
  2. Maintain an appointment matrix.
  3. Generate daily appointment schedule.
  4. Compose various types of business documents.
  5. Demonstrate procedures used to register/check in new and established patients.
  6. Perform appointment cancellation procedures.
  7. Prepare, obtain, and verify patient information for scheduling, registration, and check-in using two forms of patient identification (i.e., state-issued driver’s license, insurance card, photo ID, etc.).
  8. Manage patient intake, including recognizing and responding appropriately to medical emergencies and notifying the appropriate facility personnel as needed.
  9. Identify ethical considerations regarding confidentiality, maintaining integrity and security of medical records in accordance with state rules and standards of practice.
  10. Determine ethical electronic communication in the workplace (i.e. appropriate cell phone usage).
  11. Process and check patient referrals.
  12. Prepare packages for shipping.
  13. Demonstrate understanding of various types of health insurance.
  14. Define various terms associated with health insurance.
  15. Demonstrate understanding of appropriate billing codes (HCPCS, ICD, and CPT).
  16. Organize and maintain technical information.
  17. Manage and locate elements of a patient file.
  18. Maintain patient demographic information.
  19. Retrieve patient files.
  20. Correct documentation errors.
  21. Electronically file results and/or correspondence.
  22. Maintain appropriate documentation on each patient chart.
Standard 5: Examination Room Procedures

Standard 5: Examination Room Procedures

Students will be able to demonstrate examination room procedures including obtaining vital signs and blood pressure, documenting physical exams and procedures, and providing procedure/treatment instructions to patients.

CCMA

Skills:

  1. Explain procedure to prepare exam room, including supplies and medical instruments, for minor surgeries or procedures (e.g., defining a sterile field, applying sterile gloves, identifying barrier protection, preparing sterile instruments for use).
  2. Apply facility interviewing techniques to obtain concise and accurate reporting of relevant information from patients, (e.g., chief complaint, pain scale, review of symptoms, medications, allergies).
  3. Assist with a pediatric exam.
  4. Measure and record an infant’s height, weight, head and chest circumference.
  5. Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) for a pediatric patient.
  6. Obtain a pediatric urine specimen.
  7. Document vital signs, including height and weight.
  8. Measure and record pediatric vital signs.
  9. Review Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) with parent/guardian.
  10. Demonstrate understanding of pediatric vaccines and schedules.
  11. Complete immunization record.
  12. Measure and record blood pressure manually.
  13. Measure and record automated blood pressure.
  14. Identify all pulse sites.
  15. Perform a radial pulse.
  16. Perform an apical pulse.
  17. Perform body temperature using a variety of thermometers.
  18. Perform respiratory rate.
  19. Perform an oxygen saturation.
  20. Perform a pain assessment.
  21. Assist with a physical exam.
  22. Measure and record height and weight.
  23. Identify equipment used for specific exams.
  24. Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI).
  25. Prepare patients for various physical examinations.
  26. Assist in positioning and draping patients.
  27. Perform visual acuity testing.
  28. Perform audiometry.
  29. Assist with obstetric and gynecologic procedures.
  30. Assist with urologic procedures.
  31. Perform specialty procedures.
  32. Perform ear lavage.
  33. Perform spirometry testing.
  34. Provide patient education.
  35. Instruct patients for diagnostic tests and/or follow-up tests.
  36. Instruct the patient in self-breast exam.
  37. Instruct the patient in testicular self-exam.
  38. Assist in patient discharge.
  39. Instruct the patient in the use of medications.
  40. Provide patient education for various diagnoses.
  41. Educate patients in the use of durable medical equipment.
Standard 6: Clinical Skills

Standard 6: Clinical Skills

Students will demonstrate special procedures including electrocardiogram (EKG) and venipuncture, assist with patient screenings and wellness assessments, and deliver patient instruction/education as required to follow provider’s treatment plan.

CCMA
EKG

Skills:

  1. Assist with patient screenings and wellness assessment (e.g., nicotine risks, substance abuse and addiction, domestic violence, suicide awareness, depression, and Osteoporosis).
  2. Select appropriate method of blood collection.
  3. Explain the practices of radiation safety used within the facility.
  4. Identify the anatomy of the heart.
  5. Trace the flow of blood throughout systemic and pulmonary circulations.
  6. Identify the origin of electrical activity in the heart and follow its path.
  7. Identify characteristics of a twelve lead EKG, three channel.
  8. Demonstrate application of limb and chest electrodes.
  9. Identify electrocardiogram (EKG) artifacts/troubleshoot machine failure.
  10. Demonstrate application of Holter monitor.
  11. Identify basic arrhythmias.
  12. Perform Venipuncture procedures.
  13. Demonstrate correct order of draw according to National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) protocol.
  14. Perform venipuncture by evacuated tube system.
  15. Perform venipuncture by winged infusion system.
  16. Explain venipuncture technique to collect blood sample.
  17. Demonstrate appropriate transfer technique.
  18. Demonstrate proper use of a wheelchair.
  19. Measure, fit and instruct the patient on ambulatory devices.
  20. Demonstrate use of a walker.
  21. Demonstrate use of crutches.
  22. Demonstrate use of a cane.
  23. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of nutrition.
  24. Demonstrate an understanding of therapeutic diets.
  25. Demonstrate an understanding of restrictive diets.
  26. Demonstrate an understanding of the energy nutrients and their significance in a balanced diet.
Standard 7: Surgical Preparation and Assisting

Standard 7: Surgical Preparation and Assisting

Students will be able to demonstrate preparation for minor surgical procedures including, assembling required surgical equipment and supplies, and demonstrating proper operating room conduct and asepsis.

CCMA

Skills:

  1. Assist in the monitoring and evaluation of recovering surgical patients.
  2. Perform medical asepsis.
  3. Perform hand wash technique.
  4. Identify methods of transmission of microorganisms and report signs and symptoms of infection.
  5. Demonstrate needle safety and sharps disposal.
  6. Explain proper handling and disposal of bio-hazardous materials.
  7. Remove and dispose of contaminated gloves according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  8. Perform infection control and safety procedures.
  9. Identify specific isolation techniques.
  10. Perform surgical asepsis.
  11. Demonstrate chemical disinfection of instruments according to current industry and OSHA standards.
  12. Wrap instruments for sterilization in the autoclave.
  13. Perform steam sterilization of instruments (autoclave).
  14. Clean and maintain autoclave.
  15. Operate ultrasonic cleaner.
  16. Prepare and maintain a sterile field.
  17. Demonstrate knowledge of chemical sterilization.
  18. Prepare a 1:10 bleach and water solution.
  19. Assist with minor surgical procedures.
  20. Apply sterile barrier protection.
  21. Open sterile packs of instruments and apply to sterile field.
  22. Prepare skin for minor surgery.
  23. Prepare exam room for minor surgery.
  24. Assist the provider in the suturing of a laceration or incision repair.
  25. Perform a sterile and non-sterile dressing procedure.
  26. Perform suture removal.
  27. Perform staple removal.
  28. Apply sterile adhesive skin closure strips.
  29. Assist the provider with incision and drainage procedure.
Standard 8: Laboratory Procedures and Skills

Standard 8: Laboratory Procedures and Skills

Students will be able to explain specimen collection techniques, demonstrate laboratory procedures to prepare, process, and examine specimens, identify, and use common laboratory materials and equipment, and demonstrate proper use of PPE.

CCMA

Skills:
  1. Compare and contrast laboratory panels and selected tests including Urinalysis, Hematology, Chemistry/Metabolic testing, and specialized testing (e.g., Mono, TB, Flu Vision, Audiometric, H-pylori, Allergy, Respiratory).
  2. Differentiate between normal and abnormal diagnostic test results.
  3. Identify sources of specimen contamination.
  4. Obtain a blood specimen.
  5. Obtain a urine specimen.
  6. Obtain a stool specimen.
  7. Obtain a sputum specimen.
  8. Obtain sterile cultures (urine, throat, wound).
  9. Perform basic stool testing.
  10. Perform guaiac testing.
  11. Obtain stool for parasitic testing.
  12. Obtain specimen for pinworm testing.
  13. Operate a compound microscope to perform laboratory tests.
  14. Identify characteristics of a gram stain.
  15. Identify characteristics of a wet slide and hanging drop slide preparation.
  16. Observe urine sediment.
  17. Perform urine testing.
  18. Assess urinary volume, color, clarity, and odor.
  19. Perform drug screening.
  20. Perform a urinalysis chemical screen via reagent dipsticks.
  21. Perform microscopic urinalysis.
  22. Perform pregnancy screening.
  23. Perform hematology procedures.
  24. Obtain a capillary specimen.
  25. Perform hemoglobin testing.
  26. Perform micro-hematocrit testing.
  27. Identify characteristics of an erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
  28. Perform basic immunology procedures.
  29. Perform basic serology procedures.
  30. Explain and demonstrate how to determine blood type using ABO/Rh system.
  31. Perform a capillary blood glucose.
  32. Perform cholesterol testing.
  33. Perform hemoglobin (A1C) testing.
  34. Perform rapid strep test.
  35. Perform pregnancy tests.
  36. Perform mononucleosis tests.
  37. Perform rapid antibody H-pylori testing,
  38. Demonstrate specimen processing.
  39. Accurately label specimen.
  40. Perform specimen preservation.
  41. Accurately complete laboratory requisition.
  42. Operate a centrifuge.
  43. Demonstrate principles of quality control.
  44. Inspect expiration dates of supplies and reagent kits.
  45. Perform quality control procedures.
  46. Maintain records of quality control.
Standard 9: Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Standard 9: Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Students will be able to identify and describe common pharmaceutical materials and drugs including proper storage, safe handling, disposal of biological and therapeutic agents, “sharps” and “sharps” containers, and hazardous waste in compliance with OSHA standards.

CCMA

Skills:
  1. Identify the Six Rights of Medication Administration.
  2. Examine immunization resources, recordkeeping, Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS), Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, (VAERS) and vaccine storage.
  3. Manage inventory control procedures including restocking supplies, rotating stock, and checking expiration date.
  4. Differentiate drug classifications.
  5. Explain the role of governing agencies (e.g., Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), etc.).
  6. Use a drug reference.
  7. Understand principal actions of drugs.
  8. Prepare medications for administration.
  9. Reconstitute medication from a powder.
  10. Withdraw medication from a vial.
  11. Withdraw medication from an ampule.
  12. Calculate medication dosage.
  13. Identify the common routes of medication administration.
  14. Perform oral administration.
  15. Perform intramuscular administration.
  16. Perform intramuscular Z-track administration.
  17. Perform intradermal administration.
  18. Perform subcutaneous administration.
  19. Perform transdermal administration.
  20. Perform inhalation administration.
  21. Describe rectal administration.
  22. Perform administration of ophthalmic medications.
  23. Perform administration of optic medications.
  24. Educate patients regarding medication administration.
  25. List and describe the possible adverse effects of medication.
  26. Reinforce safety warnings and guidelines.
  27. Describe the basic elements of a prescription.
  28. Demonstrate comprehension of a medication order.
Standard 10: Human Body Systems

Standard 10: Human Body Systems

Students will be able to identify and categorize the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the major body systems (e.g., Integumentary, Musculoskeletal, Digestive, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Urinary, Reproductive, Nervous, Sensory and Endocrine).

CCMA

Skills:

  1. Apply the medical terminology used in the major body systems.
  2. Classify organs/components that form each of the ten body systems and research their functions.
  3. Differentiate between normal and abnormal characteristics in the body system.
  4. Categorize the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional stages of growth and development throughout the human lifespan.
  5. Identify normal development patterns, milestones across the lifespan.
  6. Identify structural units (cells, tissue, organ), anatomical divisions and body planes and quadrants.
  7. Explain Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of common mental health disorders and treatments.

Employability Standards

Standard 11: Employability Skills

Standard 11: Employability Skills

Students will understand and demonstrate the roles of professional communication, critical thinking, problem solving, professionalism, teamwork, and collaboration within the context of Medical Assistant careers.

Skills:
  1. Demonstrate the impact of communication skills on the success of medical assistant’s career.
  2. Evaluate the impact of poor communication by medical assistants on the safety of a medical organization.
  3. Evaluate the impact of poor communication by medical assistants on a patient’s health outcomes.
  4. Describe appropriate methods of communication for internal and external stakeholders.
  5. Troubleshoot a care plan to find mistargeted or extraneous work that does not contribute to the patient’s health outcome.
  6. Examine the role of a Medical Assistant in society, particularly in terms of its significance for employability and career opportunities.

Entrepreneurship Standards

Standard 12: Entrepreneurship

Standard 12: Entrepreneurship

Students will be able to explain various career pathways in the medical assisting field, describe opportunities for entrepreneurship and be able to evaluate the value proposition of business ownership in the medical assisting field.

Skills:

  1. Name the possible career pathways in the medical field.
  2. Develop a business plan (including initial equipment and staffing needs, a marketing/business development plan, and a basic revenue management strategy) for a startup company in the Ambulatory Health Care sector.
  3. Describe the concept of professional networking and demonstrate personal introductions and an “elevator speech” appropriate for other medical assistants, doctors, health services managers and other potential business partners.
  4. Evaluate the licensing, regulatory and tax implications of self-employment and business ownership as a medical assistant compared to W-2 employment.
  5. Build a team-based project plan that results in a successful diagnosis and health outcome for a patient and that includes recruiting teammates and assigning roles for a project.

Digital Literacy Standards

Standard 13: Digital Literacy

Standard 13: Digital Literacy and Computer Science

Students will be able to understand the role computer science, digital literacy and social media play in society and the medical field.

Skills:
  1. Describe the use of online resources in licensing and professional development as a medical assistant.
  2. Demonstrate the use of common scheduling, resource management, billing and/or customer relationship software systems.
  3. Understand where to find online resources that offer authoritative content related to medical assistants and how to be a safe and ethical consumer and creator of digital content
  4. Apply strategies for using digital tools and technology to drive business and commerce