Medical Assisting/Medical Laboratory Assistant

Program Description

Best medial assistant program in ncMedical assistants are multi-skilled health care professionals who are qualified to perform administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures.


The goal of the Medical Assisting Program at South Piedmont Community College is: “To prepare medical assistants who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.”


Graduates of the diploma program will:

• Demonstrate entry-level skills, knowledge, and behavior competence in content, administrative and clinical functions and procedures, including general operational functions, as defined by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs Standards and Guidelines for Medical Assisting Education Programs.

• Demonstrate professionalism and awareness of patient concerns and needs while providing quality care.

• Apply office policies and protocols to educate and instruct a diverse patient population according to their needs using available community resources.

• Recognize and respond to written, verbal, and nonverbal communication, while gathering, documenting, and assessing patient information, with the use of EMR/EHR systems, to execute quality patient care.

• Articulate fundamental principles, regulations, and statutes for performing within legal and ethical boundaries.

The Specifics of the Program

To apply to the Medical Assisting Program you must:

  1. View the Medical Assisting Information Session to learn more about Medical Assisting by clicking on the link below:


  1. Complete the Medical Assisting Application Request form by clicking on the link below. NOTE: The Fall cohort application window is February 15, 2024 through July 25, 2024.

Medical Assisting Application Request Form

You must watch the information session first and complete the quiz afterwards to apply to the program. After completion of the quiz, you will be emailed a Phase II application from healthadmissions@spcc.edu. You must complete this application and return it to healthadmissions@spcc.edu in order to apply for the Medical Assisting program.

To apply to the Medical Laboratory Assistant Program you must:

  1. Attend a Medical Laboratory Information Session by clicking on the link below:

Medical Laboratory Assistant Information Session

  1. Complete the Medical Laboratory Assistant Information Session Quiz by clicking on the link below. NOTE: the quiz will not be available until the next application window on February 15th, 2024.

Medical Laboratory Assistant Information Session Quiz

The Medical Assisting Information Session and quiz are open for viewing at any time.  You must watch the information session first and complete the quiz afterwards to apply to the program.

The Medical Assisting Diploma Program at South Piedmont Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (www.maerb.org) (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

9355 – 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

Phone: (727) 210-2350
Fax: (727) 210-2354

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.

American Association of Medical Assisting (AAMA)
Assisting Endowment
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 899-1500

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics.

In Demand   |  Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, attributing job growth to the following:

• Predicted surge in the number of physicians’ offices and outpatient care facilities
• Technological advancements
• Growing number of elderly Americans who need medical treatment

Job Responsibilities  |  Medical assistants are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties.

Here is a quick overview (duties vary from office to office depending on location, size, specialty, and state law):

Administrative Duties (may include, but not limited to):

• Using computer applications
• Answering telephones
• Greeting patients
• Updating and filing patient medical records
• Coding and filling out insurance forms
• Scheduling appointments
• Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
• Handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping

Clinical Duties (may include, but not limited to):

• Taking medical histories
• Explaining treatment procedures to patients
• Preparing patients for examination
• Assisting the physician during exams
• Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
• Performing basic laboratory tests
• Instructing patients about medication and special diets
• Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
• Transmitting prescription refills as directed
• Drawing blood
• Taking electrocardiograms
• Removing sutures and changing dressings

Patient Liaison

Medical assistants are instrumental in helping patients feel at ease in the physician’s office and often explain the physician’s instructions.

PCMH Team Member

Medical assistants are essential members of the Patient-Centered Medical Home team. According to a survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, medical assistants ranked as one of the top five professionals necessary to the PCMH team.

CMA (AAMA) Certification

Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or even insist, that their medical assistants are CMA (AAMA) certified.

  • Medical Assisting is a Fast-Growing Career
    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Medical Assisting is estimated to increase by 19% which is much faster than the average occupation.
  • A two-year degree is NOT required to become a Certified Medical Assistant
    • SPCC does offer a two-year degree for Medical Assistant, however, a two-year degree is not required to work as a Certified Medical Assistant. The American Association of Medical Assistants or AAMA, offers a certification exam after the completion of our CAAHEP accredited diploma program.  Students are eligible to sit for this exam after completion of the diploma.  The Associate’s Degree is offered fully online, affording students to begin working as a Medical Assistant and continuing their education.
  • You can become a Medical Assistant in under a year
    • The Medical Assisting diploma program at SPCC is only two semesters. Imagine starting in August and being a Medical Assistant in May.
  • Medical Assistants can work in many different medical specialties
    • Medical Assistants can work in physician offices, outpatient care centers, and more. Medical Assistants aren’t limited to working in family medicine only.  They can work in every specialty of healthcare which may include, but is not limited to;
      • Orthopedics
      • Radiology
      • Obstetrics/Gynecology
      • Urology
      • Pediatrics
      • Neurology
      • Psychiatry
      • Ophthalmology


The Medical Assisting diploma is an option that is an accredited CAAHEP program, after completion of the diploma program, you are eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam – CMA (AAMA) and become employed as a Certified Medical Assistant. The Medical Assisting diploma program at SPCC offers day classes at the Polkton campus and weekend classes are offered at the Monroe campus.  Applicants must select whether they want to take day classes or weekend classes.  All classes are in the same cohort accepted, whether they are on the Polkton or Monroe campus.


The Medical Assisting Program at SPCC is a 1+1 program.  Candidates must successfully graduate from the Medical Assisting Diploma and hold a 3.0 GPA in order to apply to the Medical Assisting Degree option.  Students that have completed their diplomas are encouraged to continue their studies and complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting. 

Medical Laboratory Assistant

The Medical Laboratory Assistant certificate is a certificate within the Medical Assistant Diploma and is offered only in the fall semester. The certificate offers the same curriculum courses offered as a first semester Medical Assisting student.  The certificate requires the student complete a four (4) week (160 hours) work based learning experience in a laboratory setting.  Students are able to sit for the Certification exam administered through the American Medical Technologist.   Students that complete the certificate have the option to further their education and go directly into the Medical Assisting diploma. For more information on admission to MLA, please view the handbook.

Medical laboratory assistants collect and process specimens to help physicians diagnose diseases. Assistants prepare specimens, carry out basic laboratory procedures and run tests such as urinalysis. They may also analyze cultures and tissue samples, mix chemical solutions, and order and store supplies. As with other types of medical assistants, those in the lab have clerical tasks such as greeting patients, informing them of the procedures, answering phones and emails, and maintaining records.

As a full time Medical Assisting diploma student, you should be able to complete the program in two semesters.  Courses are scheduled in 8-week sessions.  During the final eight weeks of the program, you will complete the clinical practicum experience (MED 260), you will be assigned to a physician’s office, where you will work a full-time schedule for four days each week (Monday-Thursday).  There is no weekend or night hours available for completing the clinical practicum hours.  Practicum sites are chosen by the Practicum Coordinator and are based on availability of clinical sites. This practicum assignment is non-compensated (unpaid).

All of our clinical facilities require a state and national criminal background investigation and drug screen of all students before they can be allowed into the clinical areas. The program requires that a background investigation is completed within 60 days of acceptance to the program.

 Upon admission, you must also complete a medical exam and provide record of immunizations. Current Provider Level CPR certification from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross must be completed within 60 days of the first semester of the program. You are responsible for the costs of each of these. More information on how to complete these requirements will be provided upon acceptance.

The following are examples of activities that you will be required to perform in order to successfully complete any Allied Health or Nursing program: 

Critical Thinking: Possess critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical and class judgment. Example: You must be able to identify cause and effect relationships in clinical situations, participate in development of patient education plans, etc.

Ethical Behavior: Provide services with respect for human dignity and the uniqueness of the patient/client unrestricted by consideration of socioeconomic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems. Example: You will care for patients/clients assigned regardless of race, gender, religion, or diagnosis and uphold integrity as a medical professional.

Legal Behavior: Provide care within the scope of practice as stated in the American Association of Medical Assistants Code of Ethics and Practice. Example: You will safeguard the confidentiality of all patient/client information as required by law unless the patient/client grants permission.

Interpersonal Skills: Possess interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, groups, etc. from a variety of psychosocial cultural backgrounds. Example: You will establish rapport with patients/clients and health care team members by behaving in a professional, courteous manner.

Communication Skills: Possess communication abilities sufficient for verbal and nonverbal interaction with others regardless of language or physical barriers. Example: You will be able to clearly explain treatment procedures to patients/clients/family, document patient/client responses, and report to others regarding patient/client care.

Mobility: Possess physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces, stand, walk and bend over for extended periods of time. Example: You will be able to move between workstation, patients’/client’s room and treatment areas.

Motor Skills: Possess gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective health care. Example: You must be able to use equipment, position patients/clients, administer injections, etc.

Hearing Skills: Possess auditory ability sufficient to monitor health needs and collect data. Example: You must be able to heart and breath sounds etc.

Visual Skills: Possess visual ability sufficient for observation and data collection. Example: You will be able to observe color of skin and read scale on a syringe.

Tactile Skills: Possess tactile ability sufficient for data collection. Example: You will be able to detect pulsation and feel skin temperature.

Weight Bearing: Possess the ability to lift and manipulate/move 40-50 pounds. Example: You will be able to move equipment, position patients, etc.

Medical Assisting Diploma Admission Process

Spring Program Application deadline is 4th Friday in November

Fall Program Application deadline is 4th Friday in July

Admission Requirement Booklet

Medical Assisting is a limited enrollment program beginning in the fall and spring of each year. Graduating high school seniors may complete this process and be provisionally accepted based on successful high school graduation before the program begins in the fall. Medical Assisting is a one-year, diploma program and all applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements to be considered for admission. However, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

All applicants must complete Phase I through Phase II listed below in order to submit the Medical Assisting Program Application before the deadline listed above. 

Phase I: Complete your SPCC Admissions File 

□ Complete the SPCC General Application for Admissions

Must be within last year or general education course taken at SPCC within last year.

□ Submit official high school transcripts (or adult high school/high school equivalent transcript).

Not required if applicant submits transcripts showing completion of Bachelor’s degree or higher.

□ Submit official college transcripts for all colleges listed on your application

All transcripts are required even if courses will not apply to this program. Transcripts are usually evaluated with 72 hours after they are received.

□ Once all transcripts are received, you will be notified if Placement Testing is required.


Phase II: Medical Assisting Diploma Program Requirements 

□ Attend a mandatory virtual Medical Assisting Information Session to obtain the Phase II application document.

Check the Medical Assisting web page to complete the MA Information Session and MA Information Session Quiz. Click on the “How to Apply” drop down box to view the information session and take the quiz.

□ Eligible to take ENG 111, COM 110, COM 120 or COM 231 – eligibility is determined by SPCC Phase I Admissions.

□ If you have completed General Education or MED courses listed on the curriculum map, you must have earned a grade of “C” or higher.

□ Have a GPA of 2.0 or higher in completed general education courses and MED courses listed on the curriculum map

The Medical Assisting Diploma program is a 1 + 1 diploma/degree option.  In order to progress into the degree, students must have successfully completed the diploma option with a 3.0 GPA. 

Once all items above have been completed and documentation has been collected, you will send the completed application to healthadmissions@spcc.edu. You must have all the items above in order to complete the application successfully and be considered for entry to the program.

Application Review Check List

□ Completed all requirements in Phase I (General Admission) to SPCC.

□ All current college transcripts are on file and have been evaluated for transfer credit.

□ Any completed coursework on the MA Curriculum Map with a GPA of 2.0 or higher and a “C” or higher in all courses.

□ Attended a Medical Assisting Information Session and have taken the information session quiz.

□ Completed Phase II application

□ Copy of SPCC Advising transcript with all transfer credits evaluated

Above documentation must be legible, have student name and date of completion

Diploma (D45400) – 46 Credit Hours
*Fall Semester Start

Diploma (D45400) – 46 Credit Hours
*Spring Semester Start

Day Classes

Polkton Campus
680 Hwy 74
Polkton, NC  28135

Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog.

• Classroom/Lab/Clinical
• Virtual
• Combined (Classroom/Lab/Clinical and Online)
• Online

Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester.  Virtual classes are offered for the day classes during the daytime hours; weekend classes are offered during the evening hours. 

Medical assistants are employed in physician offices, urgent care centers, medical clinics, outpatient surgery centers, and ambulatory care centers. Medical assisting employment is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. This demand will stem from physicians hiring more medical assistants to do routine administrative and clinical duties so physicians can see more patients. Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for detailed medical assisting career requirements and opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

Students interested in the medical assisting program should consider the following scholarships. Please note that many scholarships are managed by organizations outside of South Piedmont Community College.

Medical Assisting Certificate Scholarship

Medical Assisting Degree Scholarship

Public Health Community Scholarship

• Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Thomas Luciano Memorial Scholarship

Employment Opportunities

  • Medical assistant
  • Office laboratory technician
  • Practice manager
  • Insurance filing
  • Coding and billing
  • Ambulatory care center
  • Receptionist
  • File clerk/supervisor
  • Outpatient care
  • Nursing care facilities
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