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Medical Assisting - New Student Information

Welcome to the Medical Assisting program!  This program allows you to provide critical, direct patient care as a medical assistant. As a medical assisting student, you’ll learn to: perform routine diagnostic procedures, record vitals, and administer medications and first aid. Even more importantly, you’ll learn to connect with your patients. If you’ve got a mind for medicine and a heart for healing, this accredited, respected medical assistant program could be just the beginning of a long and successful career in healthcare.

Medical Assisting Program Handbook and Orientation


The MA program requires immunizations be initiated by the start of Fundamentals of Clinical Technique.  This is due to contact with bodily fluids and patient contact while in the classroom and during externship.

Rasmussen University assists students by paying for the Hepatitis B series and 2-step Mantoux only.  Your Program Coordinator can provide you with the voucher that you present to the appropriate clinic.  Any additional laboratory testing and/or immunization costs will be the responsibility of the student.  The student must supply documentation of immunization and/or immunity (titer results) to the Program Coordinator and submit into the Certified Immunization Tracker on the following:

  1. Hepatitis B Series
  2. Tetanus/TdaP
  3. Pertussis
  4. MMR
  5. Varicella

***Rasmussen University does NOT pay or reimburse for titers***

Students must complete the following immunizations and/or immunity (titer results) to successfully complete the course.  Failure to do so will result in automatic failure of the course.  If a student is unable to receive immunizations due to medical reasons or religious beliefs, proper acceptable documentation must be provided to the college.  Inability to obtain immunizations required by externship sites may hinder externship placement.

Fundamentals of Clinical Technique:

  • First two injections of the Hepatitis B series (or titer demonstrating immunity)
  • Varicella-2 series (or titer demonstrating immunity)

Clinical Laboratory Applications and Diagnostic Procedures 1:

  • The third remaining Hepatitis B injection (unless immunity was documented previously)
  • MMR-2 series (or titer demonstrating immunity)
  • TdaP (or proof of immunity)

Clinical Laboratory Applications and Diagnostic Procedures 2:

  • 2-Step Mantoux- 2 series (initiated by week 6)
  • Influenza vaccine (seasonal and if required by the externship site)

Quarter Prior to Externship: (if applicable per the site request)

  • Physical exam (cost incurred by student)
  • Drug screen (cost incurred by student)

**Please note that if a student takes Clinical Laboratory Applications and Diagnostic Procedures 2 prior to Clinical Laboratory Applications and Diagnostic Procedures 1, the immunization serious of those two courses will flip as well.  Please see your Program Coordinator for questions on what you need to receive**

Attendance Policy

Rasmussen University students are expected to be on time and in regular attendance for all of their classes. Faculty is required to keep accurate attendance records which are submitted to the Business Office. Students must maintain regular attendance and be in satisfactory academic standing to remain eligible for financial aid.

Attendance requirements are met by (a) attending a face-to-face course session at the campus or other class location, or (b) substantive online activity, including commentary in the discussion section of the online classroom, posting of required assignments and course quizzes and exams in a timely manner.

A student who fails to attend class on-ground or complete online course activities for 14 consecutive days may be administratively withdrawn from the course unless the student has previous arrangements with the College. Online courses start on the first day of the quarter.

If a student has not posted attendance in any online courses within 14 days of their last day of attendance, he or she may be administratively withdrawn from the College. Upon withdrawal a student's financial aid eligibility will be adjusted according to the Institution's refund policy as described in the College catalog and will be assigned grades according to the Rasmussen University Drop Class Policy.

Attendance is not equivalent to participation. Student grades will be impacted by the frequency and quality of participation in class, whether face-to-face or online, consistent with the requirements of the particular course and as outlined in the course syllabus.

Medical assisting students are required to contact the instructor in the event of an absence from class.  If a student misses a class, he or she will automatically receive a zero in the PATH Project for the week.  Medical Assisting students may only miss a total of 8 hours in their residential lab per quarter.  Should a student miss more than 8 hours, may result in an automatic failure of the lab course and the online course that is assigned with it, and will need to repeat both courses the next quarter before moving to the next lab course. 

For more information regarding Attendance and other policies, please refer to course catalog on the Rasmussen University website.


Medical Assisting Student Dress Code and Professional Appearance Policy:

Students must always present to class and externship with a professional appearance.  This includes:

  • Clean and wrinkle free Rasmussen issued scrubs (students are allowed to wear a lab coat over scrubs)
  • Student must wear Rasmussen identification badge
  • Close toe shoes with socks
  • Long hair pulled back and away from face
  • Hair must be worn in a professional manner (to include color)
  • All tattoos covered and facial piercings must be covered or removed
  • Makeup worn conservatively
  • Acrylic/gel nails are not allowed during clinical lab courses or externship experience
  • Proper personal hygiene maintained

If a student attends a class or clinical site and are in violation of any of the conduct, dress and appearance, or behavior standards listed above, the student will be at risk for dismissal from the classroom or clinical site**.  Instructors reserve all rights to dismiss students from class and not to return to class until the student is able to present themselves in a proper, professional manner that follows the PATH Project, Conduct, Dress and Appearance, and Behavior Standards for both Rasmussen University and the Medical Assisting Program.

Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

Total Diploma Credits: 51*

* Credit totals do not include Foundation Courses. Students must either demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in Foundation Courses through a Rasmussen University entrance placement exam or by successful completion of Foundation Courses.

* Minnesota students must take MEA 2976 Medical Assisting Professional Externship (6 credits) instead of MEA 2895 Medical Assisting Experiential Externship.


(Major and Core Credits: 39)
Fundamentals in Clinical Techniques (MEA1350 / 6 credits)

In this course, students will begin to develop and apply skills in injections, phlebotomy, and basic vital signs. They will begin to understand reasoning and sequencing of immunizations, basic lab functions, and applied lab skills as well as learn basic CPR. In addition, students will recognize proper techniques in providing efficient patient care within a clinical setting and applied knowledge of basic laboratory coding.


Administrative Medical Assistant (HSA 2264 / 3 credits)

The Administrative Medical Assistant course is designed to educate students on legal & ethical responsibilities, the importance of critical thinking, intrapersonal and communication skills, office policies, maintenance of office equipment, organization, confidentiality, insurance information, government issued policies and acts, documentation as well as functionality and maintenance of paper & electronic medical records. The students will demonstrate competency of basic computer systems, applications, coding, documentation , legal and ethical responsibilities, customer service skills as well as communication skills throughout the course in various structures such as exams, case scenarios or hands on demonstrations.


Medical Terminology (HSC1531 / 4 credits)

This is a basic medical vocabulary-building course. An emphasis will be placed on the most common medical terms based on prefixes and suffixes, Latin and Greek origins, and anatomic roots denoting body structures. All body systems will be covered with a focus on word parts, terms built from word parts, abbreviations, and basic disease and surgical terms. Students will be expected to focus on spelling and pronunciation.


Medical Law and Ethics (HSC2641 / 4 credits)

A study of the United States legal system and court process with emphasis on legal and ethical issues within the healthcare environment. Fraud and abuse, patient privacy and confidentiality, and professional practice law and ethics will be covered. The course will include a project that is specific to the student's program of study.


Clinical Laboratory Applications & Diagnostic Procedures I (MEA1460 / 6 credits)

In this course, students will begin to develop and apply learned applied skills and procedure technique within Pulmonary, Audiology, and Opthamology. Students will also learn patient care assessement, procedures, and applicable tests within Women’s Health, the importance of good nutrition in conjunction with an understanding of common eating disorders. In addition, students will learn to work with common injuries and treatment of Orthopedics. Student’s will gain overall knowledge within various clinical department settings.

Prerequisite:Fundamentals in Clinical Technique, Medical Terminology, and Structure and Function

Clinical Laboratory Applications & Diagnostic Procedures II (MEA1570 / 6 credits)

In this course, students will begin to develop and apply learned patient care assessment, procedures, diagnosis, and treatments within clinical departments to include Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Urology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Special Needs and Disability patient care. In addition, students will recognize proper assessment and utilize basic skills in working with patients dealing with a terminal illness in addition to identifying the psychological states of death or dying. In this course, students will also learn basic procedural coding, where applicable.

Prerequisite:Fundamentals in Clinical Technique, Medical Terminology, and Structure and Function

Medical Assisting Capstone (MEA2820 / 2 credits)

In conjunction with the Medical Assisting Externship, students will complete an online Medical Assisting Capstone course. In this course, students will learn job-search techniques and skills for entry-level medical assistants as well as share and learn from their externship experiences with the class. Students will also prepare to sit for a Medical Assisting credential examination during this course (either the CMA or RMA depending on campus accreditation status).


Medical Assistant Experiential Externship (MEA2895 / 6 credits)

In conjunction with a Medical Assisting Capstone, students will complete 200 hours of a Medical Assisting training experience in a physician’s office/clinic or medical center. While on the clinical site, the extern will perform medical assisting job duties in both the front-office administrative and the back-office clinical areas, in order to develop on-the-job learning skills. Under no circumstances will the student extern receive pay for the externship hours worked.

Prerequisite:Successful completion of all Medical Assisting core courses except Career Development and Seminar courses


(General Education Credits: 12)
Introduction to Communication (COM1002 / 4 credits)

The course will introduce students to basic models and theories of the communication process. Students will learn about a variety of elements involved in communication. They will also explore how factors such as race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, and gender influence communication. Students will focus on developing an awareness of the effects of various types of communication on themselves and others. They will also develop practical skills for improving their ability to communicate in personal, social and professional contexts. Specific topics will include perception, self-concept, verbal and nonverbal communication, effective listening and communicating in culturally diverse settings.

Prerequisite:Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen University entrance placement exam score

Structure and Function of the Human Body (PHA1500 / 4 credits)

This course provides a working knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. A general introduction to cells and tissues is followed by study of the anatomy and physiology of the skeletal and muscular systems. The student is introduced to the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and endocrine systems.


General Psychology (PSY1012 / 4 credits)

This course will provide students with a general understanding of basic methodologies, concepts, theories, and practices in contemporary psychology. Areas of investigation may include the goals and research methodologies of psychology, the science of the brain, theories of human development and intelligence, concepts of motivation and emotions, the science of sensation and perceptions, and the current practices pertaining to psychological disorders, therapies, and treatments.


This collection of resources is here for your quick reference to assist your success, not only in this course but also as a student progressing through your curriculum working to achieve your degree.

Use these resources as you need, but remember, this is only a small, focused collection of the overall vast amount of resources the College has created. If you are looking for a resource not listed here, don't hesitate to ask your instructor or a librarian for help.

Should I Connect with a Tutor or a Peer Mentor?

A Tutor:

  • Is trained in tutoring strategies and has successfully passed the courses they tutor in with a grade of "B" or better
  • Typically helps students with details of a specific course or assignment
  • Covers success skills topics such as time management and reading comprehension    

A Peer Mentor:

  • Is a trained, experienced, and certified tutor who is trained in mentoring techniques
  • Can share the "inside scoop" on what you can do to be a successful student overall and long term
  • Can direct you to resources that will help you along your academic journey
  • Can also support you personally as someone who's "been there" before to help you achieve your goals

Specific Needs


Peer Mentor

I have questions about an assignment.


How do I know when my assignments are due, what my grades are, and how to see feedback from my instructors?


How do I use APA format & where is the template?


I need some help with a course project and have a few other questions about my course.


I am a new student and I want to learn some specific things that will help me in my courses right now.


I'm a new student and I want to be prepared for overall, long-term success.


I want to learn how to manage my time effectively so I can get all my assignments done on time.

Who can show me how to study effectively? I also want some specific strategies for taking tests, reading effectively, taking notes, etc. (learning skills)


I'm struggling with my assignments.


I want someone who can 'show me the ropes' about how to be successful academically.


I'm feeling overwhelmed and I don't know where to start!
(It's important to get help right away. Go to whomever is available first.)

I am having problems outside of school and it is impacting my academic performance.
(Although Peer Mentors are not counselors, they can help you gain perspective on situations. They can also offer contact info for outside resource. )



Connect with a Tutor here:
TUTOR MATCH? Who, What, Why, Where, When?

Connect with a Peer Mentor here:
What Courses Have Peer Mentors and When Can I Meet with Someone?

Chat with a Librarian

Need help with research, APA, or using the online library? Chat with our Librarians! They can help you find whatever you need within our online library of resources and content, plus more.

To view the chat hours and connect with a librarian, click the link below:

Expectations for Students Who Use the Library Chat

Time Management

Do you consistently tell yourself you wish you have more time and/or wonder where all the time in the day goes? Managing your time effectively impacts your academic success immensely. All students should create a time management calendar, especially students with busy personal lives. The small investment of time working on your time management skills will pay off tremendously in the long run.

Click the link below to find a number of resources to improve your time management skills: 

Student Success Guide: Managing Your Time

OR book time with a Peer Mentor to get help creating an effective time management calendar.

Test Taking Tips

Do you freeze when it comes to taking tests? The best way to remain cool during exam time is to enter the test well prepared. Learn more about the test preparation/test taking tips by clicking the link below: 

How Can I Overcome Test Anxiety?

Research and Student Success Resources

Rasmussen University's Library and Learning Services have made online guides that contain various information and resources. Here are a couple guides that will be extremely valuable for your success in this course:

Structure and Function of the Human Body Guide

Medical Terminology Guide

Student Success Guide

Webinars/Recorded Webinars

Writing Resources


Grammarly is a free software for Rasmussen students that checks for grammar, mechanics, spelling, word usage, and even plagiarism.

For helping setting up a Grammarly account, click the link below:

How Do I Create a Grammarly Account?

Discussion Post Help

If you are unsure how to proceed with starting your discussion post, please refer to the Discussion Posts page of the Writing Guide. 

Weekly Writing Assignment Help

Visit the Weekly Written Assignments page of the Writing Guide for tips on how to get started with your module written assignment.

APA Help

  • Check out the APA Guide for information about formatting, in-text citations, and reference pages.
  • Get a pre-formatted APA Paper Template to use as a starting place for your papers and written assignments.
  • APA Tutoring Support is a great place to get help with APA from Rasmussen student tutors.

Whether you're stumped on an assignment, want help with study skills, or just want another set of eyes on a paper before you submit it, tutors can help you.  Our tutors are current Rasmussen students, so they understand the challenges of the assignments and of balancing schoolwork against life demands. 

For information on scheduling a session, click here, or watch this short tutorial.  


Tutor Match allows you to request a tutoring appointment with a Rasmussen student tutor.

Click here to connect to the online tutoring platform (Brainfuse).

You can request your appointment to be online, over the phone, or in person (as available). The example below is for an online appointment, but follow our lead for phone and in-person appointments. 

How To use Tutor Match

  • Log in to Online Tutoring Service
  • Look for Tutor Match


  • You can schedule an appointment with a tutor using Tutor Match. Select Health Sciences in the School drop down and then pick your course!


  • Click on Schedule


Request a Tutoring Session

1. Select your Preferred Modality:

a. Online with audio
b. In Person

Note that the tutor may or may not be able to meet with you in person depending on his/her location.


2. Ensure your Time Zone is correct (located to the right of "Available Tutors").  If it is not correct, click on the time zone link. A separate box will appear, allowing you to change your default time zone and continue scheduling your appointment. 


3. If desired, select a specific tutor from Available Tutors. Otherwise, to see ALL available tutors, leave as "Select a tutor". 

4. Select the date for your appointment from the calendar (below)

Note: Tutors need time to receive and confirm your appointment. Two hours from the appointment time is the earliest time you can select.

5. Select a time slot or tutor that works for you and click on Select.

Reminder: You must request your appointment at least two hours in advance to give the tutor time to confirm (or not!) the appointment.

6. Almost done! Verify time, time zone, and date. Note: you will be emailed a confirmation. Finally, you must enter your phone number so we can contact you if necessary.

7. Once you've entered your phone number, consider entering NOTES that let the tutor know what you want to work on during the session, please also enter your phone number in the Notes box. Then click on Confirm. Wait for your confirmation email, to make sure the tutor can meet with you.


Appointment Confirmation and How to Attend

  1. You will see a pending confirmation page letting you know that a tutor has been notified of your request
  2. When the tutor confirms your request, you will receive a confirmation email to your smail account
    1. The modality, time, and date of the appointment will be included.
    2. To attend:
      1. Online sessions:
        1. Simply come back to the Online Tutoring Service shortly before your session starts, hover over your name (top right on the page), and click on My Calendar and then on Enter to access the session and the tutor
      2. On-Campus sessions:
        1. Simply show up on the correct campus at the day and time indicated
  2. If you need to cancel a requested appointment in Tutor Match:
    1. Log into Online Tutoring
    2. Click on your Username in the top right corner under the "Logout" button
    3. Select My Calendar 
    4. Click Cancel next to the appointment that you wish to cancel

Below you will find the APA Template and the APA Sample Paper.