2008 Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation of Educational Programs in Medical Assisting
Many of the components found in the 2003 Standards were unchanged in the 2008 Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Medical Assisting Programs (Standards) which were adopted by CAAHEP in October 2008. The major changes were in Section III, Resources and Section IV.B, Outcomes.
Included in the qualifications for a program director is a requirement for experience in teaching at the postsecondary and/or vocational/technical level of education. Program directors are also required to have a minimum of three (3) years experience in healthcare, at least 40 hours of which are in an ambulatory care setting performing or observing medical assistants practicing the administrative and clinical procedures as taught in an accredited medical assisting program.
A Practicum Coordinator was added as required personnel to ensure that the students have a meaningful practicum incorporating the performance of the psychomotor and affective competencies in an appropriate ambulatory healthcare setting, and that the students are properly evaluated during the practicum experience. The Medical Director was removed as a required personnel, but remains a required member of the Advisory Committee. This role can be filled by a physician, osteopath, or certified nurse practitioner.
An emphasis has been placed on basic critical thinking skills that the student will enhance throughout the academic process. With CAAHEP Standards placing emphasis on the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains, the MAERB decided to establish the core curriculum using these same domains. The former content areas are now found in the cognitive domain and competencies are placed in either the psychomotor or affective domains. The curriculum is delineates specific outcomes in each area of subject matter so that the student develops competency to the level expected for entry into the practice of medical assisting as described in the Preamble to the Standards.
Medical assistants are multiskilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. 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.
To assist programs in curriculum development and revision, the MAERB has revised theEducational Competencies for the Medical Assistant (ECMA).The intended purpose of this document is to provide examples of methods that can be used for meeting each of the psychomotor and affective domain objectives, as found in the 2008 Standards. It is not intended that all of the suggested methods of evaluation for each competency included in a curriculum for purposes of accreditation nor is the list considered to be exhaustive, but this document provides ideas and evaluation methods that can be used to meet the objectives.