Medical Assisting

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 mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.

The administrative duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Receiving patients in a professional and friendly manner
  • Performing numerous office duties and public relations functions
  • Administering first aid.

The clinical responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • helping patients prepare for examinations
  • assisting the doctor
  • cleaning and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • assisting in emergency situations

To get your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Medical Assisting, you will complete 20 months of competency-based instruction and a supervised externship.

Program Graduation Requirements:  It is the goal of the Medical Assisting program at Lake Area Technical Institute to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains.  To achieve that goal, students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or higher in all technical courses as a prerequisite to MA 240 Administrative and Clinical Externship.  Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or higher in their clinical externship in order to graduate.

Externship: As a student of medical assisting, you will be required to complete a 240-hour, non-paid, supervised externship in a medical facility. The externship will provide you with a total picture of your responsibilities as a medical assistant, including observation of a working health care facility. You’ll also gain valuable experience working with other healthcare professionals as you develop and utilize your technical skills.

When you complete the program you will be eligible to take a national certifying examination.

The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Review Board (MAERB).
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Once you complete the program, you are eligible to sit for the national certification exam. After successfully passing the exam, you will earn the title of Certified Medical Assistant, (CMA, AAMA).

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD, has the following outcomes based on the most recent Annual Report Form submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

The Medical Assisting program at Lake Area Technical Institute has a job placement rate of 91.7% for the graduate cohort of 2018 and a 92.9% exam passage rate for the 2017 graduate year.

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