Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Essential functions

To be successful in the Medical Assisting program and become employable, the student must be able to perform essential functions expected of the MA (see list below). Please contact the MA program regarding questions or concerns about these requirements.

Part 1 – physical functions

Physical ability to sit, stand and move freely about the office
  • Ability to stand, walk and sit for long periods; ability to climb stairs
  • Ability to bend, stoop, kneel, squat, twist, reach and pull
  • Ability to lift and position heavy patients and carry heavy objects
Manual dexterity
  • Manual dexterity to perform assigned tasks
Visual abilities to accurately perform duties
  • Ability to see in color
  • Ability to read the fine print on labels, medical charts, and computer monitors
Hearing abilities to respond to patients and co-workers
  • Hear and observe patients to ascertain information
  • Have sufficient hearing to perform clinical tasks such as taking blood pressure

Part 2 – Academic and interpersonal functions

Communication skills to safely and accurately assess patients and communicate with others
  • Strong verbal and written communication with patients, co-worker sand the public in person and by phone
  • Competency in language, grammar, and spelling
  • Ability to obtain and document patient history and current complaints
  • Ability to understand and work under the direction of the physician
  • Ability to communicate and carry out written and verbal instructions
Technical aptitude
  • Ability to use multi-line telephones, computer, fax, and copier
  • Strong keyboarding skills (35+wpm) and Microsoft Windows
  • Ability to quickly learn to use hospital clinical equipment
  • Proficiency in charting and documentation
  • Proficiency in using electronic health record systems
Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Strong patient assessment skills
  • Understanding of healthcare-related terminology
  • Ability to problem-solve and troubleshoot issues
  • Ability to retain/recall information given verbally
  • Ability to coordinate and prioritize multiple tasks
  • Ability to react calmly and effectively in emergencies and while working under pressure
  • Ability to accept responsibility and take initiative
Interpersonal skills
  • Team player
  • Compassionate, patient and tactful
  • Positive response to instruction and supervision; ability to accept constructive criticism
  • Ability to interact and establish a good rapport with a diverse range of people, often in stressful situations
Professional attributes
  • Dependable
  • Carefully adheres to program and affiliate policies
  • Appears professional in dress and demeanor
  • Takes action to increase knowledge and development

ADA accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA) mandates that reasonable accommodations must be made for individuals with disabilities. Any student who may need an accommodation for a disability should make an appointment with the Department Chair and the Disability Services office.