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Main Programs and Courses Health Care Programs Medical Office Assistant

Medical Office Assistant

Please check with the campus of your choice for program availability.

Medical office assistants play a vital role in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and medical clinics. They are responsible for scheduling appointments, maintaining electronic health records, billing and medical transcription, and much more. Without the help of these hard-working individuals, frontline healthcare workers would not be able to carry out their day-to-day tasks.


Medical Office Assistant Courses


Vancouver Career College offers a Medical Office Assistant diploma program that covers key areas of medical office administration including keyboarding, medical terminology, communication skills, clinical procedures, and more.


Before you graduate, you will be placed in a real-world medical setting to practice your new skills as a medical office assistant (MOA). You will gain experience working closely with doctors and other medical professionals, while improving on your interpersonal and organizational skills.


Admission Requirements


  • High school graduation or equivalent* OR mature student status**.


*From an English language teaching institution.
**19 years of age upon starting classes, and pass college’s admissions test.


This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

This program is 39 weeks in length.
  • Physicians’ and dental offices
  • Healthcare clinics
  • Healthcare specialists’ offices

Hear from a Medical Office Assistant grad

Kristina Ongkeko talks about the benefit of small class sizes at Vancouver Career College.

Program Courses
MED197 / MOA Practicum
This practicum will place students in actual workplaces related to their field of study where they are expected to act as a regular employee for the set time periods in order to gain the valuable “real world” experience, often sought by employers who are hiring. Students are encouraged to find their own work experience; however, once placed, continuation in the placement is a mandatory diploma requirement. This practicum is an unpaid work experience. Students and practicum hosts are provided with a practicum “package” that outlines the expectations of both the student and the host that need to be met to have a successful outcome .
CES4 / Career and Employment Strategies

This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course or its equivalent. It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer. Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identifyemployment opportunities. Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the work place and to describe these skills to a prospective employer. Students may be videotaped during a mock interview and will participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.

MAA165 / Clinical Procedures

Students will learn techniques and procedures used to prepare and administer basic procedures and tests utilized in medical offices.

Topics include:

  • Quality assurance and infection control
  • Use of personal protective equipment, materials, and maintaining medical & surgical asepsis
  • Taking vital signs, respiration rate, blood pressure, height, weight, and vision examinations
  • Assisting with medical examinations
  • Sterilization procedures
  • Urine tests and specimens
  • Blood glucose testing procedures
  • Various smears and cultures, viruses, Pap smears, and other specimen testing
  • Variety of diagnostic tests
  • Safe environments, injury prevention
  • Causes and prevention of cumulative stress disorders
  • Administration of medical supplies
MAA150 / Electronic Health Records
Implementing electronic health records (EHRs) in Canada is a pan-Canadian initiative involving many stakeholders involved in the delivery of health care. Electronic health records (EHRs) are secure and private lifetime records that describe a person’s health history and care. They are made up of information from a variety of sources, including hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies, and laboratories. This information is critical for treatment and is accessible to health care professionals. B.C. is participating in a ten year plan led by the Federal Government's Canada Health Infoway to create a safer and more efficient healthcare system by creating electronic health records (EHRs). In the course, students are introduced to work with simulated health records and learn the ins and outs of the system as they apply in a medical office. It provides a thorough understanding of EHR tasks and functional benefits that is continuously reinforced by actual EHR experiences. Students are updated with the latest EHR rules, regulations, and innovations, electronic orders and results, workflow examples, and billing codes.
MAA140 / Medical Transcription
Transcription is integral to the efficiency of the medical doctor’s practice, providing the documentary records on patient cases that the physician is required by law to maintain. Students will become familiar with the various letters and reports routinely dictated by medical professionals by being introduced to the process of medical transcription using actual dictated medical data, in different accents. With an emphasis on speed and accuracy, students utilize transcription equipment and a variety of reference materials to learn the proper formatting, sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation, spelling, and grammar used in reports.
MAA130 / Medical Billing

All businesses need to invoice for services rendered and collect their revenues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Doctors’ revenue comes primarily from the provincial medical insurance scheme. Students will be introduced to the medical billing procedures in accordance with the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) requirements and create medical billing data using the BC Medical Association Guide to Fees and ICD-9 Diagnostic Codes. WorkSafe BC, the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC), and medical legal billing requirements are also discussed. Students also learn to perform medical billing data entry and preparation of billing statements using the Regent Smart series application, as well as understanding the transmission and receipt of data from the BC MSP office in Victoria. In the second section of this course, students will create patient databases and complete medical office billing procedures using the current software. Students will become familiar with all aspects of billing, including MSP, ICBC, WorkSafe BC, personal, and medical legal billing. They will also learn to schedule appointments, generate day sheets, and transmit claims. Course time is also dedicated to tutorials to learn the MSP system.

MAA106 / Medical Language III: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Intervention

The third and final course on medical language focuses on the specialized terminology of medicine, including the pronunciation and spelling of terms to describe medical circumstances and situations. This course will train students to apply the language of medicine to communicate information, in both written and verbal format, within the health care environment. Students will build a vocabulary of common medical terms and abbreviations applied in office administration/ assistant duties within a medical office and hospital. Students will learn to recognize, define and distinguish basic medical terms pertaining to different medical specialties and medical specialists such as oncology, radiology, pharmacology and psychiatry. Students will also be able to describe generally used diagnostic tests, therapeutic modalities for each specialty of care.

MAA120 / Medical Office Procedures
This course presents complete and accurate coverage of the basic skills needed to perform effectively as a health office administrative assistant (MOA) in today’s fast-changing work environment. Study includes the use of real-life examples and scenarios to make key concepts come alive. Students learn about ethics, the transition of offices towards electronic environments, as well as discussions of future trends towards the role of technology in the field of medical office administration. From the knowledge and skills learned in this course, students also begin one of their term projects – a medical office procedure manual – the ‘general’ section completed in this course, and an advanced practice, comprehensive manual that is constructed throughout the entire program and completed after the final practicum-work experience.
MAA105 / Medical Language II: Anatomy and Physiology

Students will learn to work with the specialized terminology of medicine, including the pronunciation and spelling of terms to describe medical circumstances and situations. Students will learn through descriptions, illustrations and exercises to identify the major anatomical features and systems of the body and the common pathologies, which can adversely affect these systems. This second course of three parts on medical language continues to focus on various body systems. Subjects include:  Female reproductive system: organs, menstruation and pregnancy, pathology, clinical tests and procedures  Male reproductive system: anatomy, pathologic conditions, and laboratory tests/clinical procedures  Nervous system: general structure; neurons, nerves, and glial cells; the brain; the spinal cord and meninges; pathology  Cardiovascular system: blood vessels and the circulation of blood; anatomy of the heart; physiology of the heart; blood pressure; and pathology  Respiratory system: anatomy and physiology of respiration; pathology; clinical procedures  Blood system: composition and formation of blood; blood clots; pathology.  Lymphatic and immune systems: lymphatic system; immune system; pathology  Musculoskeletal system: bones; pathology; joints; muscles  Sense organs: the eye; errors of refraction; pathology; clinical procedures; the ear  Endocrine system: thyroid gland; parathyroid glands; adrenal glands; pancreas; pituitary gland; ovaries; testes

MEC4 / Medical Emergency and First Aid Procedures

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills that are required to recognize and prevent medical and dental emergencies within a medical/dental office. It will prepare students to assist the physician/dentist in administering immediate care for the client in the medical office environment. Students also participate in CPR-first aid training. Lectures, reading assignments, and laboratory projects will provide a basic understanding of medical emergencies and the role of the office assistant in assisting with the administration of care used in the office. This information permits the student to interpret and relay information and to communicate to the health care team and emergency workers. Subjects include:
-Typical medical emergencies
-Roles of individuals in emergencies
-CPR and first aid training
-WHMIS certification
(*) This one-week course may extend beyond 20 hours due to first aid and WHMIS training on specific days maybe being fullday hours.

MAA110 / Health Care Communication and Interpersonal Skills
This course is specially designed for the new health care professional. In any business or interpersonal contact, an impression of a person forms in the first 10 to 15 seconds, so it is crucial to the success of that relationship. The importance of the ‘customer’, and of customer relations, to business success is examined in this course, including through case studies and role playing. Students learn relevant techniques in human behavior and how they may be applied to improve customer (patient) relations in the medical office. Learning basic communication skills, especially related to the medical field, will assist the student in dealing with all kinds of patients. Understanding cultural differences and appreciating diversity will add another dimension in how to deal with patients and provide safer health care delivery in the medical office.
MAA104 / Medical Language I: Medical Terminologies and Body Systems

This course will train students to apply the language of medicine to communicate information, in both written and verbal format, within the health care environment. Students will build a vocabulary of common medical terms and abbreviations applied in office administration/ assistant duties within a medical office and hospital. Students will learn to identify body systems and their basic components and functions, distinguish basic medical terms, abbreviations and specialty of care by identifying the prefixes, suffixes or word root. Importance is placed on spelling and pronunciation of terms associated to the body cavities, body orientation, planes and surfaces of body. In addition, students will learn medical language associated with digestive system, urinary system and integumentary system (skin).

KBD4 / Keyboarding
Using a computer is essential in today’s office environment. This module offers the students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a standard keyboard. For the advanced keyboarder, the module focus is to increase typing speed and accuracy.
MSE4 / Microsoft Excel
This course introduces the students to spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel 2013. Relying very heavily on a hands-on practical training approach, students learn by doing through skills based simulations, training, and assessments. The course starts with an overview of spreadsheets and how to use the common features and functions of Microsoft Excel. The course then focuses on the core features of Microsoft Excel where students learn how to enter and format data and use the various functions and formulas to manage and manipulate the data. The course will then continue with more advanced topics such as performing quantitative analysis with logical, lookup, and various mathematical and financial functions. Depicting data visually is an important feature of Excel. Students will learn how to work with charts in Excel to produce a variety of different charts based on data housed in a spreadsheet. Finally, students will learn to handle large volumes of data with data sets and tables.
MSW2 / Microsoft Word
This course introduces the students to word processing with Microsoft Word 2013. Relying very heavily on a hands-on practical training approach, students learn by doing through skills based simulations, training and assessments. The course starts with an overview of Microsoft Office 2013 where you will learn about the common features of the Office applications and file management fundamentals. The course then focuses on the core features of Microsoft Word where students learn proper document formatting, organization and editing using the tools and features of the ribbon. The course will then continue with more advanced topics such as working with tables, lists, objects, templates footnotes and endnotes and mail merges. Finally the course will explore the collaboration features of Word 2013 that allow users to share and collaborate on documents through the use of track changes, sharing and reviewing and the use of SkyDrive.
BC-PRD / Academic Success Strategies

The purpose of this course is to optimize learning through equipping students with effective study techniques. This course also provides an introduction to personality styles that will be encountered in the workplace and allows students to practise appropriate and productive interaction between the various styles. Emphasis is placed on the types of communication that work best with each style in order to achieve a good working relationship and to manage and resolve conflicts that arise. Students are also introduced to strategies for setting personal goals, managing time, and managing the stress that results from study or work and builds on positive group dynamics and setting expectations for student success.
Students will work with teams and clients in a variety of settings. Theory, practical exercises, and activities in this course attribute to these types of settings. 

BC-ITC / Introduction to Technology

This course provides information and training for using the college’s learning management system, online library resources and electronic textbooks, and an introduction to the tablet technology and Microsoft Office 365 software suite.

Throughout the college’s programs, students utilize technology (electronic books, online library, tablet/computers), use e-mail to communicate with instructors and submit assignments, internet for research and class activities, and use MS Office software to prepare letters and resumes, reports/assignments, and presentations. Multiple resources are provided during this course for students to read and practise their skills including courses in MS Word and MS Excel.

BC-ORIENT / School and Program Orientation

This session welcomes you to the college, introduces you to your fellow classmates, faculty, and staff, reviews the policies and procedures related to your studies, and prepares the student for their learning experience.

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