New program at Penn State Behrend will train clinical medical assistants

A clinical medical assistant works in a medical office.

A new program at Penn State Behrend will prepare students for the Clinical Medical Assistant certification in just four months.

Credit: Canstock photo

ERIE, Pa. — Health care workers are in higher demand than ever, and Penn State Behrend’s Office of Community and Workforce Programs is helping to fill that need with a new Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program that will prepare students to sit for national certification examinations in just four months.

“CMAs work in physicians’ offices, clinics, chiropractic offices, hospitals and outpatient facilities, where they perform a variety of tasks,” said Michelle Hartmann, director of Community and Workforce Programs. “They can assist with administration of medications and with minor procedures, perform an electrocardiogram, obtain lab specimens for testing, educate patients, and much more.”

Penn State Behrend’s program, which runs from March 3 to June 10, includes 140 hours of classroom instruction and 160 hours of clinical experience. Classroom instruction is held on evenings and weekends, making it convenient for those who wish to attend while maintaining daytime employment.

Students in the program will learn about the clinical responsibilities of the medical office; how to prepare patients for examination and treatment, procedures and testing; the legal aspects of health care and regulatory patient care issues; recording and taking of vital signs, blood pressure, and other patient care; how to administer medications; and a variety of laboratory procedures, including phlebotomy and how to properly collect specimens for laboratory analysis.

To learn more about the program, contact Michelle Hartmann, director of Community and Workforce Programs, at [email protected] or 814-898-6103, or visit



Heather Cass

Publications and design coordinator

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

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