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Technical Performance Standards

Medical Assisting is a practice discipline with cognitive, sensory, affective, and psychomotor performance requirements. Based on those requirements and the State of Illinois licensing requirements, a list of "Performance Standards" has been developed. Each standard has an example of an activity or activities that a potential student will be required to perform while enrolled in the medical assisting program.


  • Issue
  • Standard
  • Examples of Required Activities (Not all inclusive)


Visual ability for observation and assessment necessary in the operation of equipment and care of patients.

  • Ability to observe patients in order to assess their condition and/or needs.
  • Ability to accurately measure and properly administer medications.
  • Be able to assist with medical procedures and to read gauges and instruments such as thermometers, blood pressure gauge, and syringes.
  • Able to perform instrumentation using hand-to eye-coordination.
  • Accurately document in the medical record.
  • Ability to read forms and to examine diagnostic and/or lab results.


Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess patient needs, and to provide a safe environment.

  • Hear and verbally respond to patient questions and directions from instructors, students, and staff, in person and/or over the phone.
  • Ability to listen to breath and heart sounds while assessing vital signs including BP, pulse, and respiration rate.
  • Ability to hear equipment monitors such as a thermometer beep and autoclave timer.


Tactile ability sufficient for patient assessment and treatment and operation of equipment.

  • Able to perform the required techniques using various pieces of medical equipment, instruments, computers, telephones, and other office equipment to accomplish operational functions related to medical assisting services.
  • Intact fine motor movements of the hands to perform palpation of various pulses, assist with patient positioning, and safe patient transfers.


Mental ability sufficient for patient assessment and treatment and operation of equipment and care of patients.

  • Be able to visually concentrate and focus attention, thoughts, and efforts on patients and equipment for varying periods of time.
  • Be able to respond to patients' changing physical conditions.
  • Adapt effectively to stressful environments and situations.

Environmental Requirements

Physical health sufficient enough to be able to tolerate certain conditions present in the clinical setting.

  • Be able to tolerate risks or discomforts in the clinical setting that require special safety precautions, additional safety education, health risk monitoring, working with sharps, chemicals, and infectious disease. Students may be required to use protective clothing or gear such as masks, goggles, gloves, and lead aprons.


Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.

  • Effectively communicate to the patient in order to converse, instruct the patient, relieve anxiety, gain their cooperation during procedures, and understand the patient when they are communicating symptoms of a medical emergency.
  • Be able to obtain information, explain treatment procedures, initiate patient education, and describe patient situations.
  • Interpret non-verbal communication.
  • Legibly document following ethical and legal guidelines.
  • Read the patient's medical history and/or medical consult.
  • Document own actions and patient responses as indicated.


Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, assist physician, and maneuver in small spaces.

  • Assist each patient in accordance with their individual needs and abilities to safely ambulate, move, turn, and transfer.
  • Be able to push, pull, and lift 50 lbs.
  • Be able to move around in patient treatment area.
  • Push a wheelchair without injury to self, patient, or others.
  • Ability to stoop, bend, twist, reach and occasionally kneel and squat.

Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe effective patient care.

  • Accurately draw up medications without contaminating the syringe or needle.
  • Physically be able to administer emergency care including performing CPR.
  • Execute the small muscle hand and finger movements required to safely perform medical assisting services.
  • Be able to stand and walk for 4-8 hours per clinical session.
  • Ability to perform repetitive tasks.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for safe clinical judgment.

  • Recognize cause-effect relationships in clinical situations.
  • Ability to synthesize verbal and written patient and healthcare information.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking/cognitive skills necessary for problem solving and effective performance of medical assisting functions.
  • Assess patient's condition and needs based on medical assisting knowledge and education.
  • Initiate proper emergency care protocols, including CPR, based on assessment data.
  • Utilize logical thought processes to make decisions.

Interpersonal Behavioral and Social Skills

Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.

  • Establish rapport with patients, families, and colleagues.
  • Allow mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and fellow workers (interpersonal skills).
  • Tolerate physically taxing workload.
  • Function effectively under stress.
  • Adapt to changing environments (flexible schedules, emergency conditions, multiple interruptions, noised, distractions).
  • Display compassion, professionalism, empathy, integrity, concern for others, and interest and motivation.

The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and College of Lake County policy prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. One of the purposes of this document is to ensure that students are aware of the requirements of this program and acknowledge their understanding of the program requirements. Students who have a disability and are in need of accommodations or modifications must contact the Office for Students with Disabilities ("OSD"). The OSD, after consultation with the Program Director, will determine whether or not any reasonable accommodations or modifications can be provided.

Download the Technical Performance Standards (PDF) document.

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