Clinical Experience and Requirements

The clinical practicum is a supervised, hands-on experience in which students are placed at a clinical site – a physician's office or other ambulatory health care setting – during their last semester of the diploma program, as determined by the Medical Assisting clinical coordinator. A site supervisor, assigned by the physician or office manager, serves as the student's preceptor at the site.

Students are required to complete 240 clinical hours. Clinical days will be scheduled Monday through Friday. Students will be provided with the clinical schedule at the start of the semester.

Wake Tech's policy is that no student enrolled in a Health Sciences curriculum be allowed to refuse a clinical assignment that is considered normal clinical duty by the host provider. Refusal will be grounds for dismissal from the program.

While on practicum, the clinical coordinator, instructor and/or department head will monitor the student. This may or may not include communication with the extern/student and/or site supervisor.

Clinical facilities are located in Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham and Johnston counties. Any expenses incurred – fees for parking or the use of public transportation, etc. – are the responsibility of the student.


Clinical sites, both on and off campus, require documentation of criminal background checks, drug testing and health and immunization information. Wake Tech requires this information to be on file for each Health Sciences student before they begin the clinical portion of their program of study.

Most Health Sciences programs require students to obtain and maintain the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Provider certification (also known as BLS for the Healthcare Provider.) The American Heart Association Basic Life Support Provider course is the only course approved by Wake Tech's clinical sites. The Medical Assisting program also requires the American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid course.

Most Health Sciences programs require students to have health insurance coverage for clinical instruction. Students must provide proof of coverage.

NOTE: Health and immunization requirements for clinical sites are frequently updated and subject to change. For more information, contact Clinical Compliance Administrator Barbara Smith at [email protected] or 919-747-0105.