Friday, August 07, 2009

Medical Assistants Who Administer Medications

The confusion about what a medical assistant can and cannot do continues, mostly because of the wide variety of training options, differences in programs, and lack of clearly spelled out rules and regulations. Medical assistants are unlicensed health professionals with special training, which means they have the duty to abide by the rules and use ordinary care within their scope of practice. Often, the doctors and supervising nurses in the medical office wonder: "Can I delegate this, or that task to my medical assistant?". This includes the question, whether the medical assistant is allowed to administer medications.

Medical assistants are allowed to administer medications, or hand patients a measured dose for self-administration while under observation IF it has been so ordered by their medical doctor*, or licensed health care professional (*by doctor's, or licensed provider's orders, such as a physician's assistant, or an advance practice registered nurse ONLY).

Medical assistants can administer only oral, topical, or inhalant medications, suppositories, intradermal, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injections, and medications applied to mucous membranes , such as eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Administration means the direct application of a medication by inhalation, ingestion, or any other means to the body of a person, including by injection.

To learn more about educational requirements, and practical tips for handling emergencies, and proper documentation visit Medical Assistant Net on the Web. There is lots of additional "scope of practice for medical assistants" info at that web site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this thread is old. In case anyone is reading, here is my two cents.

I've noticed it varies between states which profession is preferred.

In my county LPN's are high in demand. MA's are not.

Where as, in WA state when I was checking job trends, CMA's had 'wanted' jobs.

I really want to be a CMA. However, there is no demand for them. There is one MA in a dermatology office in our clinic (BTW, I live in a rural town of 12,000 with an HMO, no major independent clinics)
I will have to be an LPN or RN to mean something in this town.