Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Medical Assistant Charged with Felonies and Unlawful Practice of Medicine

An Unsuspecting Medical Assistant Was Charged with 10 Felonies and Unlawful Practice of Medicine in Nevada for Administering Botox Injection Under the Supervision of a Physician.


Nevada law prohibits medical assistants from administering any kind of medications, this includes injections. While the restriction had largely gone unenforced it wasn't until a medical assistant's arrest on 10 felony counts on allegations of "unlawful practice of medicine" received media attention.

The medical assistant was arrested in 2009 in Las Vegas for administering Botox treatments in her role as a medical assistant while under the direction of a doctor. She was under the impression that she was simply doing what all medical assistants do, and it never crossed her mind that she may be practicing outside her scope of practice as legislated by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. Her whole world came to a crashing halt when she was charged with 10 felony counts on allegations of "unlawful practice of medicine".

---------------------------------------------------------

It is a massive risk that some medical assistants take, especially when they are trained on the job without access to current information from a professional membership organization, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants, American Medical Technologists, or National Healthcareer Association; and not having received formal training from an accredited vocational training institution where expertly trained faculty instruct future medical assistants on what they can and cannot do. This leaves them open to the assumption that as long as they work under the umbrella of the doctor who taught them what to do they are allowed to do what is asked. However, this is a  misconception.

The rule is that ALL medical assistants, regardless of the amount of education, training and experience must realize that they are subject to certain laws and limitations and can practice only within their specific scope of practice. For example, certain US states require medical assistants to have a special license from their state to expose patients to X-rays. Other states mandate special training before a medical assistant can administer certain types of needle injections, vaccinations, and screening tests such as for allergy testing, or PPD/Mantoux skin tests.


The Nevada Sate Board of Medical Examiners, in an emergency meeting on Sept. 18, 2009 adopted a regulation to stop medical assistants from performing certain services, such as administering the cosmetic drug Botox. But the regulation allowed medical assistants to give flu shots and vaccinations.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Utilization of Medical Assistants: Delegation of Tasks by Nurses


There is an increasing number of group medical offices and practices where doctors partner with licensed nurses and other  healthcare providers in diverse roles to meet the needs of their patients.

In contrast to nurses, medical assistants do not hold a license to practice and are therefore are not regulated by the state or any other entity. This leads to confusion about what a medical assistant can and cannot do. Questions arise when it comes to nurses delegating certain tasks to medical assistants; for example, administering medications, patient vital status monitoring, suture removal, starting IV lines, or removing bandages and casts.

The topic of which specific tasks nurses can delegate to medical assistants remains widely discussed.
To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reason for Earning a Medical Assistant Diploma

Vocational Education to earn a Medical Assistant Diploma

"I have noticed that there are a lot of medical assistants that are unemployed due to lack of certification and outdated skills!"

In an effort to document the learning gains for students in secondary and adult full-time vocational programs, states are developing skill standards for given occupations upon which their vocational curricula are based. These standards form the basis for assessing students' entry-level occupational skills, plus their employability skills that are generic to all occupations. The documentation of these skills, eg. through standardized competency testing, final written examinations, and an intern- or externship then provides vocational training program graduates with a diploma to present to potential employers, thus enhancing their ability to gain employment. Medical assistants who have earned a medical assistant diploma will be able to move successfully from one job to another as demanded by the changing competitive market.

Free Money for Medical Assistant School?

------------------------------- UNHEARD OF! Or?

The goal of going to medical assisting school is to learn how to assist doctors treating patients and making the medical office run smooth and efficiently. However, another concern that is emerging to the forefront of many medical assisting school applicants' minds is the "cost and funding resources" list to pay for their training. Medical assisting students can expect to incur approximately $7,000-$9,000 for tuition and books at a community college and up to $16,000 at a for private for-profit vocational training institution.

We have been told that there are programs that give away free money for medical assistant school. There are vocational training programs, including free medical assisting training, for teens and adults that are completely free.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stand Behind the Medical Assistant Name!

A brand new website, Medical Assistant Name wants to put a name to the medical assistant profession. Thousands of individuals are working in the medical assistant field, yet, they have no means to make their voices heard, and their concerns known to the public, except when they join a medical assistant forum to network with their peers. So many medical assistants out there have success stories, concerns and tips they want to share, yet they have no voice.

This new website at http://www.medicalassistant.name/ is to change this once and for all: here is a new place on the Internet to do so and voice off. Medical assistants are invited to leave their comments on topics that concern them as professionals and students, such as sitting for certification exams, what their scope of practice entails, resume writing, and searching for jobs without having to join a forum or message board... The site is still young but a fabulous idea dedicated to all medical assistants from coast to coast: Ready, set, go...


Monday, November 15, 2010

Choosing the BEST Medical Assistant Program that's RIGHT for You

Step 1: Decide What's Right for You

Set your goals and follow your heart:

Once you have decided that medical assisting is for you, you will have to find a medical assistant training to learn the trade. Medical assistants work in the front and back office of ambulatory medical clinics, and practices under the direct supervision of a licensed health care practitioner, such as a medical doctor. You will need to know administrative and clinical procedures to help the doctor to keep the work flow of the medical practice running smoothly and reliably.

The best training comes from a local vocational training institution, or community college that offers a Medical Assisting Program. The better schools are those that are those recognized by a branch of the U.S. Department of Education, and accredited by CAAHEP, or ABHES (you can google these acronyms for their definition). 

So, the first thing you'd want to ask is: is the program recognized and approved by those organizations. The next thing you will ask, will I be able to sit for nationally recognized medical assistant certification exams, since your chances of landing the better jobs and better pay are greater when you are certified. After that you can ask, how much will it cost and how long does it take to finish the program.

Step 2: Choose a Program

What to ask when exploring a medical assisting program:

Undoubtedly you will arrive at a point where you will ask: "Can this school be right for me?". Here are additional considerations when choosing a medical assisting program that's right for you. Ask this:

* What is the school's success rate (% graduates)?
* Is the school planning to pursue accreditation status?
* Is the institution licensed by regulatory entity in their state?
* Will I be eligible to sit for national certification exam once I have graduated?
* Will I be able to transfer educational credits earned to other schools?
* Does the program offer clinical training and an externship to solidify learned skills?
* If it is an online program will it help me to advance in my career?
* What are the attendance and early withdrawal rules?
* Will I get a refund should I need to withdraw early?
* Will the school assist me in job placement?

Step 3: Consumer Beware

Look before you leap! Recognize the good from the bad:

What if you want to join an ONLINE medical assistant program? Should you steer clear if that program is NOT accredited by recognized accreditors? 

Well, it is entirely up to you, what your goals are, and what will work best for you financially, and in the long run. Nobody in the USA says that medical assistants cannot work in a medical office, or clinic unless they graduated from an accredited school. Heck, there are thousands of very good medical assistants that were trained right on the job.

However, more and more employers are seeking medical assistants with formal training and certifications primarily as a business strategy and liability reasons.

Having said that, let us assure you that there ARE many legitimate institutions, and cyber-schools that offer quality vocational education programs online that lead to certificates, diplomas, and degrees, which are not necessarily accredited (yet!). Often, they are maintained by a traditional brick-and-mortar campus where related classes are held in a real classroom that is licensed by their local Department of Education (USA). Many of them are in the process of getting their regional accreditation status to attest to their program's quality. And yes, there are institutions, and cyber-schools that choose not to seek accreditation for various reasons. It is entirely your choice, and up to you to do your research and decide which route to take.

To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dos and Don'ts in Medical Record Charting

1. ALL ENTRIES in medical records must be LEGIBLE, DATED AND SIGNED including their professional title and IDENTIFICATION so that any future reader can identify each entry's author.

2. Avoid using problem prone abbreviations listed in Table I below. Do not use abbreviations Use only abbreviations and symbols approved by your medical office, clinic, or hospital.

3. Use only approved chart forms with the patient's name, the date, and the time recorded on each sheet and on, if applicable, both sides of every sheet in the record.

4. Use ink; never pencil.

5. Don't skip lines or leave spaces between entries.

6. Don't use vague, non-descriptive terms.

7. Don't get personal. Comments cannot be removed or changed. Refrain from entering into the chart any statement that does not deal directly with the patient's diagnosis, treatment, care or condition.

8. Don't use the medical record to comment on other health-care professionals or their actions.

9. Don't wait until the end of the day to chart.

10. Don't back date, add to or tamper with notes on the medical record.

11. Don't use terms unless medical assistants know what they mean.

12. Always legibly identify yourself by signature, or initials.

13. All entries in the medical record must be signed by the author. Federal law mandates that only the author can sign his/her entries in medical records.


Abbreviation to Avoid

Intended Meaning

Misinterpretation

Correction

D/C

discharge

discontinue

Premature discontinuation of medication (intended to mean discharge) especially when followed by a list of discharge medications.

Use "discharge" and "discontinue"

MgSO4

Magnesium sulfate

Morphine sulfate


MSO4

Morphine sulfate

Magnesium sulfate


MTX

Methotrexate

Mitoxantrone


ZnSO4

Zinc sulfate

Morphine sulfate


q.d. or QD

every day

Mistaken as q.i.d. especially if the period after the "q" or the tail of the "q" is misunderstood as an "I".

Use "daily" or "every day"

If abbreviation is used, capitalize and avoid use of periods.

q.o.d. or QOD

every other day

Misinterpreted as "qd"(daily) or "qid" (four times daily) if the "o" is poorly written

Use "every other day". If abbreviation is used, capitalize and avoid use of periods.

U or u

units

Read as zero (0) or a four (4) causing a 10-fold overdose or greater (4U seen as "40" or 4u seen as "44").

Unit has no acceptable abbreviations. Use "unit".

IU

international units

Misread as IV (intravenous)

Use "units"

TIW

three times a week

Mistaken as "three times a day"

Spell out "three times a week"

AU

each ear

Mistaken for OU "each eye"


SS

sliding scale (insulin) mistaken

for "55"

Spell out "sliding scale"

Zero after decimal point 1.0 (trailing zero)

1 mg

Mistaken as 10 mg if the decimal point is not seen

Do not use trailing zero's

No zero before a decimal dose .5 mg (no leading zero)

0.5 mg

Misread as 5 mg

Always use zero before a decimal when the dose is less than a whole unit


LEARNING TIP FOR NEW MEDICAL ASSISTANTS AND NURSING STUDENTS: SEEK PRACTICE

SCENARIOS for PRACTICE CHARTING
 (both medical office and phone call situations)!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

New! Review Important Medical Office Concepts and Skills!

We offer a creative look behind the scenes of a busy medical office. The purpose is to help you self evaluate your knowledge and skills, and become more successful in your chosen career.

Our Promise To Help You:
Locate a good medical assistant school for you nearby
Find the best online medical assistant training programs
Understand important medical office concepts and skills

It's 100% free!
The role of the medical assistant as part of the core health care team is becoming increasingly important and the demands on their knowledge and skills are rapidly increasing. Employers and job agencies are screaming for more qualified front and back office assistive staff and are ready to recruit well trained medical assistants for available positions in the administrative and clinical areas. Therefore, new medical assistants should take every opportunity to enhance, solidify, and further their knowledge and skills in order to remain efficient and competitive in our modern and rapidly advancing healthcare system.

The goal is to introduce you to  the multi-disciplinary aspects of medical assistant duties and reinforce basic theories and concepts that are taught in a medical assistant school, with special focus on issues that are typically encountered daily in a busy medical office. From organizational and clinical skills, to infection control, to administrative responsibilities, such as medical record keeping and management... each and every lesson highlights important skills that medical assistants must know.

  Skills Reviewed:

   Introduction
1. Concepts of health and illness
2. Patients' Bill of Rights and responsibilities
3. Key elements of professional practice
4. Concept of professional ethics
5. Important personality traits of a healthcare professional
6. Factors that can affect interpersonal relations
7. Communication techniques used in a healthcare setting

Coming Soon!

It is of vital importance that the medical assistant knows applicable state laws, local scope of practice regulations, and also acquire a good grasp on skills and knowledge beyond basic patient procedures and philosophies. These skills may also include assisting with emergency procedures, small surgeries, patient education, health insurance regulations, and concerns of the terminally ill patient! Knowing the law and mastering the various skills provides a solid base from which to grow as a medical assistant in a modern health care system.

8. Recognizing the importance of patient education
9. Policies pertaining to consent for medical treatment, incident reports, and release of medical information
10. Proper patient care reporting and assessment procedures
11. Evaluating the needs of a medical patient
12. Non-emergency ambulatory care provided for patients
13. Needs of a surgical patient during the preoperative and postoperative phases of treatment
14. Evaluate the needs of the orthopedic patient...
And more.
15. Uses and application procedures for dressings and bandages


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Medical Assisting: Fundamentals of Patient Care

NEW! WEBSITE FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANT REVIEW

Medical Assisting: Fundamentals of Patient Care

Are you planning a career in medical assisting? Are you currently employed and need to upgrade your knowledge? Do you recognize a need for additional learning beyond basic patient procedures? Have you been out of the profession and want to come back again but don’t know where to start?

With the recent changes in the healthcare system, the role of the medical assistant is becoming increasingly important. The demands on the medial assistant’s knowledge are rapidly increasing. Recruiting of medical assistants into medical offices, clinics, and hospitals is becoming more and more the norm.

If you are a medical assistant or interested in the medical assistant profession, with primary focus on clinical aspects, you might benefit greatly from my new website. 

This new medical assistant website closely resembles a simple online course. 

It is perfect for beginners as well as those who have already completed some level of training. Come in to recall basic principles of medical assisting, solidify your knowledge of effective and efficient techniques in contemporary patient care, and review important topics and necessary skills you should know as a medical assistant in a modern healthcare system.

As a former medical assistant educator I found that students who remain focused and work diligently through each lesson are able to finish a similar syllabus within a rather short time (36 - 40 hours over 5 weeks.)  Here you can work at your own pace, but please remember that any student with a thirty day period of inactivity will have to be removed. Please don't let this happen to you.

I firmly believe that acquiring a good grasp on skills and knowledge related to patient care, professional conduct, standard rules of safety, hygiene, aseptic techniques, as well as medical office management and legal issues provides a solid base from which to grow as a medical assistant.

This is a rather detailed medical assistant review, but it is by no means meant to be a replacement of the medical assisting curriculum taught at your local vocational training institutions or college medical assistant program.

Some knowledge of medical terminology and basic word parts may be helpful. The course follows a similar pattern a medial assisting text book would, but the difference is that this course is compacted to the most relevant information to give you solid, basic understanding of patient care and various situations that come along with it.


Danni R., CMA speaks

Do Medical Assistants Need Continuing Education?

Most certified professionals are required by industry standards to keep their credentials current through annual continuing education units (CEU). Medical assistants need CEUs to maintain their certification status.  Medical assistants, who want to keep their certification status current must document that they have taken approved continuing education courses and submit the transcripts to their professional membership association, or sponsoring certifying body to be approved.

The CEUs topics must apply to the scope of practice of the medical assistant's discipline and must be current.
Partaking in continuing education programs or workshops while the certification is still active shows that the person is serious about his/her career and takes a proactive interest in their future.
Non-certified medical assistants also benefit greatly from participating in continuing education programs, since subject related continuing education courses are an effective means of keeping skills and knowledge current for any professional, certified or not. Also, continuing education works wonders for the resume, since it is an accepted way to further professional knowledge, competence, and skills.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best Time to Consider Joining the Health Professional Workforce!



How Many Are Working In Health Care?

Over 2 million people are presently employed as allied health professionals in the United States. With salaries climbing (yes, they are!), the working conditions improving, and junior and community colleges heeding the call, this is a good time to enter into this exciting career in all disciplines!

For example: Medical Assistant training can be completed quickly at a career school near you. Find the right training program as easy as 1-2-3. To find medical assistant training programs near you just go to our Medical Assistant School-Finder and browse though schools in your area now. No hassle, no obligations.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Should Medical Assistant Students Learn?

The nature of a medical assistant's workplace today is different from that of the past. It is characterized by competition, cultural diversity, new technologies, and new management processes that require critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills as well as advanced levels of various complex job skills.

Medical assistant students should be taught more than just skills related to a basic secretarial job and never become a "Girl-Friday" for the doctor on the clinical floors. Medical assistant students should be taught in all aspects of administrative and clinical skills, and be exposed to advanced interpersonal and resume writing skills which will prepare them for the demands and versatility needed to assist doctors and various other licensed health care providers, and land the better jobs.

Medical assistant programs need to provide health and medical skills education in clinical lab classrooms where they take on the role of working medical assistants and patients to practice skills they need. They should role-play scenarios to learn how to run the front and back office efficiently and productively.

Stay in Medical Assisting or Move On to Nursing?

Those who have worked in the medical assistant profession for some years often wonder if they should go on and become a nurse, or continue in the medical assisting field for much less pay than they would earn in nursing. Not surprisingly, many opt to stay, not because of the money (there is a huge difference between the medical assistant's wages and that of a nurse), but because of the strong relationships they have forged with the doctors, other healthcare staff, and with their patients, which almost always is long term.

To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We Need More Protection from For-Profit Education Rip-Offs!

Tell the Obama administration we need more protection from for-profit education rip-offs!

The U.S. Department of Education has proposed new rules to protect students and taxpayers from career education programs that over-charge and under-deliver, but the rules need to be stronger. USA Today praised the Obama Administration for flagging the problem, but called the proposal "feeble" and "too accommodating."

Federal law requires career education programs that receive federal student aid to "prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." By defining "gainful employment" for the first time, the proposed rules make it possible to enforce this important law.

The for-profit college industry and its highly paid lobbyists are fighting hard to weaken the proposed rules, so exploitative businesses can keep profiting off federal student aid. That's why the Obama administration needs to hear from you today.


Example letter:

Dear Jessica Finkel,

Career education programs that receive federal student aid funds must be held accountable for training students for good jobs without saddling them with unmanageable debt. The proposed rules on gainful employment are a good first step, but they should be strengthened to provide more meaningful protection for students and taxpayers starting next year. Ensuring access to affordable higher education is incredibly important for our economy, but for-profit programs that over-charge and under-deliver do more harm than good, and should not be subsidized by taxpayer financed student aid.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why Do Doctors Want CERTIFIED Medical Assistants?

With all the recent changes in healthcare, job market, and economy everything has changed, including the way doctors hire their medical assisting staff. Many doctors are looking for experience and and certifications, whether is is for a permanent, or temporary position - it's the same old tune. It seems to be directly connected to their need for competent staff when it comes to running their medical practice efficiently, and effectively, fear of errors, and thus, law suites, their reputation and in some cases, because their State Medical Board, or professional malpractice insurance carrier requires it. As a medical assistant, you should make sure you are fully informed about the value and importance of medical assistant certifications available to you.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Medical Assistants to be Stationed at Rural Clinics

Friday July 9, 2010
News on thestar.com online

SEPANG: Medical assistants will be stationed at all rural clinics for the convenience of patients in the area, said China's Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the upgrading of the 2,000 rural clinics nationwide, currently run by community nurses, would be done in stages but it would take time to place a medical assistant in each of them.

“Having medical assistants at rural clinics would mean that patients in the area would no longer have to travel far to seek treatment for minor problems like influenza, fever or cough,” he said.

---------------------------------------

In reading this news article I immediately wondered what the function and scope of practice for medical assistants in China might be. The article says, the rural clinics are run by community nurses. Therefore, the article seems to imply that there aren't necessarily doctors at all, if not any of the clinics, which then, if I spin this thought on further, would put the nurses in charge of the newly hired medical assistants there. Interesting, and quite a bit different from the function and supervision of medical assistants in the USA.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/7/9/nation/6635241&sec=nation

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cert Med Assistant: Free Guide for Working Medical Assistants

Cert Med Assistant: Free Guide for Working Medical Assistants video testimonial:

video

First off, it’s not often you stumble upon a website where the primary objective isn’t to sell you something. At Cert Med Assistant it seemed as if I came across someone who had my best interest at heart. When I learned that Medical Assistants have replaced Nurses in doctor’s offices, I realized the potential for working in a medical office near me (something I always wanted to achieve). After finding out which schools in my area were accredited, it didn’t take me very long to register. In 5 minutes I found every answer I was looking for. It’s almost a no-brainer. With Cert Med Assistant (.c0m) they have created a site that not only helps you along the path to getting your medical assistant career started, but also get certified, and there is an active medical assistant message board, resume help, and the scope of its practice by each state for reference what medical assistant can, and cannot, do.

Cert Med Assistant is a resource that prospective and current medical assistants can enjoy It seems like this will be a resource I’ll be using throughout my career. If you’re aspiring to be or thinking about become a medical assistant, it has tons of information on job outlook, where to find the jobs, how to get certified, where schools are in your area, and the scope of practice by state if you're looking for jobs elsewhere. If you’re already certified, it has job search resources and even resume help. If by some chance that doesn’t help, a forum to post questions that’ll be answered by other certified medical assistants is there too.