Medical Assistant Supervision | Proper Utilization and Evaluation of SkillsUnited States laws restrict who can give medical and health advice, or apply certain medical treatments and modalities to patients, making the unauthorized practice of medicine a serious crime. Physicians and non-physician practitioners (physician assistants, or nurse practitioners) are in charge and responsible for the care of their patients and must keep a watchful eye over those to whom they delegate tasks.
Practicing Medicine Without a LicenseBetween 2000 and 2007 the state Board of Medicine and State Board of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania has fined 57 people for unlicensed practice of medicine, among them numerours medical assistants. One of the more infamous cases involved a Pennsylvania certified medical assistant, who, acting on a doctor's orders, administered an experimental intravenous drug treatment that killed a 5-year-old boy in 2005. The doctor who authorized the unapproved treatment for autism spectrum disorder faces civil and criminal charges including manslaughter. The medical assistant, who reportedly never administered an IV-push before, has not been charged.
Proper Utilization of Medical Assistants in the Medical OfficeProcedures that may lead to medical acts of negligence and scope of practice violations must be recognized so that they can be prevented. Such may include assigning procedures to medical assistants that cannot be delegated under the state's medical practice law, or performing procedures that carry a higher risk of injury, such as injections, venipunctures, radigraphic imaging, ultrasound, and other procedures where a medical assistant must first have been properly trained, instructed, taught and supervised.
Read a summary of the Medical Assistant's Scope of Practice here. To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web.