Thursday, May 19, 2011

Medical Assistant Responsibilities and Limitations

Every medical office should have an organized plan that outlines the duties of every staff member in the medical office, especially their medical assistants, which should also address how to handle patient assessment and triage procedures, administration of medication, treatment procedures and emergency situations.

A good medical practice and health care facility has established policies and provides a written job description outlining responsibilities for each specialty and discipline to all their medical office staff members, including medical assistants. It is good policy to instruct their staff that they have specific responsibilities while also being subject to certain limitations while performing work related duties under their employ. These responsibilities and limitations are based on the quality and amount of their education, training and experience, as well as local and state regulations and official guidelines regulating their profession, i.e. the medical assistant's specific scope of practice.

The responsible medical assistant will recognize, accept and demand that these limitations are respected and strictly adhered to where ever they work and practice their skills. Click the link for an extensive list of what a medical assistant can and cannot do.

Medical Assistants Taking X-Rays

Medical assistants may work in a medical office or facility where x-rays are part of the daily routine. The doctor might wish for the medical assistant to handle taking the radiographic images, however, a special license is required in most states. State authorities have jurisdiction over radiology licensing for each state.

Medical Assistants Reading Laboratory Results

When it comes to reading lab or x-ray result to patients over the phone, that is permissible. Medical assistants are allowed to read x-ray and various other medical screening and laboratory results from the medical chart. When the lab printouts are read and the patient has specific questions then the medical assistant must refer them to the doctor for his/her interpretation. Once read, the medical assistant annotates the lab slip with the date, who he/she spoke to over the phone, any other brief notes, initials it and files it back into the patient's chart and brings chart to doctor. A short annotation is enough (but very important!): "05/15/2009; results read to PT, referred to doctor; SMD, CCMA (initials)."

For more info visit Medical Assistant Net: Medical Assistant Scope of Practice which provides answers to questions regarding medical assistants with limited x-ray responsibilities and their requirements.

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