The medical commission receives a number of inquiries regarding the use of medical assistants in the doctor’s office. (By law, a medical assistant cannot be employed for hospital care in a licensed intensive care hospital). Can a medical assistant start an IV?
What rights do medical assistants have?
Medical assistants are unlicensed and can use basic administrative, office and technical services to the extent permitted by law. An unlicensed person cannot diagnose, treat or perform tasks that are invasive or perform assessments. The responsibility for the proper use of unlicensed people in healthcare lies with physicians.
Examples of unlicensed support staff include (but are not limited to) certified medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, patient care technicians, phlebotomists, dialysis technicians, technicians / anaesthesiologists, and emergency medical technicians.
This 11-hour intravenous therapy certification program (often referred to as “IV certification”) aims to provide medical assistants (and other unlicensed healthcare professionals) with the introduction and review of intravenous therapy, including current practice standards, special patient populations, legal aspects, and comprehensive review of current peripheral venous access devices and procedure for introducing peripheral intravenous catheters, as well as recommendations for site care and maintenance. Intravenous and fluid administration issues were also discussed.
What procedures can medical assistants perform?
Medical assistants may not use invasive procedures such as:
- placing the needle or starting and disconnecting the intravenous infusion tube.
- administration of drugs or injections to the IV line.
- plotting pupil responses.
- urine catheter insertion.
- connects by phone segregation.
- collagen injection.
- with lasers for using hair, wrinkles, scars, moles and other discolorations.
- share chemotherapy.
Medical assistants may not interpret the results of skin tests, although they may measure and describe the test response and save to a patient group.
In summary, medical assistants are not licensed and not legal, they use to replace highly qualified, licensed specialists. A medical assistant is present to assist and provide basic support services in the doctor’s office.