Practice of Medicine

Article

Medical Assistant Scope of Practice

December 4, 2019

Medical assistants (MAs) do not need to be licensed or certified to enter the career, and most states do not require any type of formal education.[1] Some states, such as California, have specific laws that define the scope of practice for medical assistants, but most states do not.[2] Below is a list of the tasks typically performed by medical assistants, but check your state’s laws as what medical assistants are allowed to do can vary from state to state.

Duties Medical Assistants May Perform[3]

  • Record patient history and personal information
  • Escort patients to exam rooms
  • Measure vital signs, such as blood pressure
  • Help physicians with patient examinations
  • Give patients injections or medications as directed by physicians and as permitted by state law
  • Prepare blood samples for laboratory tests
  • Enter patient information into medical records
  • Remove sutures or staples from superficial wounds
  • Call in new prescriptions or refills to the pharmacy under the order of the physician
  • Collect blood specimens
  • Perform simple laboratory and screening tests customarily performed in a medical office
  • As authorized by MD or DPM, provide patient information and instructions
  • Apply and remove bandages and dressings

[1] How to Become a Medical Assistant, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-4 (last modified April 12, 2019)

[2] Compare 16 C.C.R § 1366.3 (defining the scope of practice for medical assistants), with Ga. Code Ann. § 43-34-44 (“Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the performance by medical assistants of medical tasks”)

[3] What Medical Assistants Do, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-4 (last modified April 12, 2019)

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.