Indirect Laws for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants are not to be confused with licensed health care providers. When there are no specific laws
directly addressing the duties of medical assistants it does not automatically mean that there aren't any laws to
follow. It can generally be assumed that medical assistants may perform duties in which they are adequately
trained, regularly checked, thoroughly instructed and properly supervised to perform. The biggest challenge
remains locating readily accessible resources and reliable publications. If you are researching laws that pertain
to medical assistants in your state your first stop should be the State Medical Board, since this is the authority
that regulates the practice of medicine in the USA. Answers can often be found in the Medical Practice Laws
established by the state's Medical Board, or Board of Medical Examiners, since medical assistants function as
an extension of the doctor who hired them. The State Medical Board creates regulations to carry out laws
Nursing have also added text into their rules, e.g. the Nurse Practice Act, that addresses how registered
nursing staff can utilize medical assistants under their supervision, such as the State Board of Nursing of New
Hampshire, the Board of Nursing of New York and South Dakota, to name just a few.
State Wide Mandates
Several US states mandate that medical assistants must be certified to perform needle injections, such as for
allergy skin testing, purified protein derivative (PPD) testing, or Mantoux skin tests; other states don't allow it at
all. Other states require medical assistants to have a limited X-ray license if their duties include taking and
processing radiographic images, including Iowa and Florida. In New York State medical assistants may not
those those with blood drawing responsibilities must be certified in phlebotomy. In Georgia those who perform
point-of-care testing are required to be certified in medical assisting. In Alaska direct patient care tasks
CANNOT be delegated to medical assistants by a registered nurse (RN), only by the doctor. Specifically
prohibited activities medical assistants are NOT allowed to do in CT are radiography and medication
administration by any route, including oxygen, immunizations and tuberculin testing.
Certain states mandate that those who perform phlebotomy, ultrasound, EEC/EKG, or X-ray* procedures must
have a specific limited license to do so and laboratory screening tests on the medical practice premises (point-
of-care/STAT screening) must be done in strict accordance with CLIA regulations. Medical assistants who
decide to act independently without the doctor's presence and attempt to perform procedures that go beyond
their training and scope of practice are in danger of exposing themselves, their employer and supervisors to
serious law suits that can carry far reaching consequences should any injuries or omissions occur.
if you are unsure about certain procedures a medical assistant can do contact your state's Board of Medical
Examiners, Board of Licensure in Medicine, State Nursing Board and one of the medical assistant certification
use the link just scroll down on that page until you see "About the Profession" and "AAMA Role Delineation
Study", look for "Occupation Analysis for the Medical Assisting Profession" for further research of this topic.
Please Note: the information contained on this page is provided for information purposes only and should not be considered
legal advice, nor is it a substitute or interpretation of regulations established by authorities having jurisdiction over practicing
doctors, nurses and their medical assistants in your state. Please contact your State Board of Medical Examiners directly
for specific advice, official business, or consult with your attorney. We cannot provide this information to you.