Doctors Allow Medical Assistants to (Illegally?) Administer Injectable Drugs

While certified medical assistants are formally trained in anatomy,  vital signs and giving injections as part of their trade confusion about their scope of practice continues at their work place. It seems a few doctors and medical office managers still don’t clearly understand what medical assistants can and cannot do… we have heard about medical assistants and even front desk medical office staff administering Botox injections. Only a licensed mid-level provider and physicians may inject Botox (and certain other regulated injectable drugs, or fillers). The physician delegates procedures and tasks as permitted by law.

As seen in the news: [Sep 9, 2009 09:17 PM, ABC 13 Action News] “Nevada Board of Medical Examiners finds under-qualified medical staff administering drugs… The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners has found many physicians in Nevada are allowing medical assistants to illegally administer certain drugs, including Botox. Betty Guerra, a 45 year old medical assistant was accused of unlawfully administering cosmetic injections. – See more at Medical Assistants Can NOT inject Botox

Check Who’s Injecting your Botox…

While laws differ from state to state, many states allow medical assistants to administer a variety of injections, from flu shots to allergens, and Vitamin B12, etc., however it is of extreme importance to UNDERSTAND and KNOW which types of injections and types of substances a medical assistant is permitted to inject while under the direct supervision of a physician. The State Medical Board of Maine worded it this way:  

Ξ Maine
The Board of Licensure in Medicine of Maine has ruled that physicians are accountable for the actions of unlicensed assistants employed by the physician who do not fall under the Board’s jurisdiction when they perform any invasive procedure, including the administration of injections. The terms “under the direct control” and “in the immediate presence,” as stated in 32 M.R.S.A. §3270-A, shall mean the physician must be in reasonable proximity to lend medical assistance to a patient should something adverse happen. Also, physicians, pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. §3270-A are accountable for the activities of unlicensed assistants employed by them. This policy shall be mailed to all licensed physicians practicing in the State of Maine.

When in doubt about any procedures, rules and regulations one should always check with their State Board of Medical Examiners, Health Department, Nursing Board and national professional membership and certification bodies for medical assistants.

♦ AAMA Role Delineation Study
AAMA Library and Form Center
Scroll down to “About the Profession” AAMA Role Delineation Study, then look for “Occupational Analysis of the Medical Assisting Profession”

♦ AMT Lawful Scope of Practice
Lawful Scope of Practice


 Ξ Arizona
Arizona Medical Assistant Training Requirements

Authorized Procedures for Medical Assistants
The procedures a medical assistant may perform in Arizona are outlined in
statute (A.R.S. §32-1456) and in Rule (R4-16-301 through R4-16-303).

 Ξ Connecticut
The Role of a Medical Assistant
Medical Assistants Who Administer Vaccines and Nebulizer Treatment

 Ξ California
California Medical Assistants
Medical Assistants without Certification

California Medical Assistant’s FAQs

 Ξ Florida
Florida Medical Assistants
Florida Special X-Ray Requirements

 Ξ Iowa
Medical Assistants in Iowa

 Ξ Nevada
Nevada Medical Assistant Definition
Medical Assistants in Nevada

 Ξ New York
Medical Assistants in New York State

 Ξ Pennsylvania
Medical Assistants in Pennsylvania

 Ξ South Dakota
Medical Assistants in South Dakota

 Ξ Virginia
Virginia State Medical Board
Virginia Career Guide Medical Assistant

 Ξ Washington
Washington State

 Ξ Wisconsin
Wisconsin State

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