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Are medical assistants allowed to administer injections, such as hepatitis B or TB skin tests?

Wednesday June 27, 2012
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Dear Nancy,

Do medical assistants perform their duties under an RNís or an NP's license? Are they allowed to administer injections, such as hepatitis B or TB skin tests?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Carla,

The term "medical assistant" is a name that is applied with much variety in healthcare settings. Some have been trained by a physician or other healthcare provider in their office, while others have graduated from a school that prepares medical assistants to work in the healthcare field. Those who graduate from a school for medical assistants must pass a national exam and then are certified.

Medical assistants are required to work under a physician's direction, but their duties and responsibilities vary from state to state. For example, some states require a phlebotomy course for medical assistants who draw blood, while other states do not. The decision as to whether they can do vaccinations, administer medications and other tasks, rests with the state agency and law that regulates medical assistants.

Learn more about medical assistants, including their median pay and the number of jobs available to them at the website: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013 Edition, Medical Assistants (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm).


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.