NON-Nurses Giving Shots in MD Offices

  1. 1
    I apologize if this already has been discussed elsewhere, but wanted to point out the following:

    I was in my MD's office for a physical and wanted two vaccines before international travel. The NON-nurse "medical assistant"--UNlicensed in NY--came in to administer the vaccines and I told her she was violating the law--she said she does it every day as part of her job! I told the MD I would get my vaccines elsewhere. Apparently this practice is rampant--at least here in NYC. MD Offices don't want to pay for patient safety by having a licensed nurse. ADMINISTRATION of medications is restricted BY LAW to licensed MDs, RNs/LPNs, and some others, but NOT "medical assistants." Have the Nursing Associations thought about cracking down on this? I do NOT think I'm being petty: administrating a medication--particularly, via injection--is serious stuff---in this case, she was going to use incorrect needles (assuming of course that she didn't plan on using the SAME needle for BOTH vaccines), amongst other errors...Upset about this. It's NOT brain surgery, but there are serious risks with all medications, which is why legally only specified licensed personnel may administer them. Your thoughts? Thanks.
    Otessa likes this.
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  5. 0
    I recently had a vaccination given by a medical assistant who also drew blood. She did a tremendous job and I complimented her on her technique. But I also agree with you.
  6. 0
    Well, I'm not in NYC, but in my state if they're working under the supervision of the doctor he can train them to do whatever he wants them to do.
    As long as it's in his office under his supervision, is what I've been told.
    I don't like it either, but they do it here.
    There's even a drugstore in my little town that is giving out flu shots right now.
    I won't be getting mine there.
    I'll get mine at work and it will be given by one of my co-worker/LPNs.
    My state has recently started allowing med techs to give medications in nursing homes and I think they were already doing it like in assisted care places.
    The RN director of the state board of nursing in MY state said, and I quote, "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to pour pills out of a bottle and give them to a patient". That comment makes me feel really good, NOT.

    Something else I saw, once when I'd went in to get some lab work in my doctor's office.
    I saw a lab tech there trying to draw blood on this lady. She obviously wasn't getting any blood and she dug that needle way down in her arm.
    That little lady was complaining it was hurting but she just kept digging. I've never seen anyone dig like that before to draw blood. Another tech took over and got it immediately.
  7. 2
    This is what NYSNA has to say about the MA scope of practice.

    http://www.nysna.org/practice/scope/med_assists.htm

    MAs can perform phlebotomy and there is nothing that specifically states that they cannot give injections. It also states that the physician can authorize the MA to do certain tasks if the physician feels that the MA has the training and education to complete that task. So it's really the docs call because MAs are UAP and the doc is responsible for the supervision of the MA.

    A physician may decide to permit a medical assistant to perform certain tasks, knowing they have had the education and training, with the physician supervising the performance. Permitted are: collection of vital signs, phlebotomy, EKGs, and waive testing, to name just a few. It is recommended that the supervising physician indicate in writing which duties the medical assistant can perform. It is also advisable for physicians to consult their malpractice carrier before establishing the list of approved duties.
    Fiona59 and wooh like this.
  8. 4
    Depends on your state. If it's illegal in your state, bring it to someone's attention.

    In my state, MAs are licensed, go through training, and can give vaccines/draw blood/etc.
  9. 13
    It is not illegal for medical assistants to give injections or draw blood if they are certified medical assistants or certified in injections and veinpuncture. If your doctors medical assistant was giving the injection incorrectly then you should say something to him/her. I am an RN-BSN past CMA and I am so tired of nurses getting all territorial over TRAINED medical assistants giving injections...its IM's,Sub-Q, and epi-dermal injections...vaccinations, ANXs, depo-shots,allergy injections, some narcotics; they are limited to what they can inject (no analgesics) Check to make sure your doctor's assistants are certified if you have a problem with it; but in most states it is not illegal, and injections are not reserved for nurses.
    Kaligirl02, nrsang97, DalmatiaRN, and 10 others like this.
  10. 0
    Surprising. But if she's certified in phlebotomy, wouldn't it be legal? I thought nurses and "technicians" per se, could draw blood if trained and certified/licensed. Either way, if she was using improper needles and whatnot, it definitely needs to be looked into! I wonder how many other cities are hiring underqualified employees.
  11. 1
    Quote from LRyder
    Surprising. But if she's certified in phlebotomy, wouldn't it be legal? I thought nurses and "technicians" per se, could draw blood if trained and certified/licensed. Either way, if she was using improper needles and whatnot, it definitely needs to be looked into! I wonder how many other cities are hiring underqualified employees.
    My understanding re: phlebotomy (i.e., drawing blood) is that some states require licensing and others, like NY, do not; however, injection of medicine into someone is a WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME with its attendant risks, allergies, reactions, etc. NYState NURSE PRACTICE ACT prevents MDs from "training" "unlicensed assistive personnel" from doing this--in the same way that an MD can't "train" his/her UAP to make incisions during surgery.
    LRyder likes this.
  12. 2
    Quote from Bronx_RN
    This is what NYSNA has to say about the MA scope of practice.

    http://www.nysna.org/practice/scope/med_assists.htm

    MAs can perform phlebotomy and there is nothing that specifically states that they cannot give injections. It also states that the physician can authorize the MA to do certain tasks if the physician feels that the MA has the training and education to complete that task. So it's really the docs call because MAs are UAP and the doc is responsible for the supervision of the MA.
    Thanks for the reference, but you didn't make it to the second paragraph, to wit:

    "As unlicensed personnel in New York State, they cannot perform such tasks as preparing or administering medications or immunizations...."

    THE NY NURSE PRACTICE ACT RESTRICTS ADMINISTRATION OF MEDS TO RNs/LPNs, etc. A UAP cannot be "trained" on the job to, e.g., give shots, administer meds to wounds, etc...
    onthemark and Jessy_RN like this.
  13. 2
    I am an LPN, before graduating nursing school, I received my AAS. in Medical assistants, We were trained to give injections, draw blood and perform other lab test, but in my training as an LPN we were not taught to draw blood, but were taught to do injections, as a CMA We did have pharmacology and knew the correct needle sizes and proper procedure for all injections, so depending on your state a medical assistant can do these things and as someone else stated they do not work under a nurses licenses as a CNA does but under a doctors, that is why most are hired in doctors offices but anyone can be trained to give injections and draw blood we had a couple of radiologist techs in our office, which was an urgent care center that drew blood, gave injections, and performed other lab test such as UA, strep test and drug screens, so it all depends on the state you are in as I stated before, but local drug stores are using pharmacists to give their injections, so as long as they are trained then it is perfectly legal in most states but not all. but if she was doing it incorrectly with the wrong needles, I hope that you informed the doctor, because he may not have been aware.
    Maria,RN and want2beanurse2 like this.


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