Hi, I'm new here. First post, and new RN (08/05/06). I am in PA, and worked as a medical assistant in this state for 5 years before returning to nursing school
. I did have "formal training" as an MA, 18 mo. diploma program. Certification is available for MAs in this state completing an accredited program, but costly and not usually resulting in any difference in pay. Since we were taught "triage" (we're talking office triage here, and mostly scripted) in school, I was surprised as a nursing student at an instructor's exasperation when I told her the MA and RN did the same exact same
job in the pediatric clinic I visited for a clinical day. I know you're looking for WA state-specific information, but having been here (RN), there (MA) and in the middle (student), I can tell you that basically an MA's scope of practice is rather loosely defined, i.e., she may do whatever the employing physician is willing to teach. Therefore, at least in this state, anything the MA does falls under respondeant superior.
I do see your concern and I was pleased to work for a fine physician who wanted someone on staff who had at least
been trained, and who monitored any medical advice I relayed! I would question the judgement (or sanity, for the matter) of any physician or company employing untrained staff and giving her the title "MA". Where's the "M"? Simply put, it is unlikely the "MA" could be sued if not even certified. And sadly, no training is just that--she doesn't even know the legal implications (for the physician, in this case) of her actions.