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Medical assistants are an important part of the team in a healthcare facility. They are trained to not only help with clerical items like scheduling patients, updating medical records, and reviewing insurance coverage, but they also help with tasks in the back office. These clinical tasks may vary from one office to another and are always performed under the supervision of a doctor or nurse practitioner.
If it’s the clinical tasks, like drawing blood, recording vitals, and giving vaccines, that have you interested in becoming a medical assistant, it’s important to note that medical assistants are not allowed to help with everything. There are limits to a medical assistant’s scope of practice. One of these limits is performing x-rays.
If you are interested in becoming a Medical Assistant, you should consider enrolling in Florida Career College’s Medical Assistant Training. The Medical Assistant Training Program is short-term, allowing you to pursue a career as a medical assistant in less than a year.
Are Medical Assistants Allowed to Take X-rays?
Whether or not a medical assistant can perform an x-ray depends on State Law. Florida and Texas are among these strict states. In Florida and Texas, medical assistants are not permitted to perform x-rays on patients unless they have sought out additional training to become a limited-scope x-ray operators.
The role of a medical assistant is set up by the state, and some states are much stricter than others.
In Florida, only licensed practitioners, those who hold a licensed radiologist certificate or those who hold a radiologist assistant certificate and are being supervised by a radiologist, may perform any radiologic procedures.
Radiologic procedures like x-rays may only be performed by a practitioner, medical radiologic technologist (MRT) or someone who has sought out additional training to become a limited medical radiologic technologist (LMRT).
In some states, medical assistants may perform x-rays after completing a simple training course and passing a test to prove competency. Other states have no rules at all surrounding who can and cannot perform x-rays and leave it up to a doctor to decide who in their office is qualified.
The rules are also different for dental assistants who may perform dental x-rays.
Although it is not widely considered a medical assistant’s job to perform x-rays, some offices like for medical assistants to be able to perform that skill. Medical assistants who are not qualified can seek out that training and become certified to perform a limited scope of x-rays. Having this training makes you even more valuable as an employee.
Why Can’t Medical Assistants Perform Radiography?
Performing x-rays may look simple, but it takes time and practice to be able to capture a good image using x-ray technology. A poor image may lead to a bad diagnosis and cause further problems for patients down the road. For this reason, X-rays can be dangerous if performed by someone who has not had proper training. Proper training includes knowledge about safety measures, how to position a patient, how to use the equipment, and how to develop the image.
There are many different uses for radiologic technology, and training in these procedures takes a great deal of time. Most offices do not have the time or equipment available to properly train their personnel, especially medical assistants, in each different method. This is why specialized certificates are available that allow medical assistants to perform limited procedures. This ensures they have the proper training for the procedure that is most needed in their facility.
Does FCC’s Program Cover Radiography?
The Medical Assistant Technician program at Florida Career College does not prepare students to perform x-rays on their own, but it does introduce students to the concept of radiology and how it is used in the ambulatory care setting. Students will learn the three types of radiologic procedures. With this knowledge, students will be prepared to assist with x-rays on the job and seek additional training to further their knowledge.
During the program, students will also learn other diagnostic imaging procedures like electrocardiography testing and how to identify artifacts.
Should You Become a Medical Assistant?
If you are fascinated by these types of medical procedures and interested in being a part of a team that helps people feel their best, then becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get started. The Medical Assistant Technician program at Florida Career College provides a great foundation to build a successful career in the medical field. Students will gain a lot of knowledge about the human body and how a medical office operates and the procedures that doctors use to diagnose and treat patients.
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Enroll at Florida Career College to Become a Medical Assistant
If working with a doctor and providing hands-on medical assisting sounds like something you would enjoy, you can prepare for an entry-level position as a medical assistant in as few as ten months at Florida Career College. Give us a call to learn more about the Medical Assisting Program!