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A day in the life of a medical assistant is always interesting. From greeting patients at the front desk to recording vitals and drawing blood, medical assistants are needed in just about every part of the office and have the opportunity to assist with both administrative and clinical tasks. One of those clinical tasks is administering vaccines or giving injections. This skill takes good training to learn and plenty of hands-on practice to master, but it is one of many things taught to students in a medical assisting program like the one at Florida Career College.
If you are curious as to whether medical assistants can give shots or injections, you've come to the right place, as this blog post thoroughly explains the ability of Medical Assistants to give injections or shots.
If you feel that a career as a medical assistant seems interesting to you, you should consider enrolling in Florida Career College’s Medical Assistant Program. The program is short-term, allowing you to earn a Medical Assistant Diploma in as little as 10 Months!
Can Medical Assistants Give Injections?
Yes, medical assistants can give injections to patients. According to Florida law, to administer vaccines, a medical assistant must have completed training through an accredited program, including at least 24 hours in a classroom and 8 hours in a clinic. In addition, medical assistants must be appropriately trained and given authority from a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse to give a patient an injection.
Some states may have different rules about whether or not a medical assistant can give a patient a vaccine. For example, in New York, medical assistants cannot give any injections, while in Washington, a medical assistant can give a vaccine but no other injections. The American Association of Medical Assistants has a list of up-to-date scope of practice laws for each state. In most states, medical assistants are qualified to give injections as well as draw blood for testing, record patient vitals, and assist with strep tests, electrocardiograms (EKGs), and urinalysis.
Medical assistants are not able to help with all types of injections. For instance, medical assistants are not qualified to inject Botox or collagen. This task is reserved for a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. Medical assistants may also draw blood but are not trained to set up an IV or collect blood donations. This is reserved for a nurse or phlebotomist.
Most employers like to know that a potential hire has experience giving injections, as this is a skill that takes practice to learn. When medical assistants are trained to handle this task, it allows nurses and physicians in the office to have more free time to spend with patients during their exams.
A good, accredited training program will give you the training you need to feel prepared to give injections. Hands-on medical assisting programs teach students the dos and don’ts of giving injections and provide opportunities to practice this skill. A good training program should also cover what a medical assistant is and is not allowed to do in your state.
Are Medical Assistants Required to Give Injections?
Whether you will be required to give an injection as a medical assistant depends on your job duties, which is up to your employer. Not all employers require medical assistants to give injections. However, there are some employers who do. So, it is totally up to your employer. Nevertheless, giving injections is a skill you should be familiar with if you are interested in this career field. Medical assistants are responsible for many different tasks, and the exact job description may differ from one office to the next. For example, some medical assistants are hired for purely administrative tasks, working mostly at the front office, taking care of scheduling, greeting, and helping patients fill out basic paperwork.
In smaller offices with a more limited staff, medical assistants may be asked to take on a greater role, helping with clinical as well as administrative jobs. In this setting, a medical assistant who can do it all is a vital part of the team.
When medical assistants are trained to record patient vitals, update patient records and perform tests like EKGs, or blood or urinalysis, it frees up a doctor’s time to spend more time with each patient. In addition, medical assistants who feel comfortable giving injections allow a physician to provide better service to each person who comes through the door.
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What is the Scope of Practice For Medical Assistants?
The scope of practice is what a medical assistant legally can and cannot assist with, and in most states, the scope of practice is fairly broad. Medical assistants can perform administrative duties like greeting patients, assisting with general paperwork, scheduling appointments, sending referrals, submitting insurance claims, and even helping with some basic billing functions.
In the back office, medical assistants can help prepare a patient for their exams by collecting their medical history and performing vital tests. Medical assistants cannot perform an exam, but they often will help a physician with an exam, acting as an extra set of hands to reach equipment and record notes. Medical assistants often explain medications and give follow-up information to patients after their exams, but they do not diagnose patients or prescribe medications.
Medical assistants may also draw blood through venipuncture or collect urine samples for analysis. Setting up an IV, giving anesthesia, or collecting blood for a blood donation is outside the scope of practice for a medical assistant.
Medical assistants may also be asked to operate certain medical equipment and sterilize any equipment or tools in between patients, but they do not operate laser equipment.
When it comes to giving injections, medical assistants are qualified to give non-intravenous injections, but it is outside their scope of practice to give Botox or collagen injections.
Consider Enrolling in FCC’s Medical Assistant Technician Program
Florida Career College’s Medical Assisting Program will provide you with all the training and knowledge you need to prepare for an entry-level medical assistant position. Our hands-on programs allow students to learn about concepts during lectures and then practice tasks like drawing blood and giving injections in class. Experienced instructors will walk you through each step to ensure it is done correctly and safely. Tutoring and extra lab time are available to ensure students feel comfortable with each skill they learn before applying it in the real world.
At the end of the MAT program, each student completes an externship in the community. This real-life experience allows students to see how a medical office runs and practice being a medical assistant. It’s one final chance to apply everything you’ve learned before entering the field. Many externship sites decide to hire externs who go above and beyond to do the job well.
In addition to quality training, Florida Career College offers a variety of resources to make getting your education accessible. You can enroll today—even without a high school diploma--and begin training for a new career. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
If you are interested in learning more or taking a tour, give us a call or fill out an online form today!