Protecting the Public's Health
|What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant (MA) is an unlicensed person who
assists in the medical practice under the supervision of a physician,
physician assistant or nurse practitioner and performs delegated procedures
commensurate with the MA’s education and training. An MA does not
diagnose, interpret, design or modify established treatment programs or
perform any functions that would violate any statute applicable to the
practice of medicine.
| What kind of training is required
of a medical assistant?
Medical assistants are not licensed in Arizona and certification is not required. (To become certified, a medical assistant must successfully pass a certification exam.) In order to work as a medical assistant, a person must complete an approved training program. This is a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), a medical assisting program accredited by any accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or a medical assisting program designed and offered by a licensed allopathic physician, that meets or exceeds any of these three accrediting programs, and verifies the entry level competencies of a medical assistant.
It is up to the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner employing the medical assistant to verify that all training requirements are met. An MA does not need to provide the Board with a certificate of completion. The Board does not provide any information verifying training completion.
Are there any exceptions to the medical assistant training requirements?
There are three conditions under which a medical assistant does not need to complete an approved training program:
What are the typical tasks a medical assistant can perform?
The procedures a medical assistant may perform are outlined in statute (A.R.S. §32-1456) and in Rule (R4-16-301 through R4-16-303). Both statute and Rule establish which procedures can be performed under direct supervision of an MD, PA or nurse practitioner and which procedures can be performed without direct supervision.
*Please note: The procedures an MA may perform under the supervision of an osteopathic physician (D.O.) are different and questions regarding the procedures performed under a D.O. should be referred to the Osteopathic Board.
Some of the procedures a medical assistant may perform under the direct supervision of a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner include:
Some of the procedures a medical assistant may perform without direct supervision include:
A physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner may delegate other duties to the medical assistant. It is the physician’s, physician assistant’s or nurse practitioner’s duty to ensure the medical assistant is properly trained in all delegated duties.
| Is a medical assistant required
to wear a nametag designating his or her position as a medical assistant?
There is nothing in statute that requires a medical assistant to wear a nametag designating his or her position as a medical assistant.
| How do I file a complaint against
a medical assistant?
Medical assistants are not licensed nor regulated in Arizona. If a complaint is filed with the Board regarding a medical assistant’s conduct, the supervising physician or physician assistant will be investigated.
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