The Ohio Department of Health has issued a bulletin authorizing the practice of supervised medical assistants administering medications.
Supervised Medical Assistants can now administer medication as long as they have been approved through a physician or by a board-certified graduate nurse practitioner and are working under the supervision of a qualified provider, according to an ODH announcement.
All other rules regarding who may practice remain in place: for example, only those who have completed training from an accredited program or those with documented evidence that they were trained before July 1, 1967, still qualify for independent practice.
Supervisors also must hold current licenses/certificates if practising independently without a supervising physician’s written delegation.
Who are Medical Assistants?
Medical assistants are an integral part of the healthcare team.
They are trained to assist with examinations, procedures, administering medications and other duties in clinics, physicians’ offices and hospitals.
Because they work closely with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare team members, their role is critical for patient care.
Who are Supervised Medical Assistants?
Supervised medical assistants have completed all training requirements outlined in OAC 4730-20-01.
Still, they do not hold independent licenses/certificates because they have not passed the national certification examination or completed a program that could allow them to be issued without taking this exam.
To become nationally certified through either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or American Medical Technologists (AMT), medical assistants must complete a formal training program based on national, standardized curricula.
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How will this change benefit patients?
This change means that ODH and ODM may be able to work with Ohio-based institutions and businesses offering master’s degree or bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare to encourage them to offer accredited certification examination training as part of their clinical rotations.
Such an addition would give graduates the ability to seek employment as licensed medical assistants without retraining or returning for more education after graduating from college or other postsecondary institutions.
That could mean the faster realization of the full potential of their education and skills by reducing time spent between jobs to search for additional training opportunities.
The new curriculum also could help those seeking re-entry into the workforce after an absence.
How will this change affect current Certified Clinical Medical Assistants?
Certified clinical medical assistants who wish to change their license status to recognize their higher level of qualifications formally may do so by completing either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification examination and paying a $10 fee, as required under Ohio Revised Code 4730-17.
What do supervised medical assistants need to know about practising in Ohio?
- Supervised medical assistants are permitted to practice in settings that have implemented written delegation policies governing medication administration.
- All other rules regarding who may practice remaining in place. For example, only those who have completed training from an accredited program or those with documented evidence trained before July 1, 1967, still qualify for independent practice. Supervisors also must hold current licenses/certificates if practising independently without a supervising physician’s written delegation.
- Supervised medical assistants are required to report all errors and omissions immediately to the licensed physician or advanced practice nurse (APN) supervisor. They must comply with all reporting requirements regarding medication errors and immediately cease the performance of any activity when ordered by the supervising practitioner or designee.
What are the requirements to become a Medical Assistant?
To become a medical assistant, Ohio requires completing a formal training program that meets accreditation standards set by national agencies.
These types of programs offer specific training in areas such as patient-care skills and clinical procedures.
Once you complete the curriculum of the appropriate training program, you may take an exam to become certified. In some cases, there is no requirement for state certification.
However, if your employer requires it or your work will involve handling medications or working independently of a physician or nurse practitioner (NP), you must pass one of several nationally recognized exams for medical assistants.
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