These are just a few of the questions we receive about how medical assistants (MA) integrate into a healthcare setting. The information we provide is based on years of experience working with state, local, and national MA groups. Before assigning tasks to a medical assistant that may be outside their scope of practice, we recommend consulting with your legal counsel and malpractice carrier.
A: The Oregon Medical Practice laws neither expressly forbids nor authorizes physicians to delegate to medical assistants tasks that are not part of a MAs' scope of practice. Therefore, a physician can teach a medical assistant many tasks, provided they aren't practicing nursing or medicine. However, Oregon law states that surgical technologists may only perform certain operating room functions. Before teaching any medical assistant a task outside their scope of practice, you should check with the clinic's malpractice carrier to ensure the MA is covered performing that task.
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) does have a legal opinion about the scope of practice, which can be found here.
A: The Oregon Health Authority has used MAs to do COVID screening and vaccinations, and so have other Oregon employers. However, to fully explore COVID-19 testing and supervision legalities, you should read Oregon's regulations on the use of unlicensed healthcare personnel, which you can find on the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) website.
A: Oregon law doesn't put specific limits on the tasks student MAs can perform during an externship or practicum. However, here are two guidelines you can use: