Medical assistants are unlicensed individuals who play an integral role on the healthcare team in both hospital and ambulatory settings. They perform administrative and clinical tasks to assist in the safe and effective office operations of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers. The duties of medical assistants vary based on the healthcare setting.
Examples of administrative/clerical tasks may include updating and filing patient records and insurance forms; billing and coding; completing hospital admissions forms; assigning referrals and laboratory services. Clinical tasks may include obtaining medical histories and vital signs; explaining medical procedures; collecting laboratory specimens including phlebotomy; administering electrocardiograms; and preparing patients for physical examinations.
Under New York State Section 6530 (11) of Education Law, the following are examples of tasks that are not allowed to be performed by unlicensed persons such as medical assistants:
- Drawing up or administering vaccinations or immunizations, including preparing and administering allergens
- Drawing up any medication in syringes
- Administering medications through any route
- Administering contrast dyes or injections of any kind
- Placing sutures and other forms of wound closure
- Taking x-rays or independently positioning patients for exams or x-rays
- Applying or removing casts
- First assisting in surgical procedures
- Inserting or removing IVs or catheters of any kind
- Relaying positive test results to patients
- Teaching self-injection of medications or self-catheterization
- Performing EMGs or other nerve conduction studies
For more guidance please visit:
- Utilization of Medical Assistants Practice Information
- Utilization of Medical Assistants in Patient Recovery Practice Information
Medical Assisting Program of Study
Medical assisting programs of study prepare students to work safely in the healthcare field under the supervision of licensed healthcare providers.
Program components may include administrative practices and procedures; laboratory and diagnostic procedures; principles of pharmacology; standards, laws and regulations; infection control; medical terminology and patient communication; and first aid/CPR. The didactic learning combined with supervised clinical experience (see below) comprises a program of study.
Programs should consider technical assessment and certification opportunities available through Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and/or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).
Health sciences education prepares secondary and adult students for employment in the health care industry and for postsecondary education. The three integral components of all health sciences programs of study are a health science education core curriculum, content specific curriculum, and supervised clinical experience.
Health Sciences Core Curriculum
A health sciences education core curriculum serves as the foundation to prepare students for individual health sciences careers and must include Health Science Learning Standards.
The NYSHSEA Health Science Standards are acceptable learning standards on which to develop the health sciences core as part of a health sciences program of study.
- Academic Foundation
- Health Care Systems
- Education and Career Preparation
- Legal responsibilities
- Safety Practices
- Health Maintenance Practices
- Technical Skills
- Information Technology Applications
Supervised Clinical Experience
- Affiliation agreement(s) must be established (a written contract with partnering healthcare facilities).
- Students may enter a clinical setting only after receiving prior program instruction, demonstrating related skill and knowledge, all under supervision by the school’s program instructor.
- Approximately 2/3 or 72 hours of the required 108 hours (1 unit) of clinical experience must be conducted in a work setting as defined by the program of study.
- Scopes of practice under various state licensures must be considered when developing hands on activities in implementation of health sciences programs.