Scope of Practice

Arkansas Legislation Gets a Shot in the Arm

Obtaining the right to administer medication is a never-ending struggle for medical assistants across the country. But, a difficult challenge makes victory that much sweeter.

After more than a decade of intense disagreement between the Arkansas Board of Medical Examiners and the Arkansas Board of Nursing, legislation was passed in 2009 to codify the fact that medical assistants are permitted to administer medication under a physician’s direct supervision. In 2010 the Board of Medical Examiners promulgated regulations pursuant to the legislation. Regaining the right to be delegated injections is a significant victory for the medical assisting profession in Arkansas!

Our work to earn medical assistants this right continues in other states, as well. In New York I have worked closely with the NYSSMA President Paula Guidozzoli, CMA (AAMA), and have been asked to write articles about the education and credentialing of CMAs (AAMA) for the Medical Society of the State of New York and the New York State Nurses Association. Ms. Guidozzoli continues to provide excellent leadership, establish important contacts, and seek the best ways to effect positive change for medical assistants in this important state.

Every state has different legislation concerning medical assistants. Be sure to educate yourself about your professional rights!

2 thoughts on “Arkansas Legislation Gets a Shot in the Arm”

  1. Would the above apply if the RMA was supervised during the day by a PA-C or APN located within the same clinic? Could a licensed physician who was located in an affiliated clinic located 40 miles from the clinic where the RMA was working be considered providing direct supervision?

    1. Thank you for your question. The Arkansas law requires the delegating/overseeing physician to be on the premises and readily available. Thus, a physician is not able to assign a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant to supervise a medical assistant when the delegating physician is not on the premises.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 |
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

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