delegation, On the Job, Professional Identity, Scope of Practice

Medical Assistants and Limited Scope Radiography

I receive fewer questions than I did seven or 10 years ago about the legalities of medical assistants performing limited scope radiography. However, in some states medical assistants are called upon to expose patients to ionizing radiation, as specifically directed by the overseeing/delegating provider.

The legality of this task is governed by state law. In some states unlicensed professionals such as medical assistants are forbidden from doing any limited scope radiography. Only licensed radiologic technologists are permitted to perform radiography. In other states medical assistants are required to complete a short course and pass a test in order to be delegated limited scope radiography. In other states limited scope radiography under direct/on-site provider supervision is not regulated. Physicians are permitted to delegate limited scope radiography to knowledgeable and competent employees.

75 thoughts on “Medical Assistants and Limited Scope Radiography”

      1. Hello,
        May I please have information on Maryland MA radiography scope of practice? I am not sure if my state allows it and I am having trouble finding information. Thank you for listening.
        -Kaila Parker

      2. Thank you for your question. I will email you the information.

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

      3. Hello Dr. Balasa
        May I please have information on Georgia radiography scope of practice? I am not sure if my state allows it and I am having trouble finding information. Thanks

      4. Hello! I am looking for information regarding this in a few states: CA, NV, TX, AZ, FL, GA, MD, and NJ…if you have that information, I’d greatly appreciate it!! 🙂

      5. Thank you for your request. I will be happy to attach the information to an email to you.

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

    1. Hello Mr. Balasa,

      I’m trying to find the guidelines for Limited Scope Radiography for Medical Assistants in the following states, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. Could you please afford me any information regarding those states?

      Thanks
      Will Clarke
      Health Science Program Chair
      Harrison College
      Indianapolis, IN. 46204

      1. By all means! I will attach the information to an email to you.

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

    1. Oklahoma
      Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision
      5104 N. Francis, Suite C
      PO Box 18256
      Oklahoma City, OK 73118-6020
      405-271-5243
      http://www.ok.gov
      Radiology Licensing in Oklahoma
      – Radiographer – The state of Oklahoma does not license the operators of x-ray equipment, nor does it have any requirements relative to the licensure or credentialing of x-ray machine operators.
      – Radiologist Assistant – Must pass the ARRT exam.

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

  1. Hello– Can you please email New York’s policy? Also, is there a full list we can access that will show state by state requirements? Thank you! Erin O’Hara-Leslie

    1. I will be happy to do so. Scope of practice laws for most states are posted on the AAMA website under the “Employer” tab.

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

  2. Are medical assistants allowed to perform simple diagnostic x-rays under the direct supervision of a licensed supervising physician or direct supervision delegated through use of a licensed physician assistant or licensed nurse practitioner in the state of Louisiana. I can’t seem to find a good answer for this. Thanks, Nick

    1. Thank you for your question. I will email you the information from the Louisiana law.

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

    1. I will be happy to email the information to you.

      I like Wisconsin and Minnesota! I have close family in both states, and a lot of pleasant memories.

      I enjoy driving over that bridge in La Crosse and watching the bald eagles soar above the Mississippi River☺!

      Don

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

      1. I will send you the information immediately. Don

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

      2. Thank you so much!

        Did you by chance see my question on delegation of NP to MA in Texas? It was specifically on Can a MA call in prescriptions from a NP? A big system here in Texas is saying no…but I haven’t heard this from anyone else. I tried to look on TMB but I cannot find anything specific to that, but I’m a NP, not a lawyer and I get lost in the verbiage!

        Any guidance would be appreciated!
        Thank you again,
        Teri

      3. Thank you for your question. I have some information on the Texas nurse practitioner law that I will forward to you. The TX Board of Nursing continues to take the position that RNs (as well as APRNs, such as nurse practitioners) are not permitted to delegate to unlicensed professionals such as medical assistants the administration of medication. To my knowledge, however, this TX law does not forbid NPs from delegating to knowledgeable and competent medical assistants the verbatim transmission of the NP’s prescription orders as long as the NP has reviewed and approved the order before it is transmitted.

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

  3. Can you send me information on Maryland and Virginia, whether MA’s can do limited radiography under supervision by a physician?

    On a similar topic, do you have anything in MD or VA law that says how physicians are exempt from radiography licensure in these states? seems to be common exemption and i can find this in some states Board of Medicine regulations, but not explicitly stated everywhere (MD, DDS, DO, DPM, etc). Curious if you have anything for MD / VA ?

    1. Thank you for your questions. I will attach the information in an email to you.

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

  4. Hello Sir- would you be able to send me some information about radiography and CMA (AAMA) in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri? Live in the tri-state area so I want to be aware of all 3 just in case. Thank you!

  5. Can I please get the information on the state of Texas as a medical assistant I am interested in knowing if I can also perform limited scope radiography with proper traing and supervision?

    1. I will be happy to send the Texas law to your email address.

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

  6. Can you send me information about Nevada. Would you be allowed to practice limited-scope radiography as a medical assistant with proper training and supervision? If yes, what are your responsibilities as an MA in relation to patient preparation?

    1. Thank you for your question. Go to http://www.aama-ntl.org and click below “State Scope of Practice Laws” on the left side of the homepage. You will be able to find the medical assisting law of most states, including Nevada.

      Here is the information about limited scope radiography under Nevada law:
      Nevada
      State of Nevada – Occupational and Professional Licensing
      775-687-5394
      http://health.nv.gov

      Radiology Licensing in Nevada:
      – The state of Nevada does not register or license medical x-ray machine operators, except mammography technologists.
      – Mammography -Must pass ARRT Mammography exam;It is up to the owner/controller/user (machine registrant) to ensure training commensurate with the machines of interest.

      I would suggest that you check with this Nevada agency to make sure the requirements have not changed.

      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 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

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