Medical malpractice

Medical Assistant Scope of practice (gray area)

Can an attending physician train a medical assistant to assist in endoscopic and colonosopic procedures. My question, specifically is, are they allowed to assist in the ACTUAL procedure. The physician will be the one using the scopes, but if somehow there needs to be a polyp (abnormal tissue) removed the MA would be the one to hook up polyp remover instrument to the scope so the doctor can guide the instrument to where it needs to be. The instrument has a close and open switch. Once at the designated spot controlled by the physician, he or she will tell the MA to use the switch at the end of the polyp tool to open and then close over the abnormal tissue. And then extract it by pulling the instrument out of the scope. Is this reasonably in the MA scope of practice?

Nathan’s Answer

You are asking a question that does not have an accurate answer unless there are more facts. Generally speaking, medical assistants are unlicensed in California. They are certificated though. You would study their supervisor to see if they carried malpractice insurance that covered medical assistant. If the medical assistant performed an invasive procedure, that may be beyond their scope.

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