A common question we get is, “Do Medical Assistants give shots?” or “Can Medical Assistants give injections?”
Yes, Medical assistants can give injections such as vaccines, hormone shots, flu shots and allergy shots.
Each state offers its own scope of practice laws for medical assistants and some states address injections and other clinical tasks specifically. Each medical assistant program will offer medical assistant training on injections.
Can Medical Assistants Give Injections? By State
Examples of states that specifically cover the scope of medical assistants giving injections:
- New Jersey (sets minimum qualifications for non‐IV injections & venipunctures)
- Massachusetts (sets educational standards to administer vaccines)
- Nevada (addresses physicians’ authority to delegate injections)
- Washington (regulates MAs by 4 different categories, including phlebotomists)
You can learn more about your state by reviewing the scope of practice laws in it. (See list of state laws)
In many states, Medical Assistants are allowed to give injections as well as carry out tasks such as strep tests, urinalysis, blood pressure checks, electrocardiograms, weight checks, and venipuncture.
Employers seek MAs with training and experience giving injections and vaccines to patients as it allows nurses and physicians to do other hands-on patient care activities.
It should be noted that there are certain injections beyond the scope of a Medical Assistant such as injecting collagen or Botox. Additionally, medical assistants may not start an IV tube.
Is there a specialty for MA’s where they don’t have to perform vitals or injections?
Some medical assistants aren’t interested in giving injections and that is ok because there are some specialty positions that won’t require this skill. It will depend on where you work.
For example, a CMA friend from school is a triage “nurse” she answers phones and decides the order of which patients will be seen.
Some MAs have no desire what-so-ever to be hands-on with patients. Some just want to do strictly administrative work, particularly billing and coding.
If you prefer administrative work, then during your interview ask about job responsibilities.
For example, ask whether or not you would be expected to be a jack of all trades (clinical and administrative) doing both office work AND clinical or if there are two separate positions.
Some medical assisting positions are perfect for administrative people as they focus on insurance, billing, coding, and every administrative aspect that goes into running an office.
These positions are typically titled as Administrative Medical Assistant. Taking vitals are basic for almost every MA job unless you work strictly administrative.
In addition to working strictly as an administrative medical assistant, you may want to try some of the following medical assisting positions.
Working in a vein specialist office you will likely do vitals but not injections.
Working at an ENT office often times there are zero injections, and zero blood draws.
Similarly to working in a Neurologist office where injections by an MA are uncommon. In most neurological offices Medical Assistants will not do any injections, and the only vitals done are weight and blood pressure.
Meanwhile, working in GI, patient vitals are always taken but injections are few and far between until flu season.
Which is similar to working in a plastic surgeon’s office where it is only required to take vitals.
Whereas working in dermatology most medical assistants don’t do vitals but do help with biopsys and excisions.
Medical Assistants working in Orthopedics typically do not do injections but they will remove staples and stitches.
Finally, medical assistants working in pediatrics are generally not allowed to give injections, just finger sticks, while the nurses do the immunizations.
As you can see, generally speaking, the answer is Yes to “Can medical assistants give injections”
That said, the answer will depend on the state’s scope of practice laws where you live and the type of practice you work in.
Questions About Medical Assistants Giving Injections?
If you have any other questions about when and where Medical Assistants can give injections, then ask our community in the comments below.
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