Medical assistance is the best career to step foot into if you are interested in entering the healthcare industry.

What is a Medical Assistant and what do they do?

Medical Assistants are healthcare workers who provide support services to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They help healthcare professionals with a variety of tasks, including clinical and administrative duties.

If you are interested in pursuing medical assistance as a career, you might be wondering if they can start IVs.

To answer shortly, it depends on the state. Some states allow medical assistants to start IVs while some impose restrictions.

Read on to find out more about which states allow medical assistants to start IVs, and which don’t.

Medical Assistant Starting IV

Also see: Is Medical Assistant a Good Career?

State-by-State Breakdown of Where Medical Assistants Can Start IVs

Every state has its own defined scope of practice for medical assistants, which highlights the specific tasks and responsibilities they are authorized to perform.

This scope of practice serves as a guideline, clearly stating what medical assistants are allowed to do and what they are not permitted to do.

Also see: Medical Assistant Scope of Practice by State

It’s important to note that while many medical assistants are trained to perform blood draws, not all of them are authorized to start intravenous (IV) lines.

Inserting an IV catheter involves a larger needle, the catheter remains in place for an extended period, and it is used for administering medications directly into the bloodstream.

Due to the increased complexity and potential risks associated with IV insertion, the regulations, and requirements governing this skill are generally more stringent compared to those for routine blood draws.

Also read: Can Medical Assistants Draw Blood?

States that Allow Medical Assistants to Start IVs With Special Certifications or Training

In states where medical assistants are permitted to start intravenous (IV) lines, they must receive proper training to develop the necessary skills and techniques. This training is essential to ensure patient safety and prevent the risk of injury or infection.

Also see: Medical Assistant Skills

It is important to note that while medical assistants may be trained to start IVs, they are generally not authorized to administer medications through an IV.

Their role is primarily focused on the insertion and maintenance of the IV line, while medication administration is typically reserved for healthcare professionals with specialized training, such as registered nurses or physicians.

Read more: Medical Assistant On-the-Job Training

States that allow medical assistants to start IVs with special training include:

  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island
  • Louisiana
  • Washington
  • Virginia

Also read: Registered Medical Assistant

States that Do Not Allow Medical Assistants to Start IVs

In many states, there are limitations on medical assistants to start intravenous (IV) lines, even with special training or certifications.

These restrictions are outlined in state regulations, which often prohibit unlicensed assistive personnel, including medical assistants, from performing this procedure.

Also see: Medical Assistant License

Certain states have specific language in their regulations that explicitly state that only registered nurses (RNs) or advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants, are authorized to start IVs.

States that don’t allow medical assistants to start IVs include:

  • Florida
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Mississippi
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • California
  • Texas

Also read: How to get Medical Assistant jobs with no experience

States that Allow Medical Assistants to Start IVs

In many states, the scope of practice laws for medical assistants is relatively broad and flexible.

It is important for healthcare providers to carefully consider factors such as the medical assistant’s training, competence, and the specific circumstances of the patient and procedure when making decisions about delegating IV insertions.

States that allow medical assistants to start IVs include:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Idaho
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • West Virginia

Read more: Accelerated Medical Assistant Program

Medical Assistant with IV

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What to Do if You Don’t Want to Start IVs

If you are uncertain if you want to start IVs as a medical assistant, it is important to communicate your concerns to potential employers before accepting a new job.

Discussing this matter upfront can help ensure that both parties are aligned in terms of job expectations and responsibilities.

Even in states where medical assistants are allowed to start IVs, healthcare facilities may have policies that restrict medical assistants from performing this procedure.

If you prefer to work in a healthcare setting where medical assistants are not expected to start IVs or perform other clinical tasks, you may consider exploring opportunities as a medical administrative assistant.

See: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

Medical administrative assistants primarily focus on administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, managing paperwork, and coordinating patient information, rather than performing clinical procedures like wound dressings, blood draws, or IV insertions.

Also see: How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant – FAQs

How much do Medical Assistants earn annually?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual income of Medical Assistants is $38,270, or $18.40 per hour.

It is important to note, however, that these figures are highly dependent on many influencing factors, such as job location, experience, certifications, and so on.

Is becoming a Medical Assistant hard?

Becoming a medical assistant requires dedication and effort, but it is certainly doable. The path to becoming one typically involves completing a training program, which can range from a few months to two years, depending on the type of certification or degree pursued.

These programs cover medical knowledge, administrative skills, and hands-on clinical training. While the material isn’t overly complex, it does require diligence to grasp medical terminology, procedures, and various tasks. Additionally, gaining practical experience through internships or externships can be valuable.

Can you become a Medical Assistant in 4 months?

Absolutely! Even though it might seem impossible, becoming a medical assistant in as little as 4 months is achievable if you opt for an online medical assistant training program, such as Preppy.


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