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Legal/Ethical Boundaries

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 828
  • Category: Ethics

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The Code of Ethics is a set of principles of moral and ethical conduct as they relate to the medical profession. There are five sections of the Code of Ethics. “Render services with full respect for the dignity of humanity.” A medical assistant will perform job duties with respect to the patient, life and rights as a human being. Holding the medical assistant to a higher standard, where he/she does not perform unnecessary procedures. “Respect confidential information obtained through employment unless legally authorized or required by responsible performance of duty to divulge such information.” Any and all information the medical assistant learns about a patient in the course of assisting them, unless the patient legally authorizes the medical assistant to share their medical information, the medical assistant must keep the information confidential. “Uphold the honor and high principles of the profession and accept its disciplines.”

The medical assistant will abide by all legal and ethical rules as well as all other expectations of the job and give their best job performance. “Seek to continually improve the knowledge and skills of medical assistants for the benefits of patients and professional colleagues.” The medical assistant agrees to continually strive to obtain more knowledge and grow in skill levels to benefit patients and help better assist colleagues. “Participate in additional service activities aimed toward improving the health and well-being of the community.” A medical assistant should strive to be active in the community. Participating in community events where the medical assistant could share knowledge on health practices with others. Obtaining Certification through the AAMA

Step 1) Find out if you are eligible by reviewing the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam Eligibility categories to see if you qualify to take the exam. Step 2) Enroll in and complete an accredited medical assisting program. Step 3) Apply for the exam, fill out the application and provide required documentation and enrollment fee. Step 4) Prime your email. Make sure you have provided an email address that will be valid for the next year, add [email protected] to your approved email list. Step 5) Schedule an exam appointment. You will receive an email with Scheduling Permit Instruction. Step 6) STUDY! It’s the most important thing you can do prior to taking the exam. Step 7) Pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination. Step 8) Keep your CMA (AAMA) credential current. Recertify your credential 5 years. Scope of Practice

The medical assistant is a multitasked healthcare provider assisting the physician in providing patient care. They perform general, administrative and clinical duties under supervision of a physician. The medical assistant’s duties can vary from office to office and vary according to the size and type of setting. A medical assistant should never perform duties beyond their level of responsibility, education, and training. Performing outside the medical assistant scope of practice includes any task involving clinical judgment, assessment, or evaluation. For example a patient comes to the clinic for a pregnancy test and its positive, as you are informing her of different resources she may use, she ask you “should she keep her baby?”

The MA could let the patient know that she will want to discuss her options with someone from one of the resources she was given. Diagnosing a patient is outside the MA scope of practice and an unethical behavior and why you must only practice with the scope of practice of medical assisting. Unethical behavior is any action that does not follow the moral standards in medical professions. Disregarding information of harm to a patient is an unethical behavior, avoid this by carefully explaining the informed consent with the patient and assure their understanding. Another unethical behavior is releasing confidential information of a patient, this can be avoided by obtaining a signed Authorization of Release form from the patient and following HIPAA guidelines. Difference between CMA and RMA

Certified and registered medical assistants are equally ranked, undergo the same education and eligible to become either certified or registered. The only difference between certified and registered is the exams are different. Graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES are eligible to take either exam. Certification exam is offered by American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and registered exam is offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). Licensure, on the other hand is defined as a state’s legal authority to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. Misrepresenting yourself as a “nurse” to a patient could result in hefty fines or possible job loss. If a co-worker or a patient identifies me as a “nurse” or “Dr. Smith’s nurse”, I would politely advise them that I am a “medical assistant” and not qualified as a nurse. Any misrepresenting of qualifications must be reported to your professional organization.


American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA). (1996-2013). Medical assistant code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www.aama-ntl.org/about/code_creed.aspx. Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants (WSMA). (n.d.). Scope of practice. Retrieved from http://www.wsma.net/pView.aspx?id=2029&catid=27.

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