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should have referred Ms. Smith to a provider and let the provider decide if Ms. Smith needed the prescription. According to Gregory, the scope of practice for medical assistants they work under the direct supervision of a licensed doctor who has the ability within their state to delegate certain medical tasks and procedures to medical assistants (2014). For example, in Florida medical assistants are not mandated to be certified prior to seeking employment, however, they can be certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants and are allowed to perform duties under the supervision of a licensed doctor (Gregory, 2014). In addition, medical assistants may administer medications as directed by the physician (Gregory, 2014). However, medical assistants are not certified to authorize prescriptions for patients, which present both ethical and legal concerns for the practice, providers, and the patient. The ethical-legal concerns associated with this situation is the patient could have been harmed by the medication prescribed to her by a medical assistant as a result of the medical assistant not practicing in her scope of practice. It was unethical for Stephanie to use a provider’s information to authorize a prescription for a patient. According to Farmer and Lundy, nurse practitioners have an ethical obligation
to educate the patient through meaningful discussion in order for the patient to make rational, reasonable, and autonomous decisions regarding their care and treatment (2017). However, the providers were not given the opportunity to make a decision regarding the patient’s treatment due to Stephanie making a decision to unethically authorize a patient’s prescription. Legally what Stephanie did was not within her scope of practice because she does not have the education, experience, or licensed to prescribe medication to patients. In addition, what Stephanie did was illegal and the practice could face legal ramifications along with her facing legal concerns and possibly not be able to practice as a medical assistant. When receiving care the patient has a legal and ethical right to direct what happens totheir body and this can be effectively exercised if the patient is given enough information to make an informed decision about their care (Farmer and Lundy, 2017). Farmer, L., & Lundy, A. (2017). Feature Article: Informed consent: Ethical and legal considerations for advanced practice nurses. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13124-130. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2016.08.011Gregory, M. (2014). Researching the Scope of Practice for Medical Assistants. AAACN Viewpoint, 36(2),13-14. ?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=103906067&site=eds-live&scope=siteDiscussion Part Three (graded) Due to the incident, you are concerned with office policies and procedure. Upon investigation, you find there isn’t a policy in place to address non-urgent patient requests for prescriptions.