GOVERNOR’S OFFICE MEDIA ADVISORY:
CARSON CITY — The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners today passed an emergency regulation clarifying specific duties and responsibilities physicians and physician assistants can delegate and/or supervise in relation to medical assistants for the next 120 days.
In order for the Board to adopt an emergency regulation, Nevada law required me, as Governor, to endorse the statement of emergency of the board as the underlying basis for the regulation.
Currently, medical assistants are not required to be licensed under Nevada law. Medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks in Nevada, and the scope of their practice is a legitimate public policy issue which needs to be addressed by the Nevada Legislature.
Recently the Executive Director of the Board publicly stated that Nevada law prohibits medical assistants from performing injections. This interpretation of law is against past practice, and could potentially put hundreds or even thousands of medical assistants in Nevada out of work. Medical assistants play an important and necessary role in the delivery of primary health care to Nevadans.
As Governor, the health and safety of all Nevadans is my number one priority. Nevada is facing a possible pandemic flu season this year with the complication of H1N1 (swine flu), which can be devastating, even deadly to children, teens, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. We need medical assistants to be able to work with our physicians in providing medical care during this flu season.
Agreeing that an emergency exists because of the potential of a mass exodus of medical assistants from primary care medicine in Nevada is a critical matter of public health and safety. As your Governor, I determined it was necessary to endorse the declaration of emergency by the Board to keep medical assistants in our doctor’s offices for the general health care needs of Nevadans, as approved by the Board of Medical Examiners, especially during this flu season.