36-9B-1 Medical Assistant Defined. For the purposes of this chapter, a medical assistant is a professional multi skilled person who assists in all aspects of medical practice under the responsibility and direct supervision of a person licensed to practice medicine in the State of South Dakota. A medical assistant assists with patient care management, executes administrative and clinical procedures, and performs managerial and supervisory functions over unlicensed personnel.
For the purposes of 36-9B-1, the term "direct supervision" means the physician, physician assistant, certified nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwive are physically present or available by means of electronic communication. The South Dakota Joint Board of Nursing and Medical and Osteopathic Examiners (Joint Board) adopted this definition on September 10, 2015.
36-9B-2 Duties. A medical assistant under the responsibility and direct supervision of a person licensed to practice medicine in the State of South Dakota may perform the following duties:
- Performing clinical procedures to include:
a. Performing aseptic procedures
b. Taking vital signs
c. Preparing patients for examination
d. Phlebotomous blood withdrawal and nonintravenous injections
e. Observing and reporting patients' signs or symptoms
- Administering basic first aid
- Assisting with patient examinations or treatment
- Operating office medical equipment
- Collecting routine laboratory specimens
- Administering medications by unit dosage
- Performing basic laboratory procedures
- Performing office procedures including all general administrative duties
36-9B-3 Registration required. No person may practice as a medical assistant unless that person is registered with the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners pursuant to this chapter.
36-9B-4 Application for registration--Renewal--Fees. A medical assistant seeking registration under this chapter shall complete an application prescribed by the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing. The application shall be submitted to the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. A registration fee of ten dollars shall accompany the application and shall be paid to the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.
The registration shall be renewed biennially by payment of a fee of five dollars. A registration not renewed by December thirty-first of the year of expiration lapses.
36-9B-5 Registration by Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. The Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners shall register a medical assistant following the submission of an application by an applicant for registration who has graduated from an accredited school or a school which meets standards similar to an accredited school and has met other qualifications established by the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing.
An applicant for registration is exempt from the requirements of this section if the application is received by the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners by January 1, 1992.
36-9B-6 Out-of-state applicant. The Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners may register an applicant from outside the state whose education and training are substantially the same as that received from an approved school in this state and who meets the other qualifications established by the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing.
36-9B-7 Promulgation of rules for application and registration. The Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing may adopt rules for medical assistants in the following areas:
- Contents of applications
- Qualifications of applicants
- Approval of schools other than those which are accredited
- Renewal of registration
36-9B-8 Revocation or suspension of registration--Committee. The registration of a medical assistant may be revoked or suspended upon violation of any section of this chapter. The proceedings for suspension or revocation of a registration may be initiated by a joint committee comprised of two members of the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and two members of the Board of Nursing. All proceedings concerning the revocation or suspension of a registration shall conform to contested case procedure set forth in Chapter 1-26.
36-9B-9 Hospital privileges. Nothing in this chapter permits a medical assistant to provide services in a hospital licensed pursuant to chapter 34-12 unless the hospital has specifically granted such privileges.
Questions? Please contact
the South Dakota Board of Medical & Osteopathic Examiners
or the South Dakota Board of Nursing (email)
through South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and
South Dakota Scope of Practice Determinations Relating to Medical Assistant Practice
1. Administration of Medications: The Joint Board affirmed at their meeting conducted on September 15, 1993, the following in regards to the medical assistant scope of practice:
a. Does not include injection of insulin;
b. Does not include arterial withdrawal of blood, but does include venous withdrawal of blood;
c. Does include administration of medications by unit dose, which means medication prepared in the exact amount, in an individual packet, for a specific patient; and
d. Does not include patient education.
2. The Joint Board committee met on April 25, 1994 and provided additional clarification on these scope of practice questions regarding the medical assistant:
a. The medical assistant may report diagnostic lab findings to patients only after appropriate interpretation by the physician;
b. The medical assistant may only provide education information to the patient and may not perform health teaching or counseling;
c. The medical assistant may perform EKG’s and glucose testing;
d. The medical assistant may not administer medications which require calculation of a dose;
f. The medical assistant may only distribute pre-printed information to a patient on medications and inhalers;
i. The medical assistant may not perform irrigations for ostomy/stoma care;
j. The medical assistant may apply ace bandages and splints to extremities; and
k. The medical assistant may only perform suprapubic catheterizations involving an established fistula.
* Item e. and Item h. above were reversed September 1995 and the statements were deleted.
** Item g. above was reversed April 2009 and the statement was deleted.
3. Medical Assistant Role
In response to a request for clarification, these areas were identified as appropriate for medical assistants by a Joint Board committee December 1994:
a. Skin testing performed by intradermal technique.
b. Skin testing performed by the scratch technique.
4. At the September 20, 1995 Joint Board Meeting, discussion was held regarding medical assistant letters of inquiry. It was determined that:
Medical Assistants are permitted to administer medications from either a single or multi dose vial as along as the supervising physician assures appropriate training, competence, and assumes ultimate responsibility for administration of such drugs; and
5. Telephoning of Prescriptions
At the September 20, 1995 Joint Board Meeting, discussion was held regarding medical assistant letters of inquiry. It was determined that:
Medical Assistants are permitted to telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy pursuant to their supervising physician’s written or verbal order.
6. Medication Administration
At the April 8, 2009 Joint Board Meeting, it was determined that:
Certified Medical Assistants are permitted to administer medications by inhalation route as long as the supervising physician assures appropriate training, competence, and assumes ultimate responsibility for administration of such drugs.
CMA and RMA Credentialing
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) are both voluntary, national credentials for the medical assisting profession. The CMA is awarded by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants organization; the RMA is given by the American Medical Technologists.
- American Association of Medical Assistants
- South Dakota Society of Medical Assisants (An affiliate of the American Association of Medical Assistants)