Medical Assistants (MAs) in Washington state must pursue a professional healthcare credential from the state’s Department of Health. Where the vast majority of state’s will accept a national certification, such as the title awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistants, Washington’s own credential simply must be earned by every in-state MA. You can learn more about the process of earning this medical assistant certification in Washington through the state’s DOH site.
It should be noted that while this credential is mandatory, pursuing a nationally recognized credential or associate degree will further the qualifications and employability of any MA. Such a distinction will also give an MA greater job mobility outside of Washington’s borders.
Washington defines a number of duties MAs are permitted to carry out under the supervision of a health practitioner. Some of the duties laid out are as follows:
- Procedures for sterilizing equipment and instruments
- Disposing of biohazardous materials
- Taking vital signs
- Preparing patients for examination
- Capillary blood withdrawal, venipuncture, and intradermal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular injections
- Specimen collection
- Telephone and in-person screening limited to intake and gathering of information without requiring the exercise of judgment based on clinical knowledge
- Maintaining medication and immunization records
- Screening and following up on test results as directed by a healthcare practitioner
The complete list of medically-based duties can be found here. In addition to these permitted tasks, many Washington MAs are expected to carry out a degree of administrative and clerical work.
To find out more about medical assistant certification in Washington, as well as medical assistant Washington salary data, read on.