Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 | 4:11 p.m.
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CARSON CITY – In an emergency meeting, the state Board of Medical Examiners has adopted a regulation to stop medical assistants from performing certain services such as administering the cosmetic drug Botox.
The regulation will be in effect for 120 days and the board will start workshops Oct. 12 to fashion a permanent regulation.
There was a controversy in Las Vegas about unlicensed medical assistants performing certain procedures that should be left to a doctor.
“There was confusion in the press,” says Louis Ling, executive director of the examiners board. “It was disrupting patient care.”
The regulation, to become effective immediately, prohibits a doctor or a physician’s assistant from allowing a medical assistant to administer such things as cosmetic fillers, chemotherapy, anesthetics that would render the patient unconscious or semi-conscious or any anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ling said the board, which met in Reno and Las Vegas, had been working on a regulation when the controversy arose. He said the issue will be before the 2011 Nevada Legislature on what should and should not be allowed for a medical assistant to perform.
Board Vice Chairman Dr. Benjamin Rodriguez of Las Vegas abstained from the vote.
Gov. Jim Gibbons had backed the board calling an emergency session to adopt the regulation. But he sought and got assurance this rule would not disrupt the administering of flu shots.
Several years ago, then-board executive director Tony Clark warned physicians they were responsible for the acts of these unlicensed medical assistants.
In a board publication, Clark cautioned that medical assistants are not allowed to use lasers to remove hair, wrinkles, scars, moles or other blemishes, administer chemotherapy or be responsible for monitoring patients receiving chemotherapy.