Can Medical Assistants Start IVs?


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Medical assistants play a vital role in a medical facility, completing both clerical and clinical tasks that help the entire office run more efficiently. Medical assistants are qualified to schedule appointments, submit insurance claims, record patient vitals, administer medications, collect blood samples, and even administer vaccines. While the exact tasks a medical assistant is asked to do may vary from one office to the next, there are some tasks that are always outside the scope of practice for a medical assistant. Starting an IV is one of those tasks.


If you're interested in training to become a Medical Assistant, you should consider enrolling in UEI College's Medical Assistant Classes. UEI College's Medical Assistant Program is short-term, allowing students to earn a diploma in as few as 10 Months!

Are Medical Assistants Allowed to Start an IV?

In most states, medical assistants are not permitted to start IVs.


For example, in California, medical assistants are generally not allowed to start intravenous (IV) lines. The California Medical Board, which regulates medical assistants, has specific guidelines regarding the tasks that medical assistants are permitted to perform.


According to the Medical Board of California, medical assistants are allowed to administer injections, including subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intradermal injections, under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. However, starting IV lines and performing intravenous therapy are generally considered to be outside the scope of practice for medical assistants in California.


It's important to note that the scope of practice for medical assistants may vary by state, so it's always advisable to consult the specific regulations and guidelines set by the relevant state's medical board or regulatory authority to determine the permitted duties and responsibilities of medical assistants in that jurisdiction.

Why Can’t Medical Assistants Start IVs in Some States?

Medical assistants are allowed to draw blood and administer vaccines or injections, but IV infusion is a very different process that requires an additional level of training. Injecting medication directly into a person’s vein is very dangerous and opens up a high level of risk for the patient. It is a task typically reserved for a physician or RN who has the training necessary to perform such tasks.


The good news is that being a medical assistant may inspire you to seek additional training to gain this skill in the future. Medical assistants have a unique perspective of a healthcare facility because they work in both the front and back offices. As you train to become a medical assistant and begin an entry-level position, you may find a passion for healthcare that can lead you to seek additional training and help in new and exciting ways.

Does UEI College's Medical Assistant Program Teach Students How to Start IVs?

No, the Medical Assistant Program at UEI College does not teach students how to start an IV. This is outside the scope of practice for a medical assistant and so it is not part of the medical assisting curriculum.


UEI College's Medical Assistant Program does teach students how to:

  • Assist physicians with exams
  • Administer vaccines
  • Draw blood
  • Perform ECG tests
  • Record patient vitals
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Update patient records
  • Greet patients, answer phones and emails
  • And more!

Should You Become a Medical Assistant?

If you enjoy helping people and are passionate about learning how the human body works, you should consider becoming a medical assistant. A day in the life of a medical assistant is never dull. There are so many tasks that a medical assistant can help with around a healthcare facility, making each day exciting and new.


From greeting patients and helping at the front desk to preparing them for their exams and providing follow-up information, a medical assistant has a unique responsibility to ensure the patient’s experience is smooth and comfortable. This role is a great option for anyone who wants to get involved in the medical field but is unsure of the best way. Medical assistants help nurses, doctors, and office managers interact with insurance companies and billing specialists. They also have the opportunity to continue their training through advanced certifications and learn new skills that can benefit the office. It’s a great stepping stone for someone hoping to build a successful, long-term career in the medical field.

Become a Medical Assistant With UEI College!

UEI College's Medical Assistant Program is a great place to begin your journey in this field. The program is hands-on and focused on preparing students for the real world.


The best part of the program comes at the end, when students complete an externship with a local employer. This is the ultimate opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve gained and build relationships with potential employers. Some students are even hired by their externship site.


If you are ready to take the first step into the healthcare field or want to further your medical training as a medical assistant, give us a call today to learn more about UEI College's Medical Assistant Program!