Are Medical Assistants Permitted to Take X Rays?


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Medical assistants are an important part of the team in a healthcare facility. They are trained to not only help with clerical items like scheduling patients, updating medical records, and reviewing insurance coverage, but they also help with tasks in the back office. These clinical tasks may vary from one office to another and are always performed under the supervision of a doctor or nurse practitioner.


If it’s the clinical tasks, like drawing blood, recording vitals, and giving vaccines, that have you interested in becoming a medical assistant, it’s important to note that medical assistants are not allowed to help with everything. There are limits to a medical assistant’s scope of practice. One of these limits is performing X-rays.


If you are interested in becoming a Medical Assistant, you should consider enrolling in UEI College's Medical Assistant Training. The Medical Assistant Training Program is short-term, allowing you to pursue a career as a medical assistant in less than a year.

Are Medical Assistants Allowed to Take X-rays?

Whether an individual may perform X-rays depends on state law.


For example, in California medical assistants are not permitted to take x-rays in California. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has specific regulations and requirements for individuals who are authorized to perform radiologic procedures, including taking x-rays.


In California, only licensed radiologic technologists or individuals who have obtained a Limited Permit to Perform Radiologic Procedures (LPR) issued by the CDPH are authorized to perform x-rays. Medical assistants, without the appropriate licensure or permits, are not allowed to operate x-ray equipment or perform radiologic procedures.


It's important to adhere to the regulations and guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health to ensure patient safety and compliance with the law. If you are interested in pursuing a career in radiologic technology or performing x-rays, it is recommended to obtain the necessary education, training, and licensure as required by the state.

Why Can’t Medical Assistants Perform Radiography?

Performing x-rays may look simple, but it takes time and practice to be able to capture a good image using x-ray technology. A poor image may lead to a bad diagnosis and cause further problems for patients down the road. For this reason, X-rays can be dangerous if performed by someone who has not had proper training. Proper training includes knowledge about safety measures, how to position a patient, how to use the equipment, and how to develop the image.


There are many different uses for radiologic technology, and training in these procedures takes a great deal of time. Most offices do not have the time or equipment available to properly train their personnel, especially medical assistants, in each different method. This is why specialized certificates are available that allow medical assistants to perform limited procedures. This ensures they have the proper training for the procedure that is most needed in their facility.

Does UEI College's Medical Assistant Program Cover Radiography?

The Medical Assistant Technician program at UEI College does not prepare students to perform x-rays on their own, but it does introduce students to the concept of radiology and how it is used in the ambulatory care setting. Students will learn the three types of radiologic procedures. With this knowledge, students will be prepared to assist with x-rays on the job and seek additional training to further their knowledge.


During the program, students will also learn other diagnostic imaging procedures like electrocardiography testing and how to identify artifacts.

Should You Become a Medical Assistant?

If you are fascinated by these types of medical procedures and interested in being a part of a team that helps people feel their best, then becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get started. The Medical Assistant Program at UEI College provides a great foundation to build a successful career in the medical field. Students will gain a lot of knowledge about the human body and how a medical office operates, and the procedures that doctors use to diagnose and treat patients.

Enroll at UEI College to Become a Medical Assistant

If working with a doctor and providing hands-on medical assisting sounds like something you would enjoy, you can prepare for an entry-level position as a medical assistant in as few as ten months at UEI College. Give us a call to learn more about the Medical Assisting Program!