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State laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. What are the regulations on the drawing of blood by unlicensed personnel, such as technicians?

The drawing of venous blood by cubital or saphenous means shall not be deemed the practice of medicine, and therefore may be done by unlicensed personnel such as technicians. However, the drawing of blood by any other means, including but not limited to, femoral venous taps, would be considered the practice of medicine and therefore could not be performed by technicians. This requirement applies to both hospital and office settings.

Medical assistants are also permitted to perform venipuncture, solely for the purpose of drawing blood and not for the administration of medication.

2. What about the drawing of blood through a catheter?

The drawing of blood through an in-dwelling venous or arterial catheter may only be done by a physician or by a registered nurse who has been trained appropriately in the technique, including the maintenance of the catheter and the possible complications of such a procedure.

The physician may not direct or allow a certified registered nurse anesthetist to pass catheters for central venous pressure procedures, as this is considered the practice of medicine.

Copyright Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.

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