The Medical Assistant and IV Therapy
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There are many fundamental ways in which patients are treated when they come to a medical practitioner for treatment. There is an entire medical team that will work to make sure that the patient’s needs are met. Sometimes this includes a team of doctors, but the primary staff that is meeting with the patient comprises nurses and other medical assistants. Due to their level of education, there are only certain medical treatments that medical assistants can do, but many of them are imperative to the recovery of the patient. In addition to doing logistical paperwork, medical assistants also check vital signs and administer medication. One of these ways is through intravenous injections, otherwise known as through IVs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
In many forms of pharmacological treatment, IV treatment is the most commonly used. It is used because it is one of the quickest ways of delivering medication directly into the bloodstream. This is achieved by using a needle in order to provide a conduit for fluid/medication to enter the body from an external source. A medical assistant is required to get training in order to learn how and where to insert the needle in order to provide optimal flow of medication. This can also include the taking of blood samples in order to perform lab work. This makes the medical assistant an important part of the healthcare team as many treatments that are now used in today’s healthcare are pharmacological in nature. As a result, training in the field of how to use IVs and what medications are appropriate to give has become an integral part in treating patients.
Even though IVs are a common type of treatment used to get people medication, there are inherent risks that the medical assistant has to be aware of. The first is making sure to use sterile equipment. Since IV therapy requires the puncturing of the epidermis, the first layer of defense, appropriate sterilization of both the area and the equipment is imperative in order to make sure there are no secondary complications, such as bacterial/viral infection. Also medical assistants have to be careful not to cause physiological damage. If an IV is not used appropriately, damage can be done to the veins, which can lead to pain and discomfort. In addition, the rupturing of the vein can lead to other complications such as bleeding, bruising, etc. As a result, a medical assistant must not only be aware of the appropriate technique to use, but also how to handle these complications should they happen.
The role of the medical assistant and IV therapy is crucial to the treatment of a patient. As medicine continues to evolve, more powerful medicines are being available through the IV method. This is because it is more efficient and quicker to administer to the patient. It also decreases the amount of maintenance for both doctors and other medical professionals. Therefore, the role of the medical assistant and the persistence of IV therapy is going to increase in the future.