Ophthalmology Assistants

Section 34-24-292. Services performed by trainees and assistants.

a.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a licensed assistant to a physician may perform medical services when the services are rendered under the supervision of a licensed physician or physicians approved by the board; except, that no medical services may be performed under this article except under the supervision of an ophthalmologist in the office in which the physician normally actually practices his or her profession and nowhere else in any of the following areas:
1.  The measurement of the powers or range of human vision or the determination of the accommodation and refractive state of the human eye or the scope of its functions in general or the fitting or adaptation of lenses or frames for the aid thereof.

2.  The prescribing or directing the use of or using any optical device in connection with ocular exercises, visual training or orthoptics.

3.  The prescribing of contact lenses for or the fitting or adaptation of contact lenses to the human eye. Nothing in this section shall preclude the performance of routine visual screening.

b.  In the performance of any medical service contemplated by this article, an assistant to a physician shall be conclusively presumed to be the agent, servant or employee solely of the licensed physician or physicians under whose supervision he or she performs the service, and no other person, firm, corporation or other organization shall be held liable or responsible for any act or omission of the assistant arising out of the performance of the medical service.

c.  A licensed assistant to a physician registered to a licensed physician practicing under a job description approved in the manner prescribed by this article may prescribe legend drugs to patients, subject to both of the following conditions:
1.  The drug type, dosage, quantity prescribed, and number of refills shall be authorized in an approved job description signed by the physicians to whom the assistant is registered.

2.  The drug shall be on the formulary approved under the guidelines of the Board of Medical Examiners.

d.  Assistants to physicians may administer any legend drug which they are authorized to prescribe under this section. An assistant to a physician may not initiate a call-in prescription in the name of his or her physician for any drug, whether legend drug or controlled substance, which the assistant is not authorized to prescribe under the job description signed by his or her physician and approved under this section, unless the drug is specifically ordered for the patient by the physician either in writing or by a verbal order which has been reduced to writing and which has been signed by the physician within a time specified in the guidelines of the Board of Medical Examiners.

(Acts 1971, No. 1948, p. 3146, §3; Acts 1975, No. 1152, p. 2276, §1; Acts 1994, No. 94-261, p. 490, §1; Act 98-604, p. 1324, §1.)

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