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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 7348 (November 26, 2022).

49 Pa. Code § 25.171. Generally.


§ 25.171. Generally.

 (a)  The physician assistant shall, under appropriate direction and supervision by a physician, augment the physician’s data gathering abilities to assist the supervising physician in reaching decisions and instituting care plans for the physician’s patients. The physician assistant shall have as a minimum, the knowledge and competency to perform the following functions and should under appropriate supervision be permitted by the Board to perform them. This list is not intended to be specific or all-inclusive:

   (1)  Screen patients to determine need for medical attention.

   (2)  Review patient records to determine health status.

   (3)  Take patient history.

   (4)  Perform a physical examination.

   (5)  Perform a development screening examination on children.

   (6)  Record pertinent information data.

   (7)  Make decisions regarding data gathering and appropriate management and treatment of patients being seen for the initial evaluation of a problem or the follow-up evaluation of a previously diagnosed and stablized condition.

   (8)  Prepare patient summaries.

   (9)  Initiate request for commonly performed initial laboratory studies.

   (10)  Collect specimens for and carry out commonly performed blood, urine and stool analyses and cultures.

   (11)  Identify normal and abnormal findings on history, physical examination and commonly performed laboratory studies.

   (12)  Initiate appropriate evaluation and emergency management for emergency situations, for example, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, injuries, burns, hemorrhage.

   (13)  Perform clinical procedures such as:

     (i)   Venipuncture.

     (ii)   Intradermal tests.

     (iii)   Electrocardiogram.

     (iv)   Care and suturing of minor lacerations.

     (v)   Casting and splinting.

     (vi)   Control of external hemorrhage.

     (vii)   Application of dressings and bandages.

     (viii)   Administration of medications with the exception of controlled substances, whole blood and blood components.

     (ix)   Removal of superficial foreign bodies.

     (x)   Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

     (xi)   Audiometry screening.

     (xii)   Visual screening.

     (xiii)   Carrying out aseptic and isolation techniques.

   (14)  Provide counseling and instruction regarding common patient problems.

 (b)  The tasks physician assistants may perform are those which require technical skills, execution of standing orders, routine patient care tasks and such diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as the supervising physician may wish to delegate to the physician assistant after the supervising physician has satisfied himself as to the ability and competence of the physician assistant. The supervising physician may, with due regard to the safety of the patient and in keeping with sound medical practice, delegate to the physician assistant, subject to prior approval by the Board, such medical procedures and other tasks as are usually performed within the normal scope of the supervising physician’s practice and subject to the limitations set forth in this subchapter, the act and the training and expertise of the physician assistant.


   The provisions of this §  25.171 issued under section 506 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  186); and sections 10(h) and (p) and 16 of the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act (63 P. S. § §  271.10(h) and (p) and 271.16).


   The provisions of this §  25.171 adopted April 23, 1982, effective April 24, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1332.

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  25.142 (relating to definitions); and 49 Pa. Code §  25.162 (relating to criteria for registration as supervising physician).

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