I couldn't help but feel my blood pressure rise at all the negative comments reguarding CMA's in the doctors' office. As a past CMA, I can't beleive the ignorance still exists, but apparently it does.
First of all, NO, CMA's should not be portrayed as RN's. However, most clinics that employ both nurses and CMA, refer to all as 'Nursing Staff'. Our clinic has nametags that clearly state a person's title, CMA, MA, RN, LPN, etc...
Our clinic hires MA graduates from accredited schools of medical assisting. Most have a two-year associate degree in medical assisting...and have to pass a national examiniation to become certified. The test is not easy. So, MA's are not just "people off the street given medical training." If that is the case in your clinic, you had better be talking to your clinic directors about that faulty policy.
MA's from accredited schools are trained in phlebotomy, how to do EKG's, tympanograms, some are trained in X-rays as well. MA's can give oral and injectable medications...I was trainied in IV hydration in college,. MA's are trained in triage, patient ed, cathing and so much more. The training varies between the one-year and two year programs ( just as a difference exists between LPN's and RN's) MA's are not ignorant, or a threat to patient saftey. My goodness, the nursing profession sure has a habit of feeling so threatned all of the time. And it's always under the pretense of "concern for patient care." It's more a concern over job security. MOre and more clinics are MA based, with few RN's...and most RN's work in speciality like triage, allergy, etc...
EVERY medical profession has it's share of undertrained or ignorant people. I have worked with MD's and RN's alike that I wondered how they ever graduated from college. If you have a specific person who m you feel is a threat or danger to patient care, tell your supervisor. DOn't condem an entire profession because of it. And remember, MA's are trained specifically for clinic-based patient-care. That is their traiing focus and that is what they are prepared to handle. RN's are hospital-based professionals. Don't cross the two and then start complaining. MA's are here to stay, they won't be going away. If you have a problem with that, go back to the hospital, or learn to live with it.
This entire board is a constant fight between LPN, RN, CMA, NA and on and on. The more we work together, the better off we will all be.
[ May 08, 2001: Message edited by: Naduah ]