MA's being used as "nurses" - page 16

by Jeanbean 30,993 Views | 156 Comments

Hello all! I work in a private practice office in which I am the only RN. There are several MA's and one LPN. My concern is that the MA's are referred to as "nurses". The patients often do not know that their "nurse" really... Read More


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    I am a BSN, RN. But before I was an RN I did other things in life and I am always amazed at how most RNs (most of whom have never really done anything in their life besides be an RN) think that they are more important than they really are. When a pt is sick, they come to the clinic to see the provider (MD/DO/FNP/PA-C, etc.). Someone who can diagnose and fix the problem. Most Pt's I see really do not care what the qualifications are of the person that checks their v/s or draws their blood or does their EKG. To the general public a nurse is a nurse.

    Another point is, ever wonder how the military, as huge as it is, gets by with so few nurses (per capita)? FYI, most (if not all) of the "task oriented" things are being done by medics, corpsmen and techs? There are LOTS of these former military medics and corpsmen getting out of the military these days and most have loads of training and certifications and usually a lot of combat experience. Will a 2 years college degree from 'Po-dunk Jr College' compete with that? Most will likely get their RN training via Excelsior College and most will likely sail through the process (as I did). When they finish they will also be RNs and in the market to take the places of nurses who really havent done anything or been anywhere and more importantly dont cry over a silly name. I wonder who is more marketable?

    If I had it to do over again, I would not have gone to nursing school as most "nurses" seem to have an VERY over-inflated opinion of themselves and their worth not to mention of their general lack of integrity and honor, and just generally being cry babies about things when people do not give them the attention they think they need. This entire thread is a 15 page testament to my point.

    I was reading an article recently that some docs are starting their own private practice and having NO support staff except 1 person up front to answer the phone and other admin stuff. These docs do not accept insurance and deal on a cash (or debit card) basis only. The Doc himself does his own vitals, draws his own blood, gives his own injections, etc. Some docs seem to prefer this as they consider this really practicing medicine (similiar to the way they did it wayyy back when.) and not just being a computer on legs. So be aware. In fact, I agree that most clinics only need MAs.

    If they dont watch what they do, nurses (RNs, LPN and any other form of "nurse") will be an extinct species if they continue to be over-priced and whine about little things.

    Contrary to what some might think, the healthcare industry does NOT revolve around nurses. It revolves around Patients and the medical providers. Everyone else is just a helper to the provider.

    Florence Nightinggale had a good idea in the beginning, but too many nurses got involved with nurses and now it is all messed up.
    MsEnfermera likes this.
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    "Jim562;3121774]I am a BSN, RN. But before I was an RN I did other things in life and I am always amazed at how most RNs (most of whom have never really done anything in their life besides be an RN) think that they are more important than they really are. When a pt is sick, they come to the clinic to see the provider (MD/DO/FNP/PA-C, etc.). Someone who can diagnose and fix the problem. Most Pt's I see really do not care what the qualifications are of the person that checks their v/s or draws their blood or does their EKG. To the general public a nurse is a nurse. ..."

    Wow, interesting post.
    Jim562 likes this.
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    I am glad you liked it. :-)
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    I am an RMA (registered medical assistant) I actually work in an outpatient clinic through a local hospital as a float MA. I am also in the process of starting nursing school. There are three of us that are MAs and the rest of the "nursing" staff are all LPNs and RNs. I never call myself a nurse to patients, however the actual nurses refer to me as a nurse to patients and physicians. I thought this was very strange when I started there because I am NOT a nurse, they know I am an MA and although our job descriptions are identical, I respect their license and realize that their scope is technically much broader than my own. I just wanted to point this out because in my experience, Nurses often refer to me as a nurse (this includes my boss whom has an MSN). Anyway, my personal observation.
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    You call from your hospital unit to the dr's office and a non-nurse calls back with the T.O.V.
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    I believe in Texas, the Texas Nurse's Association helped get legislature passed that only a LPN or RN can be referred to as a "nurse." Saw it in my last newsletter...
    Nurserton likes this.
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    I'm a first-year RN student working at the front desk in a physicians' office. Each of our MDs has an MA assigned to them, but we don't have any LPNs/RNs at all. I've only been there a couple months, but so far it seems to me like the MAs generally know what they're doing. I don't know anything about their educational backgrounds. I'd never even heard of MAs before I started working at this office. All the MDs I've ever seen for primary care staffed their offices with RNs who did the tasks that our MAs do.

    Our MAs do a lot of things that I didn't think any UAPs ever did. We at the front desk almost never interact with the doctors - everything goes through the MAs, and a lot of things like phone triage, Rx refills, relaying phone orders to nursing homes/home care agencies, etc., never actually reach the doctors. The MAs don't do phlebotomy - our office has its own lab - but they do injections, and in one case I know for sure that one of the MAs made a mistake during an injection of an IM antipsychotic that, in my opinion (for what it's worth, I have a BA in psychology and did advanced coursework in psychopharmacology and abnormal psych), an MA should never have been giving. The mistake didn't result in any adverse events - it was a dilution error and thank God, the patient was accidentally given just the diluent with no drug - but given the nature of the med being administered, it could have been disastrous. To me it seems like way too much of a liability for the MDs, even when you consider the cost of hiring LPNs/RNs vs. MAs.


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