MA's being used as "nurses" - page 16
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... Read More
0Feb 21, '09 by MarkE86I'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.