MA's being used as "nurses" - page 7

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

  1. by   allthingsbright
    Quote from monica f
    Why would someone spend 12-24 months in a program to become a medical assistant? You can be an LPN in 11-12 months and an RN in 24 months. If I was going to spend 24 months going to school I would go to the RN program so that I could make twice the money while basically still doing the same work.
    I agree with what you are saying, but just wanted to add a correctin: it is virtually impossible to get an RN in 24 months. Schools may say "two year program" but that is a misnomer! It is always at least 5 semesters at the very shortest w/ pre reqs, etc.
  2. by   LorraineCNA
    My MA schooling was 6 months classroom and clinicals and 3 months (420 hours) unpaid externship. I could never understand the rationale behind 2 years for MA either...unless you do that through a college and not a tech school so that some of the classes MAY transfer into a nursing program later.

    Lorraine
  3. by   kat57
    Concerned and upset...do you know the disease process, i.e. signs to look for hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, cva, hypertention, coumadin and dilantin levels,heart attack when you are the first person the patient sees and you must triage the patient ? Can you answer patients questions about these diseases, teach them about their meds when they are taking them wrong, wound care and documentation, assisting during a biopsy, read labs for critical values, do you know when to send the patient to the ER or work them in to see the Dr. ? You should not be hired as a Nurse if you don't have the license. My MA is wonderful, I would find it difficult to get through the day without her but she never lets anyone think she'a a nurse.
  4. by   broncowillysgirl
    Quote from monica f
    Why would someone spend 12-24 months in a program to become a medical assistant? You can be an LPN in 11-12 months and an RN in 24 months. If I was going to spend 24 months going to school I would go to the RN program so that I could make twice the money while basically still doing the same work.
    I guess I fit into the "why would a person waste 12 months to be a MA" thing, my situation was that I had a full time position, did not know if I could handle the blood and stuff, and the LVN, RN programs are daytime positions and I could not afford to quite my job to go to school, I have now (almost) completed my MA program 05/25/06, and am looking for a decent paying night job so that I can continue my Nursing courses.
  5. by   Stacia
    Hello, I was searching for PA state Regulations for Assisted living and was reading your posts. I'm currently working in an assisted living facility in PA. Most of the residents we care for are'nt even assisted living they need complete care. Wheelchairs, hospice patients ect.. I was asked to give meds when the LPN is off duty and refused, and one of the nurses said to another nurse about me " Who does she think she is refuseing" I had written her a note refuseing to give a man a potent narcotic (He's a hospice patient.) on nights the nurse may be off. I'm only a PCA some nights there is not even a nurse on duty and when she is on duty she has all 3 buildings. They allso have PCAs giving insulin even for residents who are on sliding scale.

    IS anyone concerned about PCAS not haveing malpractice insurance, We are not nurses and are not insured. If something happens the facility will only think about saving themselves. Allso if a nurse is on duty and a CNA or PCA makes a mistake won't the nurse on duty's licence be at stake? I won't give meds I don't get paid enough to do a nurses job. They don't want to pay a nurses salary so they have unskilled staff putting residents lives in danger and sending them to an 8 hour class and make them feel good about themselves by giving them a title. It's not certification if you can't use it outside of the facility that issued it to you. A nursing home would never accept that.

    I guess i'm wondering if anyone is worried about doing what a nurse goes to school for 4 years to do after 8 hours of training for a quarter of the pay? (These places are saving soo much money buy not hiring nurses). And are you worried about not having malpractice insurance?) I plan on going to nursing school, and have refused to pass narcotics and other meds.)
  6. by   bethneyann
    Hi All
    I am so glad I am not the only nurse who feels this way.
    I work in a very busy clinic 2 MDs 1 nurse (me) and 2 MAs that were trained in the office and have been there for 20 plus years. Please dont get me wrong they are smart and good at what they do but i just dont think it is right that they make the same as i do and don't have the education/ and are called nurses
    beth
  7. by   harvest93
    I am real late coming into this discussion but just signed up for this listserv. I am an RN and the manager of a multispecialty provider office. We have CNA's who are referred to as MA's but who refer to themselves as "nurses" that answer phones, do triage, give injections, take orders, call in Rx's etc. Has always made me very nervous and the hospital I work for, we are a hospital based office with 21 provide offices throughout the county, is looking into changing this practice due to concerns regarding liability and patient safety. Anyone else still dealing with these issues?
  8. by   carleah
    I am in a similar situation. I work in a free standing ambulatory surgery center recently employed. The manager is a very savvy capable MA and the surgeons and staff love her. I am the only staff recovery room nurse. The OR nurses sign off on her work. They know she is safe, but I will not do this. My conscience will not permit it. One MD only wants her in the procedure room, but I think this is against policy. Do you know where I can check this out. I live in the state of NY.
    Thanks,
  9. by   jahra
    Quote from carleah
    I am in a similar situation. I work in a free standing ambulatory surgery center recently employed. The manager is a very savvy capable MA and the surgeons and staff love her. I am the only staff recovery room nurse. The OR nurses sign off on her work. They know she is safe, but I will not do this. My conscience will not permit it. One MD only wants her in the procedure room, but I think this is against policy. Do you know where I can check this out. I live in the state of NY.
    Thanks,
    Check with your State Board. Review what is in the scope of practice.

    I feel the nursing organizations did not move fast enough to confront
    this "discount nurse" approach. I respect the job MA's do, they have
    many roles, but they should not present themselves as a nurse.

    When medicine became focused on profit, I saw in our area
    office nurses totally replaced with MA's because its cost effective.

    Its insulting to nurses and unfair to MA's to "extend" their role
    at discount wages, let alone patient safety and legal issues.
  10. by   Miss Calculation
    I went to a private trade school and paid a pretty penny for CMA certificate (about 7K --and that was many years ago). Using MA's in an office setting is a huge money saver for MD's. As an MA for 10 years, I ran my a** off all day long drawing blood, giving injections, assisting in minor surgery, doing EKG's, scheduling procedures, calling in RX's....Plus, I answered the phone, filed and ran interference with insurance companies. For my trouble, I was paid about $10 hr. Tough for a single mom .

    I have never referred to myself as a nurse nor have I strayed from the scope of training of an MA. However, it is a lot of responsibility for very little pay. That's why I've enrolled in an RN program!
  11. by   jahra
    Quote from Miss Calculation
    . However, it is a lot of responsibility for very little pay. That's why I've enrolled in an RN program!
    Good for you! Best of luck with your nursing program!
  12. by   K43RMA
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post ever! I was compelled to write after reading so much anger directed @ MA's:angryfire . I am an RMA. Our office sees many cancer pt's. My responsibilities include everything from greeting pt's, verifing insur, and starting IV's. I'm very proud of the way I and the other MA's make that office run like a fine-tuned machine. We constantly hear horror stories about one of our pt's having a nurse who was uncaring or gave them the wrong meds or in one case, a man's wife, who had just had hip surgery, was not moved properly and her hip was dislocated. She had to have surgery again. If you're going to tell the story, tell both sides. It's only fair! There are many more mishaps that occur in hospitals then in Dr's office's.
  13. by   ms_orion
    What do you think of receptionist taking hts and wts on pts? Also, reviewing pt medical record for refills and lab orders? She is not writing the lab orders or refilling the prescriptions..."just gathering info for the nurse..."! I am so steamed!!

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MA's being used as "nurses"