Medical Assistants in the office - page 7

This is probably going to open a can of worms.............but how do you all feel about replacing nurses in the office setting with Medical Assistants? How (if at all) do you feel it affects patient... Read More

  1. by   hayest
    In my opinion, Medical Assistants should NOT replace nurses in a Physician's Office. Our office has gone through 11 medical assistants in 3 1/2 years. The MD's seem to choose the wrong people for the positions. I have told the MD to stop hiring the first person who walks through the door. I have suggested to the MD to hire a nurse, an actual RN who can run the office without any help. Someone older and mature compared to the young ones they have been hiring who are worthless. IF they feel they need a medical assistant to assist the nurse or physician, they should not be allowed to draw labs or give injections. They should not be allowed to call back patients, they are not allowed to do triage, they should not call in Rx's. I would suggest they room the patient, ekg test, eye test, and that's about it. I have indicated on this site before, I will sit and watch and listen to the medical assistants at the doctor's office and they don't want to work. THey don't know how to speak to adults or representatives who will walk in. They are loud and are more worried about their phone or the computer googling, than actually working. Mistakes are made. I've been at the end of the mistakes and so have my family. One medical assistant almost gave my daughter the wrong injection. When the medical assistant wiped her arm, took the cap off the syringe and said "you are here for your birth control shot"? My daughter had the sense to say "no, I'm here for my last gardacil shot". The medical assistant replied "oh, I will be right back". When I approached her on what took place, her excuse was "we always verify the medication we are about to give". I said "yes, I understand, but you should have looked at what the schedule said (which said gardacil) and not bring in a prefilled syringe, wipe my daughter's arm and pull the cap off and then ask what she was here for". Too many mistakes have been made and the MD's dont want to hear them. I would not want a medical assistant to touch my family or me. I don't and have refused them to call me with results. I only want to hear from the MD. I've actually told the MD to get rid of his employees except for the receptionist. With a concierge practice, he can do it all. He does with me. Calls me to the room, vitals, exam, hands me Rx's, etc. If any member of my family need a shot, he will do it -- -we will refuse the medical assistants to do it. I actually feel these schools should stop offering medical assistant training. LPN's are already off the radar. Hospitals will not recognize LPN's. LPN's are seen at nursing homes.
  2. by   Oedgar
    I am sure there are plenty of well-trained, hardworking MA's out there. However, I am shocked at the idea of anyone who is not a nurse calling themselves a nurse, or the MD referring to them as a nurse. Would not happen at my office. I think the problem with MA's as people are describing is that they are often quite young when they graduate their training program.... and perhaps variations in the quality of training? You might not find the quality issue with nursing programs, because they are accountable to the State BON. If their graduates don't pass boards, their program is gone.

    I was very young when I graduated LVN school. Turned 21 the week I began the first job. However, in LVN training you are working in a hospital with sick and surgical patients. At least for us, the seriousness of what were were doing was very apparent. Not sure this is getting through to the young MAs?

    I had a recent experience with one at my doc's office. Was making an appt for the third in my Hep B series. I could tell by when the young lady booked me that she did not understand what I wanted....at a different time of day from when they make shot appts. (what ever happened to looking it up in the chart if she did not understand?)... Got there, had to tell her 3 times what I was there for. And still, she asked me quite loudly, "So you are here for your birth control shot?"

    When I got to the back I was relieved to find the same nurse I have been seeing. I still double checked with her that she knew what I was there for.

    So, I don't know if this is more a statement about MA's or young people!
  3. by   klone
    Or maybe just dumb people
  4. by   hayest
    Quote from Oedgar
    I had a recent experience with one at my doc's office. Was making an appt for the third in my Hep B series. I could tell by when the young lady booked me that she did not understand what I wanted....at a different time of day from when they make shot appts. (what ever happened to looking it up in the chart if she did not understand?)... Got there, had to tell her 3 times what I was there for. And still, she asked me quite loudly, "So you are here for your birth control shot?"

    When I got to the back I was relieved to find the same nurse I have been seeing. I still double checked with her that she knew what I was there for.

    So, I don't know if this is more a statement about MA's or young people!
    It's both, the MA who almost gave my daughter the wrong shot was 33 years old. One of the younger ones acted as if she knew everything, but didn't know anything - she was 24. She left me a message and laughed indicating I didn't know what I was talking about. Well, I did know what I was talking about, as I already talked with my MD. I left my MD listen to the message and he wasn't pleased on how she spoke to me on the phone. The 33 year old MA made many mistakes. It took the office to finally terminate the 24/25 year old due to all the mistakes she made and the patient complaints that came in. She would call out wrong dosages on Rx, as well as the wrong Rx. They hired one who only lasted two days because she could not type. It's both, MA's and being young. One MA never went to school, the MD trained her.
  5. by   klone
    On the other hand, I work with several MAs, and they're all very helpful, knowledgeable about their jobs, pleasant and professional to patients, and know when and what to defer to the RN.

    Hayest, the common denominator with your physician's MAs is your PHYSICIAN. Clearly he lacks good judgment if he keeps hiring duds. Maybe you should be looking for a new practice, rather than denigrating all MAs and saying they shouldn't exist.
  6. by   hayest
    Quote from klone
    Hayest, the common denominator with your physician's MAs is your PHYSICIAN. Clearly he lacks good judgment if he keeps hiring duds. Maybe you should be looking for a new practice, rather than denigrating all MAs and saying they shouldn't exist.
    You are absolutely right and I have known that for years. However, my MD does have good judgement, just is stubborn with what we tell him about his MAs. No one wants to admit they hired the wrong person. The ones they seem to hire are lazy, no initiative, incompetent. They seem to be more interested with their cell phones or the computer googling. I have told him to let me interview and give them my choice. They seem to pick the first one who walks through the door instead of really going through a good interview process. They should interview about 6 and then reduce to 3 and reinterview with new questions. Reduce one again and reinterview the two remaining and not just take the first person they interview. Also check references, backgrounds, etc. People can make themselves look really good on paper. They need to read inbetween the lines of their resumes. He admitted to me a few weeks ago when he told me that he will be interviewing someone that day. He said if this doesn't work, he will go through an agency because obviously he is not choosing the right ones and is doing something wrong. I replied "you keep choosing the first one that walks through the door." I have told him to stop and wait, the right person will come to you when you least expect it. Then I said "don't take this one and call the agency". Honestly, he can do the majority of the work the MA's do himself. He is a concierge physician and doesn't have the amount of patients as with his old practice. He comes to get me from the waiting room, does my vitals, etc. He will text, email or call me. However, I feel one mature RN would be able to run the office without MA's. My MD also said he would like to fine a couple of retired RN's who would want to work part time. I think part time RNs would be the best fit for this practice also.
  7. by   klone
    Can I ask, how much do you pay for concierge physician services? Is he a GP, family practice, internal medicine? Is this for all your general healthcare, or is he a specialist? What made you decide to go with a concierge instead of a traditional practice?
  8. by   hayest
    Quote from klone
    Can I ask, how much do you pay for concierge physician services? Is he a GP, family practice, internal medicine? Is this for all your general healthcare, or is he a specialist? What made you decide to go with a concierge instead of a traditional practice?
    Of course you can ask. We pay $1650 each (husband and me). It's hard for us to afford it, but we realized you can't put a price on your health. He is an internal medicine physician. Our children also sees him without the retainer fee. They have a great relationship with him too. They will reach out to him by texting. We went to a family doctor (for 27 years) who took care of us, delivered our kids, took care of them. The practice grew and we became a number and not a patient. It was hard to see our primary MD and would have to see others. There were a few who we really liked, but still we were a number. I was about 6 months past due for my yearly. I was searching for physicians and had an appointment with one. My husband works at a hospital and always talked about this one MD. I asked my husband to ask him if he would take us on as patients. He actually had a closed practice, but my husband asked him and he took us on. The first time I met him I was absolutely amazed. I went in for my yearly and I received a 2 1/2 hour physical. I never had that before. The doctor who I saw for 27 years never listened to my heart. This MD did everything from head to toe. He diagnosed me with diabetes (but so did the previous MD) -- the difference was: New MD took action and scheduled me for classes at the hospital, the other MD did not. He said you have diabetes, take this medication.... that was it. My new MD, scheduled me for classes, indicated that he would like me to begin to walk, of course, prescribed some medication. He called me several days later, week later two weeks later to see how I was doing. The first MD -- I was just a number. After a few years with the new MD, he changed to a concierge practice. We were debating to join or not. I finally decided that I would join, but my husband wasn't. We ended up going to the forum where the MDs gave a presentation about the concierge service. We both knew how good this MD was, but when he said "I will now have time to personally call my patients back with their results" is what confirmed us joining. We have him 24/7, his cell # (no answering machines), at least 30 minute appts. There are a lot of perks. I have lost 103 lbs due to his support and encouragement. He walks with me when I need a walking buddy. He started a walking group because of me. He has gone to tests that I needed and was nervous, which I appreciated, which I was glad he went because he saw first hand besides eventually receiving the reports. He was with me in a minor surgery procedure a few years ago and a week ago in surgery with me. Actually, he started my IV, held me during the epidural, held my hand and talked to me during surgery" --- The care we have received has been unbelievable. I would NEVER go back to what we didn't have. A concierge MD is the only way to go. It's more of a personal/intimate practice. He knows us and we know him. More comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
  9. by   klone
    The $1650 is....per month? Do you also pay OOP for all the labs and tests? Or does your insurance cover that?
  10. by   BuckyBadgerRN
    hayest, do you also work for this MD you keep speaking of, who am assuming is your family's personal MD? Your style of demands to him is "interesting" to say the very least...



    Quote from hayest
    You are absolutely right and I have known that for years. However, my MD does have good judgement, just is stubborn with what we tell him about his MAs. No one wants to admit they hired the wrong person. The ones they seem to hire are lazy, no initiative, incompetent. They seem to be more interested with their cell phones or the computer googling. I have told him to let me interview and give them my choice. They seem to pick the first one who walks through the door instead of really going through a good interview process. They should interview about 6 and then reduce to 3 and reinterview with new questions. Reduce one again and reinterview the two remaining and not just take the first person they interview. Also check references, backgrounds, etc. People can make themselves look really good on paper. They need to read inbetween the lines of their resumes. He admitted to me a few weeks ago when he told me that he will be interviewing someone that day. He said if this doesn't work, he will go through an agency because obviously he is not choosing the right ones and is doing something wrong. I replied "you keep choosing the first one that walks through the door." I have told him to stop and wait, the right person will come to you when you least expect it. Then I said "don't take this one and call the agency". Honestly, he can do the majority of the work the MA's do himself. He is a concierge physician and doesn't have the amount of patients as with his old practice. He comes to get me from the waiting room, does my vitals, etc. He will text, email or call me. However, I feel one mature RN would be able to run the office without MA's. My MD also said he would like to fine a couple of retired RN's who would want to work part time. I think part time RNs would be the best fit for this practice also.
  11. by   BuckyBadgerRN
    Wow, $1650 is a LOT. www.plattemedical.com this is the concierge clinic that my parents us.
  12. by   hayest
    Quote from klone
    The $1650 is....per month? Do you also pay OOP for all the labs and tests? Or does your insurance cover that?
    $1650 is annually. We still need insurance and insurance takes care of office visits. Our labs are processed at the hospital where my husband works and they are 100% covered. The $1650 gives us a yearly executive style physical, with tests and labs (those labs are included in the $1650. We can reach our doctor 24/7, we have his cell, no answering machines. We call, we get him. Text, emails go directly to him. 30 minute appts if not longer. Hardly any waiting. Unhurried office.
  13. by   hayest
    Quote from BuckyBadgerRN
    Wow, $1650 is a LOT. www.plattemedical.com this is the concierge clinic that my parents us.
    Looks like an excellent concierge practice. There are several in this area set up similar to the clinic your parents go to. $1650 is a lot and it's hard. I'm glad we are able to make quarterly payments.

close