"I'm an uncertified medical assistant" - page 17

I had a curious encounter at the doctor's office today. When I went in for my physical, a woman in scrubs came in ahead of the doc. She was wearing scrubs but no name tag. We hadn't met before, so I... Read More

  1. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from lindarn
    It is called, "practicing nursing without a license". Unfortunately, the State Boards of Nursing, don't have the courage to file a criminal complaint, and have these individuals prosecuted. If someone represented themselves as a physician, or an attorney, they would be prosecuted for the crime.

    I think that the public feels nurses are not "real professionals", and most of our knowledge is OJT, rather than a college education. They think that nursing is bringing ice water, fluffing pillows, following doctors orders, handing patients pills, and to climb on my soapbox again, we have brought this on ourselves- three levels of entry into practice, only one a four year college degree, and most of the time, we have no union protection and respresentation to clear the air. I will leave it at that. JMHO, and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    What I am curious about from seeing your past posts is what do you think should be done with those of us that have not earned the 4 year degree you mentioned. Yes, there are three levels of entry into the nursing practice; that is a reality. Do you believe that we do not have a place in the nursing practice?
  2. by   jjjoy
    Regardless of whether or not a bachelor's is required as entry, the profession would do well to make it known that nursing school and nursing are tough and very challenging. Nursing still has the image of being a "fall back" profession. Couldn't make the grades for med school? Want to start working for good pay with just a few years of school? Have a family and can't afford the time for more schooling? Didn't get accepted to PT school? Not sure what health career you want? Then try nursing school - the pay's good and it only takes a few years. Want variety? Try nursing where you can easily switch specialities.

    Nursing has a history of being more accessible to non-traditional students than most other health care fields. That's a good thing. Being more accessible, though tends to give the impression of being easier. And the fact is that it IS academically easier to be QUALIFIED for nursing school than for many other health professions with similar income potential. With the lack of nursing school spots, though, nursing schools have their pick of qualified applicants, making ACCEPTANCE to a program more difficult.

    So I think the emphasis needs to be on the rigors of a nursing education, regardless of whether a bachelor's degree is earned or not. I do think a major issue in nursing is that with increased health knowledge and technology, the traditionally broad nursing education simply can't cover everything a nurse might come across. As it is, many previous responsibilities of nursing have been carved out into specialties with their own specialized education (eg physical therapy, respiratory therapy). I think nursing will continue to have a hard time defining itself when it does cover such a broad range of roles - from the more common role of bedside hospital nurse, to ICU nursing, to public health nursing, to dialysis nursing and on and on. Even within the more circumscribed role as a bedside nurse, which is the main focus of a basic nursing education, the responsibilities are varied and go well beyond the traditional responsibilities of hygiene, comfort, and administering medications. In fact, much of these basic responsibilities are delegated to other personnel. So what IS nursing? No wonder the public hasn't a good idea!
  3. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from jjjoy
    Regardless of whether or not a bachelor's is required as entry, the profession would do well to make it known that nursing school and nursing are tough and very challenging. Nursing still has the image of being a "fall back" profession. Couldn't make the grades for med school? Want to start working for good pay with just a few years of school? Have a family and can't afford the time for more schooling? Didn't get accepted to PT school? Not sure what health career you want? Then try nursing school - the pay's good and it only takes a few years. Want variety? Try nursing where you can easily switch specialities.

    Nursing has a history of being more accessible to non-traditional students than most other health care fields. That's a good thing. Being more accessible, though tends to give the impression of being easier. And the fact is that it IS academically easier to be QUALIFIED for nursing school than for many other health professions with similar income potential. With the lack of nursing school spots, though, nursing schools have their pick of qualified applicants, making ACCEPTANCE to a program more difficult.

    So I think the emphasis needs to be on the rigors of a nursing education, regardless of whether a bachelor's degree is earned or not. I do think a major issue in nursing is that with increased health knowledge and technology, the traditionally broad nursing education simply can't cover everything a nurse might come across. As it is, many previous responsibilities of nursing have been carved out into specialties with their own specialized education (eg physical therapy, respiratory therapy). I think nursing will continue to have a hard time defining itself when it does cover such a broad range of roles - from the more common role of bedside hospital nurse, to ICU nursing, to public health nursing, to dialysis nursing and on and on. Even within the more circumscribed role as a bedside nurse, which is the main focus of a basic nursing education, the responsibilities are varied and go well beyond the traditional responsibilities of hygiene, comfort, and administering medications. In fact, much of these basic responsibilities are delegated to other personnel. So what IS nursing? No wonder the public hasn't a good idea!

    I tend to agree with you. I worked very hard to become an LPN. Does it equal the knowledge base of an associate or bachelor's degree RN, no, but, it was equally as competitive, grueling and time consuming. I work hard within my scope of practice to bring positive outcomes for the patients, and wish to work hand in hand with the other disciplines. We learned the nursing process, skills, communication and professionalism; therefore, there is no reason for a nurse with a lesser degree should be thrown to the wayside. Even the role of the LPN (at least in my area) is leaving tradition, therefore, I have benefited from continuing education classes to render better care and positive outcomes.
  4. by   LITTLEWITCHGIRL
    Quote from kizzykatlove
    i have been in dr's offices where the MA's say they are the nurse and the doc calls them a nurse.. it really makes me mad that they are called nurses .. i even called a MA school that had a televison commerical that had nurses caps on the mA's and called them nurses in their stupid so called commercial.. ooh i was so mad at that.. everytime i see that commercial i fume.. something should be done about this , because they are not nurses.. they can barely take a B/P .. is there anything that can be done about this? can you contact the board of nursing? because they really are misrepresenting themselves..excuse my spelling i just got off a very stressful 14 hour shift ... horrible day .. keep up the great posts
    I have to say that I do understand that you are upset that SOME Ma's call themselves nurses. But it is not fair to classify all Ma's. It is also not fair to say that we can "barely take a BP." I can say for myself at least that I am capable of doing much more. Some of my skills are venipuncture, injections, stress testing, E.K.G.'s, breathing treatments, in office lab testing, assisting with minor in office surgeries, suturing and removals, patient education, prescription approvals and phone triage. That is to name some of the many responsibilities of my position. I will be the first to agree that nurses have much much more responsibility than Ma's but that is not to say that we are unskilled in our field of work. Our responsibilities and job skills are completely different, however, they are both important and deserve recognition.
    Thank you, Tammi, MA
  5. by   lindarn
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    What I am curious about from seeing your past posts is what do you think should be done with those of us that have not earned the 4 year degree you mentioned. Yes, there are three levels of entry into the nursing practice; that is a reality. Do you believe that we do not have a place in the nursing practice?
    All ADN and Diploma nurses need to be grandfathered in. LPN/LVN programs should be increased to an Associates Degree as entry into practice.

    PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS have an Associates Degree as entry into practice. We should be ashamed that we allow an entry into practice for LPN/LVNs, that is less than what is expected of a Physical Therapy Assistant. We are at the bottom of the food chain as health care professionals. We are under-compensated financially for our low levels of education.

    LPN/LVNs should be grandfathered in, as will the RNs, but something has to change.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  6. by   ohmeowzer RN
    i agree and sorry i offended you. i've had some trouble with a MA when i bronchitis. she could not get a correct b/p after2 times and first said my b/p was 76/40 i said no thats not right , then she took it on my other arm and said it was 189/58 , i said no thats not right.. ( by then i was thinking eek ). i told her i have never had trouble with my b/p and she told me i was nervous( which is true, by then) .. i asked the RN office manager to come take it and it was 126/78... i asked the RN where the mA attended nursing school ( because she introduced herself as anurse) and the RN told me she was a MA and has been for 5 years... the next time i went back for a follow up the girl was no longer employeed there. from now on when someone in a dr office introduces themselves as nurse i ask LPN or RN? i have nothing asgainst MA's is just i want good care just like everyone else.. and i don't want someone guessing at my health. thank you for your post i enjoyed reading it and you made some good points.
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from lindarn
    All ADN and Diploma nurses need to be grandfathered in. LPN/LVN programs should be increased to an Associates Degree as entry into practice.

    PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS have an Associates Degree as entry into practice. We should be ashamed that we allow an entry into practice for LPN/LVNs, that is less than what is expected of a Physical Therapy Assistant. We are at the bottom of the food chain as health care professionals. We are under-compensated financially for our low levels of education.

    LPN/LVNs should be grandfathered in, as will the RNs, but something has to change.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    What I am saying, though is those of us that are there, NOW...what do you suggest should be done? I can understand being grandfathered in, but, this is not the current reality. I am getting a better picture of what you are thinking, but, is this to demean LPNs and Associate Degree RNs that are currently working? And, how should we be grandfathered in? Should it be additional training, or automatic acceptance into RN programs? There are LPNs (I admit, I am not one of them), that have really wanted to move on to become RNs on any level, and are facing severe competition to enter into the RN programs, especially if they have not acquired college credits or an incredibly high GPA.

    From what I am reading in your post, and please correct me if I am wrong, you feel that nursing is being undermined because the level of education is varied, and that the only way to obtain that respect is to raise the standards of education.

    Of course, I advocate for the LPN because I am one, but, from what I have seen, many RNs are annoyed at having one work with them is the limits of our scope of practice. That may be true, but the limits are placed by the state and the facilities, not necessarily us. The more recent programs do teach assessments/data gathering, and many other things, but the practice allowed varies by the state boards of nursing. Of course, it is not as in depth as with an RN, but, those that practice well do know that if certain things happen or are done incorrectly, there is a poor outcome and know when a situation is out of our hands, thus requiring the guidance and intervention of a higher licensed nurse. In any event, I am not challenging you to change your mind, nor trying to initiate another LPN vs. RN war, I just want to comprehend better. It actually helps me to practice better if I understand a bit more of how some people think the way that they do.
  8. by   smk1
    Quote from LITTLEWITCHGIRL
    I have to say that I do understand that you are upset that SOME Ma's call themselves nurses. But it is not fair to classify all Ma's. It is also not fair to say that we can "barely take a BP." I can say for myself at least that I am capable of doing much more. Some of my skills are venipuncture, injections, stress testing, E.K.G.'s, breathing treatments, in office lab testing, assisting with minor in office surgeries, suturing and removals, patient education, prescription approvals and phone triage. That is to name some of the many responsibilities of my position. I will be the first to agree that nurses have much much more responsibility than Ma's but that is not to say that we are unskilled in our field of work. Our responsibilities and job skills are completely different, however, they are both important and deserve recognition.
    Thank you, Tammi, MA
    I have to say this. Many of these things are completely inappropriate tasks for an MA. Phone triage, patient education and presricption approval? ( I am assuming that you mean you ASSIST with EKG's, stress testing, suturing etc... at least I HOPE that is what you mean) It is not a reflection on you personally, but an MA education does not supply the education and knowledge base to perform these tasks competently. Now perhaps what you meant was the basic hand out brocheures, read what the provider wrote in the discharge summary, and make phone appointments. Again this is NOT meant to bash or slam but...I have taken the MA pharmacology class...there is no way they are qualified to approve presciptions (unless this means something far different than what I am imagining), phone advice alone is a HUGE liability, sigh... An MA can be a valuable coworker in an office setting, but you can't take someone who only takes very basic level classes for 6 months to a year and have them effectively triage and educate the public about medical issues.
  9. by   TazziRN
    Quote from lindarn
    I think that the public feels nurses are not "real professionals", and most of our knowledge is OJT, rather than a college education. They think that nursing is bringing ice water, fluffing pillows, following doctors orders, handing patients pills, and to climb on my soapbox again, we have brought this on ourselves- three levels of entry into practice, only one a four year college degree,
    So.......this is bringing on the ADN/Diploma/BSN fight again? You cannot separate the three paths for obtaining an RN license when all three lead to the exact same NCLEX!! For someone to pass him/herself off as having a cert/license that does not exist is WAY different than what letters follow the RN after one's name.
  10. by   TazziRN
    And what do I, as an ADN, need to be grandfathered in to? I have my license, have had it for many years. Did I miss something?
  11. by   firstaiddave907
    Quote from ELKMNin06
    all the medical assistants ive ever known were certified. Huge red flag when she said the words "this practice doesn't care if you are certified"-eek get out of there!
    i agree with you about the huge red flag when she said this pratice doesnt care if she is cerfitied i would be like i am out of here.
  12. by   firstaiddave907
    Quote from SMK1
    I have to say this. Many of these things are completely inappropriate tasks for an MA. Phone triage, patient education and presricption approval? ( I am assuming that you mean you ASSIST with EKG's, stress testing, suturing etc... at least I HOPE that is what you mean) It is not a reflection on you personally, but an MA education does not supply the education and knowledge base to perform these tasks competently. Now perhaps what you meant was the basic hand out brocheures, read what the provider wrote in the discharge summary, and make phone appointments. Again this is NOT meant to bash or slam but...I have taken the MA pharmacology class...there is no way they are qualified to approve presciptions (unless this means something far different than what I am imagining), phone advice alone is a HUGE liability, sigh... An MA can be a valuable coworker in an office setting, but you can't take someone who only takes very basic level classes for 6 months to a year and have them effectively triage and educate the public about medical issues.
    you made some very good points in your posting. im going to college to get my associates degree medical assiting the thing i wished they did was have a lab for A&P 1 and 2 because i want to further my eduication and go to school to get my BSN and become an RN.
  13. by   reesern63
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    What I am saying, though is those of us that are there, NOW...what do you suggest should be done? I can understand being grandfathered in, but, this is not the current reality. I am getting a better picture of what you are thinking, but, is this to demean LPNs and Associate Degree RNs that are currently working? And, how should we be grandfathered in? Should it be additional training, or automatic acceptance into RN programs? There are LPNs (I admit, I am not one of them), that have really wanted to move on to become RNs on any level, and are facing severe competition to enter into the RN programs, especially if they have not acquired college credits or an incredibly high GPA.

    From what I am reading in your post, and please correct me if I am wrong, you feel that nursing is being undermined because the level of education is varied, and that the only way to obtain that respect is to raise the standards of education.

    Of course, I advocate for the LPN because I am one, but, from what I have seen, many RNs are annoyed at having one work with them is the limits of our scope of practice. That may be true, but the limits are placed by the state and the facilities, not necessarily us. The more recent programs do teach assessments/data gathering, and many other things, but the practice allowed varies by the state boards of nursing. Of course, it is not as in depth as with an RN, but, those that practice well do know that if certain things happen or are done incorrectly, there is a poor outcome and know when a situation is out of our hands, thus requiring the guidance and intervention of a higher licensed nurse. In any event, I am not challenging you to change your mind, nor trying to initiate another LPN vs. RN war, I just want to comprehend better. It actually helps me to practice better if I understand a bit more of how some people think the way that they do.
    Having spoken with linda privately on this issue, I can tell you that she does not at all mean to belittle LPNs or ADN/Diploma nurses.

    I'm a diploma nurse and have just started going back to finish my BSN. I had a "moment of clarity" one day at work that made me realize that I had to get that degree. For me, there was no other option.

    I have come around to agreeing with linda that we do need to raise the bar. Part of what changed my mind was what happened to me and part of it was the slow realization that we really need some unity somewhere in this profession.

close