Another rant regarding MA's and Nurses - page 3

by samirish 5,844 Views | 51 Comments

I know I've read on here multiple times regarding MA's calling themselves nurses but now its not even the ma's but the doctor's office they work in calling them nurses. I feel this is so misleading and done deliberately. I... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from kcmylorn
    It's fraud and it needs to be dealt with as such
    The only reason I hesitate to place blame on Ashley is if she knows about what the phone system is saying and if she corrects people when they address her as nurse. Before I entered nursing school I would ask the MA questions about whether I should bring in my kid to the office. I knew she wasn't a nurse, but I still asked. I definitely am not siding with someone who calls themselves a nurse when they're not, but the original post made it sound like she went through the conversation, then afterwards asked if Ashley was a nurse, to which she said no. I def. agree that the phone system should change if they are not being directed to a nurse, but should Ashley face charges? It just depends on the details.
  2. 6
    I told my PCP's office they couldn't put "nursing staff" on their name badges, when they had no nurses there. I get along quite well with the office manager, we kind of went round with it as they don't have any nurses on the staff.

    The badges now only have names.
  3. 1
    Quote from Kristen75
    In NY, it clearly states in the Nurse Practice act that only a nurse can be called a nurse. Not an MA, not a secretary. It also states that only a nurse can triage a patient. So, I would check with your states BON and go from there.

    arizona as well. no one can misrepresent themselves. i do believe there is a charge for this also
    lindarn likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from NursesAreTheBest
    How do you feel about DNPs introducing themselves to hospital patients as "Hi, Ms. Jones, I'm Dr. so and so"...?
    The DNP has a doctorate as a Nurse Practitioner as well as a license, but the medical assistant has no license and is not a LPN or RN. It is very misleading to the public and it should be reported to the BON. Nurses have a legal right to be called a nurse.
    kcmylorn and lindarn like this.
  5. 0
    I once spoke with an MA and we were basically comparing our jobs. She said "I'm a nurse without the letters after my name".

    I asked....how long did you go to school? 11 months
    do you even have an associates degree? no, its a certificate.

    "but we basically do the same thing you do except get paid less"
  6. 2
    The problem is with the system. The healthcare system allows this fraud to go on because it is cheap. It is cheaper to hire a non licensed personel than to hire a licensed RN. I say Rn because and LPN is not leagally allowed to triage either by state laws.I am 100% sure of this- I work in a clinic, I do telephone triage and I am an RN. We have protocals also. They are not on a computer screen. They are the hard copy books of the 2 authors who are the authories on telephone triage protocals for ambulatory care. When we get calls from patients requesting "nursing consultation" which is the offical, correct term for the triage call, we follow the book protocal that is sitting on our desk in front of us and open to the appropriate cheif complaint. The nursing assessment aka the phone interviewing of this patient( only an RN can do by state law) is the RN asks interviewing, probing, clarifing questions. It is at this point that the RN's judgemnt, clinical decision making and critical thinking comes into play and based on alot of RN bedside experience. This is why it is state regulated. MA's, LPN's CNA's,secretaries are not RN's and do not posses the body of knowledge to make these clinical decisions. That body of knowledg, when assimilated together form a rational for the clinical judgement which only comes from the pulling from pathophysiology, pharmacology, sociology,psychology public health regulations. These courses are not taught in 11 month certificate programs.A patient may complain of something such as heart burn- an anterior MI will present it self as heart burn. An anterior MI involves the cardiac vessel that passes by the epigastic area. That is not knowledge possessed by an MA.If an MA is following that computer protocal for heartburn, that MA is jeapordizing the life of that patient- Oh just take some Maalox and if it persistes- call for an appt??? That is clinical sceince/aka pathophysiology. Another example:a pt complains of legcramps, just key in in leg cramps?? Are those leg cramps related to low potassium. Does an MA know how serious low potassium is?? what medsis that patient on- a statin- does the MA think to have a BUN/Creat and a CK drawn on the patient? How many MA's, CNA's, NA, techs know what these labs are and why they would be important. It's not "just following prompts on a comuter program" This is critical thinking. We RN's do not hold up a flag that state "I'm doing critical thinking now"The process takes place inside the brain.New grad RN's shouldn't be put in positions of triage. It takes alot of years of experience seeing what these disease process lok like, manifest themselves as and their corse of treatments and progression. Youcan jhave a pt on the phone who is a diabetic and say "I have a sore on my leg" OK- what does it look like? You have to be able to ask questions to give you, the triage nurse a visual on a patient you can't see. And you have to have seen a number of "diabetic sores" to know they don't all look alike and have different causes and treatments. Doctor's offices are placing themselves in a very legal sue happy position by continuing to hire only cheap healthcare labor. It a system problem that needs to be fixed.
    Those protocals( Woodke and Barton Scmidt) are also avail in computer program format.
    Hygiene Queen and FocusRN like this.
  7. 3
    Quote from ashlie2144
    As a medical assistant in a doctors office everything that I can tell the patient I do, I have the right and knowledge to tell them what they need to know if its within my scope of practice.
    Medical assistants are unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). To have a "scope of practice" one must be a professional, being a professional requires licensure. ALL professionals can practice autonomously on some level. Professionals can be sued for "malpractice" of their profession. UAPs are not professionals, can never practice autonomously, do not have a scope of practice, and therefore can not be sued for "malpractice" (although they can still be sued.)

    This is what California says about medical assistants, and telephone triage:

    Are medical assistants allowed to perform telephone triage?

    No. Medical assistants are not allowed to independently perform telephone triage as they are not legally authorized to interpret data or diagnose symptoms.
  8. 5
    Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition. It is a sorting or allocating prioity .
    Triage involves clinical judgement.
    Medical assistants are taught 'tasks'( taking BP's, a temp, a pulse, respirations, and how to operate a pulse ox,taking a patient's weight, and height how to draw blood) not the interpretation of the values they obtain.
    The "knowledge"the MA has about a BP is: I put the BP cuff around your arm in this specific place, I pump up this cuff with this ball, and let the air out noting where I hear the pulse start and the pulse stop- That is a task not a body of knowledge about hypertension, hypotension or normotension, the biochemical alterations or structural alterations in normal anatomy and physiology of the peripheral vascular system,the pulmonary system, pressures and it's vessels, it's effects on the myocardium, hemodynamic pressures and on perfusion including the chemical alterations in cellular physiology. I won't even getinto the "task of drawning blood and the interpretation of lab values related to cardiac, renal and metabolic lab values. MA's are taught tasks and tasks only-
    Nurses are not on a triage computer program "just reading" off the computer . They are listening to what a patient is reporting to them,processing it against a lot of formally taught subject matter and formulating a judgment. Those computer triage programs are only guidelines. The RN is formulating a judgment against those guidelines. We just make it look easy. It's not.
    JBudd, flyingchange, FocusRN, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    When I answer the phone I say my name and either RN or registered nurse. Ashley and all MA's should be doing the same. If the phone states to talk with a nurse and you get an Ashley, then I would complain to the corporate office and state that it is illegal to mislead the public. Some of the prompts around here have changed, even if it is the same office with multiple doctors the recording will say, to speak with Dr. A nurse press 1, to speak with Dr. B practice associate press 2, etc. So some have changed their recording system.

    Nothing ticks me off more than when I call a MD's office to provide an update on a patient and I am getting triaged by a UAP. Sorry...I think I am already 20 steps ahead of you. Not get me the nurse or the MD.
  10. 1
    Also, in Wisconsin the term nurse by law means only a registered nurse and nursing means professional nursing (services provided by an RN)
    BuckyBadgerRN likes this.


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