I am a new nurse but was a CNA for 15 years before going to school. I was never referred to as a nurse when I was a CNA. I recently went to work in a Doc office where the CNA refers to herself as a Nurse and all of the office personelle refer to her as a nurse. She does everything that I do. I was suprised at this. I have since found that many Doc offices utilize CNA's as nurses. Is this a new thing? I don't want to sound caddy but it just kind of seems like my blood, sweat and tears I put into Nursing school
was for nothing if a CNA can do my job. Please don't think this is a smack to CNA's because I have much respect for them as I was one myself for so many years. I would just like to hear some opinions.
May 22, '04
This is why I hate all these dumb titles like nursing assistant...I am thankful we did away with them where I work...anyone whose responsibilties encompass the CNA role are called patientservice or care attendants...this way we avoid any chance of people passing themselves off as nurses...
I think in the doctors office alot of MDs are too cheap to hire an RPN or RN but they don't want their patients to know...so they start the problem by saying to the patient "the nurse will be getting ...fill in the blank...the patient thinks they are being cared for by a nurse and the CNA probably has no idea about it until the patient says something...then what do you do? You SHOULD tell the patient you are a CNA and describe your role and training and you SHOULD tell the doctor to never refer to you as a nurse as it could get you in serious trouble but some people feel like its harmless because they aren't doing anything beyond their scope of practice...it's a slippery slope though... a doc cannot relegate certain tasks to a CNA even if they are willing to put their licence on the line..the CNA cant do certain tasks because it is illegal....if the CNA and Doc start letting the really basic rules slide they are sure to start doing things that are going to lead to disaster.
I would ask to meet with the doc and I would make sure to bring along the standards...tell the doc what the repercussions could be in this situation...be really clear that it's not a national emergency..just let him know there are real reasons why the nurse title is restricted to only those who have completed certain education requirements and have passed a state exam...remind him that it would an equivalent of a nurse telling patients she is a MD and that patients can get really upset of they ever discover the fact that a CNA has been misrepresented as a Rn...it is not because any one did anything wrong in providing care..it is the patients perception that can cause problems...if they find out by chance they may think the doc has been less than honest...that can really hurt a practice and put everyones job at risk.
People are cynical and suspicious about healthcare..it frightens them so we must do our best to make sure they have no reason to doubt what we say or do.
I would make sure to focus your concerns about titles as a discussion about all of you as a team...make sure you are clear that you aren't being nitpicky but you are concerned for everyones welfare..let the CNA know that your concern was for them and the position the doctor put them in..let them know you are on their side and had real concerns if the confusion over job title continued someone was bound to discover it and use it against the practice.
Last edit by moia on May 22, '04