Are You Really a Nurse? - page 9

Test Your Knowledge Before reading the article, take the short true or false poll at the bottom of the article to test your knowledge. Do you cringe when people use the word “nurse” loosely?... Read More

  1. by   LovingLife123
    Quote from moldyoldyrn
    Take what you know to the person in charge. Write it down and follow it up, keep a running record of it. It should be apparent to a supervisor that what that CMA is doing jeopardizes the entire facility.

    This is just a random person on Facebook. I have a friend on there with an extensive medical history. She was posting on there about how sick she was today. She's immuno-compromised so she picks up every little bug and it's hard on her.

    This person just chimes in that she is a nurse and my friend is to listen to her advice. She is not a nurse. She is a CMA.

    So many people throw the term nurse around because we are a trusted and respected profession and it sounds so much better than to say I'm a medical assistant. She probably feels it gives her more credibility to say she's a nurse. It bothers me because I worked hard for my degree and license and people who went to some commercial school for 6 months seem to think they are entitled to our title.

    And maybe it's not a big deal to some people, but I guess I take a certain amount of pride in the work I do and the knowledge I have. We could teach a monkey to give injections. That's not what Nursing is about to me. It's an art we work our entire careers honing. And I know medical assistants work hard at their jobs. That's not my issue with it. It's the knowledge and training.
  2. by   moldyoldyrn
    Along with knowledge and training, how about responsibility? Who would be held responsible if a CMA made an error or told some one something in error and they said it was "the nurse" who told them.
  3. by   NotAllWhoWandeRN
    Quote from K8JAJ8
    I'm sorry, but I completely disagree. When Raggles the wino calls himself a nurse, it damages the reputation of your profession and the respect it demands. That not only makes your job harder, but it will affect your compensation when providers hire less qualified individuals because the patients can't tell the difference anyway.

    I worked too hard to call myself a nurse.
    Agreed. Words have meaning. In this case, words have legal meaning.

    When we are denied the language to define our own profession, others are unable to understand what a nurse really is. What I've seen lumped together as UAP - unlicensed assistive personnel - do not have the education, experience, or judgment required of an LPN or RN. That's not talking down about other people, it's saying a licensed nurse has a specific role those other employees do not.
  4. by   chocoholic999
    I have a Master's in nursing, an NCLEX pass and a license to practice nursing in two states. I have to frequently remind my husband that I do not work "in the medical field". But when he referred to the vet tech as "the nurse" I did not come unhinged. I knew of whom he was speaking. He knows she is not an RN. She knows she is not an RN. The cat did not care. It was just the best way he could describe her job. I think most people do know who is a professional nurse (RN) and who isn't, they are just using a colloquialism for a job description. I don't think it demeans me or my profession. Military medics get called "doc" all the time and I have never heard a physician fall apart over it.
    Last edit by chocoholic999 on Jan 2 : Reason: spelling error
  5. by   Longleggedstar
    Quote from LovingLife123
    I just saw a CMA tell a friend on Facebook that she was a nurse and started giving out medical advice. I happen to be privy to this friend's medical history and she has immune system issues and takes chemo as part of her treatment right now.

    Another person says listen to the nurse. They know what they are talking about.

    Do you call this person out? How do you handle it? Do you ignore it? It really bothers me when everybody throws around the term nurse so loosely. I feel it degrades our profession.

    On Facebook----I'd just ignore it
  6. by   moldyoldyrn
    OH NO, we should not ignore it. This just lit me up, sorry but you do not ignore it. When I was in the military I work for a time in Newborn Nursery and helped the postpartum women with breastfeeding and infant care. These were very young mothers. They had hired a civilian CNA, a male because there was a lot of heavy lifting on L&D at times and sometimes heavy equipment that needed to be moved. At first he was good, no issues. After a few months one of the mothers asked me about the "male RN". I did a little scouting out and found he was putting on a name tag that said RN when the babies would go out to the unit. We were still fighting the battle over the babies being with the mothers full time. It turns out he was "helping" the breast feeding moms. Needless to say he did not last very long and was reported to the state board, this was in California. This is not a nicey-nicey thing it is a patient safety and confidentiality thing. As an RN I am bound by law to assure that certain standards are met. If an RN does not do that they are in violation of standards. CNAs work under RNs and we have to assure that they meet requirements and do their jobs. I have worked with many CNAs that I respect and trust, even with my own life, some have more knowledge than a lot of RNs in their selected fields but as an RN I have to be able to trust that the CNA will come to me to report and ask and not take off on their own and try to manage a problem beyond their scope. I worked with one CNA who had extensive experience with spinal cord patients and she was dynamite to have on my team. And yet she never, ever over stepped her bounds, she always reported to the RN and was invaluable as a support to those staff who had never worked with spinal cord injuries. I trusted and valued her, she was one in a million. She would tell you her opinion and she was rarely wrong, but she respected the RNs enough to make sure we all knew what she saw and what she thought and then let us decide what needed to be done. I cannot tell you how many times she ran interference with problem patients and how well she knew her role. That is the kind of person I want on my team, not some one who acts as if they know more than they actually know.
  7. by   Ebon510
    The quiz would not come up on the article Are you a nurse? Disappointed
  8. by   showbizrn
    What a cuckoo Nurse Educator!
    YIPES!
  9. by   imenid37
    There was a mom at my kids' school who was the alpha everything AKA a bossy know it all! She liked to tell people that she was a "nurse." In fact, she was a medical assistant. When I first met her, I did not know that she was not really a nurse. I asked her if she was an RN or LPN. That is when she told me that she was a medical assistant, which was "pretty much the same as being a nurse." Her justification was that she "did a lot of the same things as nurse do." I told her that I did a lot of the same things an OB doc does and asked what might happen if I told people I was a physician. I have even delivered a few babies. She was very annoyed! I also threw in that it is not legal to refer to oneself as a nurse, if one is not, in many states! After that she avoided me. I wonder why?
  10. by   riggy3
    OCNRN63 I just reread what I wrote.... needed to be more specific. Yes.. The RNs could wear a brass or some other kind of name tag we provided, and introduce ourselves as an RN.
    Around this same time the hospitals began to eliminate the nursing cap and white uniforms making it more difficult to determine the skill level of the Nursing provider. The caps were dirty too but that is another problem we can skip..
    In the mid 80s when the financial impact of the new DRGs/HMOs was unknown, Scared hospitals were laying off nursing staff and not hiring. Then, except for the Physicians, the Hospital provided ID badges did not have titles on them especially when the professional Nursing staff were getting replaced by unlicensed providers (NA, PCA)
    There were nurse marches in the late 80s and 90s, in Harrisburg, PA. and other areas of the USA to establish mandatory Nursing, medical staff identification and RN patient ratio.
    Around the mid to late 90s is when legislation required hospitals to consistently identify skill of staff.
    Hospitals in this area adopted standard color frames, the RN a red frame, LPN a green frame around the ID badge.
    The practice of not identifying the RN/LPN was for the very reason you mentioned giving the false impression of staff levels.

    " in the past it may have been the practice in some institutions to try to muddy the waters, so to speak, and give patients and family the false impression that staffing levels were better than they really were." OCNRN63
  11. by   moldyoldyrn
    Good for you for confronting her. Too many times these imposters get away with the scam of being a "nurse" by just acting as if they are one. After all people do it on TV all the time. Put a little white hat on your head and it's simple, you just parade around as if you know what you are doing. I think the public is finally getting a much truer and accurate picture of how important RNs are to healthcare in general. Nurses are recognized as the number 1, yes #1, ethical and trustworthy group of people for like the 16th year in a row. But I really feel that the presence of NPs, RNs with Clinical Specialties and clinical expertise are impacting how the public views us. We are no longer just pill pushers and some one who calls the doctor. I had a Physical Therapists tell me that our jobs are "just alike", well in some aspects that is true, they have essentially the same process as the Nursing Process(ADPIE) but they do not and cannot have the same connection with a patient that an RN has which is to take care of those functions that are so intimate and essential to life itself. They are wonderful practitioners and change people's lives but they don't stand over a patient and monitor their very life minute by minute. It just is not the same thing, similar and like unto but not the same. I guess impostors will always be with us, the point is to shine a light on it, confront it and don't put up with it. I worked hard for my license and had it for 45 years, all of them clean. I'll be damned if some one is going to push through the door and claim to be an RN or LPN without the propers to prove it. In addition, even if some one does have the education and license to be a "Nurse" they better ACT like one. I really don't care what they look like or how they dress, they have to ACT as they should, as a professional who knows what they are doing.
  12. by   smartassmommy
    I can't wait to finish school, survive the NCLEX, and legally use the title of nurse. Until then I will happily tell you that I am the PCA helping your nurse take care of you.
  13. by   Lokeylady
    The expectations associated with the role of a Nurse is very different than those associated with an Assistsnt and it's unfair and potentially dangerous to mislead people about credentials! CNA means there is a nurse, every shift, who is responsible for the CNA's work...they carry the liability for the care provided by a CNA because CNA's work under a Nurses license. Aaaand it's illegal-so yeah-there's that too! People should be proud enough of their hard work to claim their rightful title without embellishment! But if someone feel it's important to be referred to as a Nurse, then they should put in the schooling and pass the NCLEX and earn the Nurse title..earning that title may clarify the importance of clearly differentiating roles and titles to our patients. Nurses rely on CNA's for ADL cares and data collection-but that is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to providing competent and holistic care! First, I was a Paraprofessional, then a PCA, then a TMA, then a CNA/NAR, then an LPN and currently an RN-each title carried a tremendous workload, and was essential to the "big picture", but at no time should the lines of scope of practice or titles be blurred-and it wasn't until I completed my RN program, that I acquired appreciation for those clearly defined titles and associated roles. 😉

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