Etiquette question

  1. Now that I've started on this nursing journey, I've become curious about the job titles of the other people (besides the MDs) in my doctor's offices. You know, the people who call you back to the exam room, take your history, vitals, give injections, etc. I have noted that name tags, if present, are too small to read clearly. I don't want to come across as a snob or put someone on the defensive. I am just interested in knowing and I wonder how to ask someone this type of question.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   CindyJRN
    I like your question because I always wonder if people really know who works in the md's office. I know there are very few licensed personnel working in the offices in my area. Some are trained "Medical Assistants" but I remember a Doctor's office I did clinical training in years ago where the "Assistant" was the MD's sister. She said he taught her everything she needed to know. Now before I get slammed by Medical Assistants, please know that the only thing I am a "snob" about is when someone refers to himself/herself as a NURSE. If you aren't an LPN or RN you should not use the TITLE.
  4. by   whipping girl in 07
    I've found that the nurses (LPNs and RNs) always seem to have on name tags: Jane Doe, RN; but the medical assistants seem to never have on name tags at all.

    If I don't know, I ask. Are you a RN or LPN? If the person takes it as rude, then it's their problem.
  5. by   dianah
    "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name .. . . . . and your title is????"

    or
    "and your name is ???? [friendly, disarming smile pasted on face, as you ask point-blank] . . . and are you an LVN, RN, Medical Assistant ????? "

    You can't be faulted for asking. If no one wears name tags or the tags are too small to be read, send a letter to the MD (clinic/office personnel, help here!) and to the - what, the Office Manager? Charge Nurse?? To Whom It May Concern??? , in which you politely give your observation(s) and "gently suggest" what you as the customer/consumer would like to see, in such a professional office (be sure to give a few compliments, things you have seen and that impressed you - how something was done, the layout of the room/office, how courteously someone spoke to you, etc).
    Just suggestions. Most anything can be asked about in a non-judgmental, courteous way (attitude: this can be a win-win thing!)
    Best, --- D
  6. by   karenG
    sorry to ask but whats an LPN or LVN?? not familiar with your terms. :imbar

    Karen
  7. by   gizzy76
    An LVN is a Licensed Vocational Nurse I think and an LPN is a Licensed Practical Nurse. Hope that helps.
  8. by   CraftyLPN
    I learned in nursing school......before you even touch your pt you are to introduce yourself and your title and what procedures were going to perform.
  9. by   prmenrs
    In some states, a nurse w/ one year of postsecondary education is a Licensed Vocational Nurse, and in others, the same nurse is a Licensed Practical Nurse. Same thing.
  10. by   Agnus
    A direct question in this case is not out of line. If they reply they are a nurse. Ask if they are a Registered Nurse or a Licensed practical Nurse. In a few states it is Licensed Vocational Nurse but don't worry if this is the case she will now tell you. If she cannot say she is any of these then she cannot legally use the title Nurse. I mention this because like the previous post said some medical assistances call themselves nurse as does the MD they work for.
    It is common courtesy that they introduce themselves with thier title. Unfortunately it rarely happens.

    I always ask directly and have never had anyone apear offeneded. When I have asked directly if they were an RN or LPN I got an honest answer that they were neither. but were a medical assistant.
    Last edit by Agnus on Nov 3, '02
  11. by   nakitamoon
    Ask,,,

    Your rights as a consumer,, even if you are not part of the healthcare field,,, you have the right to know who is providing the service for you,,,

    I also like the suggestion of writing to the dr,,or clinic,, with the positive and negative experiences you had,, It just may help,,,,

    As a nurse,, I always wear my name tag,,, always introduce myself and alway explain what I'm going to do and why,,,, even though I work in an Assisted Living Faciltiy,,, and my residents know and trust me,,, I still explain,,, tell them who / what I am,, what I am about to do & why,,,,

    Everyone has the right to be fully informed,, it should be second nature to caregivers,, just my 2cents,,,,,,

    ~~kitamoon
  12. by   abrenrn
    Another thing that's bothered me for a while, didn't think it bothered others. MDs always call their assistants nurse, whether they are or not. Answer I've gotten is "cause it's easier for the pt to understand."
    I wonder what's easier and who it's easier for. It's easier for MDs to have their patients think they are seeing nurses.
    Not a put down for MAs - you have great training, why do you want to be called something other than what you are.?
  13. by   Flo1216
    Because some people want the respect associated with being a nurse but do not want to do the work it takes to get there. A few of the CNAS I work with wear scrubs and no name tags and the pts think they are nurses. These CNAS don't correct them. it bugs me.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I will always remember when my oldest son was about 12 - ten years ago he was getting allergy shots in an MDs office. He has a hx of true anaphylaxis, intubated, ICU the whole thing. So...I asked about a crash cart, epi and then found out there wasn't a licensced nurse in the place!!!! The MD when I questioned him felt that 911 and the two block drive to the hospital wouldn't harm my son. NO WAY!!!! Left that practice and picked up with another MD who had RNs present with ACLS skills and crash cart. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

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