Medical Assistants are called "nurses"

  1. 0
    Hello, All

    I am not sure it this a joke or not.:chuckle We were speaking to a medical assistant from Texas and they are called "Nurses". In addition, they give shots, pass out medications and do vitals. Therefore, medical assistants are called "nurses" in Texas.

    I never heard medical assistants called "nurses". I thought they could work in the office, do vitals and place the patients in the room. I never knew medical assistants could replace nurses.

    Would someone please clarified with me about this controverisal issues?

    Thank you,
    Buttons
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  4. 15 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Medical Assistants are not nurses but (in Virginia) they are trained to do vitals, meds, injections, phlebotomy, etc in a physicians office or clinic. They are cost effective when it comes to physician's private practice. Generally here VA MA programs are Associate degree programs. PLEASE let's NOT turn this into a Nurse vs MA thread, we've had too many of those already. Hope this info was useful
  6. 0
    Hello,

    Thank you for the clarification of their roles. I figure the medical assistants are coast effective compare to a LPN and RN. It is strange the tilte of nurse for medical assistants.

    Thank You,
    Buttons
  7. 0
    I recently visited a doctor, under workmen's comp, to get a tetnaus toxoid injection for an injury.
    I asked the young lady if she was a nurse and she identified herself as a medical assistant. She also gave me the injection.

    I was at least pleased she did not identify herself as a nurse.
  8. 0
    Texas resident here. This topic has been the subject of much discussion on this board, from CNA's, Vet techs and CMA's calling themselves "nurses" or "RN's". To my knowledge, an individual must be licensed as either an "RN" or an "LVN" to call themselves a nurse in the state of Texas (and many other states).

    Link to previous thread about this:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f112/law...rse-96024.html
  9. 0
    Quote from TiffyRN
    Texas resident here. This topic has been the subject of much discussion on this board, from CNA's, Vet techs and CMA's calling themselves "nurses" or "RN's". To my knowledge, an individual must be licensed as either an "RN" or an "LVN" to call themselves a nurse in the state of Texas (and many other states).

    Link to previous thread about this:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f112/law...rse-96024.html

    Same in Arkansas..... I read it on ASBON web site.
    It is breaking the law to identify oneself as a nurse by using the title "nurse" or calling oneself a nurse or using the initials of RN or LPN unless you have the license. Breaking the law.
  10. 0
    I find that most general practice doctors refer to their medical assistants as 'nurses' out of simplicity. The title 'nurse' possesses only 1 syllable that is very much easy to pronounce, whereas the title 'medical assistant' has 6 entire syllables. It is easier for the doctor to just introduce his front and back office assistants as 'nurses', even though they're not usually licensed nurses.
  11. 0
    per the texas nursing practice act, to call oneself a nurse without license is illegal.

    chapter 301. nurses http://www.bne.state.tx.us/npa1.htm#002

    (3) “nurse” means a person required to be licensed under this chapter to engage in professional or vocational nursing.
    (4) “nursing” means professional or vocational nursing.

    subchapter h. practice by license holder

    sec. 301.351. designations.

    (a) a person who holds a license as a registered nurse under this chapter:
    (1) is referred to as a registered nurse; and
    (2) may use the abbreviation “r.n.”
    (b) a person who holds a license as a vocational nurse under this chapter:
    (1) is referred to as a licensed vocational nurse or vocational nurse; and
    (2) may use the abbreviation “l.v.n.” or “v.n.”

    sec. 301.4515. use of certain nursing titles.

    unless the person is practicing under the delegated authority of a registered nurse or is otherwise authorized by state or federal law, a person may not use, in connection with the person’s name:

    (1) the title “nurse aide,” “nurse assistant,” or “nurse technician”; or
    (2) any other similar title.
    ------------



    reportable to the state board of nursing for action:

    enforcement ......................................(512) 305-6838
    fax ....................................(512) 305-6870

    violations of npa rules and regulations
    complaint and disciplinary action inquiries
  12. 0
    Quote from button2cute
    Hello, All

    I am not sure it this a joke or not.:chuckle We were speaking to a medical assistant from Texas and they are called "Nurses". In addition, they give shots, pass out medications and do vitals. Therefore, medical assistants are called "nurses" in Texas.

    I never heard medical assistants called "nurses". I thought they could work in the office, do vitals and place the patients in the room. I never knew medical assistants could replace nurses.

    Would someone please clarified with me about this controverisal issues?

    Thank you,
    Buttons
    Hello-
    I live in Texas and we do have Medical Assistants in many of the offices that are here in my area which is rural but I have never heard of them being called nurses. They can draw blood, give shots, do initial VS but nothing more than that in the offices that I've been in where they employ these people. If one of these people did call themselves Nurses, I would have to ask where they got their training and then quickly correct them that it is a fraud punishable by law to represent yourself as such.
    Last edit by grinnurse on Jan 28, '06
  13. 0
    the problem with those that have not earned the title "nurse" through education and licensure is that once they begin to think they are a "nurse," they begin to believe they can function as a nurse. there is a potential for danger when this happens. when lines become blurred they are often crossed. people start practicing outside their scope of practice and performing functions they lack the qualifications and expertise for.

    the following above were originally posted by dutchgirl in this thread at allnurses involving use of titles:
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f8/vet-t...137648-19.html

    the icn position on use of the title nurse:
    protection of the title “nurse”

    icn position:
    the title of “nurse” should be protected by law and applied to and used only by those legally authorised to practice the full scope of nursing.

    background:
    persons receiving health care and those employing nurses have a right to know whether they are dealing with a legally qualified nurse. reserving the title “nurse” for those who meet the legal standard allows the public to distinguish legally qualified nurses from other nursing care providers.

    persons who legitimately use the title “nurse” are individually responsible and accountable for their actions, and are required to adhere to professional codes of practice and ethics. nurses need to be educated about their legal rights to the exclusive use of this title, and the ensuing accountability and responsibilities related to the scope of practice assigned to those who are entitled by law to bear this title.

    the unlawful use of the title “nurse” should result in criminal, civil, and/or administrative actions against the person and anyone who assists them in using the title “nurse”.

    http://www.icn.ch/pstitle99rev.htm

    american association of lawyers:
    there is never any room for false and misleading comments about one’s skills. personal integrity and one’s professional reputation must be protected at all costs. it is only legally acceptable for an rn or lpn/lvn to be titled a nurse.

    this was found on the fsma site (florida society of medical assistants)
    "office nurse" title for medical assistants is legally dangerous
    by donald a. balasa, jd, mba, cae
    aama executive director and legal council


    in some circles, the term "office nurse" has come to be used interchangeably with "medical assistant." this practice is fraught with legal peril, and should be avoided at all times by medical assistants and employers.

    most states license two categories of nurses: registered nurses (rns) and licensed practical (or vocational) nurses (lpns or lvns). state nursing practice acts frequently forbid any person not licensed as a nurse to practice nursing or to use the term "nurse" in reverence to themselves. if these laws are not obeyed, the persons calling themselves nurses may be subject to criminal penalties. furthermore, an employer who calls an unlicensed employee a nurse, or knowingly allows an employee to use the title, may also be courting legal sanctions.

    it is unlikely that prefacing the term "nurse" with "office" will provide a safe haven from the legal quagmire. the titles of rn, lpn, lvn and nurse are legally protected; "office nurse" has not gained legislative recognition as a title distinguishable from rn, lpn, or lvn.

    malpractice exposure can also be increased by a careless use of the title "nurse" or "office nurse". an allied health worker is held to the standard of care exercised by a reasonably competent practitioner of the profession. if it can be proved that a medical assistant held herself or himself out to the public as some sort of nurse, a civil court could hold the medical assistant to the standard of care of a nurse, which is different than that of a medical assistant.

    aside from the ethical and professional considerations, it should be apparent that legal factors strongly militate against medical assistants using the term "office nurse." in addition, employers should be told politely not to refer to medical assistants as nurses take heed, for this is one situation in which ignorance of the law is no excuse!

    http://www.fsmaonline.org/officenurse.htm

    it's not about what we feel we deserve to be called or what others think/believe they should be allowed to call us. it's about the title we have earned through our education and licensure. rns and lpns and have earned their titles along with the title nurse. mas have also earned their title and should be proud of that.

    when ma's use the title nurse, allow themselves to be called nurses, represent themselves as nurses, or even allow others to assume they are nurses, they are perpetuating a fraud imho. even statements such as "i an ma) functions just like a nurse (lpn/rn)," or "i do the same job as a nurse (lpn/rpn) are misleading and inaccurate and provides a false impression of what an ma is and what they are qualified to do. it is also very dismissive in regards to the education and qualifications rns/lpns have earned, which is different from the education and qualifications an ma has earned.

    i do not believe that doctors are referring to their mas and office staff as "nurses" because it is easier or out of simplicity. i think it is done to mislead their patients in regards to the credentials of whom is taking care of them. i also think mas should be proud of what they do and should be insulted by this behavior from mds because they are acting like an ma is something to be ashamed of and they need to "hide" them by calling them nurses. mas are qualified to do their job and their is no need to "hide" them.

    what is wrong with a doctor introducing an ma as a medical assistant, it's not difficult to say. there is nothing wrong with an ma being proud of what they do and the title they have earned and stating "i am a medical assistant."


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