Non-Nurses calling themselves a Nurse - page 9

The school district my child goes to has a CNA in the school clinic, who refers to herself as "The school Nurse". I thought she was either an LVN or RN until last week when she had me come pick up... Read More

  1. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from abu1030
    I was a CMA in NJ before I became an RN. In the early 90's they were trying to allow CMA's to give injections in the medical office. I worked for an OB/GYN and several patient's came in to get their Depo shots. I never felt comfortable with this...well lo-and behold one of the CMA's I worked with gave an injection wrong and the patient wound up with a nasty reaction. I never said I told you so but I wanted to. That is why we go through such rigorous training. I remember this same CMA making several other mistakes before they finally fired her. BUT, that came at what expense?
    I have been a CMA for five years now (and now a nursing student) I am TRAINED to give injections, yes rigorous. I resent your comment. I am sorry you had a bad experience with A medical assistant. Not to be rude or anything but giving shots.injections (especially Depo) is not that hard, not hard at all when you have had TRAINING. I have given hundreds of injections from depo to Demerol to Rocephin without a single problem other than "that stings!" when I give phenergan...which is normal (and I do tell them ahead of time too). There is nothing wrong with a CMA giving injections if she/he is trained. I could argue that nurses should not start I.V. without a rigorous pharmaceutical degree.
    Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Mar 22, '07
  2. by   Batman24
    Quote from CASbeezgirlRN
    Gotta love NY (mine). It's a misdemeanor to call yourself a nurse if you are not.

    If you employ 3 or more people and call them nurses and they're not you can be charged with a felony! How do you like that DOCTOR? I betcha the next time I ever hear in a dr's office of this happening, I will remind them of this. I don't care if they don't like it.
    That's very interesting. I never knew that and if I see it happening in my doctor's office I wouldn't have a problem saying anthing either. No one should be misrepresenting themselves. The fact that people do this in the medical field is especially distressing as we should all be able to trust our doctors. It is sad that some doctors take advantage of the trust their patients have in them by misleading them.
  3. by   dbowens02
    Quote from Don3218
    I agree. I think we have to be very vigilant and assertive in making sure the person entrusted to provide nursing care for the public is who they represent themselves to be.

    I never thought I'd have a personal take on this issue, but here goes. I am a nursing student. I'm also a patient who has utilized the healthcare system many times this past year. I was at a followup visit with my surgeon and I met a new employee who was wearing scrubs and a stethoscope; she looked very professional. She took my height and weight, my VS and updated my medical and medication hx. During the course of conversation, I asked her if she was a nurse (she said yes) and I asked her how long she had been in the doctor's employ (she was new that week and was still being trained.) I asked her where she went to school. She named the local business college. I clarified and asked her where she went to nursing school, and she told me the same thing. I said that the school she attended did not have a nursing program. She said that it did. I said I knew that they had a program for Medical Assistants, and she said that's the program she was in and they called themselves nurses because after all, they're the same thing. My mouth dropped open. I told her that they were most certainly not the same thing. I told her I was a student at the local diploma program and that the two did not mean we would take the same licensing exam. She said that she didn't know anything about that, but that my program was a waste of time because we had to learn all of the touchy-feely book stuff! After she left and the doctor came in, I told him about my conversation with her. He didn't seem at all concerned; in fact he referred to her as his intake nurse. I went through the entire issue with him about the title "nurse" and who was legally entitled to use it. He listened politely and didn't say much about it. Then, at the end of the session, he steered me to the checkout window, where his "scheduling nurse" would set me up with a new appointment in 6 months.

    I guess my point is that this issue is probably bigger than any of us realize. My own surgeon (a man I respect deeply and owe my life to) doesn't seem bothered by it in his own staff. And yet, we really do hear it all the time. Walk down the halls of any hospital; everyone is dressed like a nurse.

    The only answer I can think of is to identify the offenders and make it a big deal. The fact that we even have to consider such vigilance scares me. But what choices do we have?

    Most Cma's go through a 2 year college. Their training is more geared for the medical office. They are trained in the office and medical to better serve the medical office. You are right about one thing, they should not call themselves nurses. But they are have gone to school and they deserve respect. After all, most of the training for nurses or Cma's is on the job training. So don't be so quick to judge one's abilities if you do not know the extent of their training. Most doctors are not going to risk their practice on someone that is not trained.
  4. by   dbowens02
    message removed.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 25, '07 : Reason: inflammatory content, see TOS
  5. by   dbowens02
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    I have been a CMA for five years now (and now a nursing student) I am TRAINED to give injections, yes rigorous. I resent your comment. I am sorry you had a bad experience with A medical assistant. Not to be rude or anything but giving shots.injections (especially Depo) is not that hard, not hard at all when you have had TRAINING. I have given hundreds of injections from depo to Demerol to Rocephin without a single problem other than "that stings!" when I give phenergan...which is normal (and I do tell them ahead of time too). There is nothing wrong with a CMA giving injections if she/he is trained. I could argue that nurses should not start I.V. without a rigorous pharmaceutical degree.
    Well said!
  6. by   sequelae
    im not a parent, but im nonetheless concerned. im a registered nurse. anyway, the so-called "school nurse" definitely is misrepresenting herself by branding herself as the school nurse and what she is doing is illegal. she isnt even supposed to prescribe ANY medication (not unless she is nurse clinician or whatever). plus, she shouldnt diagnose as she isnt a doctor even. some action has to be done before her fraudulent practice harms anyone.
  7. by   EENMorgan
    Hi All,
    This is obviously a huge problem the world over. In Australia, there are laws that state that people cannot call themselves nurses unless they are licenced in the State in which they practice nursing. I believe it wrong both legally and ethically that unlicenced healthcare workers, call themselves nurses. In Australia, PCA (personal care attendant) and AIN (assistants in nursing) commonly call themselves nurses even though they are not licenced nurses. They cannot plan, implement, evaluate or assess care, they work under the direct or indirect supervision of Registered Nurses. In some settings it has gotten to the point where these healthcare workers make clinical decisions and diagnoses regarding patient care without even discussing the patient with a registered nurse or Doctor. It has got to stop. Take your case to the local paper and the school board. These people could hurt someone badly.
  8. by   gauge14iv
    Quote from dbowens02
    Most Cma's go through a 2 year college. Their training is more geared for the medical office. They are trained in the office and medical to better serve the medical office. You are right about one thing, they should not call themselves nurses. But they are have gone to school and they deserve respect. After all, most of the training for nurses or Cma's is on the job training. So don't be so quick to judge one's abilities if you do not know the extent of their training. Most doctors are not going to risk their practice on someone that is not trained.
    Not here they don't - they do a 12 week program at a local tech school or community college. There is no 2 year degree for a CMA in Texas - sorry. Nothing like nursing. In fact they don't even HAVE to do that - many of them are trained "on the job".

    I respect the CMA's I work with - I couldn't do my job without them, but they are not nurses, and they are the first ones who will remind me of that!

    Some programs take 6-9 mos apparently if they qualify for federal financial aid.
    Last edit by gauge14iv on Mar 22, '07
  9. by   EENMorgan
    Quote from EENMorgan
    Hi All,
    This is obviously a huge problem the world over. In Australia, there are laws that state that people cannot call themselves nurses unless they are licenced in the State in which they practice nursing. I believe it wrong both legally and ethically that unlicenced healthcare workers, call themselves nurses. In Australia, PCA (personal care attendant) and AIN (assistants in nursing) commonly call themselves nurses even though they are not licenced nurses. They cannot plan, implement, evaluate or assess care, they work under the direct or indirect supervision of Registered Nurses. In some settings it has gotten to the point where these healthcare workers make clinical decisions and diagnoses regarding patient care without even discussing the patient with a registered nurse or Doctor. It has got to stop. Take your case to the local paper and the school board. These people could hurt someone badly.
    Hi Guys,
    In Australia, PCA train on the job, whilst AIN train at "tech" for 6 to 12 weeks usually. It is not enough to give advice etc.
  10. by   sarajasmine
    I think the big issue here is REALLY that people who are NOT Nurses are CALLING themselves Nurses. I understand CMA's have quite a bit more experience than Nursing Assistants.
  11. by   Circl8r
    To the CMA's who are defending their postion: no one is disparaging you personally. The point of this thread is that anyone who is NOT a nurse is not to represent themselves as such. The ethics of any person who either calls themselves or someone who works for them a nurse surely needs to be called into question.

    In the big picture, we are all part of a team. In the OR, the surgeon, anesthesiologist, RN and tech are all team-members. They work in concert to provide the safest patient care they can in order to achieve optimal outcomes. However, no member of the team represents themselves as any other, and no one oversteps their bounds.

    As it should be in every area of healthcare.

    Period.
  12. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from dbowens02
    Most Cma's go through a 2 year college. Their training is more geared for the medical office. They are trained in the office and medical to better serve the medical office. You are right about one thing, they should not call themselves nurses. But they are have gone to school and they deserve respect. After all, most of the training for nurses or Cma's is on the job training. So don't be so quick to judge one's abilities if you do not know the extent of their training. Most doctors are not going to risk their practice on someone that is not trained.
    I don't see where Don is criticizing the education or expertise of CMAs. What he obviously has issues with is the fact that the particular CMA he dealt with seems to believe that a CMA is just the same nurse, the only difference is nurses learn more "touchy feely" book stuff AND that his surgeon refers to them as nurses. In fact the CMA was quite disrespectful towards him when she referred to the nursing program he was in as a "waste of time," by initially LYING about what she truely is, and than by insisting that CMAs are the "same thing" as a nurse. She couldn't have been anymore disrespectful and dismissive towards nurses.
    Originally Posted by Don3218
    I agree. I think we have to be very vigilant and assertive in making sure the person entrusted to provide nursing care for the public is who they represent themselves to be.

    I never thought I'd have a personal take on this issue, but here goes. I am a nursing student. I'm also a patient who has utilized the healthcare system many times this past year. I was at a followup visit with my surgeon and I met a new employee who was wearing scrubs and a stethoscope; she looked very professional. She took my height and weight, my VS and updated my medical and medication hx. During the course of conversation, I asked her if she was a nurse (she said yes) and I asked her how long she had been in the doctor's employ (she was new that week and was still being trained.) I asked her where she went to school. She named the local business college. I clarified and asked her where she went to nursing school, and she told me the same thing. I said that the school she attended did not have a nursing program. She said that it did. I said I knew that they had a program for Medical Assistants, and she said that's the program she was in and they called themselves nurses because after all, they're the same thing. My mouth dropped open. I told her that they were most certainly not the same thing. I told her I was a student at the local diploma program and that the two did not mean we would take the same licensing exam. She said that she didn't know anything about that, but that my program was a waste of time because we had to learn all of the touchy-feely book stuff! After she left and the doctor came in, I told him about my conversation with her. He didn't seem at all concerned; in fact he referred to her as his intake nurse. I went through the entire issue with him about the title "nurse" and who was legally entitled to use it. He listened politely and didn't say much about it. Then, at the end of the session, he steered me to the checkout window, where his "scheduling nurse" would set me up with a new appointment in 6 months.

    I guess my point is that this issue is probably bigger than any of us realize. My own surgeon (a man I respect deeply and owe my life to) doesn't seem bothered by it in his own staff. And yet, we really do hear it all the time. Walk down the halls of any hospital; everyone is dressed like a nurse.

    The only answer I can think of is to identify the offenders and make it a big deal. The fact that we even have to consider such vigilance scares me. But what choices do we have?
    Originally Posted by annum
    I think this is the best idea yet, will get the quickest results and alert the public to be careful who gives them advice. I called my doctor a few months back needed to get in quickly for a tetanus shot as my school was breathing down my neck to get it updated. Was told on the phone if i wanted to get in today that a "Nurse" could do it for me, i said sure no problem! Go into the office sitting in the room chit-chating with said nurse talking to her about nursing school and such as i am in school right now she is playing along with the whole bit and right after she gives me my shot i ask her where she went to nursing school, uhhh turns out uhhhh she is umm a medical assistant. well i just about lost it. i know MA can give injections but i might have thought differently about the whole thing had i known who she really was before hand, boy did i lay into the staff there for telling me she was a nurse, im sick of this!
    As a nurse, I do take issue when someone misrepresents themselves as one by either lying or omission. It's called FRAUD. My take is that if they are dishonest enough to that, what else are they capable of? I don' blame Annum for being upset. She was told a "nurse" could update her shot, the MA continued the ruse throughout the conversation they had until it came out exactly where she received her "nursing" education. Personally I wouldn't have an issue being taken care of by an MA, but if someone wants a nurse that is their perogative.
    How petty. I am a CMA with an associates degree. I work in a big clinic that is half LPN's and half CMA's. We all do the same things. The nurses and doctors that I work with do not have a problem with CMA's. I work with a wonderful group of men and women. We call ourselves CMA's and are proud to do so. A CNA is neither a nurse or a CMA. They have limited training. A nurse or CMA should not diagnose and treat anyway, as that is the doctor's job. I have less then a year left in the BSN program and then will get my APN. The staff at most clinics are so busy,I don't think the staff at our clinic would care what you thought if you laid into them. Thank You.
    It's not petty when physicians and their staff misrepresent to their patients exactly who is taking care of them. In my mind they've just called their integrity, their character and their professionalism into question.
    We call ourselves CMA's and are proud to do so.
    That is how it should be.
  13. by   TXNurseBSN
    Quote from sarajasmine
    I think the big issue here is REALLY that people who are NOT Nurses are CALLING themselves Nurses. I understand CMA's have quite a bit more experience than Nursing Assistants.
    EXACTLY!! CMA's, CNA's, etc. are all an integral part of the health care system. HOWEVER, only those that have went to the proper educational program, pass the NCLEX, and hold a license from their state board are NURSES. As an RN with a BS degree, I would not go around calling myself a Doctor!

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