So why even bother with getting an RN? - page 4

by netglow

13,433 Views | 80 Comments

Saw an ad for urgent care wanting to hire MAs. They want you to be able to provide compassionate nursing care, assessing patients & taking effective action. They also want you to be able to triage critically ill patients and... Read More


  1. 2
    Quote from pmabraham
    Good day:

    This past Monday, I went to an orthopedic to check out my left arm that's been troubling me for the past six to eight weeks.

    After going through the paperwork, I was told "wait for the nurse."

    Since I've an interest in becoming a nurse, when the nurse came for me, I look at her name badge, noted her name... and while she was doing what I would call light assessment (blood pressure, pulse rate along with questions, I asked what type of nurse (there was no designation on her scrubs, so I was not sure of what type)... she replied "medical assistant."

    She graduated from YTI; and when I asked about boards, she did state that she was certified, having taken care of that after graduating.

    Can medical assistants be certified? What type of certification is it?

    From looking at Medical Assistant Program - YTI Career Institute how does their course work differ from an LPN/LVN?

    Why would it be wrong to call a medical assistant a nurse?

    Thank you.

    P.S. I'm not asking the questions to debate; I'm just trying to learn more as I seek my own direction in the medical field.
    Because medical assistants are NOT nurses. They do not go to nursing school, pass a licensing exam (not certification), and are not registered with their state board of nursing as a LPN/LVN or RN.

    In most states (I'm not sure which ones don't), it is illegal to use the titles Nurse, LPN, LVN, RN, Nurse Practitioner, APRN, and the other assorted nursing designations without being licensed as such.
    Last edit by Miiki SN on Apr 12, '13 : Reason: homophones got me
    GrnTea and MBARNBSN like this.
  2. 5
    I have been an MA for 12 years. Just got accepted into nursing school. While I have a lot of experience and know many things and have some skills that an "average" MA does not, I still would never fool myself into feeling I can do an RN job (yet...). I think my knowledge comes from a place of interest in the field and my strong desire to learn. I think my MA experiences will help me in nursing school, but, I know I still have a TON to learn!

    I agree that there are major differences in MA/RN roles, skills and education. And, I ALWAYS correct people when they call me a nurse, be it a co-worker or a patient.... it's a title I have not earned yet! And patient deserve to know who is caring for them. I never respond with "no, I'm just an MA" as I am still proud of the title I do have, however, I'm looking forward to the day that I can proudly say "yes, I am a nurse"!
    carolinapooh, GrnTea, hiddencatRN, and 2 others like this.
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    I worked as an LPN in a private practice with a MA last year. This girl was a nightmare to work with. She was supposedly a medical assistant, but wouldn't tell us other nurses where she went to MA school. I think she had a "souped up" resume & was a slick talker. That's what got her the job. She didn't know how to do anything! We had to show her everything.

    I felt the doctors allowed her to do too much around the clinic for the little amount of medical knowledge she obviously had. She would try to boss us nurses when the doctors weren't around, and was actually appointed "team leader" over the LPNs at the practice by the office manager! He said she was a "quick learner, good leader, & huge help to the head doctor."

    After that the other two LPNs & myself left the practice. I was not taking orders from a girl that was supposed to be a MA, who obviously didn't know what she was doing. It seems anyone can walk off of the street these days & be an MA. I think MAs are an important part of the medical community if they have actually went to MA school. I don't think they should ever try to tell an LPN or RN how to do their job though, as the MA I worked with did.
    Last edit by andreasmom02 on Apr 12, '13
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Quote from samadams8
    What state are you working in? No license for te MA to lose...no independent sop. And just b/c you can, it doesn't mean you should...right? Me, I'd set strict limits...base vs, wt, very basic. If you need more, you should have an experienced licensed nurse. Least that's how I'd go...everyone will do whatever I supposed.
    No, our MAs do a great deal more than that. I'm very comfortable with their performance and scope. They do a great job and we could not operate without them. We also have one nurse. The only point of my post was the correct the misimpression that one must possess a MD degree to direct MA activities. It may be thus in some states, but not in mine.

    I don't identify my location, but there are less than 20 states with completely independent NP practice, so that should narrow it down for you somewhat.

    There is a long tradition of MA disdain on this website. My experience with them has been nothing but positive. However, I have only worked with 6 in my entire career, lol. Those 6 have been outstanding members of our team and I've never had any reason to want to replace them. There has never been anything in a primary care office that I have needed that made me wish my MA were a nurse. We don't need nurses in the office. The nurse we have is a wonderful person, but spends most of her time ordering doing inventory and ordering supplies and does very little actual nursing activity. She really is unnecessary, and when she graduates from her NP program and resigns, it has already been decided she will not be replaced, and her responsibilities will be assumed by the office manager.
    Meriwhen, SandraCVRN, and hiddencatRN like this.
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    Thank you, SoldierNurse22 for clearing up a lot.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  6. 3
    Quote from duskyjewel
    You know, it's really no wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket, with thinking like this. The solution to your problem is to sic the government on someone else, to take away their job by regulating it out of existence? Who else's job would you like to use the power of overbearing government to destroy?
    Really? So do you work for free? I have not seen a situation like you describe. Have you actually seen someone lose their job because of someone sic'ing the govt on them? Should we just get rid of parameters and let everyone do whatever they would like? I'm not sure that you even offered a viable suggestion...
    Scope of practice, and/or regulations are there for a two fold purpose. To protect the consumer, and to protect the trade. The integrity of the trade matters to some (not just any bozo can pose as something that they are not. They need to meet requirements/ qualifications.) I can attempt to use the building trade as an example: an individual must pass a State exam in order to obtain a builders license. There are things a person must know and adhere to with this level of certification. Now, there are those who build without this licensure, who may or may not be good/safe. Here is point, if someone is an interior carpenter they do not have to have a license. I have personally witnessed that when unemployment increases, all of a sudden there are a bunch of "fly by night" pseudo carpenters that enter the market. They start getting jobs that would normally fall to those who are better qualified and actually experienced. So, the market gets flooded with non regulated "hacks" that can call themselves whatever they would like. WHICH ONE would you want working on your house??
    As for they other idea; I would love to see the government holding tight regulations on the medical system related to scope of practice. If RN jobs are threatened I would love to see government/Unions protect my trade. One of which I went through college for, worked very hard at, and my family suffered through it with me, pt's are also effected. I am possibly a few years older than you, so my mindset is not of the current postmodern relativism kind.
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    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    No, our MAs do a great deal more than that. I'm very comfortable with their performance and scope. They do a great job and we could not operate without them. We also have one nurse. The only point of my post was the correct the misimpression that one must possess a MD degree to direct MA activities. It may be thus in some states, but not in mine.

    I don't identify my location, but there are less than 20 states with completely independent NP practice, so that should narrow it down for you somewhat.

    There is a long tradition of MA disdain on this website. My experience with them has been nothing but positive. However, I have only worked with 6 in my entire career, lol. Those 6 have been outstanding members of our team and I've never had any reason to want to replace them. There has never been anything in a primary care office that I have needed that made me wish my MA were a nurse. We don't need nurses in the office. The nurse we have is a wonderful person, but spends most of her time ordering doing inventory and ordering supplies and does very little actual nursing activity. She really is unnecessary, and when she graduates from her NP program and resigns, it has already been decided she will not be replaced, and her responsibilities will be assumed by the office manager.
    How about they utilize the RN, pay a respectable RN wage, and get rid of the MA? Answer, it's all about the money. Sad, very sad...
    carolinapooh, Race Mom, nursel56, and 2 others like this.
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    I don't see anything wrong with MAs in a doctors office setting. But then, I've never worked in any sort of ambulatory care, so I have no idea what a nurse's duties might be in such a setting.

    What I do think is that medical assistants and other UAPs increasing role in healthcare is a very slippery slope. I see medication aides in LTC. I see "techs" of various sorts in acute care. Right now many nurses seem to say "well they free us from the 'tasky' stuffy so we can concentrate on the 'nursey' stuff.". Well, okay, but how many tasks are you going to give up before your job becomes extraneous? They will always need a nurse to supervise, assess, whatever. But they sure as heck won't need as many. If it becomes the new norm for hospitals to include stuff like med administration or wound care to a $13/hr tech's job description (don't laugh, that day is coming), why on earth would they continue to pay a RN $30/hr to do it?
    carolinapooh, hiddencatRN, nursel56, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    Brandon, up here RNs are at $50/hr and LPNs are $33.
    BrandonLPN likes this.
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    Quote from exit96
    If RN jobs are threatened I would love to see government/Unions protect my trade. One of which I went through college for, worked very hard at, and my family suffered through it with me, pt's are also effected. I am possibly a few years older than you, so my mindset is not of the current postmodern relativism kind.
    Postmodern relativism? Really? With your support of regulation and unions, you're the liberal here, not me. I am about freedom and the minimum government regulation it takes to organize society. I'm no anarchist, but I believe in limited government....which makes me a radical these days, it seems.

    As to regulations and job loss, talk to some small business owners. Ask them the impact of regulation on their hiring decisions. And here's a read on the topic: http://www.forbes.com/sites/waynecre...d-regulations/
    Last edit by duskyjewel on Apr 14, '13
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.


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