So why even bother with getting an RN? - page 5

by netglow 13,815 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. 0
    I don't think MAs have a scope of practice. In California you can be an MA without ever attending any type of training, you do what you are trained to do by the doctor and work under their supervision. Some malpractice insurers require that their insured hire MAs who have passed a certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

    There will always be those who risk their own practice by having the MA perform procedures that require specialized training, whether they are listed specifically in their state government's regulations (or not) pertaining to medical assistants.

    I don't think there is disdain for them here, only an objection to one trained as an MA calling themselves a nurse, the training is entirely different but that doesn't place a negative value judgement on what they do at all.
  2. 0
    Quote from duskyjewel
    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: Regulation Vs. Jobs: Assessing The Employment Impact Of Rules and Regulations - Forbes
    Never, have I ever been accused of, or aligned myself with liberals. I have no faith in either party, nor do I believe in any difference between parties. My position is that we, better understand that no one cares about us anymore.
  3. 1
    Here's a liberal position for you, tell everyone to kiss your rump. Whether they are so called " democrat or republican" they do not care. The top echelon that has the money pulls the strings.
    kabfighter likes this.
  4. 3
    Quote from exit96
    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...
    Well, of course it is, but why it is sad I'm not sure. Offices shouldn't be expected to operate in the most expensive way possible. The RNs I know who work in office settings work almost exclusively in a case management capacity. Tons of phone triage, dealing with insurance, following chronically ill patients. Looking at what I see MAs doing in the office setting, I would be bored and feel like I was underutilizing my education if that were my job.

    I wonder how much worse the PCP shortage would be if they were required to use RNs instead of MAs.
    SandraCVRN, BrandonLPN, and Altra like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    Well, of course it is, but why it is sad I'm not sure. Offices shouldn't be expected to operate in the most expensive way possible. The RNs I know who work in office settings work almost exclusively in a case management capacity. Tons of phone triage, dealing with insurance, following chronically ill patients. Looking at what I see MAs doing in the office setting, I would be bored and feel like I was underutilizing my education if that were my job.

    I wonder how much worse the PCP shortage would be if they were required to use RNs instead of MAs.
    Hmm...interesting.
  6. 0
    double post
  7. 8
    Quote from exit96
    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...
    Why would we do that? It is completely illogical. In a primary care office, the skills and education of a registered nurse are unnecessary. Overkill, of you will, lol. Furthermore, the RN cannot perform the jobs of 2.25 MAs, which is how many one could hire for approximately the same hourly wage, simply because she cannot be in two places at once, cannot answer a phone behind a desk and room a patient in another room simultaneously, while also filing or faxing something, or whatever else someone multitasking might do while talking on the phone.

    In this office all the providers share the cost of the RN, but we each pay our own MA directly out of our pocket. We agreed not to layoff the RN now, b/c we like her, and we all respect how hard she has worked to get her BSN and now go back to NP school (single Mom with a 4.0 average) after her deadbeat ex abandoned them. We are basically keeping her own as an act of charity, which she does not know/will never know. When she is gone, we simply won't replace her.

    She has cut her hours back gradually as NP school has become more and more demanding, and as she has entered clinical training. It has only been since she has been gone so much that we realized that we don't need a licensed nurse in the clinic after all. She is basically gone 2.5 days a week (we pay her for 4 days, a .8FTE, because we are nice guys, and not evil money grubbing scum bags). One whole day she is here is "shot clinic." She is no "use" to us on that day, because all she does all day is immunizations/depo injections. Yes, we bill for that and it makes money, but we don't need a RN to do those injections. A MA can do them with orders. Another whole day is nothing but inventory and ordering. MAs can inventory and the office manager can order. The other half day she apparently spends returning phone calls. Again, a MA can do that.

    I will concede that the nurse (especially this nurse) can probably answer more questions without asking us than the MAs will be able to, and that this saves us time. However, it is a pretty expensive way to avoid taking a few moments once in a while to answer simple questions. Paying a registered nurse to do functions that are well beneath her training and education is impractical. It is almost insulting to her if you think about it. If it turns out that we are wrong and we do need a nurse to return phone calls after all, we might hire a LPN for one day a week. But a FT RN? No way.

    This is a primary care office, not an ICU. We encounter emergencies about twice a year. When we do, there are three physicians and two NPs and sundry medical students around to handle it. We know how to do CPR, start IVs, hook up the O2, the AED, and dial 911.

    Remember, I am a nurse too. I will defend nursing practice, ardently, when it needs to be defended. This is not one of those times. This is MA practice, and the MAs I know are very good at what they do and deserve to be respected and defended as well.
    Meriwhen, nursel56, Fiona59, and 5 others like this.
  8. 0
    Another question. Why on earth would any primary office want an NP? Too costly I'd think for not quite enough bang for your buck - a job (especially primary triage) that an RN could do and has for decades.

    Hmmm.
  9. 1
    Quote from netglow
    Another question. Why on earth would any primary office want an NP? Too costly I'd think for not quite enough bang for your buck - a job (especially primary triage) that an RN could do and has for decades.

    Hmmm.
    The only NPs I know who "replace" RNs are actually working under their RN license because they cannot find mid level provider jobs or choose not to work at the NP level for whatever reason. And they make RN wages.

    Do you actually have experience of NPs filling RN jobs at NP wages or are you just making that up to try to make a point? Because it would also be ridiculous to employ a physician as a secretary in a doctor's office at a physician's salary.
    Last edit by hiddencatRN on Apr 14, '13
    Altra likes this.
  10. 5
    This thread is bizarre and not sure what the bottom line is.
    A medical assistant is a medical assistant
    A nurse is a nurse
    A nurse practitioner is a nurse practitioner. A medical assistant should never identify themselves as a nurse just as a nurse practitioner should not identify themselves as a doctor.
    Depending on the type if office should determine the staffing. There are offices that need RNs.
    If someone isn't happy with there title then find another. One discipline is no more important than another.
    nursel56, SoldierNurse22, kldepp08, and 2 others like this.


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