Student Nurse who needs some input/advice

  1. hello all...i am in my last quarter of lpn school. 7 more weeks-but who's counting?? i am currently doing a rotation through a pediatrician's office. on my first day, the office manager was telling me about a "typical" day and letting me know who i would be working with. she then stated that the nurse would be there shortly, as she was running a little behind. when i asked her about the nurse-if she was rn/lpn, she said "oh, she's a medical assistant-we just call her our nurse". i was slightly insulted. then i met the"nurse". really nice, very personable. everyone in the office refers to her as the nurse. even herself-and her patients. she even has a personalized frame on her desk that reads "Nurse @#$&%#" so-i am supposed to be working with this "nurse". and the doctor is my preceptor. all i am doing there is rooming patients and taking vital signs while the "nurse" gives all the injections, administers the medications, wound care, etc... while i do the "grunt work". i want a challenge-i want to learn. and i want to say something to this M.A. that represents herself as a nurse. is there a polite way to address this to the M.A.? i am going to try speaking with the head of the nursing department and see if i can be moved to a different clinical site-but in case i get stuck there...what do i do? any input would be greatly appreciated!
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   loricatus
    Go to your instructor and tell her/him that you have been assigned to and are being supervised by an unlicensed medical assistant that imposters as a nurse. What this person is doing can get her put in jail in some states, jeopardize the school and your future. You have an obligation to say something and possibly report this to your state board of nursing. Your school has an obligation to check the credentials of those that supervise you at clinicals and they obviously did not. Hope you work things out. Good Luck
    Last edit by loricatus on Apr 19, '07
  4. by   llg
    Wow. I think your plan to speak with the head of the nursing department is great idea and perhaps the best way to address the problem of the MA (and her colleagues) misrepresenting the situation.

    If you get stuck there, ask your instructor/head of the deparment to try to negotiate a better learning experience for you. If that's not possible, perhaps you could work on a project or learning activity of your own design. You can learn valuable lessons in any situation. In fact, you may learn more valuable lessons on your own than you would from a regular clinical rotation with a real nurse. Take responsibililty for your own learning ... research the meds the patients are on ... ask the patients about their concerns and needs ... etc.

    Learning to teach yourself may be the most valuable lesson of all. In fact, my BSN program required that we all plan a learning experience for ourselves in our last semester. We had to plan it and carry it out and then demonstrate what we had learned on our own before we were allowed to graduate. The experience prepared us to take responsibility for our own learning throughout our careers.

    Good luck.
  5. by   blyn79
    and she claims that the only difference between her and a nurse in the state of georgia is that she can't start iv's or cath a pt. so, tell me-do they teach the NURSING PROCESS in M.A. classes now? or critical thinking skills for that matter? those 2 things by themselves set nurses apart from anyone else. the more i think about it, the madder i get. she doesn't even wear a name tag. personally, i think it's intentional. her name tag would have her appropriate title beneath her name.
  6. by   bill4745
    As far as I know, in all 50 states, "nurse" is a license. If she is giving meds and injections, she is practicing nursing without a license. The doctor who permits her to do this is also breaking the law.
  7. by   fultzymom
    Quote from bill4745
    As far as I know, in all 50 states, "nurse" is a license. If she is giving meds and injections, she is practicing nursing without a license. The doctor who permits her to do this is also breaking the law.
    In Oh, MA's are allowed to give injections in the Dr's office. They are taught in their program. Also, at one school we have here, it is a two year program.

    If I were the OP though, I would go to my instructor et tell him/her that the "nurse" I am precepting with is a MA, not a nurse. You should really be following an actual nurse, not someone who is not trained to do the same as you. It would be like precepting with a STNA in a LTC facility or with the PTA in the hospital.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Personally, I view my education as a product that I purchase. If its not working, I return it. If you can not be with the physician, I would ask for another assignment. To put an RN student with an MA is not adequate education.

    You pay for your education, you expect a quality product.
  9. by   Cattitude
    Quote from fultzymom
    In Oh, MA's are allowed to give injections in the Dr's office. They are taught in their program. Also, at one school we have here, it is a two year program.

    .
    Hmm, a 2 year program and then they come out and some call themselves nurses. Why don't they just go to NURSING school in the first place?

    Quote from traumaRUs
    Personally, I view my education as a product that I purchase. If its not working, I return it. If you can not be with the physician, I would ask for another assignment. To put an RN student with an MA is not adequate education.

    You pay for your education, you expect a quality product.
    I agree! Your clinical instructor should not be an MA for goodness sake, it should be a nurse. Trauma is right, we have to remember that we paid for our education, they are not doing us a favor.
  10. by   MikeyJ
    I had worked at a local hospital a year back as an asst. program coordinator (it was a grant program through my school of nursing). Anyways, I had met this girl who was working in an out-patient clinic as a secretary and she told me about her last job as a "medical assistant/nurse". She was hired on at this doctor's office when she was 16 years old to work after-school hours. She said within a year the had taught her to do injections, take vitals, do H&P's, etc. She did that for a year until she graduated high school, when the doctor decided to give her the title of "nurse"! Her duties didn't change a whole lot, except that she said she was put on "weekend call", where if patients had any questions during the weekends they could call her! Finally another year passed by and she decided to quit because she felt she was being taken advantage of (duh!) and her pay-rate was only somewhere around the $9.00/hr mark. I asked her if she ever reported this physician and she stated she hadn't. She said the physician had an extremely busy and successful practice, but was far too cheap to hire an actual nurse. Scary, scary.
  11. by   mammaoftwo
    Quote from bill4745
    As far as I know, in all 50 states, "nurse" is a license. If she is giving meds and injections, she is practicing nursing without a license. The doctor who permits her to do this is also breaking the law.
    In Kentucky a MA can give injections, they are also trained in school for this.
  12. by   firstaiddave907
    I hope it works out for you. the thing i don't get is how is this girl a nurse when no where in her title it says nurse it says medical assistant and as a medical assistant you assist the doctor's and nurses within the office at least thats what i have learned in my Medical assistant classes. In NY state where I'm taking MA classes we learn how to give injections in pharmacology but where not allowed to actually give the injections and we also learn how to draw blood and learn how to do some lab tests that the MA might have to do in the office.
    Last edit by firstaiddave907 on Apr 20, '07
  13. by   fultzymom
    "Hmm, a 2 year program and then they come out and some call themselves nurses. Why don't they just go to NURSING school in the first place?"



    Actually, the do not come out et call themselves nurses (or at least this has not been my experience with the ones I have met. And I agree. If you are going to go for two years, why don't you just go to nursing school et give yourself better pay scale et more opportunities.
  14. by   PsychRN-Kris
    Hmmm...sounds like that pediatrician's office is getting a quite a deal with only having to pay MA wages rather than LPN or RN wages.

    I agree with the others. Alert your instructor as she/he may not be aware that the office's "nurse" is a MA.

close