Surgical Tech with "Nurse" on lab coat - page 2

I had my wisdom teeth removed last week. Yesterday when I was there getting some packing put in for my dry socket (there's a whole 'nother post on that if you want to read it)... I noticed that one... Read More

  1. by   HeatherB,CST
    As a Surgical Tech student, I also am disappointed. She may not be a "nurse wannabe", however. It is entirely possible that the secretary or whoever ordered the coats was just ignorant of the difference and thought the public is used to seeing the word nurse (vs. tech), and nobody on the staff bothered to make it an issue.

    I agree that the MD should be made aware that this is misrepresentation and uncool on many levels.

    If she was a graduate of any ST school worth a hill of beans, she should know that without a doubt, she is NOT a nurse. She may have been OTJ trained, however, and was never taught that the difference is significant, especially if there are no nurses in the practice.

    Just my $.02 Just please don't make any character judgements about the tech, she may just be poorly educated about such matters, not intentionally misrepresenting herself as a nurse.

    It seems to me that the practice is just all confused about titles, because according to the certifying board for STs, a Certified Surgical Tech cannot be called a "Surgical Assistant" until additional training, thousands of procedures, and an additional certification exam are completed. If she were a Certified Surgical Assistant, she would be so proud of her accomplishment she would probably not want to be mistaken for a nurse. (please, no offense, I have all the respect in the world for y'all, I'm just saying she is neither a nurse NOR a surgical assistant as the OP stated on her above post)

    Let us know how it turns out, and I hope your face is feeling ok!
  2. by   ASSEDO
    Any one can claim to be a "nurse". My neighbor called about a week ago to tell me her daughter (who is dumb as dirt, bless her heart) was a nurse. I wondered how she became a nurse as she never graduated high school. Actually, she is a housekeeper at the hospital. She wears a green scrub suite. That elevated her to the status of "nurse."

    The non medical community and sometimes medical community in general have been mislead because nurses have lost our idenity.
  3. by   GenXnurse
    well this is what my state, michigan, has to say in it's public health code:

    (1) a person shall not engage in the practice of nursing or the practice of nursing as a licensed practical nurse unless licensed or otherwise authorized by this article.
    (2) the following words, titles, or letters or a combination thereof, with or without qualifying words or phrases, are restricted in use only to those persons authorized under this part to use the terms and in a way prescribed in this part: "registered professional nurse", "registered nurse", "r.n.", "licensed practical nurse", "l.p.n.", "nurse midwife", "nurse anesthetist", "nurse practitioner", "trained attendant", and "t.a.".

    if this were in michigan i would call attention to it very quickly. this person is representing herself as someone in the "practice of nursing" without a license. this is not good for the public, and not good for the profession. i would think that your public health code/ practice act might have wording similar to the above. please write a letter or better yet just discuss it- we need to take these challenges head on sometimes. there are no feelings that need to be spared here. she didn't study nursing, and she is not licensed (as a nurse) period. physicians wouldn't stand for this in their profession for a second. why are we?

    any chance you want to give up the address of your dental office?:flamesonb maybe we should all write a letter. how many do you think we could flood the office with? that would be cool.

    please don't let this go. good luck.
  4. by   GenXnurse
    awe hell-
    i couldn't help myself sue. i looked up the illinois nurse practice act. here is what it has to say:

    [font=courier new]sec. 5‑15. policy; application of act. for the protection of life and the promotion of health, and the prevention of illness and communicable diseases, any person practicing or offering to practice professional and practical nursing in illinois shall submit evidence that he or she is qualified to practice, and shall be licensed as provided under this act. no person shall practice or offer to practice professional or practical nursing in illinois or use any title, sign, card or device to indicate that such a person is practicing professional or practical nursing unless such person has been licensed under the provisions of this act.

    this person is indicating that she is practicing nursing by wearing that coat. not okay by illinois practice act. hope this helps.
  5. by   woody62
    Quote from genxnurse
    awe hell-
    i couldn't help myself sue. i looked up the illinois nurse practice act. here is what it has to say:

    [font=courier new]sec. 5‑15. policy; application of act. for the protection of life and the promotion of health, and the prevention of illness and communicable diseases, any person practicing or offering to practice professional and practical nursing in illinois shall submit evidence that he or she is qualified to practice, and shall be licensed as provided under this act. no person shall practice or offer to practice professional or practical nursing in illinois or use any title, sign, card or device to indicate that such a person is practicing professional or practical nursing unless such person has been licensed under the provisions of this act.

    this person is indicating that she is practicing nursing by wearing that coat. not okay by illinois practice act. hope this helps.
    in most states this is part of your npa. i would call your bon and report this violation. i do really care about their feelings, or who ordered what or the physician. they are misrepresenting themselves.

    woody
  6. by   mauxtav8r
    Quote from GenXnurse
    ...Physicians wouldn't stand for this in their profession for a second. Why are we?

    Lawyers wouldn't either. "Practicing Law without a License" is a prosecutable crime where I live and can be construed anything from causually dispensing legal advice to falsely claiming to be a lawyer.

    A young lady I know is in a program where she works in a hospital and wears scrubs, so since I'm in nursing school I asked her about her program (I knew vaguely of her school as a technical school). She said "I'm studying to be a scrub nurse." She said it was a 9 month program, so you get the idea.

    Engineers have a similar problem as nurses, where there are engineers and then there are Professional Engineers (licensed). We have nurses and Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses.
  7. by   Fiona59
    Find out where she trained. Up here a Surgical Tech has to qualify as a PN before they can get the additional training. They hate to be called nurses once they have the extra certification.
  8. by   Sis123
    Just between you and me, I believe that the technical school that is training the young lady in the surgical tech program and the dental assistant program where the oral surgeon likely hired his assistant from are failing to uphold current law.

    They have a duty to teach their students the current laws that govern their practice as technicians, and a very important one is the limitations on their practice, and the scope of their practice. The students calling themselves nurses could possibly be forgivable if the school that is training them also allows the students to refer to themselves as "nurses", or their program as a sub type of nursing.

    In any case, the oral surgeon's office should be reported to the BON. Other posters are quite correct that other professionals would not allow people of minimal training to be calling themselves doctors, lawyers, or dentists....
    Last edit by Sis123 on Nov 21, '07 : Reason: clarity
  9. by   HeatherB,CST
    Quote from mauxtav8r
    A young lady I know is in a program where she works in a hospital and wears scrubs, so since I'm in nursing school I asked her about her program (I knew vaguely of her school as a technical school). She said "I'm studying to be a scrub nurse." She said it was a 9 month program, so you get the idea.

    I would like to know where the heck she is going to school. My guess it is not accredited by the ARC-ST(Accreditation Review Committee for the Education of Surgical Technologists). That would means she can use the Surgical Technologist title, but can never sit for the certification exam and use the title Certified Surgical Technologist. (CST) I am in a 2 year Associate degree Surgical Technology program, ARC-ST accredited, and I know there is no way we would ever be allowed or taught to refer to ourselves as "scrub nurses". The terminology is very clear. Some of the Association of Surgical Technologists' goals are to raise awareness and respect for the prefession, by working towards mandatory certification requirements, getting all schools accreditation, and even promoting a mandatory 2 year degree program. This would eliminate confusion such as the ones in this thread, and raise respect for this profession that is indeed very challenging and different than,but not inferior to, nursing.

    I would love the opportunity to explain to anyone who is curoius exactly why CSTs deserve more recognition as medical professionals, but I do not want to completely hijack this thread. Let me just say I chose ST school, not because I could not get into nursng school, or because it's "easier" (it clearly is not) but because it is a profession I am truly passionate about and one of my goals is to raise awareness in the medical field and the public eye about the profession and its place as a part of the OR team.

    Thanks for listening. I am so embarassed by STs who misrepresent my profession, and I feel the need to rebut sometimes, so the misdeeds of other do not reflect badly on all STs/CSTs.
  10. by   GenXnurse
    No one has any problem (as far as I know) with Surgical Technicians being proud of their profession. I just don't want a Surgical Tech calling themselves a Nurse if they do not have the training. Period. I don't call myself a Surgical Tech- I don't have the training.
    I don't think any profession is more noble than any other profession. That's not the issue. By the way CSTWannabe- I think it is dangerous to compare Nursing to Surgical Tech school ie: easier or not easier-- The professions are very different- Let me just leave it at that.
  11. by   HeatherB,CST
    Quote from GenXnurse
    No one has any problem (as far as I know) with Surgical Technicians being proud of their profession. I just don't want a Surgical Tech calling themselves a Nurse if they do not have the training. Period. I don't call myself a Surgical Tech- I don't have the training.
    I don't think any profession is more noble than any other profession. That's not the issue. By the way CSTWannabe- I think it is dangerous to compare Nursing to Surgical Tech school ie: easier or not easier-- The professions are very different- Let me just leave it at that.
    I agree completely that they are apples and oranges. I didn't mean to sound as if I were trying to compare the two to make a point about how challenging ST school is. There is a lot of confusion between the two in the public eye, and I can't tell you how many times I have been asked why I didn't choose nursing school. It's kind of like asking a nurse why she didn't become a doctor, with the implication that she/he somehow took the easy route or wasn't ambitious enough. It's maddening. For an ST to misrepresent herself as a nurse only adds to the fuzzy area in peoples' perceptions of what a nurse is and what a surgical tech is. That was my point, I'm sorry if I got on my soapbox a little.

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