what do nurses think of medical assistants?

  1. HI I AM A NEWLY CERTIFEID MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND, AND I KNOW I AM NOT A LVN OR AN RN BUT I HAD THIS PT. COME IN URGENT CARE I WORK AT SHE JUST HAPPENED TO BE A LVN. WHEN HER DAUGHTER SAID "HI NURSE" TO ME THE MOTHER SAID "OH HUNEY SHE ISN'T A NURSE SHE IS JUST A M.A" THAT REALLY HURT ME .IS THAT THE WAY ALL" NURSES THINK ?
    CAN ALL YOU REAL NURSES TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT M.A'S

    THANKS LOADS
    KARENCCMA
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   maikranz
    Originally posted by karenccma:
    HI I AM A NEWLY CERTIFEID MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND, AND I KNOW I AM NOT A LVN OR AN RN BUT I HAD THIS PT. COME IN URGENT CARE I WORK AT SHE JUST HAPPENED TO BE A LVN. WHEN HER DAUGHTER SAID "HI NURSE" TO ME THE MOTHER SAID "OH HUNEY SHE ISN'T A NURSE SHE IS JUST A M.A" THAT REALLY HURT ME .IS THAT THE WAY ALL" NURSES THINK ?
    CAN ALL YOU REAL NURSES TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT M.A'S

    THANKS LOADS
    KARENCCMA
    First, congratulations on passing your certification exam. Are you a certificate, diploma, or AAS graduate?
    What exactly upset you? The "...just..." part, the manner in which she said it, or the fact that she said you weren't a nurse? (You aren't a nurse; why should that upset you?)
  4. by   iamme457
    Anyone willing to go to school for medical training is welcome to work with me. Congratulations on passing your test, I hope you enjoy working in the health care field. I am sure you have just as much compassion, understanding and caring as the rest of the staff, we all have different levels of training but the bottom line is the same. To give the best care possible to those that are in need of our assistance.

    Deanna RN
  5. by   lsmo
    Karen, Perhaps you were getting a territorial related response from the LVN. Perhaps you are not aware that anyone who is working in a lab coat or a set of scrubs in a health care setting--and is female in particular--is assumed to be a nurse. In light of the frightening things that are currently transpiring in health care--one of which is the inappropriate replacement of licensed nurses with aids, techs, housekeepers, secretaries etc. with no distinguishing badge and uniforms--you may want to consider this as a possible reason for the comment....however insensitive it may have sounded. From my perspective nurses are rightfully ticked-off about how the health care industry has taken advantage of and often abused their status. If I were you, and you are proud of your achievement and status, do what more nurses are doing...wear a clearly identifiable identification of your status. When our hospital was downsizing and redesigning it's workforce I know the RN's-- specifically, were made to feel like the "enemies of the hospital budget"...we were being spread thin and supposed to blend with other skill levels, suport staff, etc. in a "team". No differentiation was to be made in our uniforms...with only a tiny notation on one corner of each badge as to our status. Patients were unaware of who was who. It took consistent efforts to repeatedly identify ourselves with every patient contact--certainly this is a good thing to do anyway--but it was like OVERKILL. In fact, I chuckle to remember our plans to put REGISTERED NURSE in 6 inch letters across the front and back of our scrub tops to clearly identify ourselves--kinda like prison inmates have HA! Actually, I still think it isn't a bad idea. I encourage you to resist hard feelings and to...get with advertising your MEDICAL ASSISTANT status at your workplace with clear identifying info on your uniform. It will help you be identified correctly. Best wishes to you..

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    L.Smo RN
  6. by   TXERRN
    The "just" was a bit harsh. But you know that you are not a nurse, so I would figure that the rudeness of this person is what offended you.
    Nurses go thru 3-4 years of training. It is my understanding that M.A.'s only have weeks of training in technical-only type training. I know that a lot of doctor's offices are replacing their nurses with the M.A.'s, which does hurt a lot of nurses.
    I have seen the M.A.'s in my doctors office be called "nurses" by the doctors! I told my doctor, who I've known for a long time, that he shouldn't do that. It gives the public the wrong idea.


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    TX ER RN
  7. by   JulieW
    I think the "just" portion of her comment was rude. It's a demeaning way to refer to anyone. But, I think her pointing out that you were not a nurse was a good thing. And, if she had not, I hope that you would have.

    I am a LVN in a Dr. office and always clarify my status when a patient says something like 'oh, my wife is a RN in a dr. office' because to allow a patient to believe you have more training than you do is not right. I'm proud of what I am and you should be proud of your training, too. Pts can sense confidence levels!

    Our office doesn't employ MA's but most multi-physician offices in town, do. I think for injections, rooming pts, vitals, and other tasks, they are qualified. But I hope MA's don't do telephone triage or attempt to answer med questions over the phone. I don't even know that they are doing this elsewhere. I just think it would be wrong if they did.

    I have nothing against MA's, but am glad our office chose to hire a licensed nurses only, otherwise, I wouldn't have this job.

    I agree with the other poster's on getting a name tag clearly stating your MA status. That should clear up misconceptions in the future.

    Good luck to you,

    Julie
  8. by   SUBQ
    Hey:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.

    I think what the problem was--was that your patient is a nurse. And some nurses just love to let other people know that they are nurses.

    I would much rather keep quiet when I'm a pt. and not let on that I'm a nurse. That way I can tell if I have a GOOD nurse or a GOOD P.A.C. or A GOOD M.A.

    I don't know why it is; I can just assume that it is some self-righteous character twitch--that wants to flaunt their status in front of others.

    I once had a pt. who was a retired nurse. When I introduced myself as her nurse she said "so, are you a little vein nurse or a real nurse."

    I asked her to clarify what she meant by that: she more or less told my that an lvn is a glorified cna and not a real nurse.

    Well, I guess she graduated from "old school" nursing. Where LVNs were limited in the scope of their responsibilities.

    I brought her up to speed that just about the only thing that we can't do in our area is hang blood. We can push IV meds; be charge nurses; start IVs; hang tpn; insert ngt-corpaks; draw blood...you name it. Just can't hang blood.

    You are always gonna come across these types. The best way to handle it is w/ a grain of salt. There is always someone somwhere who wants you to know that they perceive that they are higher up in the food chain than you are.

    Forget about it...
  9. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by karenccma:
    HI I AM A NEWLY CERTIFEID MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND, AND I KNOW I AM NOT A LVN OR AN RN BUT I HAD THIS PT. COME IN URGENT CARE I WORK AT SHE JUST HAPPENED TO BE A LVN. WHEN HER DAUGHTER SAID "HI NURSE" TO ME THE MOTHER SAID "OH HUNEY SHE ISN'T A NURSE SHE IS JUST A M.A" THAT REALLY HURT ME .IS THAT THE WAY ALL" NURSES THINK ?
    CAN ALL YOU REAL NURSES TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT M.A'S

    THANKS LOADS
    KARENCCMA
    Hi KarenCCMA. Congratulations on your achievement. I would not have any problem being on a team with you as long as you express confidence in yourself, are competent, and treat the clients/patients and staff respectfully. Most of the time, education is the key when it comes to supporting and respecting other disciplines, because it does hurt when someone makes a mindless statement.

    Back in nursing school, I was briefly introduced to other disciplines, but I never learned to appreciate the vital roles they play in patient care with the exception of nursing assistants. This did not happen until I actually got out into the field of work.

    One solution to this problem of inferior/superior titles and roles is if time could be arranged by nurse educators for various speakers from each discipline to have interactive sessions with nursing students.

    We seem to be spinning our wheels on this bb when it comes to this issue of patronization. Even though I think that this problem should be brought to the fore, I wish that the complaint could be tempered with a solution and an understanding of why this problem persists. Some posters did offer fair explanations I feel.

    Karen, know that what you do with your knowledge and skills is more important than what someone thinks of you. Best wishes.
  10. by   chili2641

    Most nurses I know have not gone to school for four years. To become an RN it usually only requires an Associate degree. The education argument does not fly with me. An MA with an Associates degree has the same amount of education as an RN with a Associates degree. However The MA is not a nurse. The amount of education is not in question here. You are not more educated if you both hold the same degree. Most professionals have earned the minimum of a Bachelors degree. A nurse with a BSN is more educated but is no more of a nurse than a diploma RN.

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    Nursing assistant
  11. by   JulieW
    Why doesn't the 'education argument' fly with you? Just to be fair, an associate degree RN does indeed have more education than other associate degree prepared grads, the reason being that there is a minimum of 3 semesters of prepreqs, usually 30-40 college units worth, in addition to the 4 semester nursing program. AA degrees in other subjects = 60 units. Therefore, the 2 yr nursing program really takes 3-4 yrs.

    I'm not a RN and I'm not a MA but I think we should give credit where credit is due as far as education goes. I don't know why that would be a problem with anyone.
  12. by   chili2641

    An Associates degree is an Associates degree. It does not matter how long it takes you to finish. In the education world the degree is everything! A college degree does not make you a nurse. Going to nursing school and passing boards makes you a nurse.

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    Nursing assistant
  13. by   JulieW
    chili2641,

    First of all, relax! My point was that an associates in nursing DOES require more 'education' than an associates degree in general ed, or in ECE, etc,etc.. meaning that nursing, unlike the typical 60 unit/credit 'degree', requires an additional amt of units before you can even begin the nursing program. Thus, it's not fair to say that it 'only takes two years to become a RN', but this whole conversation is ridiculous.

    chili2641, you seem to have a real chip on your shoulder about the whole issue of nurses and how they feel about their education, what makes a nurse, nursing assistants getting respect, etc, etc. Try to let it go. Just be the best that you can be and everything else is up to your peers.

    I'm a LVN and don't feel superior to CNAs (I was one for a long time) and I don't feel inferior to RNs (I may or may not go back someday, who knows) but I don't feel like it's some RNs responsibility to encourage me to go on. That's up to me. I am my own person and so are all CNAs out there. Everyone has the choice of education.

    Like you, I have a BS in an unrelated field, but don't feel the need to spew it all over in order to make others think I am smart or something. That is ridiculous.

  14. by   TXERRN
    Originally posted by chili2641:

    Most nurses I know have not gone to school for four years. To become an RN it usually only requires an Associate degree. The education argument does not fly with me. An MA with an Associates degree has the same amount of education as an RN with a Associates degree. However The MA is not a nurse. The amount of education is not in question here. You are not more educated if you both hold the same degree. Most professionals have earned the minimum of a Bachelors degree. A nurse with a BSN is more educated but is no more of a nurse than a diploma RN.
    I feel the need to correct you on this point. An MA with an AD does NOT have the same education that an RN has, under any circumstances. If they did, they could sit for the NCLEX. The MA does not have the same pre-reqs, classes or clinicals. They cannot do plan of care for patients, discharge planning, blood product administration and monitoring, chemotherapy administration or many other skills unique to the RN. They may not hold charge positions, delegate patient care, or manage patient care.
    A degree is not a degree. I have an AD in another field, does that mean I should have been able to practice nursing? No.
    If you so vehemently protect your AD, go back and become an RN and then you will see why we RN's protect our titles so carefully.


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    TX ER RN

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