what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 12

I'm an RN, in the ER. I know of 4 people who, in my opinion have been rooked into MA (medical assistant ) schools. Each on of these people have been told that , MA , can do everything an RN can do.... Read More

  1. by   hogan4736
    Quote from HappyNurse82
    :uhoh21:

    Last I checked NO nurse should be triaging or diagnosing ANY patient simply over the phone, and IF that's common practice in your facility, I'd hate to be a patient or employee of that place. If an illness and/or symptom of an illness warrants a call to a md/do, it's bad enough for an visit back to see the doc. End of conversation.
    phone triage by an RN helps to:

    1) prevent unnecessary office visits
    2) get the patient the appropriate care needed (office vs urgent care vs ER vs outpatient labs, xray, etc.)

    This is done based on a dialogue w/ the patient, in conjunction with the RNs background (usually critical care)

    Telephone triage is necessary and very enjoyable...
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from HappyNurse82
    :uhoh21:

    Last I checked NO nurse should be triaging or diagnosing ANY patient simply over the phone, and IF that's common practice in your facility, I'd hate to be a patient or employee of that place. If an illness and/or symptom of an illness warrants a call to a md/do, it's bad enough for an visit back to see the doc. End of conversation.
    Telephone Triage Nursing Forum

    End of conversation.
  3. by   mkmm429
    Obviously CardianRN, you failed to completely read mine, I again state, I never called myself a nurse nor did I ever act like one. In the medical field I was trained in, The doctors were the ones to diagnose and treat, in my follow up calls if there were any more s/s or little improvement I would go to the Doctor immediately and follow their instructions. I was not aware that RN could diagnose and treat, thats pressure I do not need. I look forward to working under an RN when I pass my NCLEX, I hope that she is nice and able to train me properly. I certainly hope she does not diagnose or try to dictate meds to the Dr. I will ask for another RN if I find that. I think that this is the end of the discussion now! As far as the difference in LPN and RN, I am aware of the difference in the "scope of practice" between RN and LPN, but I also would like to let Tazzi know, I agree about the ads, they are deceiving, and I think they basically take someone who was thinking about a nursing degree and decide to take the MA and then they are stuck!
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from mkmm429
    I was not aware that RN could diagnose and treat, thats pressure I do not need.
    RNs do not diagnose or treat. I think you misunderstood. Triage is not the same as diagnosing and treating medical conditions.
    Last edit by nurse4theplanet on Oct 15, '06
  5. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    There always seem to be something to argue about around here :uhoh21:

    Speaking as a consumer/patient. I have been to MANY doctors in my day (and especially after having kids) and I don't think the typical office nurse has a quarter of the responsibility as an acute care hospital nurse. Obviously there is a HUGE difference. When the job is specific and routine and not too dependant on critical thinking, I can see why an MA & nurse could be compared. Maybe it is a good thing that certain doctors are replacing nurses with MA's. If an MA can fill that role and not endanger anyone then why not? Why waste all the knowledge a Nurse has on such a repetitive non-critical thinking role? And no, I'm not saying RN's/LPN's shouldn't work in any offices, but if MA's satisfy a need, why not?? Nursing duties have evolved; change can be good. I'm not saying the ads are good, but the whole arguement over triage nursing and office nursing seems silly.
  6. by   lauralassie
    Quote from happynurse82
    unfortunately, it's threads like this one here that seriously make us all look bad.

    do your job, do it well....realize that the letters behind your name don't necessarily represent your level of intelligience. there are rn's who are as dumb as lawn rocks, and without the support staff, they'd be xxx, on the other hand, there are support staff who can really make a "real" nurses' day awful.

    ma's in their own right have great things to contribute. the healthcare industry is, infact a business, a "for profit" business, in some instances, ma's fill gaps better than a nurse (be it lvn or rn), simply because of wage/mp ins costs. have you ever heard of a ma going on strike because of the union they belong to ?? i haven't. do i feel that ma's should always be given the responsibilities of a "real" nurse (and by that i mean rn) ? not always..no. but i'd be darned to say that i'm better than anybody else because of the letters behind my name. the term 'nurse' is used so commonly in refference to so many people, i find it amusing to see how bent out of shape people get. ridiculous really.

    btw, i'm working on my bachelors in nursing...

    need to read what the thread was about ! it is out of concern for ma's , paying large sums of money, being told they can do everything a nurse does with the exception of iv's. there are schools that do the job well, there are others that have a good line . ma's stna's etc... all have a valuable place in med. but >>>>> they are not nurses. yes we all see sorry nurses. we also see sorry dr's, admin,housekeepers etc.. that is a fact of life. but there is a diff. between rn's and ma's , otherwise, i could orient them in the er or icu and they would do fine. by the way, if an rn gets through orientation and they are not safe or unable to preform the job. then, shame on the rn that scooted them on past orientation. in that case , who is really dumb as rocks. if we know the problem exsists and we stand by and let it happen then we are to blame . don't want to hear," well the hospital woun't listen to me ." there are many avenues to use to place nurses in jobs they can preform without dismissing them from the facility. :typing
  7. by   lauralassie
    Quote from mkmm429
    as a cma who is attending an lpn program now, i found that the cma course (or ma) to be very informing, it is what helped me to decide if nursing was the right choice for me. i never allowed myself to be called a nurse, however in an office setting you can do alot of the things an rn does, but only in an office setting, i was able to give injections, perform ekg's, nebulizer treatments, and i was also taught phlebotomy. something that the lpn course seem to only skim over. i immediately went to work in a dr.'s office in an ob/gyn practice, then went to family med and learned alot more. in this state, i am not sure about any other states, cma or ma's can not work at a hospital, but let me assure you that we were taught a&p, lab procedures, law and ethics, terminology, pharmacology and also some administrative work. we also had to sit for an exam that was about 3 hours long, when you pass then you become certified, as an ma you are not suppose to give injections. i would not ever look down on my training, due to the fact there is a nursing shortage and it seems it is the hospitals that really need them, which is really where their training is geard for. cma are trained to work in an office situation, so it seems to solve the shortage problem for both hospitals and private practice, both are helped in the way that suits their needs, and as a cma (which i will always keep my (certification), i learned that whether you work private practice, lab etc. patient care will always come first, (as it should), just thought you might be interested in someone who is going to be on both sides of the fence. as far as salary, i am not sure about other states but i was making 18.50 an hour , and earned every penny of it.
    i agree, ma's are wounderful.. i woundered if you could explain the elecrtical pathways of the heart to me, please cooralate those to the 12 lead for me. is the pr , qrs normal, is the r wave progression ok. how bout that elevation in avl, you got the blood sample ok. the cpk is high, the k is high, what might that mean. the mb,bmp is normal. but, the pt's bun , cr is high. now you have to get abg's . how a bout that allans test, is it neg or pos. should you go ahead with the abg, or can you just get a vbg ?back to a and p, now explain why we did the allans test. what were we looking for?now, we find out the pt was in a mvc.there's a wide medest. on the xray.. what are the critical findings we should be looking for. (they hit the steering wheel)next, we do pharm. the bp 's low, do we start levo, or dopa. why did you choose one of the above. or... should you just give fluids. what kind of fluids colloid or normal saline. is there a difference between these two? say you started dopamine. now the iv site is red and edematous. what critical action would you take next? now the dr wants mylanta as opposed to gaviscon. (those are simple meds.... why would he choose one over the other for this patient). the intern oreded lasix because the heart is big on the xray. so he orders 100 mg. the pt's k is high remember. but the pat. was healthy prior the the mvc. there's no edema, the breath sounds are clear but the heart sounds are muffeled. what would your next action be. whoops, the intern had the wrong chart. (if you like him you correct the mistake , if he's a pain in your rear, you show the attending. ha ,,,,ha,,, if the nurse ain't happy , ain't no body happ!).i've seen ma a and p and pharm. it's much different. not saying ma's can't do it it's just that rn is much more involved. this is a typical orintation in er or icu,(or at least it should be) once again, i love working with ma's cna' etc... i can't imagine my day without them, but, it sickens my heart to know there are schools out there who take advantage of such good people. i have heard of 18 $ an hour in columbus ohio but, there are no benifits with that pay.
  8. by   lauralassie
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    I can't argue that some of the things I learned in medical assisting school did not help me in nursing, and I do believe that MAs, CNAs, and other titles are part of the healthcare team. I really didn't see where many of the nurses have disrepected them in this thread. What we are expressing is the misrepresentation. I am an LPN...I would not tell anyone that I am an RN or physician, because I am not. I have introduced myself as a nurse, because I AM. But, I admit freely that my level of education is not the same as a higher titled nurse, because that counteracts patient trust and safety.

    I knew the difference the minute I sat in my anatomy class...it completely blew me out of my socks!! MA school had NOTHING on what I learned in college.
    I'm with you , I hate that many nurses have disrespected ma's etc.. how do they feel when a dr talks about them that way ? It really sucks !
  9. by   lauralassie
    Quote from TaraRN07
    I have been a CMA for 5yrs, I completed my program at a 2 yr community college. Never once did anyone tell us that we could do "everything" a Nurse does. It was taught to us that certain things are our job, other things are the Nurses job.
    MA's are allowed to give IM & SQ injections (no Narcs of course). As for Botox, MA's aren't permitted...but in my area neither are Nurses unless they've had specific training. We draw blood, take vitals, provide pt education, assist with procedures etc. etc. There certainly is a vast difference of what an MA does vs. what an RN does....but that certainly doesn't make our job any less important. I agree the money isn't great in most offices ...however, I happened to get lucky and make pretty a pretty decent salary (not as much as the RN of course!) as an MA at a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery center, I also get to prep the pt for sx, scrub in to surgery, assist in our PACU & see pts postop for suture removal, drain removal, dressing changes and general f/u's that don't require the MD. On more than one occasion the RN has come to me for assistance....not because she isn't a good RN, simply because I have more time there than she does and a better understanding of what to expect from our patients, whats normal & not so normal etc. I go to her for things as well. Each of us has certain things that we are more knowledgeable about, and all of those things contribute to how our patients are cared for.
    Honestly...not only wouldn't the Cardio Thoracic surgeons not want an MA dealing with a crashing patient...I wouldn't want to be expected to care for such a patient as it isn't within the parameters of what I do!
    I'm a Nursing student now....not because I regret becoming an MA because I don't, simply because I want to be able to do MORE. I'm actually glad that I am an MA as I feel it gave me a great foundation to build on.
    Theres no need to speak abouts MA's as if we are below the RN, we're not....we simply do a different job than the RN does!
    never said ma's are below rn's, just saying there are ma schools out there handing a line to trusting people and collecting a big pay check for it. However, the crashing patient remark was in response to a thread that was talking about the young bucks doing it faster than old rn's and with less training. It was not ment for those who are honest about their skills. I would expect a dr to write the same to a nurse who said she could do a hip replacement as well as a dr, because she scrubbed in on the case 36 times . I would expect an ma to say the same to a housekeeper who was trained to do patient care, and was telling the ma how to do a blood pressure(don't laugh, this was actually occuring in a hospital. the housekeepers were doing patient care, the cna's were assessing the rn's were doing ....well, not really sure what they were doing ?) this stopped when the local tv news found out about it.
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from HappyNurse82
    :uhoh21:

    Last I checked NO nurse should be triaging or diagnosing ANY patient simply over the phone, and IF that's common practice in your facility, I'd hate to be a patient or employee of that place. If an illness and/or symptom of an illness warrants a call to a md/do, it's bad enough for an visit back to see the doc. End of conversation.
    We have telephone triage in our hospital, a job that is reserved for RNs. While I don't know if it is effective, I can say that it does exist. I am an LPN, (and a new one, at that), so, I can't say what the protocol would be if in case there is an emergent situation.
  11. by   gerry79
    RN vs CMA, LPN vs RN, RN vs RNBSN, when will these petty battle end? We all have vital roles in this big, bloated, over used and under funded healthcare system. Yes some allied health care schools do dupe many into believeing that there are riches to be made after completion of whatever course/school. Many of these schools cost more than major universities yet people flock to them for whatever reason. We as consumers need to be more educated, and use better judgment, when choosing to attend these institutions of higher learning. Do the research, if school X is charging $30,000 to become a medical assitant and school Y is charging $15,000 to become an RN (for the sake of argument), wouldnt it be wise to investigate the income potential for both professions? No one is forcing anyone into these schools the last time I checked.

    As for the MA doing more or as much as Nurses, in some offices they do. But who is the real villian here. Its not the Nurse, or the MA. Its the MD practice thats paying MA well under market value for the job they perfom. In my area of the country Nurses make about $30,000 a year more than MA's, if I were an MA I would be pissed! You are basically working for 1/2 the pay of an RN that you feel you have comparable skills to (I am not going to argue skill set, it has been mentioned enough). If your skills were really valued wouldnt the doctor's office pay you more? As an MA are you satisfied with your pay compared to other health care professionals? As I see it, MA's are woefully underpaid for what is expected of them. This thread has taken may twists and turns and has gotten quite ugly at times, but the bottom line is that we all play a vital role in the healthcare system and we all chose our career paths. if we want to hold another title, or place more letters after our last name, then I suggest that we all go back to school and earn it. jmhi
    Last edit by gerry79 on Oct 18, '06
  12. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from gerry79
    RN vs CMA, LPN vs RN, RN vs RNBSN, when will these petty battle end? We all have vital roles in this big, bloated, over used and under funded healthcare system. Yes some allied health care schools do dupe many into believeing that there are riches to be made after completion of whatever course/school. May of these schools cost more than major universities yet people flock to them for whatever reason. We as consumers need to be more educated, and use better judgment, when choosing to attend these institutions of higher learning. Do the research, if school X is charging $30,000 to become a medical assitant and school Y is charging $15,000 to become an RN (for the sake of argument), wouldnt it be wise to investigate the income potential for both professions? No one is forcing anyone into these schools the last time I checked.

    As for the MA doing more or as much as Nurses, in some offices they do. But who is the real villian here. Its not the Nurse, or the MA. Its the MD practice thats paying MA well under market value for the job they is perfom. In my area of the country Nurses make about $30,000 a year more than MA's, if I were an MA I would be pissed! You are basically working for 1/2 the pay of an RN that you feel you have comparable skills to (I am not going to argue skill set, it has been mentioned enough). If your skills were really valued wouldnt the doctor's office pay you more? As an MA are you satisfied with your pay compared to other health care professionals? As I see it, MA's are woefully underpaid for what is expected of them. This thread has taken may twists and turns and has gotten quite ugly at times, but the bottom line is that we all play a vital role in the healthcare system and we all chose our career paths. if we want to hold another title, or place more letters after our last name, then I suggest that we all back to school and earn it. jmhi
    Well said!
  13. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from gerry79
    RN vs CMA, LPN vs RN, RN vs RNBSN, when will these petty battle end? We all have vital roles in this big, bloated, over used and under funded healthcare system. Yes some allied health care schools do dupe many into believeing that there are riches to be made after completion of whatever course/school. Many of these schools cost more than major universities yet people flock to them for whatever reason. We as consumers need to be more educated, and use better judgment, when choosing to attend these institutions of higher learning. Do the research, if school X is charging $30,000 to become a medical assitant and school Y is charging $15,000 to become an RN (for the sake of argument), wouldnt it be wise to investigate the income potential for both professions? No one is forcing anyone into these schools the last time I checked.

    As for the MA doing more or as much as Nurses, in some offices they do. But who is the real villian here. Its not the Nurse, or the MA. Its the MD practice thats paying MA well under market value for the job they perfom. In my area of the country Nurses make about $30,000 a year more than MA's, if I were an MA I would be pissed! You are basically working for 1/2 the pay of an RN that you feel you have comparable skills to (I am not going to argue skill set, it has been mentioned enough). If your skills were really valued wouldnt the doctor's office pay you more? As an MA are you satisfied with your pay compared to other health care professionals? As I see it, MA's are woefully underpaid for what is expected of them. This thread has taken may twists and turns and has gotten quite ugly at times, but the bottom line is that we all play a vital role in the healthcare system and we all chose our career paths. if we want to hold another title, or place more letters after our last name, then I suggest that we all go back to school and earn it. jmhi
    I have to say that you summed it up very well!

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