what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 14

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   ann945n
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    When I attended MA school, they taught us how to do IMs and sub-q. We were told that we were working under the license of that physician, and if he felt comfortable with us performing that skill, then, we were allowed to. I do know that when my son was an infant, he received his DTP injection from a Medical Assistant. I did it a few times, so, believe me, it can and has been done. Now, as an LPN, I wonder, but, since she may not be held liable, I guess that the doctor has the brunt of whatever mistake she makes, so, maybe in that aspect, they are luckier than we are...??
    I had a MA pretend to be a nurse in front of me I was told on the phone she was the nurse and introduced herself as the nurse and while i was getting my shots from her i was making small talk and came to find out she was a MA!!!!!!!!:angryfire i was sooo upset! i dont mind her so much giving the shot but who in the heck drew it up! I know MA are not taught like a nurse, how does she know if the vaccine was kept at the right temp or how to draw up the right amount or even right one.....*sigh* had i know i would have refused...
  2. by   lauralassie
    Quote from ann945n
    i had a ma pretend to be a nurse in front of me i was told on the phone she was the nurse and introduced herself as the nurse and while i was getting my shots from her i was making small talk and came to find out she was a ma!!!!!!!!:angryfire i was sooo upset! i dont mind her so much giving the shot but who in the heck drew it up! i know ma are not taught like a nurse, how does she know if the vaccine was kept at the right temp or how to draw up the right amount or even right one.....*sigh* had i know i would have refused...

    don't worry too much , she was most likley trained to do this. many ma's are trained to do such tasks. it's more the critical skills etc...most rn's are speaking of. although, she needs to introduce herself as an ma not a nurse. i see no problem with confronting her on that if she introduces herself that way again. it's probabley best to do this in a non threatening way, more in a way to educate her. if she is defensive go to her boss , tell them about your concern. you would problably be suprised at how dr's have no idea of the difference. but , let a patient call a nurse a dr. (cause they are wearing a white coat) and see what happens. (thats why i say nurses need to look out for ourselves).
  3. by   bmh-lpn
    "The battle may end when your replaced by an MA in the hospital setting
    ! Don't think it can't happen . "

    This has already happen to me and several (100+) other nurses I work with 5 years ago! A
    large hospital chain out of St. Louis came to our rural area. They said
    during our lay offs that we were going to be replaced by MA's because of
    saving cost to the Patients. More like increasing profits to their pockets.
    So to think you would not be affected, is putting wool over your eyes. I
    think there is a place and a need for MA's, but not to subsitute
    a more qualified RN/LPN/LVN.
    I recently went back to this clinic with a family member (who sees a Dr there),
    and they call all their MA's Nurses. When you call to ask to speak to the
    Nurse, you get an MA and they say "I am the nurse" They all say that's what
    the Dr or the Administrator tells them to say. Sad to say I was told that all
    the Nurses were replaced over the past 5 years by MA's. Now I am hearing the
    Hospital is starting to do the same thing! I don't know if true or not... I
    will try to find out? If true it is going to be a decline in the care we all
    get. So long as MA's continue to work for the low pay, this will continue. I would
    think that MA's, if they are replacing nurses should not settle for less pay.
    They should only settle for equal pay for equal work. If I was an MA I would
    want to be paid the same as some one else gets paid to put a Patient in a room.

    So yes, It is already happening!!!
  4. by   ann945n
    Quote from lauralassie
    don't worry too much , she was most likley trained to do this. many ma's are trained to do such tasks. it's more the critical skills etc...most rn's are speaking of. although, she needs to introduce herself as an ma not a nurse. i see no problem with confronting her on that if she introduces herself that way again. it's probabley best to do this in a non threatening way, more in a way to educate her. if she is defensive go to her boss , tell them about your concern. you would problably be suprised at how dr's have no idea of the difference. but , let a patient call a nurse a dr. (cause they are wearing a white coat) and see what happens. (thats why i say nurses need to look out for ourselves).
    maybe you would feel okay with a ma drawing up your meds but im sure as heck not. i thought that was a critical skill knowing the 5 rights and knowing all the adverse reactions that go along with them and what to if that happens. i dont think a ma is trained that way and if they are i still dont want someone who is only knowledgeable in a few meds they are giving give me them, what about all the other drugs i could be taking along with them and all the drugs i have allergies to. also where did this nonthreatening stuff come from... arent we alowed to vent here???
  5. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from lauralassie
    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. Not sure about you but I don't think the Cardiac Thorasic Dr's want an MA to care for a crashing patient at 2:00 am. My best freind completed an ma course, her med list MOM, TD, Botox(go figure why this is even on a med list for an ma)etc. As compaired to an RN list of inatrops, ca blockers etc..
    Any one have any ideas of how to stop the practice of ma schools comparing ma 's to Rn's?
    You're not going to believe this but one school in our area that offers certificates in medical assistant etc advertises regularly on TV, like every 10 minutes or so during the Montel Williams, Maury Povich or Jerry Springer shows and refers to their students as "medical students"
  6. by   kkorso51
    I was going to school for a MA when a teacher encouraged us to look into nursing. I have thought about it before but never had someone tell me I can do it. Anyway, I still would like to do the insurance coding part but they don't make anything where I live. Nursing school is a better choice in the long run but I've been in college for 5 years already and would have 2 1/2 more to go to get my ASN. I feel stupid to have waited this long to figure out what I'm going to do.
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from cabkrun
    Pagandeva,
    thanks for the kind reply. I really think you make a couple of valid points. First off, the devaluing has to stop. The comments about LPN's are just catty and childish. I don't understand why a person secure in themselves would ever say such a thing. There is obvious value to the role, and what you talk about in terms of the differences between LPN and RN make a lot of sense. Secondly, you hit it on the head when you talk about not practicing in arrogance. It may get tiring, but it is important that a patient understands that an MA is not a nurse, a NP or PA is not an MD, etc. It ties into expectations from the patient, as they may believe they are not getting appropriate care, when in reality they are asking the wrong person. And, you are right... for someone to practice outside their scope of practice because they "feel they can" is NOT SAFE. I agree, a result that does not devalue a role, yet clearly defines that role would be nice. The devaluing has to stop with the different providers. When people start cat fighting about roles and fairness, etc. it becomes about them and not about the patient.
    I am applauding two of your comments; one is that the patient just may be asking the wrong person and doesn't realize it, and also, that the devaluing of titles IS about the person, not the patient. I don't see much of a truce in site, though, because traditional roles have become so mucky just to save the almighty dollar.
  8. by   reebok
    Well, it's a harsh world out there. There are many gimics and scams but this scam is totally preventable. There's no doubt that the business is wrong but I partially blame on the student. Why? There is enough easy attainable information out there. The internet alone has thousands of websites that let you know the difference between the 2 fields.

    1.Occupation Outlook Handbook.
    2.Google. yahoo search engines. type in: nursing education ma education
    What do nurses do? What do ma's do?
    3.This lovely forum itself provides enough information to distinguish between the two.

    This spam was totally avoidable.
  9. by   Kidrn911
    It real burns my butt hearing an MA being called a nurse.
  10. by   LorraineCNA
    Quote from emtrachel
    After reading throught this thread, a thought popped into my head... I suspect that the MA schools continue to reinforce the idea that a "CMA can do almost everything that a nurse can do" throughout the program. I wonder if MA students are even taught any of the differences between the scopes of practice.

    I agree with the poster who shared the story of her mother, a CMA, encountering the RN patient who refused to let her draw blood. If a CMA has the training and the skill to draw blood... then she is the person I'd want drawing my blood. I think CMA's do have an important role in the healthcare field, it just needs to be better defined. And that should start with the CMA's training program.


    Sorry, I realize this is an old thread but I haven't been here for awhile. I'm a CMA. I work in a very busy family practice. I draw blood, do ekg's, BP's along with other vitals, AI's, PPD's, etc. We also take sick calls...which consists of simply getting the pts info, allergies, etc. documenting their symptoms and leaving a message for the doc. At no time do we do any assessing of pts sx.
    We were actually well informed in school in regards to scope of practice. If someone calls and says "Is this the nurse?" I do tell them EXPLICITLY that I'm not the nurse and identify myself.

    I paid almost $7,000.00 for my schooling and my pay is lousy. I actually make LESS than I made as a CNA. That being said, I really enjoy my job. The hours are great, I love (most of) the patients. We don't have a lot of patient turnover so we know most of the pts on a more personal (for lack of a better term) than I'd ever get to know anyone in another type of setting.

    I am certified by the AAMA and had to sit for an exam to become certified. There IS a difference between certified and non-certified MA's and the AAMA has stringent regulations for qualifying programs. The schools must be certified by either the ABHES or CAAHEP before you're eligible to take their exam.

    I too, take issue with the misrepresentation of pay...AND the misrepresentation of title. Most of us CMA's would like to see certification (at least) mandatory for MA's. It gives the rest of us, who take pride in our positions, a bad rep when a doc can just pull someone off the street and train them.

    Someone I believe had mentioned meds? I'm sure this doesn't compare to nursing school but we did have to learn I'd say around 200 meds and their classifications...just so you know...we don't all just learn M.O.M.

    Lorraine
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    You sound very competent as well as confident in your job! You seem to deal with things professionally, and that is a great thing. I agree that they should make it mandatory for CMAs or RMAs to be certified because it can be a slap in the face when a person is pulled from elsewhere without the formal training that you had to do the job.

    Most schools that advertise are not that honest about the scope of practice, and that is what I think the main issue was in this thread. I learned quite alot when I attended medical assisting school...but I didn't pay alot for the course. I actually paid $300 for mine. What I did was combine all of my skills as a phlebotomist and CNA and from there, I had been able to somewhat function as a medical assistant in the office. I was not nationally certified, but I did go to agencies and fill in for medical assistants that called in sick. Any profession should be taken more seriously than that.

    Quote from LorraineCNA
    Sorry, I realize this is an old thread but I haven't been here for awhile. I'm a CMA. I work in a very busy family practice. I draw blood, do ekg's, BP's along with other vitals, AI's, PPD's, etc. We also take sick calls...which consists of simply getting the pts info, allergies, etc. documenting their symptoms and leaving a message for the doc. At no time do we do any assessing of pts sx.
    We were actually well informed in school in regards to scope of practice. If someone calls and says "Is this the nurse?" I do tell them EXPLICITLY that I'm not the nurse and identify myself.

    I paid almost $7,000.00 for my schooling and my pay is lousy. I actually make LESS than I made as a CNA. That being said, I really enjoy my job. The hours are great, I love (most of) the patients. We don't have a lot of patient turnover so we know most of the pts on a more personal (for lack of a better term) than I'd ever get to know anyone in another type of setting.

    I am certified by the AAMA and had to sit for an exam to become certified. There IS a difference between certified and non-certified MA's and the AAMA has stringent regulations for qualifying programs. The schools must be certified by either the ABHES or CAAHEP before you're eligible to take their exam.

    I too, take issue with the misrepresentation of pay...AND the misrepresentation of title. Most of us CMA's would like to see certification (at least) mandatory for MA's. It gives the rest of us, who take pride in our positions, a bad rep when a doc can just pull someone off the street and train them.

    Someone I believe had mentioned meds? I'm sure this doesn't compare to nursing school but we did have to learn I'd say around 200 meds and their classifications...just so you know...we don't all just learn M.O.M.

    Lorraine
  12. by   LorraineCNA
    Just a few more points. I edited my original post but apparently it got lost in cyberspace.

    We are qualified to draw up meds. We learn the same "Six Rights" they teach in nursing school. It's also our office policy that all injections are also checked by either another MA or the nurse prior to administration. As for the
    reaction point, that's why we're not permitted to do any injections unless Doc is on-site.

    My school BTW was 6 months, 4 days a week followed by a 3 month full-time externship (where I ended up staying on).

    Oh...and yes, it does ire me that the cashiers at ALDI's grocery make the same money I do. However, with no certification or licensure mandatory, that's not likely to change.

    Lorraine

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