what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 2

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   BSNtobe2009
    That is a terrible ad! I actually looking at doing at the Sonogram schools and found their programs to be few and far between. There weren't any near my area (by a 3 hour radius) and the one that I did find only admitted 10 students and had about 90 applicants.

    Salary.com has their salary to be $55 to $60K per year...not sure how accurate that is.

    I decided on nursing because how many of these jobs does a hospital even have to start with?
  2. by   cjohn99
    Come on people. There is room for more than RN's and MD's in the medical field. My daughter is a MA and yes, she did go to one of the schools that lie and say all the credits will transfer, ect. But we did our homework and knew better. She drove 50 miles each way, for 9 months to go to school and loved every minute of it. Not everyone is ready to commit to the time it takes to become a nurse. Some wait until later in life such as me (graduating in 12/06 at 47 YOA) :mortarboard: . She learned a valuable education at that school and has the certification behind her. Not many nurses out there can say they know the in's and out's of the insurance side of a medical practice like she does. Just like GN's and new RN's she also did a lot of "on-the-job" training. Even if you do not admit it, no RN out there knew it all just after graduation...if you did I beg to differ. I will graduate in December as a GN and I can proudly say I can not wait for my "on-the-job" training. MA's play a very important role in the MD's office and just like the MD would not know what to do without a good nurse at the hospital, well the same goes for MA's at the MD's office. My daughter continues to learn and improve her skills even after years of practice. She works in a large Internal Medicine practice and her MD's love her and know their office would fall apart if it was not for her. If an MA decides to work as a nurse tech/nursing assistant then maybe that is what she/he needs to do at that time in their life. Maybe they are trying to figure out if they want to go back to school to pursue a degree and as a member of the team, you should respect that.
  3. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from cjohn99
    Come on people. There is room for more than RN's and MD's in the medical field. My daughter is a MA and yes, she did go to one of the schools that lie and say all the credits will transfer, ect. But we did our homework and knew better. She drove 50 miles each way, for 9 months to go to school and loved every minute of it. Not everyone is ready to commit to the time it takes to become a nurse. Some wait until later in life such as me (graduating in 12/06 at 47 YOA) :mortarboard: . She learned a valuable education at that school and has the certification behind her. Not many nurses out there can say they know the in's and out's of the insurance side of a medical practice like she does. Just like GN's and new RN's she also did a lot of "on-the-job" training. Even if you do not admit it, no RN out there knew it all just after graduation...if you did I beg to differ. I will graduate in December as a GN and I can proudly say I can not wait for my "on-the-job" training. MA's play a very important role in the MD's office and just like the MD would not know what to do without a good nurse at the hospital, well the same goes for MA's at the MD's office. My daughter continues to learn and improve her skills even after years of practice. She works in a large Internal Medicine practice and her MD's love her and know their office would fall apart if it was not for her. If an MA decides to work as a nurse tech/nursing assistant then maybe that is what she/he needs to do at that time in their life. Maybe they are trying to figure out if they want to go back to school to pursue a degree and as a member of the team, you should respect that.
    I don't think anyone here said anything negative about the value of MA's. They are valuable. We are just talking about how the for-profit schools mislead MA students into salaries that don't exist and charging them big bucks for training that they can get anywhere else for a fraction of the cost.

    It's also misleading to tell a student that they will be a "nurse" when they are not.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from cjohn99
    Come on people. There is room for more than RN's and MD's in the medical field. My daughter is a MA and yes, she did go to one of the schools that lie and say all the credits will transfer, ect. But we did our homework and knew better. She drove 50 miles each way, for 9 months to go to school and loved every minute of it. Not everyone is ready to commit to the time it takes to become a nurse. Some wait until later in life such as me (graduating in 12/06 at 47 YOA) :mortarboard: . She learned a valuable education at that school and has the certification behind her. Not many nurses out there can say they know the in's and out's of the insurance side of a medical practice like she does. Just like GN's and new RN's she also did a lot of "on-the-job" training. Even if you do not admit it, no RN out there knew it all just after graduation...if you did I beg to differ. I will graduate in December as a GN and I can proudly say I can not wait for my "on-the-job" training. MA's play a very important role in the MD's office and just like the MD would not know what to do without a good nurse at the hospital, well the same goes for MA's at the MD's office. My daughter continues to learn and improve her skills even after years of practice. She works in a large Internal Medicine practice and her MD's love her and know their office would fall apart if it was not for her. If an MA decides to work as a nurse tech/nursing assistant then maybe that is what she/he needs to do at that time in their life. Maybe they are trying to figure out if they want to go back to school to pursue a degree and as a member of the team, you should respect that.
    Oh, we do respect the desire to better oneself! Most of us have BTDT ourselves.

    What we're angry about is the schools that drum up business by misleading people into thinking that they'll have a certification that's equivalent to a nursing degree. They overpay, they are misled, by and large, and the whole advertising gimmick borders on fraud.

    Then unknowing patients come to those doctors offices and believe they're getting a licensed nurse, and no one corrects them. If a mistake is made, it becomes a slur on professional nursing.

    If we had a really strong ANA, as strong as the AMA, our peers in the Ivory Towers would be coming out vehemently against these recruiting tactics and would be coming down hard on MDs who let their MAs "play house."
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Oh, we do respect the desire to better oneself! Most of us have BTDT ourselves.

    What we're angry about is the schools that drum up business by misleading people into thinking that they'll have a certification that's equivalent to a nursing degree. They overpay, they are misled, by and large, and the whole advertising gimmick borders on fraud.

    Then unknowing patients come to those doctors offices and believe they're getting a licensed nurse, and no one corrects them. If a mistake is made, it becomes a slur on professional nursing.

    If we had a really strong ANA, as strong as the AMA, our peers in the Ivory Towers would be coming out vehemently against these recruiting tactics and would be coming down hard on MDs who let their MAs "play house."
    yeah...what she said <wink>
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Oh, we do respect the desire to better oneself! Most of us have BTDT ourselves.

    What we're angry about is the schools that drum up business by misleading people into thinking that they'll have a certification that's equivalent to a nursing degree. They overpay, they are misled, by and large, and the whole advertising gimmick borders on fraud.

    Then unknowing patients come to those doctors offices and believe they're getting a licensed nurse, and no one corrects them. If a mistake is made, it becomes a slur on professional nursing.

    If we had a really strong ANA, as strong as the AMA, our peers in the Ivory Towers would be coming out vehemently against these recruiting tactics and would be coming down hard on MDs who let their MAs "play house."
    I agree with you, 100%. I can't count how many times I have heard and seen patients who mistook MA's for licensed nurses (and the doctors that employed the MAs did not do much, if anything at all, to correct this faulty perception).

    I hate these commmercials, too. They make it seem that "just after a few months" they can have the career of their dreams and that financial aid is easy to be had---not to mention, no big deal. It's very misleading. Again, Caveat Emptor. I would not encourage either of my kids to go to any of these schools. And I would tell them WHY.

    No one is really debating that MAs are valuable assets to many areas in the medical field. But their role and titles are not clearly defined, often, and in worst cases, these folks are being permitted to address themselves as nurses. But then, this debate has been done before---and hotly. I just know I would rather spend that tens of thousands of dollars on college education, not one of these places.
  7. by   nursesaideBen
    I have seen several of these comercials on t.v. that have made similar statements, but also know of several schools around here who actually have an Associate's degree program in medical assisting, which is the type of program my mother went through. She worked at an urgent care clinic and loved being a CMA. There was one story though, that I will never forget her telling me, the time she had a patient who was an RN and asked her what her title was, my mother told her she was a Certified Medical Assistant and the RN demanded she have a nurse draw her blood. How silly is this? My mother was extremely compotent at her job, trained and oriented new nurses and CMA's, had been FORMALLY trained to perform the task and was certified to do her job and yet simply because she didn't have RN after her name this patient refused to accept care from her. Pretty silly if you ask me, I think many nurses have it in their head that no one can do a job like a nurse can, whether it be a bed bath or a venipuncture. Are CMA's nurses, No, do they perform certain duties that were once considered ONLY nursing duties, yes. I think this problem of lack of respect for CMA's originates from some of these schools telling their students that they are nurses and this bothers people in the nursing community and even in the medical assisting community so much that CMA's are treated like crap a lot of times. It was because of this reason that my mother was in the process of getting her RN but wasn't able to because she passed away. The point of my post? We need to educate ourselves and those around us about the roles of our commrades in healthcare. I don't think schooling is a waste of money, period however one should be leery of ANY program that has an outrageous price. And please let's not turn this into a flaming board against CMA's and my post is not meant to offend ANYONE and if it has done so I apologize, just thought I'd share my own personal experience with *in my opinion although I'm obviously bias* the best CMA I've ever known.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I don't see anything on this thread that's been a flamewar (yet) for anything about MAs, except the schools that perpetuate false advertising and inflated promises (the OT).
  9. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Quote from nursesaideBen
    I have seen several of these comercials on t.v. that have made similar statements, but also know of several schools around here who actually have an Associate's degree program in medical assisting, which is the type of program my mother went through. She worked at an urgent care clinic and loved being a CMA. There was one story though, that I will never forget her telling me, the time she had a patient who was an RN and asked her what her title was, my mother told her she was a Certified Medical Assistant and the RN demanded she have a nurse draw her blood. How silly is this? My mother was extremely compotent at her job, trained and oriented new nurses and CMA's, had been FORMALLY trained to perform the task and was certified to do her job and yet simply because she didn't have RN after her name this patient refused to accept care from her. Pretty silly if you ask me, I think many nurses have it in their head that no one can do a job like a nurse can, whether it be a bed bath or a venipuncture. Are CMA's nurses, No, do they perform certain duties that were once considered ONLY nursing duties, yes. I think this problem of lack of respect for CMA's originates from some of these schools telling their students that they are nurses and this bothers people in the nursing community and even in the medical assisting community so much that CMA's are treated like crap a lot of times. It was because of this reason that my mother was in the process of getting her RN but wasn't able to because she passed away. The point of my post? We need to educate ourselves and those around us about the roles of our commrades in healthcare. I don't think schooling is a waste of money, period however one should be leery of ANY program that has an outrageous price. And please let's not turn this into a flaming board against CMA's and my post is not meant to offend ANYONE and if it has done so I apologize, just thought I'd share my own personal experience with *in my opinion although I'm obviously bias* the best CMA I've ever known.
    Yes, silly indeed! I'm sorry about your mom

    I would take a seasoned ANYONE drawing my blood over a "nurse only." That sentence is confusing, even for me!! What I'm saying is that personally, I want it to be quick and not hurt. Whoever can accomplish that task is my friend
  10. by   imenid37
    I think it is a real sham to spend big$$$'s on school to be an MA. I also think that the offices are using these folks for a lot of grunt work because they don't want to pay for a real nurse-RN or LPN. I get annoyed by MA's and Dr.'s who call MA's nurses. They are not. Just because they do some of the same stuff nurses do, doesn't make them nurses. I know a particular MA at my daughter's school who calls herself a nurse and knows absolutely everything on all subjects known to humankind. (Everyone knows someone like that.) She calls herself a nurse she says because she has done a lot of things nurses do...give injections, draw blood, etc. I told her I might start calling myself an obstertrician since I have delivered a few babies over the years. Of course, I do not have the same body of knowledge as an obstetrician, nor does she have the same body of knowledge as a nurse, even though I agree , we do some of the same ""stuff". I think if you are an MA, like what you do and want to take on more, go back to school for nursing. I surely rather be making $30/hr for giving injections vs. 10/hr. Just please don't call yourself a nurse unless you are one. There are good and bad among us whether they are a nurse, MA, etc. Some MA's are good at what they do. Personally, I think they are really taken advantage of by those who employ them.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Oct 3, '06
  11. by   cjohn99
    "GRUNT WORK"? Please! The world is big enough for everyone, don't you think? Why should a MD pay $30 an hour for a nurse when they can spend less on a CMA doing the job they were also trained to do? If the MA does the same job as a nurse in the office, would that nurse be doing "grunt work"? Seems to me the job description hasn't changed, has it? I hope you are respectful and thankful to the CNA working her/his tail off for you in the hospital. I hope you do not think they are a nobody just doing "grunt work".
  12. by   vampiregirl
    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.
  13. by   cjohn99
    emtrachel,
    I am in total agreement with you. Like I said on a previous message, a MA is taught whatever is needed for the specific office she is working at after graduation. Since GN's graduate with the basics of nursing they have to learn on the job training for whatever unit they start at. No difference. MA's do their job and RN's do theirs. End of story.

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