what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 3

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   swatch007
    EVEN A MONKEY CAN BE TAUGHT TO DO NURSING SKILLS.
    HOWEVER, THE MONKEY WON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE HECK IS S/HE DOING.

    THE MECHANICAL ASPECTS OF NURSING TASK IS EASY TO IMMITATE FOR FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT RN , BUT NOT THE CRITICAL THINKING REQUIRES DO EXECUTE THE JOB PROFESSIONALLY. THAT IS WHY RN SHOULD NOT DELEGATE TASKS THAT REQUIRES ASSESSMENT SKILLS.

    YES, I AGREE THAT M.A. CAN DO THE MECHANICAL TASKS THAT AN RN DOES. THEY ARE PARTS OF "MONKEY BUSSINESS"

    as I always said " workplace is a mordern jungle". so expect to see monkey wearing white uniform while inserting IV. Hey, somebody needs to bring banana on its table:wink2:
  2. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from lauralassie
    Any one have any ideas of how to stop the practice of ma schools comparing ma 's to Rn's?
    I attended medical assisting school over 6 years ago. The instructors, however incompetent, never told us that medical assistants were nurses or ever compared medical assistants to RNs. Not all MA programs engage in the activities you've described.
  3. by   BabyRN2Be
    This irritates me to no end. The MA at my doctor's office always identifies herself as Dr. X's nurse when she calls. I know she thinks it's a great power trip, and I get upset about it.

    I think that MA schools make it sound like you are a nurse in theory when you finish one of their classes. In fact, one of the schools around here has a commercial on that says, "Become a nurse. Enroll in our classes and enjoy the prestige which comes with being a nurse." I think that if the FCC found that commercial they'd get in trouble. The same school runs a CNA program, and they say essentially the same thing.

    Oh, this really makes me mad.
  4. by   BabyRN2Be
    Oh! And the cost of attending one of these schools for 9 months is out of this world. Seriously, I could probably get my ADN for about the same price as one of the local MA schools is charging.

    It's crazy.
  5. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from Natkat
    I've seen this in my area. There are commercials that show a young woman shopping while the sales clerk looks on in envy, wondering how she can afford such expensive things. The shopper tells the clerk that now that she works as a medical assistant she can afford to buy more things. Jeez. They play on a person's greed to sell their programs.
    I have been a CMA and at the same job for over four years and I still only make $9/hr with no benefits. I did not go into thinking I was going to make money. Our teacher who was an CMA also told us you make nothing, and she had a fellow CMA come in and tell us how you work your butt off and your paycheck is so tiny. We were never given the impression that we were anything remotely close to a nurse. It is unfortunate that these programs can make other schools look bad. My experience has been good for me in nursing school. I can give shots, draw blood, dress wounds, ect ect...some of the stuff is new like lifting maneuvers, bed baths, ect, and I wounder if I would have benefited being a CNA for awhile...even they make more money than I did and I had more training. But whatever, that is all behind me now. When people ask if I regret that I became a CMA first I say no, but I would not recommend it, if you want to pay bills and have a mobile career.
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    I bought into the whole MA pitch before I ever considered nursing...for the same reasons another poster mentioned (young, naive, lack of knowledge regarding medical feild.)

    I spent $8000 and never worked after my externship. I spent less $$$ for my registered nursing program.

    During school, we were taught by a variety of MA's (min. requirement to teach was 3 yrs exp) and RNs (min. degree required to teach was an ADN). Our program director was an RT.

    My MA program was a joke! It was 6 mos classroom instruction and 240s externship. There is a reason why most of these 'colleges' credits do not transfer. While I learned "A&P" which was closer to an advanced medical terminology course vs. a real A&P class, venipuncture, how to apply the leads for a 12-Lead EKG, Basic Heart Rhythms, How to identify different types of blood cells under the microscope, and very basic medication calculation and the 5 Rights...I learned nothing about assessment, pharmocolgy, pathophysiology, legal/ethical issues, etc. I thought I was so well educated until nursing school...

    TO PUT IT IN SIMPLE TERMS....I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW...until I received the appropriate education.

    During the MA training, you could opt for the associate degree program which ending up costing a total of $20,000...but no more pay once you graduate...and not sure if it was even accredited by the state. I opted out thank goodness.

    The starting rate was $10 in a clinic, $8 as a CNA in the hospital....I was told it would be $15 or more....hahahaha....what a joke!

    I was NEVER...

    Let me say this again

    I WAS NEVER instructed on the legal scope of practice that is granted by licensure for a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, or the difference between the two. I was told that I could do anything the doctor asked me/taught me to do.

    In my state, the BON states specifically that medication administration can only be performed by a licensed nurse, and not delegated to UAPs...how in the world do they get around that in doctor's offices?
  7. by   smk1
    I took the medical assistant pharmacology class right before starting my RN program because I thought it would be helpful. (not really) but the real problem was that most of the people kept saying how they are the equivalent of an LPN and actually have more training because they have the back office training as well. The other problem was that they kept saying that MA has a starting pay rate of 15 dollars per hour and that they could go to the hospital and work as an MA and start at that salary. Now I know seveal people who work at the hospital in question, one of whom is an MA and has 10 years seniority at the hospital in question and she makes 16.50/per hour with 10 years experience and seniority and that is as an office medical assistant. Clinically MA is equivalent to CNA at the hospital so they will have the same pay rate out here and it is lower. It is kind of sad because these people are thinking they are in such demand and they are going to walk out the door and get 15/hour wherever they want to work. A lot of the problems stem from a lot of the students not doing their homework. Some also had the mistaken idea that because they had "A&P" they could transfer their credits and apply for the nursing program. I tried to let them know that it wasn't the same level or length of time needed, but some didn't want to hear it and were just certain they could "test out of it". Yeah right. I pretty much kept quiet and let them talk after that. They have quite the rude awakening awaiting them if they decide to "just get their license". A rude awakening indeed!
  8. by   hope3456
    I am honestly thinking of switching Dr's for my 5 mo old daughter, all b/c of the MA's in this office. I have called the office w/ a question a couple times now and asked to speak to a 'nurse.' I got the MA - and she totally gave me medical advice. I didn't find out it was the MA until the next day when I brought my daughter in and she says 'oh yeah, I talked to you yesterday on the phone.'

    I don't think it is their fault, after all, they are being put into the position and they are only trying to do their job- but I am thinking of making a complaint.
  9. by   lauralassie
    I worked as a CNA for many years before becoming an RN. I can't imagine working without their skills. However, I do feel that we as a profession must be alert to others that work in the health care setting. We must be certain that each aspect is being represented accurately. We must watch out for ourselves (no one else will). I have a real problem with schools that obtain state money in the form of grants as well as money from well meaning applicants under the false pretense.(that an MA will make 40,000 $ yr/ and do the same thing as an RN. ) A dental hygienest is not a dentist , a PA is not a physician, an RN is not a physician and a CRNA is not an anesthesiologist. When applying to nursing school at 18, if I would have been told that I could become a nurse (RN) make 200,000 $ a year and do the same thing as a DR......YOU BET I WOULD HAVE JUMPED ON IT! After all why would a school that teaches health care ever lie to me! However, as licensed professionals (as opposed to certified) we have state boards of nursing that regulate us. If I tell a patient that I do the same thing as the Dr. and therfore introduce myself as a DR. I would immediately be reprimanded by the state board of nursing. If I call my self a DR. even though I do not specify myself as an MD or DO, I have still misrepresented myself to my patient. I don't mean to sound cocky but, if any MA school (that advertises as mentioned above)would like to recommend an MA graduate to a challange in the ER, ICU or general med unit , I would be more than happy to accept. At the end of the day we'll see who is willing to sign their name on a chart for review by an attorney. Thumbs up to MA schools that are not misrepresenting themselves. Also , thank goodness RN's don't code. We have enough stress, although , if we need to do so we could. Who better to code than someone who has an extensive working knowlege of DX's.
  10. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from swatch007
    EVEN A MONKEY CAN BE TAUGHT TO DO NURSING SKILLS.
    HOWEVER, THE MONKEY WON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE HECK IS S/HE DOING.

    THE MECHANICAL ASPECTS OF NURSING TASK IS EASY TO IMMITATE FOR FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT RN , BUT NOT THE CRITICAL THINKING REQUIRES DO EXECUTE THE JOB PROFESSIONALLY. THAT IS WHY RN SHOULD NOT DELEGATE TASKS THAT REQUIRES ASSESSMENT SKILLS.

    YES, I AGREE THAT M.A. CAN DO THE MECHANICAL TASKS THAT AN RN DOES. THEY ARE PARTS OF "MONKEY BUSSINESS"

    as I always said " workplace is a mordern jungle". so expect to see monkey wearing white uniform while inserting IV. Hey, somebody needs to bring banana on its table:wink2:

    I just love how you're so respectful of other professions! I just hope you aren't so rude with the CNA's you work with.
  11. by   vamedic4
    Quote from hope3456
    I am honestly thinking of switching Dr's for my 5 mo old daughter, all b/c of the MA's in this office. I have called the office w/ a question a couple times now and asked to speak to a 'nurse.' I got the MA - and she totally gave me medical advice. I didn't find out it was the MA until the next day when I brought my daughter in and she says 'oh yeah, I talked to you yesterday on the phone.'

    I don't think it is their fault, after all, they are being put into the position and they are only trying to do their job- but I am thinking of making a complaint.

    Like I said...dangerous, and yes, it is their fault. She should have told the nurse "Sorry, I can't (legally) give out medical advice", which is the absolute truth.

    I'm sure she was just trying to do what she was told, but sometimes (as in this case) MAs don't realize the liability they create for their employers when they give out medical advice as an "unlicensed" staff member.
    I'd complain.
  12. by   soingal
    i am glad that this topic was brought up because recently i was contemplating enrolling in a medical assisting program and wanted to obtain an associate degree. the first college that i checked out was brown mackie in cincinnati. the problem with bm is that their program would've cost over $18,000 and wasn't fully accredited.

    i also checked out ivy tech in se indiana recently but have only met with them once. i am scheduled to take an assessment test there at the end of this month, but i've had a revelation: i swtiched "mental" gears and thought it might just be a better decision all around to pursue nursing.

    i think i would really enjoy working in a doctor's office, but the median salary around where i live (from what i was told) is around $10 an hour, which isn't much. i can't travel to cincinnati for that because of the distance (in the event that i couldn't find a ma job around where i live and in turn would seek positions in the city).

    i did check out the institute for medical and dental technology in cincinnati, and, while the program is $7100.00, a person doesn't get a degree but certification only. brown mackie tried 'warning' me about this type of school.

    i believe that all of us medical professionals, whether we're lpns, rns, mas, etc. all have a vital role to play in the healthcare industry. i think that as long as a person is happy and qualified/skilled at whatever job they're doing, that it is what ultimately counts.

    i do agree that these commercials, although i've not seen any on our local tv stations, shouldn't be deceptive. my ob/gyn has a "key" ma whom he refers to as "my nurse," although when questioned by me because of my interest in working in healthcare, admitted that she's an ma but did acquire an associate degree, but that's how he refers to her when he and i spoke on the phone. the other girls in that office went to imdt in cincy, so i know that they don't have an actual degree.

    i do not know what his "main gal" makes per hour, nor do i know what the others' salary could possibly be. i did give him my resume recently at a post op visit, but i've not heard anything back from the office, most likely because i don't have experience working in a medical setting. i'm not even sure if there's an actual rn or lpn in that office. if the caregiver who's working on me knows what they're doing, i'm not worried whether or not they have an actual degree or just a certificate, but it is interesting to see the variation of "titles" that a person has working in these offices.

    i would imagine that those girls who went to that medical/dental tech school wanted a quick way to obtain a job and chose that route.

    hoosier
  13. by   robynv
    I have to say that I followed this thread because I too, fell into this. But for me it was more of my kids are in school now, I don't want to work at a minunum wage job, so lets see what I can do. Being an MA did get my foot in the door and I discovered I do like my job a lot. ( I work for a OB/GYN office) It is interesting we have RN's, LPN's and MA's doing the same job pretty much. Of course I'm sure the pay is much diffrent!!:wink2: As it should be. I however do not refer to myself as a nurse. OR A MONKEY OR THAT MATTER. I don't want to be sued! I started at $12.00 and really love what I do. I only do the clinical stuff and would hate having to deal with insurance so I'm mulling over the idea of a 1 year LPN program. In fact that is what I think I wanted to do before I was talked into MA. But I have to admit to a giant math phobia. sigh.

    As to the monkey comment, not to be rude myself, but really.....? You think of MA's as trained monkeys? Isn't that a bit rude? I don't think a monkey could have tried to find fetal heart tones on a young woman and then comforted her when we couldn't find them. Nor do I think a monkey could assist in the many GYN procedures we do. ie.. LEEP's EMB etc.....

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