what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 4

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   smk1
    Yeah the monkey comment was uncalled for, you do realize that is the exact argument I've seen over on SDN aout why NP/CRNAs shouldn't be able to utilize the knowledge and skills that they have. CMA's are not as educated or skilled as nurses LPN or RN, but they are NOT trained monkeys.
  2. by   soon2bim
    I have several students in my nursing class that are MA's, and realized the difference. I think the entire difference would be in the Nurse Practice Acts. The 2 are not equal!
  3. by   ortess1971
    Quote from multicollinarity
    To me the larger issue is the problem of these for-profit vocational schools that mislead the naive who want to do better in life. Their misrepresentation applies to many other certificate programs, not just nursing and/or MA.

    For example, in my city there is a for-profit school advertising their medical coding certificate program on the radio. They advertise "make $50,000 per year as a medical office coder!"

    Less than 1% of medical coders in my city earn 50k. More like 30k per year.

    So I guess I see it as an industry-wide problem of misleading the naive who want to do better. I went with a relative to one of these private vocational certification programs for an info session once, and the high pressure commission 'career counselor' made me want to:


    Absolutely! I paid less for my RN(about $14,000 less) than I did for my surgical technology degree(that one cost about $20,000 for 2 years!) In this area, there is a commercial for one of these places that says "Maybe you always wanted to be a nurse, but couldn't afford it." Ummm, if you go to the nursing school I graduated from you'll pay far less than you would for an MA certificate from one of these "pseudo colleges". It's wrong that they sucker people in like that, especially when these are people who want to make their life better. I ended up calling the number they gave on the TV and asked how much their program was and then told them about how in many instances you can get your RN for far less than what they charge. They hung up on me.
  4. by   swatch007
    Quote from nursesaideBen
    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.
    Yes Sir/Madam, I'm not rude to anybody.
    CNA, MA, UAPs and other fellows at a workplace are decent and hardworking people who are just trying to make a living.

    Is the profit-driven greedy MA schools that exploit their students by telling them lies -- they will have the same skills like RN and they will be earning lots of $$$. So is not the MAs fault; it's the system that takes advantage these people's desire to work. That's what I meant "MONKEY BUSSINESS".
  5. by   TheOneWithGlasses
    When I was 17/18, fresh out of high school, I went through a medical assisting course at the local community college. I was by far the youngest in the class; most of my classmates were stay-at-home moms or recently divorced women re-entering the work force. If I remember correctly it was a semester of combined pre-reqs (medical terminology etc) and administrative skills, a semester of clinical skills, and a semester of externship. There was no job placement assistance; the expectation was your externship would offer you a job and if they didn't that was okay because employers would be beating down your door.

    For maybe half of my classmates that worked out, but I did poorly in my externship (aced my classes but didn't have the maturity, work experience, or self-confidence to actually do the work unsupervised, and the staff at the place had very little patience with me, which eroded my confidence even more) so after graduation I found myself without any job prospects. At that time there were very few job openings for m.a.'s and they all paid much lower than our instructors had led us to believe--some were barely above minimum wage. After nearly a year of unsuccessfully looking for a job I gave up and started working in another field.

    I'm not totally sorry I took it, because I learned some skills that I've used in other jobs and in my personal life as well. I also think that if I ever go to nursing school it will help me because I won't be totally unfamiliar with some of the things I'd be learning...i.e. I would have a basic idea of some of the basics.

    On the other hand, it was so long ago that many of the things we learned are incredibly outdated...for example, how to safely recap a needle, how to package gloves to be autoclaved (both sterile gloves and "clean" gloves), how to fill out a carbon-triplicate insurance form by hand (computerized billing? what's that?)...I really can't see this stuff still being useful.

    I was lucky, because I still lived at home and could take my time looking for a job, but I can't help wondering what happened to the single moms and stuff who were relying on this program to get them a better job to support their families. These types of schools/programs target people who are stuck and are desparate enough to believe the advertising.
  6. by   hogan4736
    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:
    relax everyone...he's calling all of us monkeys (in essence) that are skill hounds...

    I give the same speech to my students each semester...Students, in clinicals, are soooo skill focused...I tell them that monkeys can be trained to start IVs and drop NGTs...the real essence of nursing is relating to, and understanding the needs of your patients...that is the real skill...if you have poor bedside manner, but are great at IVs, then you are a worthless (monkey) in my book...

    that's all the poster was saying...

    geesh
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Is the profit-driven greedy MA schools that exploit their students by telling them lies -- they will have the same skills like RN and they will be earning lots of $$$. So is not the MAs fault; it's the system that takes advantage these people's desire to work.
    Which is what i thought wap the pooint from the original start of this thread.
  8. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from swatch007
    Yes Sir/Madam, I'm not rude to anybody.
    CNA, MA, UAPs and other fellows at a workplace are decent and hardworking people who are just trying to make a living.

    Is the profit-driven greedy MA schools that exploit their students by telling them lies -- they will have the same skills like RN and they will be earning lots of $$$. So is not the MAs fault; it's the system that takes advantage these people's desire to work. That's what I meant "MONKEY BUSINESS".
    I guess comparing some ones mentality to a monkey is not an insult?

    Maybe I do not have enough critical thinking skills to correctly decipher your post, but your post does not sound like you are calling the system "monkey business". In fact. I do not see the words "the system" anywhere in your post.

    P.S.
    BUSSINESS
    is "business"

    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 BUSINESS"
    Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Oct 5, '06
  9. by   nurse4theplanet
    Here is what the US Dept of Labor says about Medical Assistants, their duties, job outlook, and salary

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos164.htm
  10. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    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.
    Wow, I didn't realize MAs could give shots? I thought only nurses could administer meds? :uhoh21:
  11. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Never was this statement more appropriate than it is now:

    Caveat Emptor!


    (let the buyer beware)
    So powerful! So eloquent!

    Yet! So simple!

    I heartily agree!


    cheers,
  12. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from 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".
    Well, it is grunt work. I don't think a lot of CNA's even disagree with that. They are worked like mules and they deserve better.

    I think I encountered a CMA (maybe she wasn't even that, I don't know) at a doctor's office. She ran around with a stethescope around her neck and when she came to talk to us she identified herself as the nurse. Only when we asked about his medication (my pre-nursing days) which was sinemet and Altace she was totally bewildered and couldn't tell us anything about it.

    As far as why would a doctor pay an RN $30 and hour when he could get an MA to do it for $10...well, a lot of doctors are all about the money, for one thing (cheap) and if they made people who get suckered into MA school go to real nursing school and get rid of this ridiculous CMA thing then the doctor's wouldn't have a whole lot of choice, would they? BTW, I don't know of any doctor who pays a nurse $30 an hour. The difference in what they make vs. an MA is likely a few dollars.
  13. by   CV_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.
    FYI there are more than RN's and MD's there's LVN's who some can make up to 10-20 dollars more an hour than an MA and the schooling is only 2-3 months longer, and half the cost..........seems silly to me

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