what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 6
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
Oct 7, '06A couple weeks ago I was at my doctors office having a brace fitted to my leg. I asked the young girl doing it if she was a nurse (I was a brand new RN at the time) and she said "yes". I asked is she was an RN or LPN and she looked embarassed and admitted that she was an MA. I have no problem with MAs at all and she did a fine job fitting the brace and seemed competent in the other things she did (vitals ect) but it really bugged me that she was calling herself a nurse.
I worked very hard for my title RN and I feel that only RNs and LPNs should be able to call themselves a "nurse".
"It's a poor dog that won't wag his own tail".
Oct 7, '06Quote from cjohn99No one is stating that your daughter does not offer any value into the medical profession as a medical assistant. They are familiar with diagnostic tests, work side by side with physicians, etc... We are simply saying that they are NOT nurses; and it is not in the nurse's basic function to know about insurance, managed care and the like. I worked as a medical assistant myself, and I know that I was a valued member of the team; but I was not a nurse. And, now that I became an LPN, I can say that they have certainly skimmed the surface compared to what I had to know when I took a nursing exam. Also, the MA has no liability if they misinform the patients about anything...the physician does. All we are saying is that as nurses, we need to be acknowledged in a different fashion. For example, I am a Licensed Practical Nurse. I should not misrepresent myself as being an RN because the focus of the practice is different. While you may see an LPN and RN performing similar functions, the Nurse Practice Act determines that there are some things that the RN can do that the LPN cannot, and we should not mislead people to think differently. This does not mean that the LPN is of less value than the RN, just that she should not say she is an RN when in fact, she isn't. The same goes for a Medical Assistant and LPN. There are some things that MAs should not do and she should not tell anyone that she is a nurse.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 thethat 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.Last edit by Roy Fokker on Oct 8, '06 : Reason: Fixed QUOTE tag
Oct 7, '06I'm an MA and I didn't go to school for and MA but I was taught on the job training by the same Dr. for whom I have worked for the pass 6 years. I will startin August 07 with the good Lord willing. I say more power to the MA's trying to make it out there, but do look out for the fast pushing saleperson of a vocational school;:redlight:
Oct 7, '06Quote from nursesaideBenI have always been curious about what the Associate's Degree in Medical Assisting have taught. Does it include managment training? I can see why that is done, because that is necessary for large offices, and they do benefit from learning about basic science and all. I think that the RN that doubted your mother's skills was a louse.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.
I don't think that you have offended anyone, at least not me. I do believe that the MA is trained for their field of expertise and are very talented. The only thing I am hearing is the misrepresentation, and that should be corrected.
Oct 7, '06In our area we have two major hospitals. Both hospitals and their clinics have been laying off some of the LPNs and RNs and replacing with MAs stating they are cheaper and do the same work as a nurse. They call them Nurses. I don't get it either. They say as long as a Dr is present & give the orders they can do it. Just don't get it? Just very scarry to me. I ask what credentials they have anymore.:uhoh21:
Oct 7, '06Quote from bmh-lpnHow is this even legal??In our area we have two major hospitals. Both hospitals and their clinics have been laying off some of the LPNs and RNs and replacing with MAs stating they are cheaper and do the same work as a nurse. They call them Nurses. I don't get it either. They say as long as a Dr is present & give the orders they can do it. Just don't get it? Just very scarry to me. I ask what credentials they have anymore.:uhoh21:
Oct 7, '06Quote from nursingbeautyOk, this is one of my pet peeves. I would not call someone "stupid." I wouldn't personally do the high-cost MA route. But I wouldn't call someone who did - such a term. Everyone else's experience is not identical to your own.Well If you spent 12000 bucks to become an ma you are stupid there are rop programs you can attend for about 100 bucks and you get certified,I currently work at an urgent care and there is a big difference between nurses and ma's, ma's do not give narc/s or start IV'S they room patients, do ekg's, and other mild jobs nurses dont have time to. I was an ma and found my job pretty easy and i learned a hell of alot doing it...In fact I think some of the older rn's re jealous that us young bucks are learning things a whole lot quicker and catching on a whole lot faster then any of them ever did, dont be upset that an ma could fill your shoes faster and better after only a year of schooling
Also, you don't know how these so-called "older RN's" learned. You weren't there.
I'd be proud of your own achievements without pulling down others.
Be careful of what you don't know that you don't know about RN education either.
Oct 8, '06>>>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?<<<<
They do, because they are practicing under the license of the physician, not their own; from what I understand.
Oct 8, '06Quote from nursingbeautyWhat is missing is the nursing process and the rationale of WHY things are done the way they are done. I tend to disagree that an RN would be jealous, simply because whether she knows certain facts or not, she is certainly getting paid the salary, regardless. And, there is a big difference between what the MA learns in a year verses what nursing school will teach in the same amount of time or more.Well If you spent 12000 bucks to become an ma you are stupid there are rop programs you can attend for about 100 bucks and you get certified,I currently work at an urgent care and there is a big difference between nurses and ma's, ma's do not give narc/s or start IV'S they room patients, do ekg's, and other mild jobs nurses dont have time to. I was an ma and found my job pretty easy and i learned a hell of alot doing it...In fact I think some of the older rn's re jealous that us young bucks are learning things a whole lot quicker and catching on a whole lot faster then any of them ever did, dont be upset that an ma could fill your shoes faster and better after only a year of schooling
I also agree that one should not call another person stupid. They saw what they perceived to be an opportunity and the bottom line is that most of them probably got into the field to make a respectable living and to help people. Nothing stupid about that. The only issue that nurses are saying is that they should not misrepresent themselves as nurses.Last edit by pagandeva2000 on Oct 8, '06
Oct 8, '06Both hospitals and their clinics have been laying off some of the LPNs and RNs and replacing with MAs stating they are cheaper and do the same work as a nurse. They call them Nurses.
Oct 8, '06Quote from Kim O'TherapyWhen 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...??Wow, I didn't realize MAs could give shots? I thought only nurses could administer meds? :uhoh21:
Oct 8, '06This is a description of the role of the Medical Assistant as Described by Wilkepedia, the Free Encyclopedia:
A Medical Assistant (MA) is an unlicensed multi-skilled allied healthcare practitioner who is competent in both a wide variety of clinical and laboratory procedures, as well as many administrative roles. "Medical assistants have been described as healthcare's most versatile, multifaceted professionals." 
2.1 Administrative Courses
2.2 General Courses
2.3 Clinical Courses
5 Scope of Practice
6 Career Opportunities
8 External links
In the United Kingdom a Medical Assistant is a member of the Royal Navy Medical Branch. Prior to the 1970s they were known as Sick Berth Attendants. The United States Navy equivalent is the Hospital Corpsman.
Another group known as Medical Assistants evolved in the United States in the early 1950s. These were a group of trained-on-the-job medical assistants gathered together to form a professional organization. Encouragement and support by the American Medical Association (AMA) lead to the creation of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which was founded in 1956. The first president of this newly-formed organization was Maxine Williams.
In 1978 medical assisting as a profession was formally recognized by the United States Department of Education. And later, in 1991 the American Association of Medical Assistants approved the current definition of medical assisting:
"Medical Assisting is an allied health profession whose practitioners function as unlicensed members of the health care delivery team and perform administrative and clinical procedures." 
Formal education of medical assistants usually occurs in vocational or technical institutes, community colleges, proprietary schools, online educational programs or junior colleges. The curriculum presented should be accredited if its graduates plan to become either certified or registered (see Certified Medical Assistant, Registered Medical Assistant) In 2002, there were 495 medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and about 170 accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education School (ABHES). Accreditation by either CAAHEP, ABHES ot other acdrediation associations usually requires that the schools curriculum provide sufficient classroom, lecture, and laboratory time (if applicable) to each of the courses below.
Manual Recording of Patients’ Data
Maintaining medical Records
Anatomy and Physiology
Medical Law and Ethics
l Medical Asepsis/Infection Control
Pharmacology/Administration of Medications
Assisting Techniques/Physical Examination
Assisting with Minor Surgery
Basic Laboratory Procedures/Routine Blood and Urine Testing
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
X-Ray Theory and Positioning
Certification is a voluntary process which is strongly backed by the AAMA and a number of other well respected certification bodies in the USA as a way to guarantee competency of a medical assistant at a job-entry level. Certification is usually achieved by taking a test issued by the National Board of Medical Examiners and AAMA, or AMT, or NHA or NAHP and is offered twice yearly, simultaneously, at over 200 different test sites across the United States.
Successful completion of the rather intense exam earns the taker the proper credentials to become a Certified Medical Assistant, or CMA. National certification is legally required in order for any medical assistant to adhere to CMA status. The title CMA then follows postnominally.
Recertification must occur every 5 years in order for one to maintain their credentials. There are two ways to do this; one may either continually earn continuing education hours by attending CMA meetings, conventions and seminars, or by completely retaking the initial exam to prove they still possess a certain level of knowledge.
A medical assistant may choose another possible credential over CMA, and become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) instead. Again, credentialing is completely voluntary. The American Technologists (AMT) agency is responsible for certifying MAs who choose this course.
AMT first began offering this certification in 1972 on the months of June and November, through a computerized exam, much like the one offered by the AAMA. AMT therefore has its own conventions and committees, bylaws, state chapters, officers, registrations and revalidation examinations.
To become eligible to hold the title of RMA a student must be at least 18-years-old and either pass a medical assisting curriculum at a school accredited by either ABHES or CAAHEP, or possess a minimum of 5 years experience. The initials RMA then follow the individual’s name.
RMAs have historically been very active in legislation, seeking protection for medical assistants, as well as continuously encouraging improved educational curriculums.
Scope of Practice
Medical Assisting is not a licensed profession (as of 2005), although this may change soon. This means that MAs must be under the supervision of a physician to practice, although in some occasions other licensed healthcare professionals such as Nurses and Physician Assistants (PA) are granted the right to supervise.
In several states unlicensed healthcare providers, including medical assistants, are required to have an authorization by the state in which they reside to perform needle injections; such as allergy testing, purified protein derivative (PPD) or Mantoux skin tests, and venipuncture. In other states MAs need permission from the state to expose patients to X-rays.
The AAMA has created a Role Delineation Chartwhich identifies all clinical, administrative, and general procedures MAs are trained for.
Career opportunities for medical assistants are extremely prevalent as the profession rises in demand and healthcare services expand. Indeed, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is projected to be the fastest growing occupation from 2002 through 2012. In 2002, MAs held about 365,000 jobs.
Traditionally, medical assistants have held jobs almost exclusively in ambulatory care centers, urgent care facilities, and physicians’ clinics. Recently this has begun to change. MAs now find employment in both private and public hospitals, as well as inpatient and outpatient facilities. They may now assist a wide variety of medical doctors, including specialists such as podiatrists, and are no longer bound as simply “generalists”.
Related careers in the health care industry for medical assistants who seek better professional options and better pay abound. Experienced medical assisatants often elect to crosstrain or transition into related fields. Careers that medical assistants may find attractive include medical records technician, medical data and coding assistant, medical billing clerk, medical transcriptionist, and phlebotomist. Some, with additional education become a pharmacy assistant or massage therapist.
Oct 8, '06Quote from nursingbeautyThat is a very unfair statement to make. Foremost, you are exhibiting the attitude that mosts nurses are wary of in an MA to begin with...the attitude that you can do the nurse's job...which you are not properly equipped to do and if you believe you are then you need to be educated on the nurse's scope of practice. This does not mean you are unintelligent or not capable of performing selected nursing tasks, it simply means you do not have the appropriate training (meaning Nursing School and License) to perform the nurse's job. Therefore, I don't see why any nurse would be jealous.In fact I think some of the older rn's re jealous that us young bucks are learning things a whole lot quicker and catching on a whole lot faster then any of them ever did, dont be upset that an ma could fill your shoes faster and better after only a year of schooling