what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 9

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   Kinky Slinky RN
    You know, I hear the same thing. I work in the NICU, and we have a tech that says she is able to do everything a nurse can do BUT pass meds... AGAIN, this is a CNA!!!! I think an MA is slightly more education than a CNA!!!! It's ridiculous... I am shocked... I kept telling her that no I don't think she can, but she insists that she is just as qualified for a nursing position as I am... It seems like such a sham... I am sure the school she spent lotsa money on told her that she is just as qualified as every other RN minus the medications part... I highly doubt they teach disease processes, medications, emergency management, assessment, etc to a CNA!! I do know another MA that is working as a Unit Secretary in our NICU... Poor people... I'm sure it makes them UPSET to find out that it's NOTHING like the RN position... if it was, there wouldn't be an RNs.. they would all be taking the easy route to an MA :wink2:
  2. by   Spritenurse1210
    A lot of Dr. offices employ MA's because they can get away with paying them less than a nurse.
  3. by   lauralassie
    Quote from Jess1983
    A lot of Dr. offices employ MA's because they can get away with paying them less than a nurse.
    Yep, but just don't call them nurses.:angryfire
  4. by   MIA-RN1
    I just read this thread and agree with much of it.
    Here is a question--there were comments that the MA is working under another provider's license in some instances. So if I were an RN in a doc office, I would be technically supervising the MA's. If the doc allows the MA's to give injections, is it HIS license or MINE that is in jeapardy?

    I worked with someone who was going to MA school. She kept saying she was going to "test out" on the NCLEX-PN. Nothing I said convinced her that she couldn't just go take the NCLEX. She got fired long before she ever tried, so I never did find out what was the deal.
    I was working as an (uncertified, trained on the job) MA at that office, and always identified myself as such. I took training in phlebotomy and so was allowed to draw blood, and did lab stuff like hcg urine testing, hgb finger stick, vitals etc. Never gave meds, never gave a shot. Never offered either.
    Just before getting that job, I went to check out an MA program at a local business institue. They wanted $12K (and this was several years ago). It was outrageous. They touted the benefits of being an MA and the money I could make. The next day I interviewed for the above job and got it without the training. I am SO GLAD I didn't sign on the dotted line at that school the day before!!!!!
  5. by   nursecher
    I have seen these commercials on TV too. I have seen schools that you have to pay alot of money and go for 2 years to become a CNA. The local nursing homes have paid 2 week training for CNA's. It is a shame that these schools get away with this. I wonder what they could possibly be teaching a CNA for 2 years?
  6. by   charebec65
    I wish they would open up more nursing schools. It seems there are so many MA schools opening up lately. A girl I'm in Psyche with is an MA going to nursing school. It turned out her MA school wasn't accredited and she has to repeat everything.

    We have a satellite dish so we have some stations from other states. I was watching a Florida station (CN) this morning while working on homework. During about a 1/2 time period there were 4 commercials from 4 different colleges/learning centers touting MA programs. I changed to a Cincinnati station and saw 2 different ones in short order....
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from Jezziemis
    I have a question for you... kinda on topic, i dunno...

    so a few weeks ago i was admitted into a local hospital (kidney stones- ugh) and during the night I heard my CNA come in to check my vitals... so Im sorta drugged but aware of whats going on... she looks at my arm and says "oh no, no, no" and I look down and see that my IV has back out and i have blood all over the place... so she quickly "fixes" my bad arm and then begins to start a line on my left arm... My first thought was "ummmm can she do this?" Here is the bad part... she cant find a vessel so she is DIGGING under my skin! No not just lightly trying to penetrate BUT DIGGING ROUGHLY and it went on for 10 MINS!!! NO JOKE!!! I finally spoke up and asked her if she was allowed to do that and she gave me a REALLY BAD LOOK and left the room immediatly... the next thing I knew my RN came in and put the IV in my hand and left like nothing happened....

    So since when are CNAs allowed to do what she did? I am just a student, and maybe naive but I STILL HAVE about a 5 inch bruise where she was digging in my arm!
    Unfortunately, there are CNAs that take it upon themselves to imitate what they see nurses do and think it is simple, or you have others that do these things because they were taught by lazy nurses. The CNA may be 'honored' to do a nursing function, and then, situations such as your arise, proving that they should not act out of their function. This is not to criticize the CNA, this is just a thing I see happen alot...that can have disasterous results.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from KiNKy sLiNkY
    You know, I hear the same thing. I work in the NICU, and we have a tech that says she is able to do everything a nurse can do BUT pass meds... AGAIN, this is a CNA!!!! I think an MA is slightly more education than a CNA!!!! It's ridiculous... I am shocked... I kept telling her that no I don't think she can, but she insists that she is just as qualified for a nursing position as I am... It seems like such a sham... I am sure the school she spent lotsa money on told her that she is just as qualified as every other RN minus the medications part... I highly doubt they teach disease processes, medications, emergency management, assessment, etc to a CNA!! I do know another MA that is working as a Unit Secretary in our NICU... Poor people... I'm sure it makes them UPSET to find out that it's NOTHING like the RN position... if it was, there wouldn't be an RNs.. they would all be taking the easy route to an MA :wink2:
    I had a classmate in LPN school that said: "We do everything an RN does EXCEPT for pass medications". She said it loud and proud. I, on the other hand, was embarassed for her! Go figure...
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from lauralassie
    This may be different from state to state, hospital to hospital, In our ER we have EMT's who are allowed to start IV's etc. and who are very good at it I must add. I've worked in hospitals that CNA's are specialy trained to do such things as swan ganz readings with exception on PWP, So , I would say you would have to contact your state board of nursing or the hospital concerned . Find out their policies. Even RN's can have trouble starting IV's sometimes it just depends on the vein or even the day the nurse is having. There are days I hit every vein I try, can get veins other people can't, there are days I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with needle.
    My hospital used to employ IV technicians (nursing assistants taught the additional skill) until they laid them off. I suspect that it was because nurses should be the ones to do it, and also because the IV techs had pagers and never responded in a timely fashion, anyway.
  10. by   L&DRN08
    I have been a CMA for 5yrs, I completed my program at a 2 yr community college. Never once did anyone tell us that we could do "everything" a Nurse does. It was taught to us that certain things are our job, other things are the Nurses job.
    MA's are allowed to give IM & SQ injections (no Narcs of course). As for Botox, MA's aren't permitted...but in my area neither are Nurses unless they've had specific training. We draw blood, take vitals, provide pt education, assist with procedures etc. etc. There certainly is a vast difference of what an MA does vs. what an RN does....but that certainly doesn't make our job any less important. I agree the money isn't great in most offices ...however, I happened to get lucky and make pretty a pretty decent salary (not as much as the RN of course!) as an MA at a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery center, I also get to prep the pt for sx, scrub in to surgery, assist in our PACU & see pts postop for suture removal, drain removal, dressing changes and general f/u's that don't require the MD. On more than one occasion the RN has come to me for assistance....not because she isn't a good RN, simply because I have more time there than she does and a better understanding of what to expect from our patients, whats normal & not so normal etc. I go to her for things as well. Each of us has certain things that we are more knowledgeable about, and all of those things contribute to how our patients are cared for.
    Honestly...not only wouldn't the Cardio Thoracic surgeons not want an MA dealing with a crashing patient...I wouldn't want to be expected to care for such a patient as it isn't within the parameters of what I do!
    I'm a Nursing student now....not because I regret becoming an MA because I don't, simply because I want to be able to do MORE. I'm actually glad that I am an MA as I feel it gave me a great foundation to build on.
    Theres no need to speak abouts MA's as if we are below the RN, we're not....we simply do a different job than the RN does!



    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?
  11. by   hogan4736
    Quote from TrudyRN

    It is not anywhere true that monkeys can be trained to do all that we do. You must have been talking to my former supervisor, who believed that OR nurses could all be replaced by monkeys.
    talking about skills only...it's quite clear in my post...not talking about critical thinking, nursing process, etc...

  12. by   robynv
    quoted wrong person. Oops.
    Last edit by robynv on Oct 13, '06
  13. by   Kinky Slinky RN
    Quote from TaraRN07
    I wouldn't want to be expected to care for such a patient as it isn't within the parameters of what I do!
    I'm a Nursing student now....not because I regret becoming an MA because I don't, simply because I want to be able to do MORE. I'm actually glad that I am an MA as I feel it gave me a great foundation to build on.
    Theres no need to speak abouts MA's as if we are below the RN, we're not....we simply do a different job than the RN does!
    You obviously understand the difference in function between an MA and an RN. From what I've seen, a lot of the MA's I have known do not understand the difference between their function as an MA and the role of the RN... I don't think everyone means to talk as though an MA is lower on the totem pole in comparison to an RN... It's just quite a few MAs don't realize there's a difference in job description... And it's not entirely their fault... Like the CNA I work with.. She insists that she is just as qualified to be an RN as any of the nursing students that help her simply because she supposedly learned sterile procedures?? She was TOLD that information by the school she attended... She spent a year going to CNA school and tons of money (in contrast to how much she makes)... It seems ridiculous that they tell their students that there's hardly a difference between CNA/MA and an RN... That's very misleading... MAs and CNAs are wonderful... They both play an important role in hospitals and doctors offices.. What would we do without them!!! It's just something should be done about the FALSE ADVERTISING the MA trade schools or whatnot are doing (at least in the Dallas area).

    I even knew one MA that never told anyone she was an MA.... She just introduced herself as "the nurse" because she did "everything a nurse does" lol you see??

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