MA saying she's "the same as an RN"

  1. At my job, we are offered classes each month for our CEU's as LNA's. We were at one the other day for some psych training, and we were asked what we wanted to be doing in 5 years. Myself and another woman said that hopefully we be all graduated and working as RN's, since we're both in nursing school.

    Another woman said that she was graduating next week from an Medical Assistant program, and how it was "exactly the same as being an RN", but she got her degree faster, but won't get the same money (and she proceeded to ****** about that).

    Now, I've seen the debate here in the General Nursing discussion, but this just chapped my rearend. I think MA's are great - as are LNA's and LPN's and RN's and everyone that works in healthcare. A friend of mine is an MA, but she does not pass herself off as a nurse. Another friend is a Surgical Tech, and while she doesn't say she's an RN, her son calls her a nurse, saying his mom told him she did "more" nursing in the OR than the nurses do. I've corrected him twice about it, but don't anymore. It just bugs me that I'm busting my hump to become an RN, yet anyone that works in healthcare feels they can call themselves one.

    I'm so careful, I don't even call myself an SN while at work, and don't call myself an LNA while in clinical!

    I don't know why people can't be proud of what they are. Some of the best tips and knowledge I've gotten on the job has been from the LNA's, many of which are career LNA's. THey're damn good at what they do! It's bothersome that some feel it all comes down to you're either a nurse, or have to claim to be one to be recognized.

    Anyway, I kept my mouth shut when this LNA/MA was going off, but I so wanted to say, "So if you're the same as an RN, why won't the hospital or the state recognize you as one? Why? Because you aren't. You may as well call yourself an astronaut. You aren't one of those either!"

    Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming. <end of rant>
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  2. 145 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Someone should point her in the direction of her state board's website, which CLEARLY states they are NOT the same.

    Either that or someone will rip her a new one for having that line of thinking.
  4. by   bowkerj
    Quote from wannaBEanRN
    At my job, we are offered classes each month for our CEU's as LNA's. We were at one the other day for some psych training, and we were asked what we wanted to be doing in 5 years. Myself and another woman said that hopefully we be all graduated and working as RN's, since we're both in nursing school.

    Another woman said that she was graduating next week from an Medical Assistant program, and how it was "exactly the same as being an RN", but she got her degree faster, but won't get the same money (and she proceeded to ****** about that).

    Now, I've seen the debate here in the General Nursing discussion, but this just chapped my rearend. I think MA's are great - as are LNA's and LPN's and RN's and everyone that works in healthcare. A friend of mine is an MA, but she does not pass herself off as a nurse. Another friend is a Surgical Tech, and while she doesn't say she's an RN, her son calls her a nurse, saying his mom told him she did "more" nursing in the OR than the nurses do. I've corrected him twice about it, but don't anymore. It just bugs me that I'm busting my hump to become an RN, yet anyone that works in healthcare feels they can call themselves one.

    I'm so careful, I don't even call myself an SN while at work, and don't call myself an LNA while in clinical!

    I don't know why people can't be proud of what they are. Some of the best tips and knowledge I've gotten on the job has been from the LNA's, many of which are career LNA's. THey're damn good at what they do! It's bothersome that some feel it all comes down to you're either a nurse, or have to claim to be one to be recognized.

    Anyway, I kept my mouth shut when this LNA/MA was going off, but I so wanted to say, "So if you're the same as an RN, why won't the hospital or the state recognize you as one? Why? Because you aren't. You may as well call yourself an astronaut. You aren't one of those either!"

    Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming. <end of rant>
    It's funny, I was just talking to a coworker of mine today about this same thing! She's an MA and I am on my way to becoming an RN with a BSN degree. I was asking what the difference is between an MA and a CNA and she informed me that the MA programs are 2 years, like the Associate RN programs. She said the difference is that MAs can't work on say a floor in the hospital, they are limited to out-patient clinics I guess (at least in Oregon). I guess the training is different, they don't get the same physical assessment classes we get, among other things...

    What do you all think? Is that true?

    J
  5. by   palesarah
    I worked in a doctor's office for 1 week. It was a large practice, and all of the "clinical support staff"- most of whom are MAs- were referred to as "nurses". When I introduced myself as Dr So-and-so's new nurse, only one patient asked me what kind of nurse I was (I'm an RN)- and she was a retired RN herself. So the patients clearly either don't know or more likely, don't care, that the "nurses" in the office aren't.

    I found that interesting. Also interesting, was I asked one of the MAs what her education was, and it was an Associate's degree in Medical Assisting that took just as long to complete and cost a lot more than my ADN! (She really regretted in the end that she hadn't gone for a nursing program)

    wannaBEanRN, you're in NH, right? Isn't that interesting. I wonder if the MA to be in your class is going to the same school this girl went to?
  6. by   girlfromtx
    When I was at an outpatient clinic during my clinicals, the MA's referred to themselves as nurses, and the doctors referred to them as nurses. Heck, my fellow student didn't even realize they WEREN'T nurses until I talked about how appalled I was when we were leaving. grrrrr
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Okay guys, I'm gonna show my ignorance here, but what the heck is an LNA? In Illinois we don't have that type of healthcare provider.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Licensed Nursing Assistant, i think.
  9. by   suzi_h
    My brother's GF is a surgical tech. I asked her how she liked working surg and how it compared to working on as an RN on a Surg floor. She said the surg tech's get to do the "fun stuff" and the nurses more or less played fetch for the docs. Now, I don't know if this is true, but the statement was kind of condescending.
    As for the MA thing, I always thought an MA was like a CNA that worked in a doctor's office. I think these people probably have a chip on their shoulder for not getting the ADN and maybe realizing it would have been worth it after the fact. Who knows?

    Suzi
  10. by   BrieRN07
    What exactly is a MA's scope of practice?? At my Doctor's office, it seems like they hire MA's instead of Nurses these days... In fact, the MA comes in before the Doctor, and MA's are able to give injections! At least my Doctor's MA admitted that she wasn't a Nurse...
  11. by   Kelly_the_Great
    This is kind of a good argument for all those who think the entry into nursing out to be BSN.

    Do we won't MA or ADN, MA or LVN/LPN, MA or CNA/LNA? Something these nurses need to think about who are of this opinion (BSN entry), is that these MA do not speak the same language as nursing and do not use the same process, ADPIE. Also, as evidenced in the above discussions, they don't RESPECT nurses or nursing practice.

    If we phase these levels out, they'll be next, replacing PA for NP, etc. Hell MA for BSN.

    I'm probably wrong but I don't think 2 year program is the norm for these MA. Most of the time, when I'm watching Jerry Springer they advertise MA schools that take only 9 mos. to a year.

    Let me tell you about an experience I had with an MA not long ago. Have this female, identifying herself as a "nurse", call our HH with a telephone order from a certain MD. She says, Dr. so and so wants the family to continue their current dose of Coumadin. I say, what is their current dose regimen. She hems, she haws, puts me on hold, gotta look at this, gotta look at that, finally she says "Oh the family knows what the dosage is." WHAT! What th' H-E-Double L! I don't think so! Also, I ask her for her name, which she promptly tells me, then I ask are you an LVN or an RN (remember she identified herself as a nurse when she called), reluctantly she says, "I'm a MA."

    Okay, I don't except the order as valid and so I confirm it with the physician, # 1, doesn't include the 5 rights of medication, # 2 she's not licensed that I know of. I mean they're certified but are they licensed? And if so by what standard, etc.? I ask my DON, she don't know. I call my state BON. Guess what? They don't know either and in turn refer to national pharmacy & medical association websites...
  12. by   bowkerj
    Quote from suzi_h
    My brother's GF is a surgical tech. I asked her how she liked working surg and how it compared to working on as an RN on a Surg floor. She said the surg tech's get to do the "fun stuff" and the nurses more or less played fetch for the docs. Now, I don't know if this is true, but the statement was kind of condescending.
    As for the MA thing, I always thought an MA was like a CNA that worked in a doctor's office. I think these people probably have a chip on their shoulder for not getting the ADN and maybe realizing it would have been worth it after the fact. Who knows?

    Suzi
    That was sort of a crappy thing for her to say I think. We all make different career choices, right? Also, what about BSN nursing and ADN nurses... Do you think they should be called differnt names? I am starting a BSN program soon. How do you think ADN and BSN nurses differ??? Just curious. :wink2:
  13. by   suzi_h
    I think the whole ADN/BSN conflict is lame. It all boils down to the same test and what your ultimate goals are. I just want to be an RN. I am not shooting for Nurse Anethesist or Nurse Practitioner. I just want to be a plain old (well I am only 26!) nurse. So, an ADN is fine for me. My next door neighbor has a BSN and there's only like a dollar difference in her pay from an ADN b/c BSN's are rare here. Like I said, I think it depends on how far you plan on taking your degree. If I have an ADN, I can still work on the other things, it just might take me longer.
  14. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I am a CMA (but will be an RN some day ) but I would never say that I the same as an RN. Not even close! I am not saying that MAs to not work hard, but RNs to not go to school a year longer than MAs just to "make more money" its a LOT more than that. Some one should clear this person up. Not only because she needs to know the difference, but because she is going to embarrass herself one day and maybe even p!ss one one off...

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