Medical Assistant vent

  1. Hey guys, here is my first vent on here. I normally don't complain but this has gotten on my nerves. I'm in the practical nursing program and we have to have community clinicals at a doctor's office as part of MED III clinicals. The medical assistants have turned this into a competition "you don't have to know as much as we do, we have to learn payroll and computer classes". I'm like why would I need to know that as a nurse. "The only difference between us is that y'all learn IVs and we learn how to draw blood". All I said was "the difference is y'all learn procedures such as testing urine and pregnancy tests and EKG While we actually work one on one with the patient". I want to say so bad that if a patient went in critical condition they would be looking stupid while I have assessment skills and know what to do and that's why I'm different. Anybody else had this problem?
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    About KThurmond

    Joined: Sep '15; Posts: 646; Likes: 510
    from GA , US

    15 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Just don't engage with them. Stay focused on what you're there for, your clinical experience.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Stop havin' y'all conversations with the medical assistants. That is not what y'all are there for.
  5. by   nursel56
    I can understand how irritating that must be, but my advice would be to get used to that type of behavior in the nursing world. No matter what your stage on the career ladder, there are people who will try to undercut you, due to their own insecurities. Just brush it off.
  6. by   Double-Helix
    You'll learn that a feeling of inferiority is extremely common in any profession- but particularly in healthcare. Medical assistants and CNAs feel undervalued by nurses. LPNs feel inferior to RNs. Nurses feel undervalued by physicians. Floor nurse feel undervalued by ICU nurses. Physicians feel undervalued by specialists. There isn't a hospital in operation without a professional hierarchy.
    Some people choose to compensate for those feelings of inferiority by using aggression. They will assert their skills and worth and make sure you know why they are important to their organization. They will criticize your role before you can criticize theirs. All this is to make up for the fact that they feel (correctly or incorrectly) that you don't value the role that they play.

    Based on your post here, I can see why they think that of you. A couple of things that you said, namely:

    Quote from KThurmond
    All I said was "the difference is y'all learn procedures such as testing urine and pregnancy tests and EKG While we actually work one on one with the patient". I want to say so bad that if a patient went in critical condition they would be looking stupid while I have assessment skills and know what to do and that's why I'm different.
    reeks of an air of superiority that I'm certain the medical assistants pick up on. You will do well to recognize this attitude and adjust it before you actually become a nurse. Regardless of level of training, unlicensed assistive personnel are members of the healthcare team, and they are valuable. No, they are not nurses, yes, they have different roles and training, yes, you may eventually licensed to perform skills that they cannot, but NO this does not make you smarter or better than them. You are a student, they are experienced. They may very well have been in emergency situations, while you've only seen them in clinical. I can guarantee that no one- no matter what their job- would take kindly to a student walking in to their place of employment and trying to tell them that they "know what to do" better than those who have been working in the real world for years.

    The correct and appropriate response to a medical assistant (or anyone) who is asserting their importance is to say, "We are all members of the same team, and we are all important to that team." Medical assistants, CNAs and UAP are assets. They are skilled and they deserve to be respected. Learn to make friends with them. When you are actually a nurse, you'll be amazed at how much you can learn from them.
  7. by   KThurmond
    Quote from caliotter3
    Stop havin' y'all conversations with the medical assistants. That is not what y'all are there for.
    I have to be paired up with one each clinical day and they bring it up all the time. I understand what you are saying, though
  8. by   KThurmond
    I'm sorry I came off as a jerk, I don't think I'm better than anybody, I was just really frustrated. It's frustrating being taught all these things and all they let me do is take their patient's vital signs. One patient needed an IV put in and they kicked me out so I missed that opportunity. I don't disrespect medical assistants, I just don't like how they treat me because I'm a nursing student.
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    It's a little weird that you're doing nursing clinicals with medical assistants. But you're in their home, so just smile and nod.
  10. by   SobreRN
    Quote from KThurmond
    Hey guys, here is my first vent on here. I normally don't complain but this has gotten on my nerves. I'm in the practical nursing program and we have to have community clinicals at a doctor's office as part of MED III clinicals. The medical assistants have turned this into a competition "you don't have to know as much as we do, we have to learn payroll and computer classes". I'm like why would I need to know that as a nurse. "The only difference between us is that y'all learn IVs and we learn how to draw blood". All I said was "the difference is y'all learn procedures such as testing urine and pregnancy tests and EKG While we actually work one on one with the patient". I want to say so bad that if a patient went in critical condition they would be looking stupid while I have assessment skills and know what to do and that's why I'm different. Anybody else had this problem?
    Well, I was going to post that this occurs everywhere but when ya'll got to the part about knowing what to do with a critical patient ya'll sound a bit egotistical.
    I am a seasoned RN and I do not believe I could care for critically ill patients merely based upon my assessment skills because I have never worked in critical care. ICU patients require more than assessment skills, far more. Perhaps they sense that ya'll feel superior to them? When I was a new grad I am sure many colleagues felt superior to me and with good reason; they had a ton of skills I had not yet acquired (that and they were not emotional wrecks.) Well, with age and wisdom I discovered plenty of experienced nurses, doctors and aides who had same insecurities, issues etc...I don't compare myself to others.
  11. by   kkbb
    Quote from KThurmond
    All I said was "the difference is y'all learn procedures such as testing urine and pregnancy tests and EKG While we actually work one on one with the patient". I want to say so bad that if a patient went in critical condition they would be looking stupid while I have assessment skills and know what to do and that's why I'm different.
    Before I became a RN I was a MA. To be fair, in our practice we did not have LPNs or RNs working there so maybe things work different in practices with both nurses and MAs. However, I did spend a lot of time working directly with patients. Also, there were many instances when medical emergencies occurred (for some reason patients liked to come to us when having a MI instead of going to the nearby ED). I promise you that as a MA I did not stand there "looking stupid" and actually started protocol while the doctor was bring brought out of another room.

    Maybe the MA really felt insecure or perhaps wants to further their own career and these feelings came out to you. It also looks like they don't really understand the scope of practice of a LPN. But being equally snarky gets you nowhere. Maybe you could try and learn from them and see what they know. Not so much as to learn how to do their job, but different aspects too their job. Example, how do they find tricky veins for a blood draw? Do you need to know how to do a blood draw, no, but you might learn a new technique for finding a vein to place an IV.

    My final comment....remember, you are a guest in that office. And you represent your school. It might not be the best, but you should always be on your best behavior.
  12. by   KThurmond
    Like I said I'm sorry if I offended anybody. I was just venting, there is only 1 medical assistant who is open to a student and the others feel like I slow them down. I'm proud of how far I've come and I wish they would let me do more. I've given only 3 shots since I've been there, the rest of the time I'm doing vitals. I wish I could talk to the patients and do our WHAT'S UP format. So medical assistants do a good job and that 1 has taught me a lot, I don't disrespect MAs, I've just had a bad experience and feel downgraded, that's all that was about
    Last edit by KThurmond on Apr 10 : Reason: Typo
  13. by   HermioneG
    My view on life is that you can learn something from every single person out there, and sometimes you learn from them how not to act. This person sounds insecure and seems to lack perspective. This is not your problem. Move on and don't let it rattle you up. I know it sounds cliche but they really aren't worth the stress.
  14. by   Lipoma
    I'll give you my experience which shines light on BOTH sides of the spectrum. Before I enrolled in an ABSN program I was a medical assistant at an urgent care. There were 3 other MAs who were currently in nursing school (1 LPN, 1 RN to BSN, and 1 ASN). The LPN was the most cocky out of the 3 and "their" license was always "on the line" because of what the MAs were doing. Their excuse is because LPNs are higher up than MAs. They were know-it-alls and the MD had to shut it down (he was another story lmao).

    Maybe the MA you're dealing with had bad experiences with LPNs/RNs and being aggressive is how they deal with it - or they have some type of superiority complex going on. The only thing you can do is hold your head high, let them do them, learn from the experience, and graduate.

    As one of the MAs there...I can for sure tell you I acquired some nursing skills (assessment wise) because the providers I worked with were willing to teach me to do things because I knew I wanted to continue my education. After some experience I was able to "triage" patients at the clinic and come up with a few diagnoses before the provider went in - think recurring presentations - strep, otis media, UTI, URI, PNA, bronchitis, urticaria, allergic rxns, musculoskeletal issues etc.

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