MAs call themselves Nurses at my office..opinions please? - page 4

by lisaannjamRN 8,853 Views | 90 Comments

Hi, I have been an LPN for 2 1/2 years and am a new Grad-RN since 9/2011. I got a job working at a Dermatology Office last November. It's the only job I could get, and I am making the best of it. They have me training to... Read More


  1. 2
    Thank you for your question. Please see the first and third articles of the first attachment. The second attachment is directly pertinent.

    I hope this is helpful.

    ******** ********, JD, MBA
    Executive Director, Legal Counsel

    American Association of Medical Assistants

    www.aama-ntl.org

    State disciplinary actions can result in fines and other
    criminal or quasi-criminal penalties for the delegating
    physician, the practice, and the medical assistant.
    Professional liability (malpractice) insurance policies do
    not provide coverage for violations of state laws. These
    policies only offer coverage in civil matters, such as
    malpractice and wrongful death suits


    A medical assistant should never be referred to as a
    “nurse,” “office nurse,” or “doctor’s nurse.” In every state
    this is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act, and can result
    in fines and penalties. All office personnel should avoid
    referring to medical assistants as “nurses.” If a patient
    addresses a medical assistant as a nurse, the patient should
    be corrected politely and pleasantly.

    The delegating physician, the practice, and the medical
    assistant can be sued for negligence if the medical assistant
    does not perform a duty up to the standard of care of a
    reasonably competent medical assistant.

    The ABOVE was part of an article this attorney sent to me in an email.

    1-It's illegal
    2-In my state it's a Class D Felony
    3-If there is an adverse outcome, trial and conviction it is NOT covered by Malpractice insurance.

    It would be in the best interest of the practice, the patients and the staff to NOT identify themselves other than what TITLE they actually are...
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Oct 18, '12 : Reason: Name and phone number removed
    HazelLPN and lindarn like this.
  2. 0
    Just wanted to give an update on the PA Bills #469 and 470 that I referred to earlier that were awaiting vote by the House and the Senate.

    Nurse Title Protection (Acts 34 & 35 of 2012) – The Governor has signed House Bill 469 and House Bill 470, sponsored by Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks.) The bills amend the Practical and Professional Nursing Laws to disallow the use of the title “nurse” unless duly licensed. HAP had the bill amended to allow for the continued use by individuals of a descriptive title for nurse assistive personnel. HAP supported the bills.
  3. 2
    Wow, where I work as an LPN, we all have name badges with our name followed by title, but underneath both, LPNs and MAs, it says "nurse". Also, our "nursing educator" is an MA. I love all the MAs I work with, they work just as hard as me, however I know the name badges are illegal. I wonder about the educator?
    HazelLPN and lindarn like this.
  4. 3
    Quote from pink_shoes99
    Wow, where I work as an LPN, we all have name badges with our name followed by title, but underneath both, LPNs and MAs, it says "nurse". Also, our "nursing educator" is an MA. I love all the MAs I work with, they work just as hard as me, however I know the name badges are illegal. I wonder about the educator?
    You should check the laws in your state.....your employer may have issues. no one is saying that they don't work hard but they don't have the required education to use the "title" nurse. Many states also have educational requirements as to who may educate a "nurse" and what they can educate them for.....if the education is not nursing related ie: general policies, attendance, compliance, fire, HIPAA etc it is probably ok.
    HazelLPN, wooh, and lindarn like this.
  5. 4
    I have a friend who is an MA in a busy cardio office. The MD's call everyone there "nurses" and the MA's love the "bump in status" so they don't tell anyone different. Me thinks this goes on in way more offices than hers. I know the clinic my family utilizes has mostly MA's working day to day with the MD's and when you call to talk to Dr. Brown's nurse, you get an MA. Now, myself, being an RN who worked darn hard for the title and the right to use it will call them out on it (which usually results in "oh, I'm not a licensed nurse, but I'm DR. BROWN'S nurse!") MD's don't care to make patients see the difference, MA's (some, NOT all!!) don't think its a big deal if people are led to believe that they are nurses and nurses look like whiny brats if we look to give ourselves the respect we deserve that comes with having a license that we're proud of.

    Quote from kcnurse2003
    Thank you for your question. Please see the first and third articles of the first attachment. The second attachment is directly pertinent.

    I hope this is helpful.

    ******** ********, JD, MBA
    Executive Director, Legal Counsel

    American Association of Medical Assistants

    www.aama-ntl.org

    State disciplinary actions can result in fines and other
    criminal or quasi-criminal penalties for the delegating
    physician, the practice, and the medical assistant.
    Professional liability (malpractice) insurance policies do
    not provide coverage for violations of state laws. These
    policies only offer coverage in civil matters, such as
    malpractice and wrongful death suits


    A medical assistant should never be referred to as a
    “nurse,” “office nurse,” or “doctor’s nurse.” In every state
    this is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act, and can result
    in fines and penalties. All office personnel should avoid
    referring to medical assistants as “nurses.” If a patient
    addresses a medical assistant as a nurse, the patient should
    be corrected politely and pleasantly.

    The delegating physician, the practice, and the medical
    assistant can be sued for negligence if the medical assistant
    does not perform a duty up to the standard of care of a
    reasonably competent medical assistant.

    The ABOVE was part of an article this attorney sent to me in an email.

    1-It's illegal
    2-In my state it's a Class D Felony
    3-If there is an adverse outcome, trial and conviction it is NOT covered by Malpractice insurance.

    It would be in the best interest of the practice, the patients and the staff to NOT identify themselves other than what TITLE they actually are...
    Mrs.FlowersTheNurse, HazelLPN, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    Explain to me how an MA, can be given the job and title of, "Nurse Educator"? They are not nurses, have not engaged or participated in a nursing education, and therefore, have no knowledge of what a nurses' education consists of.

    If you are allowing this it will continue. I would report it to the State BON, and let the dirt fall where it may. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    HazelLPN likes this.
  7. 2
    Protecting our profession is one thing (very important!) but the REAL issue is in protecting the public. We are obligated to report these instances. It is illegal and should be treated as such.
    wooh and lindarn like this.
  8. 0
    In this state, it takes 2 years to obtain a CMA degreee and 9 months to get a LPN. The MAs would be offended to be called a nurse, lol.
  9. 2
    But MAs are NOT licensed medical professionals. I cannot imagine what an MA would study for two years.

    MAs learn technical tasks, that assist an MD to examine patients, and learn/do, other, "nurse like skills", that in my opinion, are used to fool his/her, patients, into believing that they have professional staff looking out for their patients. A medical, "bate and switch", at the expense of innocent patients.

    JMHO and my my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN ,CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    HazelLPN and BuckyBadgerRN like this.
  10. 0
    Certified Medical Associates have an Associates of Science degree here. They go to the community college for 2 years. It is more than twice as long as the LPN program (9months) and the same length as the ADN program. I have no idea what the curriculum entails and I don't really care. That really wasn't the point. I do think, hypothetically, if I had an associates degree and the (hypothetical) LPN next to me did not, I'd be a bit peeved if you "demoted" me to that status, lol.
    They don't call themselves nurses in our office anyway, so you can relax. As it is, we don't happen to have any LPNs. We have a dozen or so CMAs, and one RN. The MAs are very specific to say the are "CMAs," not "MAs" and not nurses. They are clearly very proud of being CMAs. They do not want to be confused with nurses. It is not a step-up in their eyes, at best a lateral move. However, they absolutely do not want to be mistaken for CNAs. They want to be sure people understand CNAs go to "training" for 2 weeks. They go to community college for 2 years. Probably longer with the pre-reqs. I will admit to previously having been very ignorant, thinking them to be interchangeable with CNAs. I have been set straight on this point, lol.

    They do take a professional licensing exam. They sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certification Examination to become Certified Medical Assistants.
    American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
    The American Association of Medical Assistants' Certifying Board has collaborated with the NBME since 1977 to provide high quality test development, administration, scoring, and psychometric services in support of the CMA (AAMA) credentialing program. The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) credential is awarded to medical assistants who have completed an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program—including a practicum—and passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination offered by the AAMA’s Certifying Board. The exam is a rigorous assessment of the knowledge necessary to perform medical assisting administrative and clinical procedures. Following initial certification, the CMA (AAMA) must recertify every five years by continuing education or exam to demonstrate continued competence. For more information about medical assisting and the CMA (AAMA) credential, visit the AAMA website at: www.aama-ntl.org.




    OK, I C&P the curriculum from the local CC for you. 6 full time semesters, 101 credit hours including pre-requisites.

    MEDICAL ASSISTING PROGRAM ASSOCIATE DEGREE
    PRE-REQUISITES: ENG 090; MAT 060; RED 090; CIS 110, 111, OR 113; OST 080 OR 131


    Humanities Electives: ART 111, ART 116, HUM 110, HUM 120, HUM 121, HUM 122, HUM 123, HUM 130, HUM 150, HUM 160, HUM 211, HUM 212, HUM 220, MUS 110, MUS 112, MUS 113, PHI 210, PHI 215, PHI 240, REL 110, REL 111, REL 112, REL 211, REL 212, REL 221, SPA 111, SPA 112, SPA 211, SPA 212.
    *Course work which can be completed prior to admission to the program CANDIDATES MUST MAINTAIN A 3.0 TO PROCEED.


    Expository Writing
    Orientation Med.
    Law & Ethics
    Admin. Procedures I


    Exam Room Proc. I
    Prof. Research & Reporting Terms II
    Admin. Proc. II
    Drug Therapy


    Lab Proced. I
    Exam Room Proc.. II

    Externship
    Clinical Perspective

    College Accounting
    General Biology I
    General Chemistry I
    Medical Coding/Billing

    Symptomatology

    Prin. of Mgmt.
    General Psychology
    Principles of Public Health

    Intro. To Communication

    College Algebra
    Admin. Proc. III

    Anatomy & Physiology I
    Anatomy & Physiology II


    just wanted to also point out that CMAs must recert every 5 years, which is more than nurses in some states have to do. now who sounds more "professional," lol.
    Last edit by BlueDevil,DNP on Oct 20, '12


Top