Nursing(NA/LPN/RN) vs Medical Assistant***VENT

  1. Hello all! Is anyone else annoyed by MA programs and the attitudes of Medical Assistants themselves??? I had a friend of a friend of mine, who is a medical assistant basically act like a B***h today. We were introduced to each other and she stated she was a medical assistant. She went on and on about how she could do more than most nurses could, worked directly under the doctor, yada, yada. She asked me what i did. I said "I'm an LPN." She then mentioned how she was "an equivalent of an RN in a doctor's office and MA was the next closest thing to an RN as you could get." Then this idiot had the nerve to say,"but LPN's are good too." I said "Excuse me?" and started a huge arguement. IN WHAT WORLD DOES NURSING LEVEL OF TRAINING GO RA, CNA, LPN, MA, & RN????? The only equivalent to an RN IS AN RN. LPN's are one step lower, not MA's. On top of that, I had one year of intensive training to be an LPN. This is coming from an MA who had ON THE JOB TRAINING ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!! She had no formal education whatsoever, she doesn't even have a high school diploma or GED. As an instructor of allied health training courses(EKG, Phlebotomy, NA), I am appalled at what they teach in these MA classes. She said the MA she trained under was told this in class. MA courses cost more than my LPN and they are not even required to take a course in my state. ANYONE, including people with horrible criminal backgrouds, can work if the doctor says its ok. No education needed just need to be signed off on skills. Skills such as drawing blood, EKG, injections, etc. How is that I can take a year of med administration class, pharm, anatomy, etc but I am not qualified according to BON to do veinapunctures, but some yahoo without any GED, education, or formal training can do it after being watched as little as one time????? This should not be legal. I think all MA's should be regulated and required to have certain hours of training, or eliminate all MA positions. A CNA or an LPN can do the same things in my state with the PROPER, DOCUMENTED additional training. Long rant but set me on edge like nothing else. I just looked at her and walked away.


    PS. Not looking down on CNA's, LPN's, RN's, people with backgrounds, people with no Diplomas or GEDS. You have what you have. I was the 1st person EVER in my family to graduate high school. Everyone's life situations are different . Just saying that certain positions with life or death consequences should have a certain level of education and training.
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  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   LTV950rn
    I'd let it roll off you. You know what your training is. MA's are taught how to do things and generally not the "why." A good MA really helps a doctor/office run smoothly. They have their role and I'm not downgrading them. They are not nurses though and it drives me crazy when they misrepresent themselves as such!

    As a former clinic LPN, I worked with CMA's who flat out told me "we're the same, we do all the same things..." blah blah blah. I tried to explain the difference, but it fell upon deaf ears. We also had a union rep come around and get information about our job duties, so as to try and justify why CMA's should be making the same pay as the LPN's. (it really was only a 50 cent difference at each step). I flat out told the rep "Yes, we perform the same duties, but if I give the wrong medication and harm results, the BON can go after my license. I hold a license. CMA's work under the provider's license. I feel that a slight difference in pay is perfectly acceptable for this reason." She didn't quite know how to respond to that.
  4. by   SummitRN
    I took an MA pharm class at a CC while I was an EMT hoping to actually learn something about pharm. It was such a laughable experience, especially in retrospect after taking pharm in nursing school. Open book online "quizes" and 3 labs? You needn't actually learn a thing to pass.

    When the MA students come through my CPR class, they freqeuntly repeat hogwash their instructors tell them about how they are going to work in the hospital because hospitals love to use MAs.

    Me: "I've met 2 MAs in the hospital setting ever, but they were there because of their EKG training... as EKG techs not MAs." They get upset. I then point out that they might be able to get hired as for PCT jobs, except they are in the middle of a 1-2 year program to get their qual, instead of a 3 week CNA class.

    Around here the doc offices will advertise for an EMT-B+IV, MA, or LPN... could you get a bigger spread in ed?
  5. by   GRUNGE
    Ay. Ill drink ta that
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I'd attribute her cocky attitude to deeply-masked jealousy.

    In addition, she might be able to do plenty of cool skills, but this does not help her fit into the nursing hierarchy. Medical assistants are a part of the medical model of care provision, and nurses are part of the nursing model.

    Nurses are not paid for what we do. We are paid for what we know.
  7. by   Mudder
    it really irks me when I hear a MA say "I'm Dr so&so's nurse" NO, you are not his NURSE. Yes, he lets you do everything I do but that still doesn't make you a nurse. I have a license, you do not. I do everything a RN does too but that doesn't make me an RN!
  8. by   RN in training
    If there is no difference between MAs and LPNs, then why do they have different job titles? and why do LPNs make more money? and why do LPNs have a wider scope of practice? and why do institutions offer MA programs AND LPN programs? hah! i'm not even a nurse yet and this steams me. i will not presume to say that i know as much or can do as much as a physician when i am a nurse, and it is unacceptable for someone who is not a nurse to say that they know as much or can do as much as a nurse. there is a reason MDs attend med school, nurses attend LPN or RN programs, and MAs have MA degrees. if you're just as qualified to do the things that LPNs do, then why are you still an MA?! deurrrrrrrrr.
  9. by   Ev1987
    Why can't we see past this bitter hierarchy, and just focus on working more effectively as a team?
  10. by   Elleveein
    Im currently an MA, took NCLEX PN on 4/23 .Ive been a medical assistant for 13 years and the place im at now is full of MA's NOT one actual nurse but all of them are referred to as nurse, i asked not to be called nurse and they said "well we do nursing" but trying to explain is useless, sigghhhhh . They just dont understand. I do agree with the OP there's nothing MAs can't do under the direction of a Drs license, they give narcotics, Catheters,etc.(I get out of it) I think medical assisting should be regulated some how.
  11. by   SkipBeat
    I would let it slide. You really can't get mad about stupidity or ignorance. It's just an opportunity to educate someone about how woefully wrong their thinking is.
  12. by   CBLNurse2Be
    I'm only a pre-nursing student, But it defiantly erks(Sorry if that was spelled wrong, my spellcheck wont work!) me to hear my kids pedi call the MA a nurse. He says, " They nurse will come in and give the shots." Okay, that leads me to THINK this lady who is giving my kids shots actually is a nurse.. I thought this for a while until one day she was asking me about nursing school and saying how she wanted to go!

    ETA: After reading a story on here about a MA giving kids flu shots and re-using needles and so on(you may recall the story), well it makes me skeptical about MA's giving shots, especially to me kids! At my last school, there was a MA program, Omg, such a JOKE. They walked around acting like they were the **** with their steths on their necks. One asked to practice blood draws on me and I simply said.. **** No. Sorry. They were literally the biggest immature group I have ever seen!! They were honestly just in the program bc they weren't excepted to the nursing program there. When you asked them for their reason for being in the MA program that is seriously what they would tell you. Im not knocking MA's in anyway, I am just saying that I wouldn't want anyone from that group to ever work on me or my children! MA's are a big part of DRs offices but they defiantly shouldnt portray (sp?) tehmselves as nurses. I have two young kids and I am working my a** off to become a nurse. I do my best to make all A's and I know it will be worth it in the end. But geez, Dont say you're a nurse when you are not! Even I know that could get you in BIG BIG trouble!!
    Last edit by CBLNurse2Be on May 11, '11
  13. by   CBLNurse2Be
    [quote=CBLNurse2Be;5109927]I'm only a pre-nursing student, But it defiantly erks(Sorry if that was spelled wrong, my spellcheck wont work!) me to hear my kids pedi call the MA a nurse. He says, " They nurse will come in and give the shots." Okay, that leads me to THINK this lady who is giving my kids shots actually is a nurse.. I thought this for a while until one day she was asking me about nursing school and saying how she wanted to go!

    ETA: After reading a story on here about a MA giving kids flu shots and re-using needles and so on(you may recall the story), well it makes me skeptical about MA's giving shots, especially to my kids! At my last school, there was a MA program, Omg, such a JOKE. They walked around acting like they were the **** with their steths on their necks. One asked to practice blood draws on me and I simply said.. **** No. Sorry. They were literally the biggest immature group I have ever seen!! They were honestly just in the program bc they weren't accepted to the nursing program there. When you asked them for their reason for being in the MA program that is seriously what they would tell you. Im not knocking MA's in any way, I am just saying that I wouldn't want anyone from that group to ever work on me or my children! MA's are a big part of DRs offices but they defiantly shouldnt portray (sp?) themselves as nurses. I have two young kids and I am working my a** off to become a nurse. I do my best to make all A's and I know it will be worth it in the end. But geez, Dont say you're a nurse when you are not! Even I know that could get you in BIG BIG trouble!!
    Last edit by CBLNurse2Be on May 11, '11 : Reason: Bc I cant spell today for some reason :)
  14. by   Rob72
    Bottom line- it is unprofessional (beacuse of the lack of professional standards set by ancilliary support educational programs) and legally, it is misrepresentation. As soon as a major medical clinic closes shop after losing a suit because an MA performs an action that results in severe harm, that action being within scope of practice, but with sequelae that are under the domain of nursing, we'll see a change.

    Like most things, its all cool, until someone gets sued (don't worry about the loss of function/life/hospital admission, that's all incidental...).:icon_roll

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