Rant: sick of MAs

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    I work for a large medical group that has several urgent cares, clinics and doctor's offices. As most people here know, we've moved away from the old doctor-and-nurse model in clinics and more toward a doctor-and-MA model. This exists everywhere and is an unfortunate byproduct of cost cutting and sacrificing quality in favor of lining insurance and CEO's pockets.

    The MAs I work with, on average, have 3 to 6 months of training in the most basic medical procedures. I've reviewed the curriculum of a typical MA program and the one I looked at had zero elements of critical thinking or customer service or theory of any kind. Just how to take vitals, give shots, a little wound care and some medical terminology. That's it.

    I just have to vent. I'm so sick of the TONS of MAs who staff some really critical areas. I can't stand their ghetto mentality, terrible communication skills, immaturity, rudeness, jailhouse tattoos, drag makeup, gossip, attitude and cliques. They bring an otherwise decent medical practice down many notches in quality and treat our patients like crap, and constantly start conflicts with other staff. But this is who most places would rather hire now to save money. MAs now patch the gaps nurses left in ambulatory settings. Care suffers as a result. I watch our MAs work and I'm APPALLED at how they mumble, chew gum, look bored or text on their phones WHILE with patients. It's gross.

    I'm sure there are some AWESOME, skilled, mature, professional and educated MAs out there. But none here. And everyone just acts like it's okay.

    How did this happen? Do any of you work with a lot of MAs or basically lost your job to MAs? I'm curious what others' perspectives are on this issue.

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 0
    I used to work for MD's who thought anyone without their level of education was stupid anyway so they did not expect professional behavior. I agree, it brings down the whole clinic. You may have to change jobs or you will be seen as the trouble maker for complaining about the issue.
  4. 1
    Painting all MAs with such a broad brush only shows your immaturity, communication skill, and rudeness. Not all MAs have tattoos and whatever else you said (what's wrong with tattoos?). Most MAs have a year of school and then some.

    MAs will and are the future of medicine due cost cutting measures. They learn as they go. Do you think that they want to hurt patients? All they want is a chance to work like everyone else and unfortunately the educational requirements are low but they do get to work. It's the system man...don't blame them; try to work with them.

    And then again; you could just be projecting...
    ChristineN likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from tyvin
    Painting all MAs with such a broad brush only shows your immaturity, communication skill, and rudeness. Not all MAs have tattoos and whatever else you said (what's wrong with tattoos?). Most MAs have a year of school and then some.

    MAs will and are the future of medicine due cost cutting measures. They learn as they go. Do you think that they want to hurt patients? All they want is a chance to work like everyone else and unfortunately the educational requirements are low but they do get to work. It's the system man...don't blame them; try to work with them.

    And then again; you could just be projecting...
    She did say it was a rant/vent...
  6. 4
    Quote from tyvin
    Painting all MAs with such a broad brush only shows your immaturity, communication skill, and rudeness. Not all MAs have tattoos and whatever else you said (what's wrong with tattoos?). Most MAs have a year of school and then some.

    MAs will and are the future of medicine due cost cutting measures. They learn as they go. Do you think that they want to hurt patients? All they want is a chance to work like everyone else and unfortunately the educational requirements are low but they do get to work. It's the system man...don't blame them; try to work with them.

    And then again; you could just be projecting...
    OP was describing the MAs where OP works, and acknowledged that it isn't like this everywhere. It IS like that where OP is from and that is the basis for the rant.
    caliotter3, OCNRN63, monkeybug, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    Wow

    I do not work with MA's. In my area, I know of two local hospital networks that have satellite clinics and they are moving towards nurse-run clinics, staffed with RNs and LPNs. A lot of MA's cannot find work.

    I have worked with MAs in the past, as well as interacted with them during my dr visits. I remember telling off one MA for giving my depo injection in my arm. I was 115 lbs, and her technique was sooo horrible, I SWORE she hit my bone, and I let her have it, threw out the nurse card and "enlightened" her about proper IM technique, the WHY, and why it is always better to do it right, regardless of patient flow. The right way is the RIGHT way.

    I also had another MA at my PCP's office do my BP incorrectly, as well as did not listen to me when I suggested to draw from because I was a hard stick. Awful-I had to tell he to stop digging in my arm and get someone else. If a pt tells you where a good vein is, I listen-and I told her that motto that day too. I really need to schedule an appt, but I dread seeing her as the competent and seasoned MAs I don't get a chance of seeing, plus I need a change, my PCP is not listening either, so I'm leaving

    I hope things will be better, regardless of your outcome. And sometimes it does feel good to rant. I hope there could be some form of a meeting to help with professionalism? Even if you are the only nurse there (not sure) you can try to guide and enlighten the staff...at least you can try. ((HUGS))
  8. 2
    That's a shame, our MAs our outstanding. Your administrative leadership needs to set the standard for professionalism. I agree, the behavior you describe is indeed appalling. However, I really must object to your use of the term "ghetto" in that context. I am sure you did not intend racist connotations, but just so you are aware, it is really pejorative and unacceptable language among polite company.
    NJ2008 and jadelpn like this.
  9. 0
    In one community where I worked, the health department and one particular practice were virtually the only games in town for vaccines. I worked at the health department. MAs at the practice administered vaccines. I had access to a state immunization registry, and we often had mutual patients. It was horrifying to see the vaccines they would administer to people. 1 year shots to 2 month olds. Shots for children under 7 to 65 year olds...we did a lot of clean up on their behalf. I do not think someone with their limited amount of training should be delegated the same amount of responsibility or be given the same level of autonomy as a nurse...that's my rant.
  10. 0
    "MAs are the future of medicine"? Not quite, Tyvin. They're not even nurses. Before becoming an LVN, then RN I was trained as an MA back in the day. We had 9 months of minimal training, which made us able to not do more than take vitals and work the front office. NO ONE should allow an MA to give them an injection! They are not trained in pharmacology, do not have any meaningful instruction in drug administration or even knowledge of medications and don't have a license proving their competencies. That being said, not all MAs have tatoos or are ghetto. I think they are entry level and should not be expected or allowed to function in a capacity that is more than that.
  11. 1
    I work in a large, multi-location nephrology practice. I'm one of the APNs and I don't work in any of the offices. However, when I do go to the office, everyone is extremely professional and pleasant. Our practice is fairly strict with regards to dress, conduct and customer service.

    I think that the climate and office culture is what helps or hurts the practice. Maybe discuss these issues with your office manager?
    jadelpn likes this.


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