Rant: sick of MAs

  1. 0 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.
  2. Visit  mclennan profile page

    About mclennan, BSN

    mclennan has '8' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'CCM, PHN'. From 'Los Angeles, CA, US'; Joined Sep '06; Posts: 743; Likes: 2,203.

    16 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  classicdame profile page
    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. Visit  tyvin profile page
    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. Visit  hopefulwhoop profile page
    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. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    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. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    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. Visit  BlueDevil,DNP profile page
    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. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    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. Visit  lovetheocean profile page
    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. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    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.
  12. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    0
    I think most places are going to MAs. As long as you do a good job I couldn't care less if you're an RN, LPN, or MA. I see a lot of unprofessional people in all levels of healthcare. To some employers people are nothing more than position fillers.
  13. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    0
    A meeting about professional behavior is in order.

    Sometimes, depending on the demographic that you are working with, patients are most comfortable with people their own age, their own thought process, who may look and act like them. So because someone wears a lot of makeup, has tattoos and the like is a non-issue, unless there is a dress code.
    What stood out to me is the texting while being with a patient. That is unprofessional in any genre. And the gum chewing, and other behaviors that may happen in front of patients.

    I think that if you are going to have a meeting regarding all of these issues, then it should be required that a class be attended about professionalism. What may be glaringly obvious to you may not be to other staff.

    A suggestion could be to have a "lead" MA, who is responsible for teaching and modeling professionalism. When people know better, they do better (<---my apologies for quoting Oprah so early in the morning--need more coffee LOL). Ask if you can teach that class. And have a schedule of monthly inservices--if the MD is taking responsibility under his license for MA's to provide a certain scope of clinical skills, then they should be skilled in doing all of this correctly.

    Another idea is if there is a technical school in your area where a number of the MA's are coming from, contact the adminstration. Suggest that they have a unit on professional behavior. They may or may not want to hear that, but at least you became pro-active.

    Finally, write policy. It is interesting if you ask the offenders in a meeting setting to brainstorm what is not professional, they come up with some astounding answers--and then the light bulb goes on. It is frustrating when you feel as if you are surrounded by foolishness, but now is the time to be pro-active to change things.
  14. Visit  Jenni811 profile page
    0
    i am going to say this..i've been having alot of eye problems. I see my opthamologist literally every 2 weeks. I have the SAME nurse everytime i go in. One time i went in and there was an MA that got me settled in and prepared. She didn't do anything right...nearly poked my eye out giving me an eye drop. First off, as a registered nurse i KNOW how to properly give eye drops. She did not do it. When it came for the second drop i just said "I'll do it this time." When i asked where she was and why she isn't here, the MA told me that they are cutting back on nurses so she is only part time now.
    I was like whoa whoa whoa...what???
    When the doctor came in, he was asking for stuff and assistance in holding something...she had no freaking clue what she was doing. After she left, i told my doctor i would be back ONLY when that nurse is working. Seriously now...nothing against MA, there is a time and a place for them But the should NOT be replacing nurses. my doctor agreed with me and told me to fill out a comment card about my thoughts regarding this because other people have said the same.


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