Representing yourself to the public as a nurse when you are not a nurse - page 3

by Penguin67

12,288 Unique Views | 63 Comments

A family member was recently seen in an ER. One of her care providers introduced himself as a "med tech" and the family member asked "What does that mean?" and the response was " it is the same thing as a nurse". My family member... Read More


  1. 2
    He didn't call himself a nurse but he gave out incorrect information to the patient. I think the hospital has the right to expect their employees to answer correctly or find out for them if they don't know. A med tech is not the same thing as a nurse.
    Penguin67 and FecesOccurs like this.
  2. 2
    Aargh, this reminds me a distant friend from the past, who would tell everyone, right in front of me, that she was a "teacher" when they asked what she did,where she was employed.

    This girl was a teacher's aid. NEVER went to college. She knew it, and I knew it, I'm not even a teacher, and it really got under my skin.

    I never called her on it, but boy, was it annoying.

    She was completely misrepresenting herself. And her education and her qualifications.

    I get OP's point. It's a little annoying. But I didn't feel it was worth mentioning. I just smirked.

    We should all make our PROFESSIONAL titles clear, PERIOD. That is in the pts interest, that's why we wear name tags.

    Not notpicking, just saying.

    There IS a difference, and I think, in my institution, the techs and CNA's are "professional" enough that they DON"T DO THAT. EVER. I LOVE THEM. They are great at what they do. I value them, and depend on them, and respect them.

    As another poster said, they would readily state "I need to get the nurse".

    But while we do some of the same things, we are not the SAME thing. Just like the teacher/aid business.

    Sigh. Both professions w some problems.

    Perhaps both dominated by WOMEN? And UNDERVALUED?
    Not_A_Hat_Person and FecesOccurs like this.
  3. 8
    He did not say he was a licensed "nurse," therefore did not actually misrepresent himself. What he said can be chalked up to a mischaracterization of his role. As a nurse, I understand why you don't like it, but as a rational person who has been an administrator, I know how they are going to see it: a nonsense BS complaint. In other words, you are wasting your time. If one wanted to have an impact, the teachable moment was when he misspoke. The moment has passed. Move on, let it go.
  4. 0
    A Med Tech is not a nurse, most med techs have at least a BSN, sometimes an MS and others even more education, so the person was being dishonest from the start. Med Tech is short for Medical Technologist (a four year degree) or sometimes Med Techs are Medical Technicians (which is a two-year degree, but is being phased out in most parts of the country--they are mostly helpers for the technologists). Med Techs are the ones who run chem panels, type and cross blood, and do tissue typing--plus a lot more. They are mostly behind the scenes, working in the labs. The person was probably a Patient Care Tech (a term for 'Nurse's Aide' in many regions).

    It may be surprising to nurses, but Med Techs are generally insulted when anyone mistakes them for nurses!
  5. 2
    Grrrrrrr. I'd have called him out and then made a call to HR after the fact. That is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, the clinic where I go pulls crap like that all the time: "Can I speak to Dr. William's nurse?" "Sure, hold on please", "Hi this is Cathy!" "Are you a nurse?" "I'm an MA" "so that's a no." Well, I'm Dr. WILLIAM'S nurse". No, you aren't!!! Grrrrrr

    Quote from Penguin67
    A family member was recently seen in an ER. One of her care providers introduced himself as a "med tech" and the family member asked "What does that mean?" and the response was " it is the same thing as a nurse". My family member went on to watch everything this person did while she was there, and saw vital signs, linen changes, positioning changes, paperwork, and things in the scope of a nurse assistant. This family member happened to know the difference, and we talked about this when she came home from the ER.

    Is there a way to handle this, as I know this post is not the first one to discuss unlicensed assistive personnel representing themselves as nurses. The family member asked a nurse about it, and she just smiled and said that there was a difference and they did really need the help of med techs. (Which is nice, but doesn't solve the issue of representing oneself as a nurse when in fact they are not.) Should she mention this in the patient comment survey that she will most likely receive or not? Thoughts?
    Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 9, '12
    FecesOccurs and MtnRN like this.
  6. 0
    Too busy? Really? And more people care about the difference than you might think.

    Quote from itsmejuli
    He was probably busy and didn't feel like explaining the difference between nurse and med tech. I think most people have no idea about the difference and don't really care.
  7. 3
    I'm tired of the egos in nursing. let it go. The tech clearly stated that he's a med tech period.
    KatieP86, PediLove2147, and Elladora like this.
  8. 1
    Not so long ago I felt nurses were making a big deal out of nothing with the titles, until I thought about the fact that everyone flips out when a non-MD holding individual represents himself as a medical doctor. If a non-nurse does the same? Nyeh, who cares? I feel it was bad enough that the public devalues the importance of nursing, but to realize I'd bought into it myself was a real eye-opener.
    wooh likes this.
  9. 0
    I know in my state it is against the law for a person without a license to represent themselves as a nurse and can be prosecuted just as if they were a person impersonating a police officer or a person practicing medicine or law without a license. This person should have been reported to their supervisor and repremanded or at least I know in my neck of the woods they would have been! I and my fellow colleagues have worked hard to get where we are and we know there is a lot more than just the duties and skills of a nursing assistant that make a nurse. I know I used to work in an ER as a "Med Tech" myself 30 years ago while working my way up through the ranks! We were just called Nurse's Aides back then.
  10. 0
    A lot of hospitals are calling their CNAS in the ER, Techs, because it sounds better for marketing purposes. Thats what happens when you let non medical people advise how hospitals should be run! In my opinion they have screwed up a lot of stuff, like what insurance should and should not cover, staffing, sacrificing appropriate care for the almighty dollar!


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