Representing yourself to the public as a nurse when you are not a nurse - page 6

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. 3
    I am the tech, I am assisting the nurse in your care would have perhaps been a better response. HOWEVER,
    no reason to bait someone to get all flustered and attempt to explain and re-explain what apparently the OP family knew.
    I know the wait in the ED is sometimes long, but honestly, "lets fluster the staff" is not an appropriate time passer.
    Altra, lindarn, and Meriwhen like this.

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  2. 1
    I had just graduated nursing school and my aunt had a new job and was calling herself a nurse. She would talk about her patients (home health visits) and all she did for them and even showed up in her scrubs to my great-uncle's visitation to prove she had just gotten done with her patients. I kept telling my mom that she's not a nurse but my aunt kept saying that. I finally had a chance to ask what her title was, and she admitted PCA--patient care associate. She was similar to a CNA but only took a week-long training session from her employer. She'd go to the home and would hep bathe the patients and get them dressed and occasionally cleaned their kitchen or living room. She quit calling herself a nurse after I called her out on it. I was so frustrated that I had gone through all that and passed my NCLEX on the first try and she was basking in my glory by claiming my title.

    The local hospital has RNs and nurse techs. The RNs administer meds and change IV bags and note I&O but the nurse tech actually gets vitals and has to empty the I&O container. Not sure what the exact title of the "nurse tech" is.
    lindarn likes this.
  3. 2
    When I was an LPN and looked for jobs, many of them were listed as LPN/MA. I know in a clinic setting, the MA is like a nurse and obviously the clinic thinks so, too. When I worked in LTC we had med techs who were CNA's and went through a certification course on passing meds, no where near a nurse and I guess I'd resent anyone thinking that passing pills is all nurses do in LTC. I don't know what a med tech does in the hospital, but I don't think they should represent themselves as same thing as a nurse. But, to be fair the med tech didn't say he was like an RN, maybe he felt that he was like an LPN.

    IMO, when nurses think of all the grueling hours in school, reading, sitting through boring lectures, making powerpoint presentations, studying for tests, playing the game with instructors, dealing with attitudes at clinicals, etc... there's no shame in being protective of the license they worked so hard to get.
    lindarn and FecesOccurs like this.
  4. 0
    The person did not lie about his title. It was his perception, which was not correct. But we don't know the whole situation and the actual nurse was not offended so whats the big deal. Many times when dealing with our dementia Pts at the hospital I will refer to
    the CNA as a nurse, as I don't think the dementia Pt is up to the explanation of the vast difference. I know this was not the case
    in this situation, but again we don't know the whole situation cause we were not present.
  5. 0
    I don't see any intentional misrepresentation here. He clearly stated his title as med tech, he just didn't take to time to give a detailed description of the job duties. Saying "like a nurse" was probably the quickest and simplest explanation a lay person would reasonably be expected to understand. I personally wouldn't understand his job title either as a med tech in my area is a CNA that has taken a med administration course and has a certification allowing them to pass meds. They are used in a lot of LTC's for med passes only and wouldn't be doing the personal cares described by the OP.
  6. 1
    Quote from MtnRN
    This person should have been reported to their supervisor and repremanded .
    get over yourself

    he introduced himself as a MED TECH !

    he did NOT misrepresent himself

    if they don't know what a med tech is and they ask the guy "what do you do here?" and the med tech answers with "I take care or patients and I do ekgs" then 99% of the patients will say "oh, so you're just like a nurse"?

    as far as a non-medical person is concerned they're the same thing

    as numerous posts in this thread have stated a patient isn't going to make the distinction between getting treated by a nurse of by a med tech

    Quote from lindarn
    Go to a doctors' office, and see if the PA or NP, tells the patient that they are the, " same as a doctor".

    Big difference in skill level and education.
    which the vast majority of the public knows nothing about

    I guarantee most people don't know what an NP is.
    Neither do they know what training or education a Nurse Practitioner goes through.
    Last edit by james_lankford on Oct 10, '12
    Ruas61 likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from lindarn
    But he described his job title, and therefore, and misrepresented, his skill level, and education, to be the same as an RN or LPN. When he stated that it was, "the same as a nurse", he was misrepresented himself. Go to a doctors' office, and see if the PA or NP, tells the patient that they are the, " same as a doctor". Or go to a law office, and see what happens if the Paralegal tells potential clients, that he/she, is, "just like a lawyer". Your head would roll. The fact that so many individuals don't care what this jerk calls himself, is what is wrong with nursing. We do not respect ourselves enough to get angry at a person who represents themselves as a nurse. And we wonder why the public doesn't care.
    Big difference in skill level and education.

    JMHO and my NY $0.02.
    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    somewhere in the PACNW
    Yes, in this office we do because we are, lol. I am in independent provider and in this state, there is nothing a primary care MD/DO can do that I cannot. We are interchangeable. Just an FYI. Carry on.
  8. 0
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Or, a Med Tech may be a Medical Technician who has zero to do with any of the descriptions you gave. It just happens to be the title of a couple of my staff members, neither of whom holds a college degree but both of whom are responsible for the care, cleaning, and maintenance of our endoscopy scopes. Hence, the "technician" term; "medical" speaks for itself. It is the common title/job description of those in the endoscopy business who do that work. Sometimes called "scope techs". But techs.

    So, as we can see, context is everything.
    At a long term care facility, I worked as a "med tech" which was a medication technician. I've never heard of a med tech being a med technologist until now. When I was med teching people ALWAYS confused me with a nurse because I had a med cart and I did feedings and treatments, etc. If people assumed I was the nurse I would always try to politely correct them but not make them feel stupid by saying "I am similar to the nurse" or "I'm like the nurse". But sometimes people would get annoyed and treat it like I was being too finicky (similar to when I clarify my name is CaroLYN not CaroLINE) and they would say "whatever it's the same" in which I would say "okay!".

    So who knows maybe the guy wasn't trying to misrepresent himself. Was that an exact quote? Because it does make a difference if he said "it's like the same thing as a nurse" or if he said "it's basically the same thing as a nurse". Or even his tone "uh yeah it's the same thing as a nurse" kind of like my "okay!"
  9. 0
    I agree with james. I actually just got a new she is a Nurse Practioner and even I could not tell the different in the job duties except that I know she runs her own office....a funny sign on the door inside reads "The Doctor is in" and the word Doctor is crossed out and below it is "Nurse Practioner"
    on the flipside, I've never ever had a Physician Assistant, introduce himself as a Physician Assistant...I normally look at the name tags to make the determination. However, 99.9% of patients thinks persons in white gowns are ALL doctors, females in scrubs are all nurses and males in scrubs are orderlies to lift you from place to place (yeah forget the ).
    Reality check, I'm in hospital...I'm probably in pain and really messed up and I'm gonna lay down asking everyone to "define" themselves to me and just leave their resume while I'm there? ohh please as long as I get treated right and out of there I am happy and I'm sure most patients think the same way.
  10. 0
    I'm sorry, but if the family member knew the difference then why did they ask in the first place? Were they baiting to see what the response would be? And in reality, this person did not say they were a nurse

    No, she was not "baiting" them. She heard a title that she did nto know and asked what it was. She does, however, know what a nurse is.

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