I'm not sure what to do here. Someone I know told me this week that her employers allow her to work beyond her scope of practice. I always thought she was a Surgical Tech, although, she never went into details about what she did, other than assist in surgery. I just found out she went to a school for medical assisting. Her program was 6 months long and she graduated with a certificate. She's not even registered, as in Ohio, registration is not required. Essentially, she is an unlicensed medical assistant. She stated to me that her employers, a private dermatology and cosmetic surgery practice, have her assist in surgery, such as starting IVs, injecting medications into the IVs, monitor patients under anesthesia and do post surgical care. I was floored when she told me this. I calmly questioned her on why they don't have an RN doing these things and she stated, they only have one nurse on board because the 'practice' feels it's too expensive to pay RNs, when the physicians at her practice can just train MAs to do what she's doing. I'm a newly licensed RN, so I'm not sure what to do or say about this situation. Nor, do I know who to turn to to report this. I just know this is beyond her scope and this is endangering patient' safety. This person understands what she is doing is beyond her scope, but doesn't care, since she is compensated beyond what an MA would ever make with a certificate. She also feels the risk of getting caught is minimal, as she asked, "How could anyone possibly find out?". I'm wondering, does a patient death have to occur for this to stop? Any advice would be welcome.
You would think doctors wouldn't want to risk their licenses like this, but I guess they do
. This may sound harsh, but you get what you pay for (as the saying goes) and these doctors don't want to pay a nurse so they pay a MA, next thing you know another news story, lawsuit, and a poor patient that suffered from it. Really sad and scary. I know there are good MAs, but some things should be done by a licensed person. MAs are great at running doctor offices (billing, scheduling and things of this nature) but IVs meds are extreme! :smackingf
Last edit by Mrs. SnowStormRN on May 22, '11