Can someone "link me up"? MA ? for PA

  1. 1
    I know there are lots of link/info savvy people here that can probably lead me in the right direction. I have a friend in PA who is an MA (although reference is often made to her being a nurse). She works in a cardio office and today was on phone triage. Is this legal in PA? I'm scared that they are expecting a lot out of a 9 month educated MA who's on her first MA job and she doesn't know to say "No, I'm not qualified to do XXX". Or unwilling....
    lindarn likes this.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    Triage is not an appropriate delegation for a medical assistant, at all, ever. MAs are not allowed to assess. Good luck to that practice when a patient suffers a serious outcome as a result of a bad triage and finds out an MA was the one delivering medical advice.
    jahra, AJPV, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  4. 3
    This is PA's rules on what a physician can delegate to unlicensed individuals like MA's: http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/04...8/s18.402.html If the PA BoN states that only RN's may perform triage or telephone triage then an MD cannot delegate the same task to a non-nurse MA.
    AJPV, herring_RN, and lindarn like this.
  5. 1
    Aye, so she has to specify that she is not a nurse, but a MA. Tell her that she should tell the patient that she can take down all the information and forward it to the doctor and give them a call back after the md reviews their chart. A lot of md's trust their MA's with telling pt stuff. I was in a Gastro clinic for 4 years and my doc always laughed when I would put a pt on hold to verify with him, even though I already knew the answer. Tell her it she has to say she s not a nurse. if its regular per-op stuff ( I got a million calls a day wondering if orange jell-o had red or purple dye in it) that that's fine, but as far as someone giving her S&S's give that to the MD.
    I hope this post doesn't get crazy out of hand like previous ones.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from NeoPediRN
    Triage is not an appropriate delegation for a medical assistant, at all, ever. MAs are not allowed to assess. Good luck to that practice when a patient suffers a serious outcome as a result of a bad triage and finds out an MA was the one delivering medical advice.
    I tried explaining that to my friend. She says they aren't "giving advice", just taking calls, talking with a Dr then returning calls. I said "so the one that calls in with chest pain and asks "should I come to the clinic or hospital?", are you telling them hospital?" She said "well of course!!" I said "that's advice". Great advice, sure, but advice nonetheless....
  7. 0
    Just tell her to advise EVERYONE to call 911. Then she's covered
  8. 0
    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    I tried explaining that to my friend. She says they aren't "giving advice", just taking calls, talking with a Dr then returning calls. I said "so the one that calls in with chest pain and asks "should I come to the clinic or hospital?", are you telling them hospital?" She said "well of course!!" I said "that's advice". Great advice, sure, but advice nonetheless....
    I'm a MA in Pa and I can tell you that the majority of clinics in my area have the telephones manned by personnel who not only are not nurses, but a lot who haven't even gone to school for medical assisting. Perhaps it's just because of our small, hick area, but to have a RN on the phones at these offices taking calls all day seems....very unlikely to happen...for the simple fact that the people who answer the calls in 99.9% of these offices also do pt. check in and check out, verification of insurances and collection of payments, they book future appointments and make copies of anything that needs making copies of...and this is usually for the low, low price of around $8.00 to $10.00 per hour.

    If you are going to undertake putting a stop to this practice then I wish you luck because you've got a huge task ahead of you. You will find this sort of practice going on all over my central Pa area and it has been for years.

    Just curious, how about those automated messages that patients hear before even speaking to an actual person that say "If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and call 911" ?
  9. 1
    Not only is she doing phone triage, but cardio to top it off??? Very scary. So many s/s in a cardio pt may be subtle and totally missed by an untrained person.
    BuckyBadgerRN likes this.
  10. 0
    there are no regulations re phone triage in pa's nurse practice act.
    rn law
    pn law

    in se pa, it is rare to find an rn in a physicians office- most have transitioned to medical assistants (ma's). phone triage is rarely for clinical advice --those calls defered to dr call back between patients. all of the insurance companies however have nurse advice lines and handle clinical issues.
    that siad, some cardiaologists in my area who run coumadin clinics do have a nurse in office interpreting results and adjusting dosing per standing order protocals. one of my health systems hospitals has transitioned pharmacy to run coumadin clinic. we homecare rn's providein home pt/inr testing for those just discharged from hospital and report results to pharmacy, cardiologist or pcp depending on attending docs preference.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 24, '11


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