Calling a Dr's office and an MA saying she is a nurse....any specific Texas rules?

  1. I've about had it with calling Dr's offices (usually cardiology offices) about a patient concern, asking for the staff RN and the person answering the phone says "this is she." Then, upon further questioning finding out she is an MA. I'm to the point where I'm ready to report this, but could not find anything specific on the BNE website. Has anyone had something similar like this come up and what did you do?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   santhony44
    According to my annotated guide to the TX Nurse Practice Act, it is illegal for someone who is not a nurse to hold himself or herself out to be a nurse, or to use a title which will lead people to believe that he or she is a nurse. The way I read it, the person does not have to claim to be an RN or LVN to be in viloation of the law.

    There may be a more recent annotated NPA, this is just the one I have. (5th edition, 2002)

    So, could you report someone to the Board of Nurse Examiners? Apparently so. How far such a complaint would get, I don't know.

    I do know that they are definitely tough on people who claim to be licensed and are not. Even people who claim to have a license when getting a job and don't actually work at the job (because someone got suspicious or had a standard procedure of verifying licensure before an employee started working) are still prosecuted.
    Last edit by santhony44 on Oct 4, '07 : Reason: clairifying
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    dear doctor xyz:

    i am bringing to your attention that medical assistants in your office are calling themselves nurses.

    perhaps you are unaware that texas law restricts who may use the title "nurse".

    texas nursing practice act
    sec. 301.002. definitions.
    (3) “nurse” means a person required to be licensed under this chapter to engage in professional or vocational nursing.

    (4) “nursing” means professional or vocational nursing.

    section 301.415. use of certain nursing titles
    unless the person is practicing under the delegated authority of a registered nurse or is otherwise authorized by state or federal law, a person may not use, in connection with the person’s name: (1) the title" nurse aide", "nurse assistant", or" nurse technician" or (2) or any other similar title.
    http://www.bne.state.tx.us/nursinglaw/npa1.html#002

    the texas board of nursing is empowered to file suit and impose fines against individuals and employers who permit non-licensed personnel to call themselves nurses. this is the same power the texas board of medicine has to protect the title m.d and d.o.

    i'm sure you will want to educate your staff on this issue. i look forward to further visits to the office and will be monitoring this issue.


    sincerely,

    abc patient


    feel free to adopt this letter or use as conversation with any physician in any state that has title protection.

    legislation that protects the title nurse has now been enacted in 19 states including: az, ca, co, fl, hi, ky, id, md, mn, ne, nm, ny, nc, nd, ri, sc, tn, tx, wa, and wi.

    laws protecting the title "nurse" (2007)


    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 4, '07
  5. by   carachel2
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    feel free to adopt this letter or use as conversation with any physician in any state that has title protection.

    legislation that protects the title nurse has now been enacted in 19 states including: az, ca, co, fl, hi, ky, id, md, mn, ne, nm, ny, nc, nd, ri, sc, tn, tx, wa, and wi.

    laws protecting the title "nurse" (2007)
    thanks sooooooooo much ! will print it out and send it along.
  6. by   RN1989
    That is one reason why you should always put their name down when getting phone orders (Tylenol 650 mg po 14h prn, t.o. Dr. Crank/A. Nurse RN/your name and title). I have seen nurses lately who are omitting the third party in their order and writing it as if they spoke directly to the doc. Especially if someone is saying they are one thing and they are not - this protects you. Unless they are lying about their name in addition to their title which just opens up even more issues.
  7. by   justme1972
    Quote from carachel2
    I've about had it with calling Dr's offices (usually cardiology offices) about a patient concern, asking for the staff RN and the person answering the phone says "this is she." Then, upon further questioning finding out she is an MA. I'm to the point where I'm ready to report this, but could not find anything specific on the BNE website. Has anyone had something similar like this come up and what did you do?
    As a student, I really think things like that is very dangerous.

    To me, that is no different than you wanting to see a doctor and the RN saying, "This is she!".

    I don't mind assistants repeating information back to me...but if I KNOW the person is not an RN and it doesn't sound right, at least I'll know to second guess the advice or ask her to confirm it, or speak with someone else.

    But if you think you are speaking with the RN, you may be less likely to question it.
  8. by   texascowgirl
    thank you so much for posting this. i have heard ma's and cna's identify themselves as nurses many times. bringing this to their attention helps demand respect for our education and training and our professional licensure, just as an md or do would expect after going through med school-no different.
    p.s. the only time i would defer using that, is that i have noticed that elderly southern folk will use that term "nurse" loosely, stating that they were nurses-even if that means that they cared for their families in their own homes. but hey, that is not in a professional medical setting which brings it to a whole other level.

    Quote from nrskarenrn
    feel free to adopt this letter or use as conversation with any physician in any state that has title protection.

    legislation that protects the title nurse has now been enacted in 19 states including: az, ca, co, fl, hi, ky, id, md, mn, ne, nm, ny, nc, nd, ri, sc, tn, tx, wa, and wi.

    laws protecting the title "nurse" (2007)
    Last edit by texascowgirl on Oct 5, '07 : Reason: add info

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