Attn Clinic/Doctors office nurses! - page 4

I've seen this topic before but it's come up again at my clinic/urgent care, sorry in advance if you've heard this a million times. Do you call medical assistants nurses at your clinic? Would you... Read More

  1. by   nursel56
    Quote from CaliBoy760
    I'm calling BS. A medical school graduate who has completed residency and has passed the medical boards is a "Doctor", and is entitled to the the respective title of "Doctor", ancient rhetoric not withstanding.
    I think maybe factorviia is gearing up for a campaign to convince people that a DNP should be called "doctor", but an MD should not?

    Since medical doctors (MDs) are already spitting nails over NPs with doctorates being called "doctor" due to the patient confusion factor, I say a hearty good luck with that and I'll go stock up on some Blast o' Butter popcorn.

    edit to add:
    it's worth mentioning that the AACN has taken great pains to explain the difference between a DNP and a PhD in Nursing (or any previous advanced degree programs that have lived and died over the years). You refer to the DNP as a "clinical doctorate" and a PhD as an academic, or research-oriented doctorate. If that isn't confusing enough, they feel that today's master's in nursing coursework is equivalent to doctorates in other disciplines, so to use a little shorthand, you could basically just change the name and it would all be good.

    Sorry for the highjack, elleveein. Nothing will change until they get their rear-ends singed by a patent who knows and cares about things like that. My first clinic job in 1978 tended to be lax about titles, but that is changing rapidly.

    There is now such a confusing array of letters and midlevel providers compared to prior decades, that now it matters. The urgent care center I visit got in huge trouble because a patient accused a PA of representing himself as a doctor. Not how the word-mincers define it, but how the public at large defines it. He may have had a PhD in library science, but that wasn't going to cut it in this dispute.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Aug 11, '12
  2. by   AP0525
    I am confused as to why Factorviia is saying physicians don't hold a doctorate.

    My husband is an Internal Medicine physician by occupation (and refers to himself as a physician, to distinguish himself from all of the other people who call themselves "doctors.") He is a D.O. not an M.D.

    His degree is (and medical school diploma reads): "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine" Furthermore, he has completed 8 years of schooling, plus a 3 year residency, So how do you figure he has no right to say he is a doctor?
  3. by   SHGR
    This is the type of red herring tangent that always seems to occur in the APN fora. Weird to see it here too...

    But, calling MDs and DOs doctors does not mislead the public- those titles imply "medical school," "rigorous training," "residency." Calling medical assistants "nurses" is indeed misleading because that implies nursing school, RN or LPN clinicals, nursing licensure, and answering to the BON, rather than the technical training that MAs receive.
  4. by   Sally Now
    Until there's a lawsuit it probably won't get the top of mind awareness it needs. Continue to address/introduce RN/LVN as nurse and MA as Medical Assistant. My ID goes into a red-bordered plastic cover that says RN. Maybe LVNs could be green, and MAs another color. In any event, it's a continual education process, so unless a formal policy comes out...and yes, it irritates me!
  5. by   HippyDippyLPN
    In the clinic I am at right now, we have name tags. There are two RN's, I am the only LPN, and the rest are MA's. Although we do have nurse visits which the MA's also perform. I have never heard the MA's call themselves nurses at this clinic but like others said patients just assume. The MA's do everything us nurses do. When we call patients we say just say hello this is Jane Doe calling with Dr. Black's office not just a general this is the nurse with Dr. Black's office of if there is every any confusion/concern the patient has the name of the staff member they talked to.

    My previous job was awful about calling the MA's nurses though, the MA's refered to themselves as nurses. They would do phone triage and actually call patients saying Hi this is the nurse. They even had their occupations on FB listed as nurse. Most of them werent even registered, they just had the schooling. The supervisor called them nurses even. It kinda annoyed me then but mostly because that place was a train wreck anyways.
  6. by   mama2
    This drives me crazy where I work now...I tried correcting people in the beginning, but realized quickly that it was a losing battle. No one in the office wears their name badge except for me. *shrug* I guess I'm going to have to learn to get over it.
  7. by   Danielle Lungren
    I work in both an acute care hospital and a clinic. At the hospital we have red badges that say RN on them. I also wear the red badge at the clinic to let the patient's know when they see me and I am seeing patients in the clinic that they are being seen by a registered nurse. It's also educating the public about the differences between an MA and RN and the role we have in the clinic setting.
  8. by   hayest
    flip flops and scrubs .. OMG! Very unprofessional. When MA's wear scrubs, the practice is announcing they have nurses working for them. Patients associate scrubs with nurses. A different dress uniform should be worn and name tags worn and corrections made when talking with patients as well as introductions. MD's also need to STOP calling the MA's nurses ...
  9. by   Oedgar
    I have worn flip flops and scrubs ONCE a few months ago to my clinic job... I broke my toe while getting dressed for work. Tried to put on my running shoes.... NOPE! No one else to call to come in (that's a whole other thread... sigh). So on the flip flops went. I felt so weird and unprofessional. Luckily it was a fairly light day with our young doc who did not care. First chance I got I found some clogs that I wore the next three weeks.
  10. by   Ashley02
    I work with MAs in my clinics and I am the RN. I'm in Indiana so it may be a regional thing, but no one refers to them as nurses and they certainly do not refer to themselves as nurses. In fact, if a patient calls them a nurse, they will said "I'm the MA; Ashley is the nurse."
  11. by   Becca_Anne
    I just corrected one of our medical providers today (she is very new to our practice) when she referred to the MA's as the nurses. I gently asked her if she could remember to call them Medical Assistants as I had worked very hard for my title and felt it was dangerous for patients to assume that they were nurses if they were to overhear her. She agreed that I had a point. Since I am the only floor RN in our clinic and even the front desk staff wear scrubs I really felt it was important to impress upon her that it wasn't a good idea to treat the term casually. None of my MA's would misrepresent themselves, they always say they are an MA if a patient says nurse. I feel it is worth speaking up even if it might seem petty to some.
  12. by   hayest
    Congratulations! I'm glad you corrected the provider and it's nice to read that your MA's do not misrepresent themselves. In our area, they all misrepresent themselves and the doctors go along with it. I had a new appointment with an OBGYN's office a few months ago. I noticed it at the time they kept saying "give that to the nurse or the nurse will take it". Only to find out they were not nurses, but medical assistants. I had to call back for something and again the receptionist said "nurse". I said "I'm sorry to say, but they are not nurses, they are medical assistants and it's against the law to call them a nurse. Only RN's can have the title of nurse. She first said "it's just easier to say nurse". I responded "but that's not what they are and you are misleading the patients. It's a misdemeanor and felony. The state can fine them and shut the office down. She then said "well I happen to know Lori is a nurse". I said "no she isn't, I;ve known her for years and I thought she was a nurse, but she is a medical assistant as I asked her the day I was there." That shut the woman up... but she still refers to them as nurses. Hmmmmm.. the state board of nursing just might hear about this office.
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Elleveein
    I've tried to educate them SEVERAL times yet still I hear them say "This is Dr. doe's nurse" or the doctor will tell the pt "wait for my nurse".My favorite of all is "Good Morning nurses", I'm working on getting passed it. I guess its petty and silly to keep complaining when there's nothing i can do.
    You are not being petty and silly. They are breaking the law. Why not refer to the MAs as "doctors"? After all, they have "medical" in their title. See if the doctors mind their title being illegally usurped.

    Next time someone says "Good morning nurses!" you can pipe up and say "Aren't you going to say good morning to the MAs, too?" I would not let it go. I might even drop a dime to the BON.