MA's being used as "nurses" - page 12

Hello all! I work in a private practice office in which I am the only RN. There are several MA's and one LPN. My concern is that the MA's are referred to as "nurses". The patients often do not... Read More

  1. by   Nurserton
    Quote from JeanthePHN
    Now these posts are old but here is my 2 cents....I foolishly went in nursing in 1980 because, at 20 years old, I did not have much career choices. Girls who grew up in the 60's and 70's did not become rocket scientists. The hospital school of nursing closed in 1976. The local voke-tech LPN school was closing--it never did though. All girls who wanted to be nurses had to go to the 4 yr college. There was no 2 year community college nursing degree at the community college then. I did not want to work as a hospital nurse. Even naive as I was, I knew that hospital work was a pink collar ghetto and I always hoped to work in an office. Today, 20 years later, this RN with a BSN is applying for jobs as a medical assistant because RN's are not being hired in doctor's offices/clinics here in Massachusetts. Nursing school did not support ambulatory out-patient nursing. Now a days, some nurising schools are putting community health students in schools for a taste of school nursing, but have you ever seen a college put a nursing student in a doctors office or clinic? As a public health nurse I did have students because I pushed for it at work, but generally across America nursing school ignores that field. So, why would someone spend 12 months in a medical assistant school instead of going toRN or LPN school? Medical assistant are replacing LPN/RN because they are cheaper but they are the only trained health care worker that specializes in out-patient/ambulatory care.The salaries, at least here in Mass are not that much different if you compared a office nurse to an office MA. I wish I could of had the chance to go to MA school. I would of been happier because I would have had a career that did not cost 4 years, a 15 plus year school loan to repay, and more job opportunities.


    If all you want to do is lead them to their rooms & take their blood pressure before the doc comes in, then yea, maybe you should've been an MA. Clinics DO hire RNs, usually BSNs, as pt educators, case managers, triage nurses, etc. It's all about what exactly you are trying to do though. If you're a blood draw kind of gal, then by all means....
  2. by   Nurserton
    Quote from chili2641
    If a medical assistant has the same amount of education as a nurse then what is the problem?

    Nursing assistant
    Well first off, they are not taught nursing *philosophy* which is what makes a nurse a nurse to freakin begin with!!!!!!!
    Medical assistant = task oriented.
    Nurse = care oriented.

    HUGE difference IMO. Nursing is a calling, Medical assisting is a doggone job.
  3. by   Nurserton
    Quote from Clays02
    I really cannot STAND when MA's call themselves nurses. I always say to them, "Oh, you're a registered nurse?" and the reply is always, "Well, no, I'm an MA." Nursing is an art, science, and philosophy and so much more multi-dimensional than being a Medical Assistant. I worked as a medical assistant for a very short time while I was in nursing school and I always corrected patients and my coworkers when they were referred to as nurses. I could go on and on about this. It's really aggravating to me. I worked so hard to make it through nursing school with very good grades (successfully) and pass my boards. People who don't go through this educational process don't deserve to call themselves a nurse. Alright...I'll get off my soapbox now.
  4. by   WannabeFlight
    I am an MA in a family practice setting. My license is as s CNA, but I operate under my Nurse manager and Medical Director. I do wound care, office procedures, sterile set up, stitch/staple removal, phlebotomy, injections, immunizations, EKG's, IV's and so on and so on. I have been "In- Office" trained and take pride in my work.

    NEVER do I allow my patients to refer to me as a NURSE!!! NEVER EVER! I will always correct my patients and the residents that I work with. I am awaiting acceptance into Nursing school. I have 26 medical providers in my office and often get to "train" residents on how to do simple things like Strep tests.

    I understand your distaste with MA's, but most of us are looking to advance in Medical and find this as a valuable learning experience. I have been there several years and can honestly say that I am the one people call for when they cant get a vein for blood draw or an IV. That includes the LPN's and RN's I work with... I never act above or beyond my training and am very comapssionate about what I do.

    I will agree that there are people who abuse the titles and perception of the job, but they do it because noone has ever told them differently.

  5. by   WannabeFlight
    Oh and under NO circumstances are we allowed to do Phone Triage because we have not been properly trained to do so.
    I honestly believe alot of these issues extend from personally bad run in's with medical facilities that dont really understand that legal actions can be taken against them in not following certain restrictions like Triage...Does that make sense?

    But you will always find those people who think they can cure the sick without ever checking with a doctor and those are the people I steer clear of. I am very Black and White when it comes to my job...I f I dont know, I ask, If I am not supposed to do it...I DON'T!!!!
  6. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    Again I want to say that it is a lot easier to correct visitors and families as to what your title is but many residents don't really care what they call you when they need something no matter how many times you correct them.
  7. by   WannabeFlight
    NOPE!!! When I have corrected them, of course, I am completely nice about it and explain it well enough where the next time they address us to a patient, they have caught themselves and stated Assistant instead of Nurse. They do try...of course might depend on your residents, but ours are wonderful and understanding.
  8. by   Jim562
    I am a BSN, RN. But before I was an RN I did other things in life and I am always amazed at how most RNs (most of whom have never really done anything in their life besides be an RN) think that they are more important than they really are. When a pt is sick, they come to the clinic to see the provider (MD/DO/FNP/PA-C, etc.). Someone who can diagnose and fix the problem. Most Pt's I see really do not care what the qualifications are of the person that checks their v/s or draws their blood or does their EKG. To the general public a nurse is a nurse.

    Another point is, ever wonder how the military, as huge as it is, gets by with so few nurses (per capita)? FYI, most (if not all) of the "task oriented" things are being done by medics, corpsmen and techs? There are LOTS of these former military medics and corpsmen getting out of the military these days and most have loads of training and certifications and usually a lot of combat experience. Will a 2 years college degree from 'Po-dunk Jr College' compete with that? Most will likely get their RN training via Excelsior College and most will likely sail through the process (as I did). When they finish they will also be RNs and in the market to take the places of nurses who really havent done anything or been anywhere and more importantly dont cry over a silly name. I wonder who is more marketable?

    If I had it to do over again, I would not have gone to nursing school as most "nurses" seem to have an VERY over-inflated opinion of themselves and their worth not to mention of their general lack of integrity and honor, and just generally being cry babies about things when people do not give them the attention they think they need. This entire thread is a 15 page testament to my point.

    I was reading an article recently that some docs are starting their own private practice and having NO support staff except 1 person up front to answer the phone and other admin stuff. These docs do not accept insurance and deal on a cash (or debit card) basis only. The Doc himself does his own vitals, draws his own blood, gives his own injections, etc. Some docs seem to prefer this as they consider this really practicing medicine (similiar to the way they did it wayyy back when.) and not just being a computer on legs. So be aware. In fact, I agree that most clinics only need MAs.

    If they dont watch what they do, nurses (RNs, LPN and any other form of "nurse") will be an extinct species if they continue to be over-priced and whine about little things.

    Contrary to what some might think, the healthcare industry does NOT revolve around nurses. It revolves around Patients and the medical providers. Everyone else is just a helper to the provider.

    Florence Nightinggale had a good idea in the beginning, but too many nurses got involved with nurses and now it is all messed up.
  9. by   PNCC2001
    "Jim562;3121774]I am a BSN, RN. But before I was an RN I did other things in life and I am always amazed at how most RNs (most of whom have never really done anything in their life besides be an RN) think that they are more important than they really are. When a pt is sick, they come to the clinic to see the provider (MD/DO/FNP/PA-C, etc.). Someone who can diagnose and fix the problem. Most Pt's I see really do not care what the qualifications are of the person that checks their v/s or draws their blood or does their EKG. To the general public a nurse is a nurse. ..."

    Wow, interesting post.
  10. by   Jim562
    I am glad you liked it. :-)
  11. by   Bean79
    I am an RMA (registered medical assistant) I actually work in an outpatient clinic through a local hospital as a float MA. I am also in the process of starting nursing school. There are three of us that are MAs and the rest of the "nursing" staff are all LPNs and RNs. I never call myself a nurse to patients, however the actual nurses refer to me as a nurse to patients and physicians. I thought this was very strange when I started there because I am NOT a nurse, they know I am an MA and although our job descriptions are identical, I respect their license and realize that their scope is technically much broader than my own. I just wanted to point this out because in my experience, Nurses often refer to me as a nurse (this includes my boss whom has an MSN). Anyway, my personal observation.
  12. by   Sean 91
    You call from your hospital unit to the dr's office and a non-nurse calls back with the T.O.V.
  13. by   fracturenurse
    I believe in Texas, the Texas Nurse's Association helped get legislature passed that only a LPN or RN can be referred to as a "nurse." Saw it in my last newsletter...