Medical Assistants in the office - page 2

This is probably going to open a can of worms.............but how do you all feel about replacing nurses in the office setting with Medical Assistants? How (if at all) do you feel it affects patient... Read More

  1. by   MrsK1223
    I have to say as an RN it's almost impossible in my part of the country (KY) to get a job in an office of any type due to the fact that physicians are replacing or choosing MA's over RN's all for the simple fact of money. I too was a medical assistant but worked the business/insurance part. I know what training MA's get and its very basic and there should be no comparison to RN's. The depth of knowledge we nurses have to know is endless. Right now I work in a really screwy situation that I'm trying to get out of because, my supervisor is an LPN, ( no offense)and is very immature about being over me and the other so called nurse is a lab technician doing things out of her scope of practice. In the main office they have surgical tech giving injections and working outside her scope of practice. I"m treated like i'm the bottom of the totum pole...things are really backwards and I'm searching for another office and trying to stay out of the hospitals. But my search is not going well due to this fact about hiring MA's cause they work cheap. What they don't see is future liabilities when the public catches on to MA's and other fields working outside their practice. No wonder the quality of healthcare is declining....all about cost containment.
  2. by   OHmom2boys
    I had to fill in for a MA one day for pt intake. Let me tell you, they work hard. I told the other nurses that I don't ever want to be "Jane" again! She does a lot more than I was aware of. Of course that day I got all the nurse visits too, so that made it even worse.

    Honestly, our office couldn't survive without the MA's. I've never heard one of them refer to themselves as a nurse. Their title is clearly stated on their name badge.
  3. by   Darlene K.
    In our urgent care facility we utilize RN's, LPN's, MA's, and X-ray techs. I believe there is a need for all of us. The important thing to remember is your scope of practice and too make sure that the patients are care for and safe for harm.
  4. by   NurseDennie
    Originally posted by EMTMom
    I would feel very offended if a nurse asked me to show her the vials of medicine I was giving before I gave her the injections. As would you if another nurse asked the same. If this is truely the case, the lack of trust and understanding, or complete apparent lack of education on part of the MA, in your community, you should be bringing it up to the mdical board of that facility. As should anyone who obsereves a medical professional acting unsafely.Lisa
    I would be quite sorry that you were offended if I asked you to show me the vials, but I would still need to see the vials. I'd probably also apologize if you were offended. But still, I'd look at the vials. I've trained students, I've precepted other nurses, and I know how to check somebody's work without being offensive.

    If I'd gotten to know you, and you'd demonstrated your knowledge and skills over time, then I'd probably be less vigilant.

    Personally, I've never been offended when somebody wanted to see vials/wrappers or anything like that. It just makes sense to be cautious when it's your health.


  5. by   NancyRN
    The main problem I have with MA's being referred to as "the nurse" is because it makes nurses look bad! It isn't fair when patients expect an MA to have the knowledge base of an RN. If the MA refers to herself as a nurse and then seems ininformed about a treatment, a medication, or a disease, the patient will tell everyone he knows about "That stupid NURSE!"
  6. by   melsay
    I had to comment when I saw this post. I came across this in the office I work at. They hired a MA, at an LPN's pay for starters, which in it's own is a slap in the face (once again our education , skills mean nothing more than the next persons). She not only called herself "nurse" she tried telling everyone but the nursing staff (b/c we knew better) that she was higher up than a LPN. I walked up on this conversation, and needless to say, I DID correct her on the matter, and even brought her materials on the matter, she soon left the office. I was in noway trying to belittle her, I was simply not letting her act as if she went to school longer, knew more, could do more, etc. I feel as if I stood up for all of the nurses in our office that day. We DID go to college and earn a LICENSE!! Sorry, had to get that off my
  7. by   MrsK1223
    Thank you very much Melsay for that....
  8. by   Mimi2RN
    I have called my ob/gyn's office, and been told "I'll let you talk to his nurse". Used to be a nurse, not any more, it's an MA. This is a large clinic, the LVN that used to be his nurse is now the office manager.....and the only nurse left in ob/gyn. The docs don't have any choice, it's a clinic decision.

    If I'm told she is a nurse again, I will bring it up with my doc......
  9. by   melsay
    Go get em em have it
  10. by   oramar
    Recently I wrote a thread about a conversation I had with a billing clerk who worked in general surgeons office. The doctor had begun using her to assist him with office visits. She had to come in on Saturday to finish her paper work because the patient care duties during the week were putting her behind on paper work. This person has not a smidgeon of training for these duties but I bet patients think she is a nurse. So I guess that is the next great wave of deskilling. People with no training and no skills taking over nursing task.
  11. by   WA-Educator
    I manage a urology clinic and I have to say that our CMAs are terrific. They are conscientious, well trained, educated, professional and hard working. In fact, we try to hire CMAs for all our staffing needs now. And, no, its not that they are "cheaper". We pay the CMA/LPN/RN according to their experience and the position they fill rather than for their credentials. Our CMAs do very well with triaging and patient education and prescriptions, and never roam beyond their scope of practice. Guess I can't agree with some of your statements. Every profession has its share of poorly trained "non-thinkers"
  12. by   Momof2Bys2Grls
    ohmom2boys you are so right!!! Thank you for your comment. i have ben out of the field for a couple of years but MA's doplay a vital role in the office. i am a MA soon to start school to become a RN because the doctor's office i was in only wanted me up front doing paper work where as a MA can do Patient Care as well as office work. I wanted some interaction witht he patient outside of asking for their insurance card and copay...........

    I see I have to go back to xchool for that but that's cool ,too.

    Just my thoughts.........
  13. by   WA-Educator
    Medical Assistants should never call themselves nurses and neither should the rest of the staff or the physicians. Most clinic will stop that practice if we alert them to the fact that it is illegal (at least in WA State, and I suspect other places, too).

    I think most clinic do that because they are too impatient to keep them straight. Plus, because the medical assisting profession is not as well known as nursing is, the public is more comfortable with the "nurse" title. Regardless of the reason, it isn't right and it isn't legal.

    CMAs have their own credentials (hard earned!) and their own education and training. Many are one year graduates and many are two year, AAS degree graduates. They are the only allied health professional trained specifically for the ambulatory care setting and are extremely appropriate for the doctors offices and clinics.

    Only qualified medical assistants should use that title and only qualified nurses should use the "nurse" title.