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Calling staff "nurses" who aren't nurses!!

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ZRNZ ZRNZ (New) New

I just need to get this off my chest and ask for opinions from anyone here. What do you think about staff ie., MA and back office asst (that works under the "grandfather clause") being referred to as a "Nurse" to the patients, etc. I'm having such trouble with this and can't get over it :angryfire

I work in an office with 3 doctors - one doctor has a MA - the other doctor has the asst (under the grandfather clause :uhoh3: ) - and my doctor has me (the only RN in our office!!) :p It angers me so much when they are referred to as nurses - this happens all day, everyday.

First, why should they get credit for a title they never worked for (and I mean worked for!) - secondly, when you are referred to with a specific title, you are expected to have atleast that basic knowledge and held up to that standard - third, if a mistake is made or a complaint is filed on the MA or asst, won't our practice get into trouble for having unlicensed staff doing the work of a nurse, and being referred to as a nurse to the patient? Our patients are in our office believing that they are being treated by a RN!! Its just not right!!

I've spoken to the office staff and expressed my feelings but of course they are still being called 'nurses'. I worked so hard for my title and am so very proud of myself for my accomplishments and I wear my RN proud. I just don't think it is right that they don't have to put any blood, sweat, and tears into their "title"!!

Am I being tooooooo petty????? :rolleyes:

Thanks so much

I totally agree with you. I'm sure that those grandfathered in people do feel a certain amount of guilt about being called a nurse, but would never correct anyone because it just makes em feel so good to be called a nurse!

medsurgnurse, RN

Specializes in Me Surge.

I just need to get this off my chest and ask for opinions from anyone here. What do you think about staff ie., MA and back office asst (that works under the "grandfather clause") being referred to as a "Nurse" to the patients, etc. I'm having such trouble with this and can't get over it :angryfire

I work in an office with 3 doctors - one doctor has a MA - the other doctor has the asst (under the grandfather clause :uhoh3: ) - and my doctor has me (the only RN in our office!!) :p It angers me so much when they are referred to as nurses - this happens all day, everyday.

First, why should they get credit for a title they never worked for (and I mean worked for!) - secondly, when you are referred to with a specific title, you are expected to have atleast that basic knowledge and held up to that standard - third, if a mistake is made or a complaint is filed on the MA or asst, won't our practice get into trouble for having unlicensed staff doing the work of a nurse, and being referred to as a nurse to the patient? Our patients are in our office believing that they are being treated by a RN!! Its just not right!!

I've spoken to the office staff and expressed my feelings but of course they are still being called 'nurses'. I worked so hard for my title and am so very proud of myself for my accomplishments and I wear my RN proud. I just don't think it is right that they don't have to put any blood, sweat, and tears into their "title"!!

Am I being tooooooo petty????? :rolleyes:

Thanks so much

There have been other threads o this subject. Impersonating a nurse is against the law. Go on your state board of nursing website and read about it.

mysticalwaters1

Specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor. Has 3 years experience.

I see that all the time on a med surg floor I work on. I see pts comming in and some person comming up stating i'm this so and so's nurse and I find out their unlicensed and a person just caring for the individual. I get annoyed because they use this to act as equals or intimidate you for info. Sometimes they want to know about the pt's care including medical procedures when this is against hippa and they don't deal with direct labs testing and other things licensed nurses deal with. I guess what annoys me too not so much I've worked for my title I guess some part but just that I've ALLWAYS thought of a nurse as a Lpn, Rn or licensed personnel and allways thought people who refer to themselves as a nurse was liscenced. I'm assuming lots of people think this way too which is not right at all!!! I have never seen such ego trips as medical field or people trying to act as ones wow!!!

I'm having a problem on my unit with our technicians. Yes it's busy but they are telling the nurses what to do and not listening to our orders such as i'm won't do this stat glucose test because I'm going to empty this foley and if you say after that it takes very long time to do it if it does and find them sitting by the nursing station. And I'm not talking about overworking someone to death I help out if I can but it irks me when I would tell them to do something and they sit there by the nursing station saying ok and reading a magazine and telling me I know my job i'll get to it!!! Anyway this same technician I find reading the magazine who I also caught sleeping in a pt's room and watching tv (yes i've discussed it with the manager) was talking about something and then said some remark "how dare pa, I'm a nurse I don't have to deal with that" she was refering to alimony of some sort and what that has to do with a nurse i don't know but she refered to herself as a nurse which i think is the problem!!! Yes she's a caregiver! Yes we are equals in the sense we have a job to do but the nurses are her superiors and she is suppose to follow our directions and if there is an issue talk to us or the manager but that really ticked me off very much so. Oh well. I just allways tell people just because someone says they are a nurse there are many interpretations of one and find out if they have a liscence.

pricklypear

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis. Has 11 years experience.

First, why should they get credit for a title they never worked for (and I mean worked for!) - secondly, when you are referred to with a specific title, you are expected to have atleast that basic knowledge and held up to that standard - third, if a mistake is made or a complaint is filed on the MA or asst, won't our practice get into trouble for having unlicensed staff doing the work of a nurse, and being referred to as a nurse to the patient? Our patients are in our office believing that they are being treated by a RN!! Its just not right!!

No way, I don't think you're being petty at all. I know lots of clinics that employ MAs where they used to have nurses. Seems like 1 or 2 real nurses in the building is enough. The problem is that the public always associates that person who escorts you to your room, takes your BP and asks about your visit with being a nurse. Cause that's how it used to be. I know in my doctor's office, most of the staff doesn't even wear a badge - so you don't know what they are unless you ask. When I call and ask for his "nurse" I have to make sure she really is a nurse before I talk to her. I think most of them are all too happy to allow people to assume they're nurses.

You did work hard for your title. Can you imagine doctors putting up with other office workers letting people call them DR?

Are the unlicenced staff in your office actually doing things outside their scope? Like calling in prescriptions, telephone orders, etc...

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Be confident in your skills and role as an RN. No one can take that from you. Let the office staff have their moments of joy. The word "nurse" is only being used in a vernacular sense. Know within you that you are THE RN, but don't flaunt it. As Shakespeare said "What's in a name?"

mysticalwaters1

Specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor. Has 3 years experience.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Be confident in your skills and role as an RN. No one can take that from you. Let the office staff have their moments of joy. The word "nurse" is only being used in a vernacular sense. Know within you that you are THE RN, but don't flaunt it. As Shakespeare said "What's in a name?"

Nice advice!

No way, I don't think you're being petty at all. I know lots of clinics that employ MAs where they used to have nurses. Seems like 1 or 2 real nurses in the building is enough. The problem is that the public always associates that person who escorts you to your room, takes your BP and asks about your visit with being a nurse. Cause that's how it used to be. I know in my doctor's office, most of the staff doesn't even wear a badge - so you don't know what they are unless you ask. When I call and ask for his "nurse" I have to make sure she really is a nurse before I talk to her. I think most of them are all too happy to allow people to assume they're nurses.

You did work hard for your title. Can you imagine doctors putting up with other office workers letting people call them DR?

Are the unlicenced staff in your office actually doing things outside their scope? Like calling in prescriptions, telephone orders, etc...

I have worked in an office as a clinical MA. I am finishing up a two-year program in medical assisting, and I take offense to some of these posts. First of all, there is a huge misconception concerning MA's and the work that they do. We are specifically trained to work under the supervision of a physician. I have NEVER called myself a nurse and am tired of being grouped with some who do. I introduce myself to patients by stating my name and that I am a MA. I have also corrected front office personel to please stop referring to me as a nurse. What this all comes down to is need a to understand the roles that each of us play in the field of medicine. I'm sorry that more and more offices are hiring MA's instead of nurses, and I think that it all comes down to saving money. We ALL work hard for the titles that we earn and have to realize that there are people in all professions who claim to be who they are not. I respect the work that nurses do, and will be starting nursing school in the fall to broaden and enhance the education and skills that I already have. Please remember that not all MA"s act as if they are nurses! We are taught totally different skills and work within the scope of our practice.

SmilingBluEyes

Has 26 years experience.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Be confident in your skills and role as an RN. No one can take that from you. Let the office staff have their moments of joy. The word "nurse" is only being used in a vernacular sense. Know within you that you are THE RN, but don't flaunt it. As Shakespeare said "What's in a name?"
you could not be more mistaken. read your Nurse Practice Act if you think it's harmless. It's not. And it's not legal. :angryfire

Everyone wearing scrubs is a nurse nowadays. Patients don't know the names of all the different health care providers.

My daughter's school had what I thought was a nurse. She is there full time in her own nice office taking care of kids. When I asked she told me she was a "health tech II" - whatever that is. When I asked what sort of training this might entail and what her scope of practice was, she told me when she started, "only a 12 hr class was needed"!!!! And also that she couldn't give injections but that she can catheterize people. She said she had a kid with spinal bifida who she cathed twice a day!!! This blew my mind.

Melissa

pricklypear

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis. Has 11 years experience.

I have worked in an office as a clinical MA. I am finishing up a two-year program in medical assisting, and I take offense to some of these posts. First of all, there is a huge misconception concerning MA's and the work that they do. We are specifically trained to work under the supervision of a physician. I have NEVER called myself a nurse and am tired of being grouped with some who do. I introduce myself to patients by stating my name and that I am a MA. I have also corrected front office personel to please stop referring to me as a nurse. What this all comes down to is need a to understand the roles that each of us play in the field of medicine. I'm sorry that more and more offices are hiring MA's instead of nurses, and I think that it all comes down to saving money. We ALL work hard for the titles that we earn and have to realize that there are people in all professions who claim to be who they are not. I respect the work that nurses do, and will be starting nursing school in the fall to broaden and enhance the education and skills that I already have. Please remember that not all MA"s act as if they are nurses! We are taught totally different skills and work within the scope of our practice.

I'm sorry, I didn't intend to offend you. I didn't mean to sound like I thought ALL MAs tried to pass themselves off as nurses, just some of the ones I have seen in the office. I had no idea that there are AA degrees in Medical Assisting. What kinds of courses do you take? What is your scope of practice?

If someone actually uses the title "nurse", such as this is the nurse, or I am Dr. ----'s nurse, and they are not, that is against the law in the eyes of every state BON and they are subject to fines and can be prosecuted. The BONS are actively following up on this.

you could not be more mistaken. read your Nurse Practice Act if you think it's harmless. It's not. And it's not legal. :angryfire

deb,

isn't there a difference between being called a nurse vs.identifying yourself as one? if the ma is calling him/herself a nurse, then it's illegal. but for the (sexist) md to call the ma a nurse is erroneous, but don't think it would be illegal.

leslie

SmilingBluEyes

Has 26 years experience.

I was referring to the "sticks and stones" post, Leslie. And if one does not correct the mistaken perception, or the use of the title of "nurse" is encouraged or allowed by the employer, then yes, I believe it would be illegal.

I'm sorry, I didn't intend to offend you. I didn't mean to sound like I thought ALL MAs tried to pass themselves off as nurses, just some of the ones I have seen in the office. I had no idea that there are AA degrees in Medical Assisting. What kinds of courses do you take? What is your scope of practice?

Thanks for the nice reply pricklypear. I appreciate that! I know there are alot of MA's out there who don't hesitate to use the "nurse" title. They seem to think that they can get away with it without having gone to nursing school, and this gives the rest of the MA's who DO know their scope of practice a bad name. There are actually people out there who WANT to be an MA, myself included! At this point in my life, I prefer to work in a clinical setting because I like the duties that I have. I love being able to work directly with the doctor (I've learned so much), and the doctor will use his discretion as to what I am able to do. I would never perform any duty that I did not feel comfortable with. Yes, there is an AA degree available for MA's. Some of the courses I've taken include Pharm, Pathology, A&P, Med Term, Law and Ethics, Psych, Abnormal Psych, medical transcription, coding and billing, plus our own clinicals. After graduating, we may take our state exam to become certified. We are required to obtain CEU's and must recertify every 5 years. Our scope of practice includes setting up pt's, taking vitals, phlebotomy, injections (no IV), assisting the physician with minor office surgery, sterilizing surgical packs, ECG's, suture and staple removal, wound care, making patient appointments and referrals, scheduling procedures and surgery's, and most anything that has to do with the front office. We are completly trained to work front office and back, so we can basically "do it all". Unfortunatly, I think this is one of the reasons that MA's are being hired in more and more clinics, and I know there are some physicians who do cross the line and allow MA's to perform duties not in their scope of practice. Maybe this is why some MA's think of themselves as "nurses". Where I live, positions for clinics are advertised for CMA, LPN, or RN, which are called "clinical assistants", and all are paid the same (usually what an MA would make). I don't think that this is fair, but like I said before, it all comes down to money. I hope this gives you all some insight as to what an MA does (or is supposed to do)! :)

I think once the distinctive uniform was lost, then this became a problem. Pts don't bother to read name tags, don't understand about the way a hospital works, and just appreciate anyone who is there for them. So, in my setting as a hospital nurse, they'll refer to the CNA as a nurse. Sometimes I'll say, "Oh, that was Janet, she's the nurse's aide tonight", or sometimes I'll just not say anything. But, with everyone wearing scrubs these days, what's a pt going to think?

So, it doesn't bother me, but I do introduce myself as their nurse, telling them how long I'll be there, etc. They like that.:)

I think once the distinctive uniform was lost, then this became a problem. Pts don't bother to read name tags, don't understand about the way a hospital works, and just appreciate anyone who is there for them. So, in my setting as a hospital nurse, they'll refer to the CNA as a nurse. Sometimes I'll say, "Oh, that was Janet, she's the nurse's aide tonight", or sometimes I'll just not say anything. But, with everyone wearing scrubs these days, what's a pt going to think?

So, it doesn't bother me, but I do introduce myself as their nurse, telling them how long I'll be there, etc. They like that.:)

I agree with this. I think we all have a responsiblity to our pts to let them know our name, title, and what we are there for. We are all players on the same team, but with different duties! :)

pricklypear

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis. Has 11 years experience.

That is so interesting, Andi! I guess I'm behind the times...I always thought MAs were just minimally trained to do things like take vitals and stuff. Now, I totally see their value - it's like they're cross-trained with all the coding, and office training. And they can hold an AA degree, just like a nurse but with a slightly different scope - more geared toward clinic needs. I actually think that's a great idea. Now it bothers me that I'm assuming the pay scale is lower for an MA than a nurse. This doesn't seem fair for college educated MAs.

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