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Differences between Medical Assistants and Registered Nurses?

Nurses   (47,183 Views 115 Comments)
by MA2006 MA2006 (Member) Member

MA2006 has 1 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

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Just a question, are you saying that you want to give up the knowledge and education you have gained as an RN?

Also, LPN's are held accountable for their actions just as much as RN's are. It has nothing to do with "Power". What do you mean?

How is it that you have no "hands on" with the residents? LPN's get more?

?!?!! I am very confused as to what you mean by that. Can you explain?

yes i can - in my facility the rn is the charge and she is the one who oversees all the lpns and cnas - i get a lesser case load cause i have to check more over what everyone else is doing vs just taking care of residents. yes - the lpn will be held accountable however i will and have been caled to the floor many times to defend decisions because i am the one who has to say yes or no to what they think. i do not negate the knowledge i have gained over the yrs but the resonsinbilities have turned more from hands on ( and i did not say i get NONE i just dont get as much as id like - ) to being a watchdog over others and paperwork. its sucky to me. i promise you i beg off being charge whenever possible - hopefully in the next month they will have trained the new rn to be charge so i can go back to being me and having my own caseload and not running after cnas to be sure they washed joe blow up or picked up the trash or the lpns did all thier dreessings.

as for the power bit i di dnot say that i feel it is a power issue for me - i said perhaps the other posters friend felt thiere was more power there. i did not say there is more power there - only more responsinbilities in areas id rather not have the respoonsinbilities lol.

i miss back wwhen i firts became a nurse way back when when the caseloads were less and one actually had time to sit with a patient and ask them how they felt that day and was able to actually stay and listen - i now have to rely on my cnas for that kind of info cause there just isnt enough time in the shift to do that with 20 residents of my own and fly around double checking everyone elses work too. lpns do not usually have to take the responsibility of "charge" excpoet in night shoft and even then they have an rn to call with questions anytime of night. they can spend a bit more time with thier resients cause they dont have to watch the other nurses and worry that the rest need help - they typically in our area at least just do thier job. now im not saying this is right - i have worked with folks who lpn or rn we all made a great team helping each other never worrying who was in charge casue we all picked up slack wher it wasneeded - unfortunaltley in the last 2 months due to some bad administrative moves we lost many of the good nurses and they are hiring ones who come to get ther pay and thats about it. which makes my job harder cause i cant just trust that they WILL do thier jobs so i HAVE to watch them closer. i am blessed with some truly amazing cnas on the wing i haveto work so that helps me greatly - i know i dont have to worry about my residents on my wing however there are 4 wings and i also haveto go over to the other 3 and monitor them. on top pof that i also hve several interns ( places love interns cause they can pay them lots less ) however - they can not assess nor take orders nor do much more than goive meds. they are great gals and smart however - it takes much of my time with residents away to have to sit and assess anhd then teach the,interns what and how and why yet they still can not do it cause they havent graduated ( which makes no sense to me cause if they are trained and have been monitored and i know they do it well i shoudl be bale to allow them to do so but im told i cant ) they cant be alowed to do tube feeding or caths which we alos get a lot of . they are to watch and learn - i can allopw them to do thoise as long as i am ther however that takes even more time which is almost always impossible to alow them to do it because they are just learning so its a slow process - though i do try to get them the experience whenever i can . i dont begrudge interns we all have to learn but it takes away from what i alrewady have little of and that is time for MY residents. i hve to start an take care of any ivs and centrallines and trachs as neither the internes or lpns are allowed. and more and more ivs are coming into LTC these days. i have ofetyn been asked by family and residents - why dont we see you more - ofetn difficult to explain and heartbreaking t know they needed me and i wsnt able to9 be there. thats all i meant by that. nothing about power here in my book as a matter of fact it sucks lol. i have cnas that have been in the filed forever making nearly as much as i - had i known as a yong adult that cnas would ever get beyond minimum wage which at that time raising 2 kids on 3.35 an hour wasnt feasible - id probably have sucked it up and remained a cna - in it this long i could be making pretty good moiney and get to spen quality time with the residents - when they are sick and throwing up i could rub their back and sit with them so they know i am there ( now my cnas do that) when they are depressed sit with them - when they are dying hold thier had - now that is the cnas job - there simply is notime for the little things that matter most to a resident - backrubs, shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold . thast all i mean - its clinical skilled assessments and not the closeness i would rather have. i do do my best to give them all i have in my caring and do a pretty good job so im told but times i feel i could be so much better if i did not have to do all the more managerial and paper work stuff. i enojoy my job and i guess i am just reminecing and missing being closer to the residents and wishing at times i hadnt gone on but stayed a cna or went to be an lpn which though they dont have the responsibility the rn has around here in regards to the hmmm - what shall i call it - the admisnitrative type duties - ???? - get just about near as much in pay. and i know they are only about 5 bucks off as i have asked and been told - i could live with that to be closer to my patients. just my thought and view on life as an RN - not saying anyone elkse feels that way. i know many who LOVE the paper work and running after the rest of the staff better. lol. not only that this is just my small town egypt ways - every place is differnet - so im sure that many places are not like that.

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chadash specializes in Nursing assistant.

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i know one nurse who thinks she is a doc an knows more than a doc - she is married to a doc and though she has never said she is a doc she takes it upon herself to diagnose treat and prescrbe and idiot doc hubby just signs the orders- scary - i had her diagnose treat and prescribe heavy atibiotic for hsingles - i went in next day - it was a freaking pimple from wetness - i even took my DON and administrator in to show this wonderful case of shingles- of course the antibiotics were never given and i am sure she was talked to as ever since i get the old cold sholder lol. i dont care - when we start acting above our roles like that we need to be knocked down a notch i thin klol.

Tell my if I am wrong, but wouldnt any one know that antibiotic would not cure shingles? Are you she not only mistakingly thinks she is a doctor, but may carry similar delusions about being a nurse?

I am assuming alot here, don't know dittlely about meds, but thought shingles was from a herpes virus not from a bacteria.

Now there are drugs similar to those ones for the other herpes they advertise on tv. That would make some sense.

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This is very hard to believe. Iknow LPN's in CT have to get "special" cert. first. It's not part of their curic. I think the asme for RN's in CT too now!

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Tell my if I am wrong, but wouldnt any one know that antibiotic would not cure shingles? Are you she not only mistakingly thinks she is a doctor, but may carry similar delusions about being a nurse?

I am assuming alot here, don't know dittlely about meds, but thought shingles was from a herpes virus not from a bacteria.

Now there are drugs similar to those ones for the other herpes they advertise on tv. That would make some sense.

yes this woman is an accident or lawsut waiting to happen and i pray i am never the one working with her when it happens - thankfully she is even less part time than i am so we rarely cross paths but the amount of mistakes is sad - and what is sadder is these are reported by me every time ( i dont nitpick at small things - i am talking big things like the shingles incident or other orders ordered by her ) to th epowers that be and they do NOTHING - that is what gets me riled. sad but true. thank god this bad of a nurse is a rarity.

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Tell my if I am wrong, but wouldnt any one know that antibiotic would not cure shingles? I am assuming alot here, don't know dittlely about meds, but thought shingles was from a herpes virus not from a bacteria. Now there are drugs similar to those ones for the other herpes they advertise on tv. That would make some sense.

Yeah, from Herpes Zoster/Varicella virus.... the office I did my MA externship in was considering buying Zostavax vaccine for their older patients who were prone to get shingles.

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CarrieH has 12 years experience.

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Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy this is a long thread! Here's my 2 cents...

Why I became a CMA:

1) I wanted to get a "foot" into the medical field.

2) I like helping people.

3) I've always been interested in science and medicine.

4) I thought I'd make a good living at it (that's what the school told me).

5) I had no idea what a medical assistant was.

Why I'm going back to school to become an RN:

1) I still love the medical field.

2) There's more opportunity to grow and advance.

3) I have more options.

4) The NP I work with told me she'd beat me up if I didn't become an RN.

5) I really do need to pay the bills.

6) I'm tired of explaining what a CMA is and that I'm not a nurse.

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CarrieH has 12 years experience.

67 Posts; 2,187 Profile Views

I have been an MA for 14 years and have completed my first semester of the RN program. NEVER should a MA refer to themselves as a nurse! MA's are taught only the basic skills to help assist the doctor in a medical office setting along with clerical skills. As an MA we have a scope of practice that we are bound by and have to follow. There is some leniency (sp?) because we work directly under the doctor and have the ability to be taught a tremendous amount because we basically fall under the MD's malpractice. MA's were first taught by the doctor eons ago, as there were not programs for them. As an MA they also can be specialized but these again are teachings by the MD, such as working in ortho, or ob/gyn.

The pay scale differs from area to area and experience. I have NEVER heard of an MA even with more experience then myself making more than a graduate LVN/LPN. The other thing is that MA's DO NOT have the assessment skills that "Real Nurses" have. MA's do not have to be certified nor registered. They do not have to have a certain amount of CME's to continue with anything or are they mandated to keep up on medical information. Depending on their place of employment they may need to keep up on their CPR, such as myself in the clinical setting that I'm in, but other than that nothing!

Don't get me wrong. The experience of the last 14 years has been great and very invaluable! I was able to assist in minor surgeries in the office (rhinoplasty, septoplasty, etc). I wouldn't change a thing as it has helped me to decide where I want to focus as a RN.

I don't know about RMA's, but CMA's have to take continuing education or retest to keep the certification up to date. BTW, I've had several MA students tell me that they want the RMA credential instead of the CMA (which I am) because RMA is "higher"(which it's not). I guess they think that RMA is closer to RN. It scares me to think about what they're telling these people in this school.

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