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Differences between Medical Assistants and Registered Nurses?

Nurses   (47,168 Views 115 Comments)
by MA2006 MA2006 (Member) Member

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

1,796 Profile Views; 52 Posts

You are reading page 6 of Differences between Medical Assistants and Registered Nurses?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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you go girl. Nursing has brought this upon ourselves by not establishing an entry level into nursing. This is why everyone thinks a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. An MA is NOT a nurse, they are supportive staff for nursing. No other profession allows so many educational levels. Nursing is no longer a physican hand maiden just doing the tasks they are told to do. We are held accountable to much more, including questioning our practice. The critical thinking involved in nursing today is monumental. Tasky skills such as taking VS, giving baths (which I still love to do), even passing meds are no longer the primary focus of nursing (as important as they are). We have to interpret those VS and act on that intepretation, assess the patient getting the bath even to the extent of 'is the bath the priority right now', and determine any effect of those meds and their interaction with other meds, to name just the tip of the ice berg of what we are held accountable for.

No, "Virginia", an MA is NOT the same thing as an RN. I wouldn't be suprised though if they are making close to what an RN makes because we are extremely underpaid for our knowledge, responsiblity, and education.

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naja has 7 years experience and specializes in med-surg, ob,er.

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Depending on the program, a medical assistant is taught a variety of skills.

I'm currently an instructor in a MA program and the program is very well rounded, including clinical skills, phlebotomy, ekg, ethics and law, pharmacology, medical terminology, office administration and so on. There are many differences when you place an RN curriculum and a MA curiculum side by side. The RN has extensive Anatomy and Physiology, and specific training in most specialties. The Rn is taught critical thinking, prioritization, and organzational skills in order to facilitate the patients safe return to homeostasis. The nursing process is the tool we use to care for each patient. The medical assistant is only taught the raw skills for the ambulatory patient. I am a former Certified Medical Assistant and now a Registered nurse and if I was to calculate a placement for the MA I would put them between the CNA and the LPN. In our nursing shortage they will fill a void for our already overstressed healthcare system.;)

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225 Posts; 4,369 Profile Views

hello all,

i'm an ma working in an urgent care clinic. at the ucc level, the only difference is i'm not permitted to do iv's and pleb without a license. i make close to $15/hr (straight out of school) which isn't nearly what the rn's make. i love my job, but at this point the ucc is the only place i will do 100% clinical - i can only imagine being laughed out of a hospital! eventually i'd love to be an rn but for now i'm here. in the "real world" of hospital medicine, though, my clinical knowledge base (er, lack thereof) is essentially useless.

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Otessa has 19 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1,601 Posts; 14,704 Profile Views

Your "friend" hmmmmm.

She doth protetht too much......

MA and RN and RN's are worlds appart.

I personally have not worked with a MA outside of a MD's office-don't use them in the 5 different hospitals in 4 different states I have worked.....

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33 Posts; 1,202 Profile Views

Very frustrating...I cannot compare either. A nurse is so much more...

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kadokin is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych.

550 Posts; 5,091 Profile Views

Think this may be one source of confusion when discussing MA's: there just doesn't seen to be a national standard for what amount of training is required. So, in your state it may only take four months, but in some places it takes as long as LPN training. geesh, this is confusing.

None the less: MA does not equal LPN, they are just so different. Think MA focuses on tech skills and even clerical , where LPN is focused on nursing skills. Real different.

So, I had considered MA ( the year program) cause I thought it would be more within my grasp, and would be so much more than I have now. LPN, I am not sure I have the aptitude for that.

You sound to me like someone who has more than enough aptitude. Don't be afraid to try. It is great fun to learn how much you can acheive if you try. Go for it!

From someone who's been there.

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kadokin is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych.

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When I was waiting to get in my LPN program from our county, I contacted one of the private career schools in the area. They tried to sell me on a MA program (for 12K) stating that LPNs can't give injections and MAs can! I have heard similar bunk from other MA students around here. If I wanted to be a medical assistant, my county school has an MA program that was highly rated for about 6K less than the private school. I am glad I waited for my public LPN program instead of being bullied into their school! You really have to do your homework and get out there and talk to people who are working in the field you are interested in. Don't just go by what the schools tell you. They want your $$$$$.:specs:

:trout:

Those big Lying Liars! Too bad they can get away w/this stuff.

They're rotten!

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kadokin is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych.

550 Posts; 5,091 Profile Views

Just another thought:

I have been an RN for 15 years and I myself have trouble keeping the various titles and whatnot straight. For the longest time, I believed that an MA and a PA were the same thing. MY BAD. BIG BAD. Imagine what it looks like to the typical consumer. No wonder they call us all nurses. Not that it is in any way acceptable, but when someone isn't feeling well, they could really care less about your initials. Does anyone else wonder about the increased potential for fraud and illegal practice that this multitude of new job classes might cause?:idea:

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61 Posts; 1,595 Profile Views

I remember goping school hunting & having a young rep. tell me that MA were in more demand in CT than LPN's....I thought they were full of it! It took a little searching & I found out they were really wrong/

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7 Posts; 682 Profile Views

I am a Certified Medical Assistant which is Nationally certified. CMA's can now start IV's in NC. I work for a family practice and make $12 an hour and I also work for a Urgent Care facility making $15 an hour prn work. The difference between a nurse and CMA is that nurses are trained to work in a hospital setting and an CMA is trained to work in a doctor's office. CMA's are trained to do every job in a doctor's office administrative and clinical. CMA's can become a practice or office manager. Most offices in my area prefer CMA's over nurses because we are very versatile. We are cross trained to fill any position. I do not know why so many people show so much animosity here. My instructor in school was against nurses because some do put CMA's down. Some CMA's in some offices are the clinical supervisor. We practice under the doctor. The doctor's can train us to do things they want done. I am getting ready to start nursing school next month. I received an Associate degree in Medical Assisting. Some schools do have diploma programs for CMA's. We do get two semesters of Medical Terminology which Nurses do not get. We take symptomatology also. I admit we do not know as much as RN's. We have a doctor were I work that does not like the RN because she takes too long with the patients assessing them. He wants you to get the chief complaint, get the vitals and medications they are taking and then get out quickly. They want to treat them and street them. You can get the doctor behind by staying too long in the rooms. They do not care about any assessments. Let's please all get along. PLease do not look down on others. We should work as a team in any setting. I love my office because we all help one another. I hate that I am leaving next month. There is so much chart work involved in the family practice. I keep my doctor straight on childhood immunizations. Sometimes I keep him from making errors. I like working with a doctor on a one on one bases. We have a great relationship. He tells me I am his right hand. At least the doctor I work with appreciates me. I work for the patient. I get referrals set up and test scheduled they need. I know more about the patient than my doctor does. They share more information to the CMA than they will share with a doctor. They ask us more questions than they do the doctor. I help patients with patient assistance. I try to help patients who cannot afford meds by giving them samples. I write prescriptions for the patients with my doctors approval but not for narcotics.

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41 Posts; 1,639 Profile Views

Yes, she said that MAs make almost the same as RNs. I don't know where she got her "facts" but I also thought MAs earned around $10-$13 depending on experience. The girl who worked with me at the medical office made around $12 a hour and she was a CMA for a good 3-4 years. Then again I assume that there are some that may make as much as a RN in some instances.

I think that she must have been upset about not being able to go the RN route to begin with. She might have been projecting or something. Why else would she tell you that she plans to go to school to get her RN? Why get a RN degree when you make as much money? She maybe really doesn't know what a RN makes. Around here, MA's only make $10 an hour if they get a job at the hospital working as a Nurse tech, but they do not do more skills that NT's.

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2 Posts; 470 Profile Views

as a former ma myself who who's now an lpn...ma's start at roughly $9-10 an hour here in tampa.:scrying: rn's down here from my understanding start at "about" $25 an hr (commesurate with any prior exp.) so any ma that tries to compare themselves with even an lpn, let alone an rn is sadly mistaken... i have also taught ma school myself...it's not even close to nursing school!!!!

and to "catlady" i loved that post~ bravo!! thank you for showing us the true difference in job descriptions!!

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