Nurse Impersonators - page 15

:( Am I the only one who resents the "nurse impersonators" who abound in the health care field? Everyone who works at a doctor's office or in a hospital wears scrubs and seems to pass... Read More

  1. by   Huganurse
    135ctv: I would love to work with you!
  2. by   CATHYW
    I am astonished! Are you real, or some nurse's dream?
  3. by   135ctv
    Not all nurses would think of me as a "dream". Many nurses would rather have rounds done fast, they don't care how they are done. Having someone take more time goes against the norm.

    Some nurses would rather not hear that another aide is rude or disrespectful to patients or that they are trying to pass themselves off as a nurse. On rare occasions, when I felt the situation warranted it, I have escalated issues to the DON when I was brushed off by a charge nurse.

    In a perfect world, I could have the time to give good care to my patients/residents; friendly, helpful and compatible coworkers; and a great boss who appreciates me. In reality, things are not that perfect. I work with aides who spout off medical advice to patients and other aides. Sometimes, I cannot take the amount of time I would like to care for a resident because the facility is short aides and I have twice as many people to care for as usual. I work for charge nurses and nurses who are dealing with their own staff and time shortages.

    This is the real world. These problems don't just occur in nursing. In many other industries workers have added work due to staff reductions and not enough time.

    As long as I feel that, at the end of a shift, I did as much for my patients/residents as I could, I feel OK (not always great, but at least OK). I may have annoyed a charge nurse or my peers because I was not quite as fast as the other aides or because I reported something when the easiest thing for everyone would have been to keep quiet, but I can't make everyone happy all the time.

    This has really digressed from the subject of the thread. I apologize.
  4. by   mud
    Very interesting thread. I know that when I worked on the floors, there was constant confusion about who was who. One of my favourite scrubs was the same colour as the dietary staff began to wear. I was often given empty food trays from my patients!! It did not matter what my name tag said, or that I had a cute little nurse pin on, and a stethescope!!! Now that I am in the OR, it is not so bad. We are still confused with our support workers, but it is better for the most part. The docs (most) where the old scrubs, and we wear the teal coloured ones. This helps some. I would have to say that what has always bothered me most, is, as has been mentioned already, those who do not correct patients when they are incorrectly addressed as a nurse.
    I used to work in a nursing home, and can remember a health care aide wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon nurse on it, and the word nurse......that really used to bug me. I guess the bottom line is...What can we do about it??? My fiance was also an RN, he recently went through a huge career change, and is now a police officer.........maybe he had the right idea!! Mind you, he looks alot like the local dog catcher!! Bye all!!
  5. by   NancyRN
    There were nursing students in my hospital yesterday. No question of who the nursing students were. All wore distinctive white uniforms with a blue stripe and a blue patch on the arm. Since not many want to go back to the cap, a distinctive uniform, insignia, or badge could work.

    It's imperative for patients to be able to identify the nurse. Wouldn't you be nervous if you couldn't tell who the PILOT was when you were boarding a plane?

    I love this thread! Venting is so healthy!
  6. by   135ctv
    I wouldn't mind wearing the same scrubs as all other aides -- it would be a lot less confusing to patients.

    It's too bad that their wasn't some way that patients and their families could be educated in the different positions involved in their care. I did not know that there were so many levels of caregivers nor did I know the difference between licenced and unlicenced personnel until I took a CNA course.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    I must admit there was never confusion about who the nurse was when we wore our caps, ladies and gents! (maybe we need to go to a less gender-specific cap--like in the armed forces??? Who knows!) I am admittedly irritated to see medical assistants being 'capped' now and wonder why we ever allowed this in the first place. In some respects I look to the ANA and their poor leadership back in the late 70's when they came out with their position statement on minimum education for RN's--this seemed to fuel the fire that split our ranks and divided one group of nurses against each other....I am just thinking out loud here, but nurse 'class warfare' really started about this time...anyone else notice this?? I was told in 1976 I would be a 'bedpan pusher RN' and the "BSN's would be my boss." Hmmm. As an old, very experienced diploma nurse, I have not seen that happen. But that pervasive attitude has successfully divided our professional ranks and created an easy group to control and intimidate. One of the reasons I view the ANA as a management association vs a bedside nurse association. Anyway, I have been on my soapbox long enough... Happy Valentines's Day fellow nurses!! Nice visiting with ya'll!!
  8. by   P_RN
    mattsmom81 I remember that position paper very well!
    We BSN students were in hog heaven...we were IT!

    First Position Paper on Nursing Education
    "Education for those who work in nursing should take place in institutions of learning within the general system of education. Professional nursing practice is constant evaluation of the practice itself. It provides an opportunity for increased self-awareness and personal and professional fulfillment. It is asking questions and seeking answers--the research that adds to the body of theoretical knowledge. It is using this knowledge to improve services to patients and service programs to people. It is collaborating with those in other disciplines in research, in planning, and in implementing care. Further, it is transmitting the ever-expanding body of knowledge in nursing to those within the profession and outside of it.
    "Such practice requires knowledge and skill of high order, theory oriented rather than technique oriented. It requires education which can only be obtained through a rigorous course of study in colleges and universities. Therefore, minimum preparation for beginning professional nursing practice at the present time should be baccalaureate degree education in nursing."
    "Position Paper on Education for Nursing," AJN (December 1965), p 107

    Uh Oh we had a big head didn't we.

    The ANA did put a divisive wedge in our midst with that position paper. But read some more and they did have some better things to say.
    ANA Continues to Fight
    for Improved Salaries and
    Better Working Conditions for Nurses
    "I cannot see how we can fulfill our obligations as members of a proud profession to promote the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and good health of the citizens of the world if we do not have enough humility to acknowledge the economic poor health of the nursing profession and to speak out courageously through our own organization to improve it."
    Ann L. Zimmerman, RN, First Chairman of the Economic & General Welfare Commission and ANA President, 1976-1978 , in May 4, 1960 Speech to the House of Delegates

    "... Nursing salaries today are far below those of other professional occupations."
    Evelyn Moses, "Nursing's Economic Plight, AJN (January 1965), p. 69
    No wonder everybody with a uniform on is perceived to be a nurse. Even the ANA didn't understand what it was.
  9. by   maikranz
    Originally posted by mattsmom81
    I am admittedly irritated to see medical assistants being 'capped' now and wonder why we ever allowed this in the first place.

    Where is this happening?
  10. by   135ctv

    A medical assistant I was working with (we were both working as CNAs) told me that a medical assistant was the same as an LPN. She said that the only difference was that medical assistants work in doctors' offices and LPNs work in hospitals, LTC, etc.

    Is what she told me correct?

    It is my understanding that medical assistants are not licenced, is this correct?

    Why are medical assistants hired as CNAs and not nurses in long-term care if their training is equivalent to that of an LPN?

    Sorry for the stupid questions, I am new to the healthcare field.
  11. by   Q.
    Oh my god - that is very, very incorrect!

    LPNs are licensed professional nurses; Medical Assistants are just that, assistants that hold a certificate of completion. They are not licensed by the state nor are they monitored by any governing body that grants them ability to "practice."

    And yes, in California, Medical Assistants are "capped" as a form of graduation. Read some posts by Jessy earlier on. When she graduated, they were capped and wore all white.

    I think we "allow" this to happen because there is nothing we can do to stop them.
    Sorry to say, but I see the nursing profession dying. If the boomers and the docs want Medical Assistants taking care of them - let 'em! I don't care anymore. The humiliation the nursing profession goes through on a daily basis is getting ridiculous. Enough is enough! I emailed by BON last week and haven't heard a peep. They don't care, therefore, I don't either anymore.
  12. by   135ctv
    Thank you for clarifying.

    I always wondered why medical assistants would also work as CNAs if as they say their training is equivelent to that of an LPN.

    I have noticed in reading through employment ads that medical assistants seem to be paid less than LPNs. Is the decision to hire a medical assistant rather than an LPN based on cost?

    It is amazing (and scary) how many virtually unskilled people can work in the medical field.

    I ran into a similar situation when I looked into becoming a PCA (personal care attendant). PCAs are hired by someone who needs medical care in the home. While a PCA can be a CNA or an HHA, they are not required to have any training or certification. They are not under the control of the state agency which licences nurses and credentials Home Health Aides or CNAs.

    One PCA job involved administering medications through a stomach tube another involved clearing a trach tube. I have not had any training or experience in either of these. Needless to say, I turned down both jobs.

    PCAs are paid $6-8/hr while CNAs and HHAs make $8-15/hr. I believe PCAs are paid under a medicaid waiver.

    It frightens me to think that untrained personnel can perform nursing duties in private homes, especially without any nursing supervision.

    Both jobs that I looked into referred to me as a "nurse". I explained that I wasn't a nurse and explained the difference. Both agencies who had referred me to the jobs were not happy that I had clarified this.

    I am concerned that people who employ PCAs may actually think that they have a nurse when, in reality, that person may be qualified for little more than counter help at a fast food restaurant.
  13. by   Adelai

    I start my CNA training next week and was SOOOO excited, never once did it cross my mind that I would be on the same level as an RN, LPN or even the same level as a more experienced CNA. I guess the only thing that was crossing my mind was to help a patient in need, and as a CNA if thats bathing and wiping then so be it, if that offers alittle more comfort to someone I would feel important....

    I agree that nurses should be recognized for what they are, and there should be some code to show who is an RN, or LPN and CNA. If I have to walk around the hospital in what was it "ugly pea green scrubs" that are the same color as the soiled linen bags? (as one person said we should) As a CNA, then fine, I agree and I'll do that....and would I agree with patients and nurses that I don't have crap for training? You betcha. Because I would be proud of where I was at the moment and what I have done. And I would NEVER want a patient looking at me thinking that girls is a nurse why isn't she doing something...or thats my nurse why won't she help me? When I am a CNA I will make it perfectly clear what I am and what I am expected to do and what I'm not. Why? becuase it would look worse on me then anyone else.

    And I agree with most of you, that its upsetting to hear someone who had a month of training say they are a nurse and compare themselves to is wrong and can be extremely dangerous. I just hope you keep an open mind to new people like me coming into the field, I would never compare myself to anyone for that matter....I would never feel comfortable saying something I'm not. I would never have a patient depend on me for something I can not do, that is totally against my code of ethics. I just hope you give everyone a chance... because now I am extremely nervous, and hope that people I will work with will at least give me that much....

    And I did see a post by a person saying that people are only CNA's becuase they don't want the schooling or don't have what it takes......please feel free to email in the years to come. Some CNA's may be like that, some CNA's may want to stay just that a CNA....does it really matter? no. The reason I'm starting as a CNA is becuz their is no better training then on the job training...but I plan on going as far as the lord will allow me, if thats only a CNA so be it, if its a doctorate in nursing so be it. I will be proud of myself no matter what.

    and I have seen posts making fun of CNA's becuz they are so low on the food chain, and I have seen posts make fun of nurses who just came out of 4 years of school and have no idea what the hell they are doing.....and I have talked to nurses who think both ways...and I know the majority of you out there don't think this. All I ask is that no matter how far in schooling I get...I hope I get treated with the same respect I TREAT people with not what other past nurses or CNAS have done.

    To all the Nurses (be it Rn, LPN, or others I haven't quite leaned yet..)..... You have come far in life, I don't have the personal experience...but I have heard how hard nursing school can be and of course the profession in its self, and if it means anything.....I admire all of you, place you all on a pedastel, and I could only hope and work (very hard) at reaching what you have...I just hope that along the way
    if I make a mistake or even if I don't..that one of you will be there to take me under your wing, show me what it takes to be a nurse and help me be the best I can be.
    Last edit by Adelai on Feb 15, '02