Nurse Impersonators - page 16

:( 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   Carer
    I work as a Care Assistant to the Elderly. The other night on the local news station. [I live In England] There was a report about Bougas Care workers in Care Homes. I feel it is very unfair to real Care Workers like myself and many other Medical staff. As this is the sort of thing that makes the rules and regulations so much more complex and in some cases harder to find work. Haven't people got better things to do with there time other then impersonate Medical/ Care staff. It just makes me mad that is all. Does anyone agree.
  2. by   Jacaut
    Just for the record, I have corrected a number of people who've called me a nurse both as a CNA and while in clinicals. I'm a nursing student- not a nurse. Won't even let my family call me nurse yet. As for scrubs- they make a lot of sense to me for adjunct staff as well as nurses. The uniform of medical personnel should be non-street clothes. Scrubs are treated to resist soiling, are comfortable for movement, and are not worn on the streets- containing, to some degree, bacterial transmission.

    Nursing assistants have been described to me as nursing staff- not nurses. They do basic care. It's the same stuff you go over your first semester of nursing school, in case some of you have forgotten.

    Color coding makes absolute sense. Embroidered titles reduce confusion, but we all have to be sure and tell people who we are- remember, there are many people who have poor eyesight or reading skills. If you want to be treated with respect, you have to behave in a respectful fashion. Clothes are only a small part of being a good nurse. The person who intervened on behalf of the bleeding patient did a great job. Making a bigger fuss to get the kid seen might have been a good idea also, but sometimes we don't speak up as we should. I'm still working on that skill.


  3. by   WalMart_ADN
    I was reading a magazine tonight and i came across one of those sally-struthers-mail-me-some-money-and0i'll-send-you-your-diploma things and one of the degree's offered was a medical office assistant. Now, we don't utilize medical assistants in our hospital (the one we have clinicals in) but am I too assume that this is the same kind of medical assistant we are talking about here? Is this magazine telling me that they can get their quote-unqoute "degree" throught the MAIL with NO patient exposure at ALL?
    Definately NOT comprable to a nurse, RN or LPN, and i wouldn't say comparable to a certified nurses aide either.
    But I digress....scrubs was the topic, right?
    Originally posted by Peeps Mcarthur

    I wonder if they would all like to impersonate the mandatory overtime, impossible pt loads, stringent guidelines.........etc,etc.

    I'm not yet a nurse, but once I am you can bet your a** they won't be pulling that crap around me for too long.

    I've experienced the same opportunity because of a shirt and tie or a 3/4 length labcoat as a respiratory therapist(I was really CRTT).
    I was called nurse, DR, name it.
    Nurses are just as guilty!
    It is routine.........YOU ALL DO call all respiratory personell RT(as in therapist) or call all personell respiratory tech(as in CRTT).
    One is a technician, CRTT. One is a therapist, RT. The credentials for RT are much more difficult to obtain(at least ten years ago when I was on the floors) and this makes them feel disrespected.

    Check it out. Listen a few times when respiratory is addressed. you'll be amazed to find out thier true identities!
    Wow...but you're absolutely right!!! I never gave it a second thought (the differences between CRTT/RT); however, after reading your post, I now know & will be more mindful to take notice in the future....
  5. by   NancyRN
    I don't call them RT or CRTT. When a patient is in trouble I CALL RESPIRATORY! They always arrive fast and always know their stuff. Thanks, y'all! And you can bet I'll be paying more attention now to those letters on the badge.
    Originally posted by colleen10
    Even though I'm not a nurse yet I completely understand why a nurse would be at the least disgruntled by these nurse impersonators.

    As someone who has had experience going into the hospital and clinical setting as a patient, for not only myself but also with relatives, I think that the "impersonators" not only do damage to the nursing professions persona as a whole but also to the general publics trust or lack of trust for the medical field.

    Advertising your position such as Medical Assistant, LPN, or RN - I really don't think that a layperson would understand the increasing degrees of education, knowledge, and experience that is required for each. If a person is sick or concerned about a patient all they want is to talk to a medical professional to get the situation under control and ensure that they are going to be taken care of. If a layperson were to see "Medical Assistant" on a name badge they would probably assume that since it says "Medical" on it that person should be able to offer help. The same way an RN would.

    A "layperson" or someone with little or no background in the medical field would see anyone in scrubs as a person with medical knowledge. Can you imagine a worried and stressed out relative of a patient going up to a janitor, secretary, or MA(dressed in scrubs) asking pertinent medical questions and then that janitor or secretary trying to answer them? Can you imagine what that relative must be thinking! Either they will believe what ever the secretary or janitor is saying and later be dismayed when they find out the information they were given was incorrect. Or, if they catch on that the person they are speaking with doesn't have that much knowledge in the medical field they will think "What kind of place have I brought my relative to? The nurses don't know anything!"

    This problem is more far reaching than I think "impersonators" give it credit.

    As for the man with the serious cut who went to his regular doctor's office... Last year I was sent to a new Primary Care Physician because of insurance changes. When I went to the doctor's office to have a case of poison ivy taken care of I was instructed that if I should ever have any type of "Emergency Situation" I should go to the doctors' office rather than the nearest ER because the doctor's would see me faster than waiting around in the busy ER. Unfortunately, for this particular gentlemen it doesn't seem to have made much of a difference.
    I agree completely... But a lot of the problem, IMHO, stems from the medical community...MDs & their organization - AMA! Who was it that created this new phenomenon anyway: MA (Medical Assistants), MT (Medical Technicians), ET (Emergency Technicians), ST (Surgical Technicians), DT (Dental Technicians), VT (Veterinarian Technicians), PA (Physician Assistants) know what I mean... Nurses have worked extremely hard to get the respect that they deserve for their knowledge...and there's a variety of levels from LPNs to RN-ADN/MSN/PhD/ED/DSN, etc. The AMA has decided that they rather give script power to the newly PAs because they developed the idea, have direct control over them, & have made them members of the AMA. MDs/PAs have banned together to have various SBON, nation wide, place limits on or keep script power from the Advanced Practice Nurses (@ least in the state of PA). They would rather have MAs/PAs by their side because they thought of the position & to further demean the nursing profession which somehow is supposed to elevate the MAs/PAs respectability...I think not!!!

    I realize that there is a huge difference in the level of education between MAs/Techs/PAs, but doesn't it bother you that all of a sudden, many LPNs are being replaced in hospital settings by various MAs & Med Techs. Even worse, LPNs titles are no longer being recognized by hospitals whom have chose to elimate their position entirely! Or how about the LPNs/RNs being replaced by MAs & PAs in privite practice? Now hospitals wonder why there's nursing shortages...give me a break!

    Without stepping on any of the above Techs toes, it was the nurse whose primarily assisted the MDs in their practice (in offices & in patients' homes), in the OR suites, & on the hospital units prior to the Techs positions even cropping-up... The real reasons that a lot of these positions were created in the first place is that hospitals & MDs wanted to avoid paying the nurses' salaries...not that we were paid exuberant amount of money to begin with. They thought the nurses as liabilities as far as cost because nurses weren't the money base (it was the MDs & their patients' money), and saw the opportunity to have other people do a lot of their duties; but for much less...!

    It's no wonder that many of the Assistants/Techs feel that they have a right to think the way that they do...they're encouraged!!!
  7. by   RNKitty
    Originally posted by 135ctv

    It frightens me to think that untrained personnel can perform nursing duties in private homes, especially without any nursing supervision.
    Actually, the unlicensed personnel can be trained to do certain nursing tasks in the home setting. The laws allow this so that parents can take care of handicapped children (those who need gastric tubes, stable vent care, etc.). The people still have to be taught to do the skill. This doesn't mean they are a nurse, but it allows for a more family friendly environment for the children - they don't have to be institutionalized.
    Last edit by RNKitty on Feb 16, '02
    Originally posted by Susy K
    While I think Bush has good intentions, I don't think getting "bodies" to fill the gaps is going to solve ANY problem. We need to attract top quality, highly educated, motivated people to the profession!

    Example: my co-worker's 16 year old daughter who is a junior in high school was meeting with her high school advisor on plans after high school. The girl has a 3.7 GPA and is a very, very bright girl. The advisor is recommending she apply to MIT, Northwestern and Harvard for enginnering, etc. She has the grades for it and can write her ticket - AND she is interested in engineering. The question is....why is NOT interested in nursing? We could use a bright girl like her and others like her! Her advisor under no circumstances would recommend nursing to her and sadly so, I can see why. It would almost waste her talent and intelligence, with the way nursing is now.

    Bringing Mexicans across the border isn't going to solve the problem - it can only worsen it in my opinion.
    I understand what you mean when it comes to our young talent...but to single-out Mexican nurses is a topic for another thread!!! Lets just discuss the topic of this thread before it goes off on a wrong path again...
    Originally posted by NancyRN
    And I, too, think doing away with our caps was the beginning of the dilution process for nurses. I do wear a cap some days when I do agency in a nursing home. Patients love it. It never really gets in my way. Guys could wear a "Guy" cap...I don't know the answer but we need to find one fast!
    I agree, why not wear white scrubs, dresses, & dear I say, CAPS... I realize that the males have no caps for them & suspect that they wouldn't wear them because they have no identity with them; even if several male style were designed...perhaps but I doubt it.. During nurses' week at my facility, we set aside one day where the nurses wear all whites along with their caps. Two of the males nurses got into the act & donned a paper cap speacially made for them though. You should see the resident's faces light-up... And guess what else, our facility honored nurses & CNAs with flowers during their designated weeks... Where I work, nurses' week belong to the nurses & CNAs' week belong to least my facility can do at least this right!!:chuckle

    I noticed that when everyone was in white, they seem to walk more erectly (maybe due to the caps on our heads), kept their uniforms cleaner, use correct grammar amongst our selves, & even cleaned-up the profanity too...:imbar And all the school PINs were dug out of the jewerly boxes and worn...everyone who chose to participate really got into the spirit of the day. One nurse even wore a cape... There was a lot of laughs along with a lot of pride.!!! There were no nurses eatting anyone that day...that's for sure.

    I realize wearing white is difficult not to mention boring for most so the other suggestion regarding wearing 3/4 length lab coats with our school's PIN on it along side of the name tag in addition to having a patch on the sleeve maybe the answer.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    This thread is emcompassing a lot of nurse and medical issues, isn't it? I love it!! Students,CNA's, PCA's and MA's= please don't mistake venting for hostility....I don't think any of us resent an individual, just the situation because nurses feel so undervalued today. I pray today's student nurses will have a different experience than I have had--I am excited by some of the changes I see particularly in the strong nurse union states. California in GO Cal. nurses!!

    I like ICU because it's usually all nurse staffed and this will probably not change much. I do see LPN's being phased out of many facilities today and that is so, so unfortunate. I do see this as a money and control issue. RN's on medsurg floors will be supervising dangerously large groups of UAP's unless nurses force the issue (like the California nurses did) and make it illegal to surpass nurse patient ratios.

    I do believe in theory the ANA position paper was on the right track as far as the professional nurse role. Just wish there had been a cohesive effort to unite nurses and assist ADN and diploma nurses to get that BSN. We have to pay an arm and a leg, our credits won't transfer, etc. So many hoops to jump through! ANA lobbying efforts are behind closure of good schools who were trying to grow into a BSN program. My old school was successfully eliminated in this fashion after 105 years of turning out great RN's. Too bad. Diploma schools merged into a BSN program would give student nurses the best of both education worlds!

    Some areas now 'registering' their MA's. So they're RMA's. Sounds a little close to RN doesn't it? Money, control and the medical model vs the nursing model. <sigh> But what to do??

    Great thread guys!
    Originally posted by 135ctv
    Thank you. I have helped to orient aides in the past and have enjoyed that. I think that I would also enjoy being an instructor, but to do that requires that I be an RN. I think that my interest lies more in being an aide than pursuing nurses training.

    I perhaps have a different outlook because this is a second career for me. Prior to becoming an aide, I earned a master's degree and worked in the business world for 20 years. This is something that I always wanted to pursue, and I'm glad I made the change. I have been a CNA for approximately one year now and have no desire to return to my previous profession.
    Actually, with a masters degree in business, or any field for that matter, you certainly can TEACH!!! Not nursing of course but perhaps other CNAs. Nurses teach in their inservices to other nurses; why then can't you teach inservices to other CNAs??? After all, you're on the same scope of practice level... A bet a lot of our mouths just hit the floor when we all read your credentials!!!

    Well you certainly taught me & I bet a lot of others something; I never even considered anyone with your credentials choosing this for a second perfession. And yes I choose to say profession because I can see that you're intensely proud of what your doing, have the wisdom to know not to over step your scope of practice, & that you've obviously made wise financial decisions while in the busniess sector in order to take the pay cut!!! I have to tell you that you're a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover... That's for sure. Keep your positive attitude for I'm sure it will rub off...
  12. by   nightmoves
    I doubt anyone would like to go back to the days when female nurses wore caps, and you could differentiate an RN from an LPN by the black band that the RN wore on her cap, but there you have it. I was probably one of the last group of nurses graduated (in the early 1970's) when caps were still mandatory. I recall the arguments in the professional literature, that caps were somehow degrading, that a professional should be identifiable by what is in her head, not what is on it, etc, etc, etc. Thirty years later I count it as no surprise that because of the lack of a readily identifiable visual cue we are no longer easily identifiable as nurses particularly by those who don't know better.
    I guess the problem set in front of us is how do we get a visual identifier across without reverting to caps?
    Color coding doesn't really work particularly when one is ill, on medications with sensory-altering effects, and really too tired to pay much attention to the chirpy orientation literature. I dress in street clothes with a lab coat and have been mistaken for everything from a doctor to the TV sales representative despite my prominently displayed ID badge (worn with a clip so it is always displayed, not on a lanyard where it can twist and turn,) my nursing school pin, and a gold initial pin that says "RN." When I reverted to white or colored scrubs I was mistaken for a slew of other departmental employees.

    Short of emblazoning "RN" on the front and back of scrubs (the way they print "County Jail" on the orange scrubs prisoners wear) I can't think of any realistic solutions.

    I think it is a pity that so much talent and expertise has to be wasted in efforts to get the public to recognize who we are. At least years ago (dear God, I sound like my great aunt, a now deceased nurse, rest her soul) the public could pick us out of a group of people.
  13. by   bungies
    Originally posted by Huganurse

    Are CNA's professionals??? I had never considered them as such but when nurses see them as professionals then why wouldn't they be classified as nurses, if they are professionals.

    Interesting point. Lawyers, religious ministers and teachers are also considered professionals; they are NOT nurses - they have a different role and fill a different need. So too with CNAs. A good CNA is a precious commodity - they often recognise many of the issues nurses are trained to deal with and thus can make a nurse's job easier by reporting symptoms and other issues which the nurse may not have been aware of (since the CNA does spend more time during showers, etc). But they have not been trained to assess or to deal with these symptoms, and don't have legal authority to manage them, any more than nurses have legal authority to prescribe medication (with the possible exception of specialist nurse practitioners in some areas).