Nurse Imposters

  1. Hey there! I'm a nurse from Mississippi. I recently called a doctors office from the nursing home I work at and asked his receptionist to speak with the nurse to relay a message to the doctor in regards to the patient's care. Instead of letting me speak to the nurse she transferred me to the phlebotomist who answered "this is Doctor Bolder's nurse Jamie. Can I help you? I know her personally and am aware she is not the nurse and requested again to speak to the nurse. She replied "this is the nurse" i just ignored it and said ok well can you let the doctor know about this concern. She called me back a minute later a third time identifying herself as the nurse with a new medication order. She sounded confused as she was giving said order bc she said the medications name and gave no further details. I asked what dose? how often? How long? She sounded as if she was making it up as she went. This whole thing has made me uncomfortable. I was wondering your thoughts on this issue. I find it very disrespectful to claim you are a nurse when you have not underwent the amount of training, passed a licensure exam, and all the many other things it takes to be able to call oneself a nurse.
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    About Nursemccaleb

    Joined: Nov '18; Posts: 10; Likes: 77

    104 Comments

  3. by   Triddin
    I would report it to your bon after talking to her and reminding her nurse is a protected term
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    It's not disrespectful - it's illegal.
  5. by   Nursemccaleb
    I did speak to her about it later. I asked why she called herself a nurse and she told me "because I am." And from what I've been told this doctor is ok with the term as he allows her to administer meds and give orders through him regularly since his actual nurse of 20 years just retired. Now that I know this I really do want to report it to the board.
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Nursemccaleb
    I did speak to her about it later. I asked why she called herself a nurse and she told me "because I am." And from what I've been told this doctor is ok with the term as he allows her to administer meds and give orders through him regularly since his actual nurse of 20 years just retired. Now that I know this I really do want to report it to the board.
    That's a big step. Not necessarily wrong, but asking for backlash.

    Why not start with your boss? Tell her what you had to go through to get (i am assuming you eventually got it) a complete order, for example, and that you know this person and know that she is not a licensed nurse.

    I wonder what authority the Board has over non-nurses in your state. Will they send a letter to the doctor to let him know that his employee must stop calling herself a nurse? Or require the woman to appear before them or what?
  7. by   FolksBtrippin
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    It's not disrespectful - it's illegal.
    It might be illegal. It really depends on the state. It's not illegal in my state.
  8. by   nursel56
    A phlebotomist calling themselves a nurse, I haven't seen that before. Usually it's a medical assistant who does this. In this case where it is not an inquiry from a patient (so use of the term "nurse" is thought to be more efficient) but a call from another facility-- it wouldn't be acceptable to communicate with a phlebotomist who might have a scope of practice of their own.

    I've done some research on this in the past, and discovered that physician malpractice insurers are those who put up the red flags more than anyone. That may be the most effective argument to persuade a provider that yes, titles and licenses really do matter.
  9. by   hherrn
    I think this is pretty common. It is clearly wrong, and annoying as all get out. But, do you really want to get involved? If so, go ahead and report it. Maybe she'll get a nasty letter or something, but this one instance is just a drop in the bucket.

    According to the ANA, its illegal. At least in most states. But I really don't get how this is enforced. You report it to the board of nursing, which has no jurisdiction over non nurses.

    It is surprising in some ways this is not taken more seriously. If I am in a bar, and want to impress somebody, I can say I am a lawyer. But, if I say I am a lawyer and give legal advice, that is a pretty big legal problem. Seems the same might hold true in any area in which the weight of a person't words hinges on their qualifications.

    It would be interesting if you do file a report- if so, why don't you track the results and post them here.
  10. by   hawaiicarl
    So, you took a second hand order for a patient from someone you knew was a phlebotomist. Please tell me that you didn't put this in as an order from the physician. Even if the person was his nurse of 20 years (who retired) you can't take a verbal order from them either (barring an advanced nursing degree in a state where such people have prescription authority etc etc etc all the lawyer mumbo jumbo).

    Cheers
  11. by   Neats
    I get this all the time in Case Management when I call provider offices/home health. I ask to speak to a licensed clinician. Sometimes I get MA (who are usually certified not licensed). If I think they are not who they present themselves to be I let them know this conversation is being recorded, verify again the information I requested, ask them to fax that information in to me. I have my self and company covered. It is all I can do. If it is an order I would question then I would let them know I will wait for the physician signed order before acting on it or run it by our own Medical Advisor.

    If you feel very strong about calling the BON then do it. I have called the BON a total of 3 times in my career. What I do when I speak to providers who allow this behavior from their staff is this, I verify who they want me to speak with for clinical questions, for their patients I let them know if they have questions always ask for a licensed nurse.

    I think this is a bigger issue than an individual can handle. It is like my son who is a Master Degree Mechanical Engineer-certified. People almost always ask him questions about vehicles, he does not do this, he calculates with advanced mathematical precise heat/thermal transfers for jet/rocket engines and the force and time that is placed on them. Big difference, same with MA and phlebotomists.
  12. by   chacha82
    You could say to the person you believe is an imposter: "I would like to speak with the Registered Nurse please. Are these your credentials?"
    Ask to speak with the MD and say to him, "I have to take orders from your licensed staff. A Registered Nurse. It is a matter of compliance." That should get everyone's attention.
  13. by   Nursemccaleb
    I did accepted the order after speaking to my supervisor. Her response was "I didn't know Jamie wasn't his nurse. She gives orders from him all the time." I spoke with our nurse practitioner also and she said it's ok to accept orders from medical assistants and other non licensed clinic workers but it was wrong of her to identify as a nurse.
  14. by   morte
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    It might be illegal. It really depends on the state. It's not illegal in my state.
    fraud is illegal in any state. what state are you in?

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