what the heck are medical assistant schools doing ! - page 10

I'm an RN, in the ER. I know of 4 people who, in my opinion have been rooked into MA (medical assistant ) schools. Each on of these people have been told that , MA , can do everything an RN can do.... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from TaraRN07
    Theres no need to speak abouts MA's as if we are below the RN, we're not....we simply do a different job than the RN does!
    (Sigh) the person quoted in your post was obviously refering to the schools that lie to people about what they will be able to do as an MA as "everything that an RN does except...", and not EVEN speaking in a way that even came ACROSS as MAs being below RNs.
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from robynv
    Maybe, but your comments were rude and came off as though you think of MA's as little more than trained monkeys. Beyond rude. :angryfire
    Heaven help it if people read ALL of the words in the WHOLE post they're replying to. :stone
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Oct 12, '06
  3. by   tempra
    I am currently in school to become an RN. I was a Phlebotomist/Medical assistant for 12 years. I agree, it is such a waste of money to go to school to become a medical assistant or phlebotomist. I trained on the job for both. I did do injections, remove sutures/staples, vitals. It's easy to train someone to do that. It's not very complicated, but I never had to assess a patient or make any decisions about a patient's care. I think that's where the difference is. You don't have to make any vital decisions about the pateint, the Dr. is always right there and you just do what they say. I've discouraged a lot of people from going to medical assist school. It's such a waste of time and money.
  4. by   hogan4736
    Quote from hogan4736
    relax everyone...he's calling all of us monkeys (in essence) that are skill hounds...

    I give the same speech to my students each semester...Students, in clinicals, are soooo skill focused...I tell them that monkeys can be trained to start IVs and drop NGTs...the real essence of nursing is relating to, and understanding the needs of your patients...that is the real skill...if you have poor bedside manner, but are great at IVs, then you are a worthless (monkey) in my book...

    that's all the poster was saying...

    where am I disparaging MAs in my post?
  5. by   hope3456
    People PAY to go to MA school??? What a joke! You can get the same training in Job Core!! You know that gov't program for juvenile delinquents?? Yeah, if I wanted to be a MA, I would just drop out of school, get in trouble, ect. so I could get enrolled....

    I really have a problem with these 'for profit' career schools.
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    I can't argue that some of the things I learned in medical assisting school did not help me in nursing, and I do believe that MAs, CNAs, and other titles are part of the healthcare team. I really didn't see where many of the nurses have disrepected them in this thread. What we are expressing is the misrepresentation. I am an LPN...I would not tell anyone that I am an RN or physician, because I am not. I have introduced myself as a nurse, because I AM. But, I admit freely that my level of education is not the same as a higher titled nurse, because that counteracts patient trust and safety.

    I knew the difference the minute I sat in my anatomy class...it completely blew me out of my socks!! MA school had NOTHING on what I learned in college.
  7. by   mkmm429
    As a CMA who is attending an LPN program now, I found that the CMA course (or MA) to be very informing, it is what helped me to decide if nursing was the right choice for me. I never allowed myself to be called a nurse, however in an office setting you can do alot of the things an RN does, but only in an office setting, I was able to give injections, perform EKG's, nebulizer treatments, and I was also taught phlebotomy. something that the LPN course seem to only skim over. I immediately went to work in a Dr.'s office in an OB/GYN practice, then went to Family Med and learned alot more. In this state, I am not sure about any other states, CMA or MA's can not work at a hospital, but let me assure you that we were taught A&P, Lab procedures, law and ethics, terminology, pharmacology and also some administrative work. We also had to sit for an exam that was about 3 hours long, when you pass then you become Certified, as an MA you are not suppose to give injections. I would not ever look down on my training, due to the fact there is a nursing shortage and it seems it is the hospitals that really need them, which is really where their training is geard for. CMA are trained to work in an office situation, so it seems to solve the shortage problem for both hospitals and private practice, both are helped in the way that suits their needs, and as a CMA (which I will always keep my (certification), I learned that whether you work private practice, lab etc. patient care will always come first, (as it should), just thought you might be interested in someone who is going to be on both sides of the fence. As far as salary, I am not sure about other states but I was making 18.50 an hour , and earned every penny of it.
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    Well, technically they aren't lying. In an office or clinic they can do almost everything an RN can do.
    Technically they are lying. Doing "almost" everything an RN can do is not doing everything. Many aspects of being an RN are not even considered by MA's. MA's cannot adequately triage a patient in a clinic or office where they work. That is the very basis of an RN. Critical Thinking Skills. MA's just don't have it or learn it. Critical Thinking Skills to an RN are EVERYTHING!
  9. by   robynv
    I hereby apologize to anyone who found my post to be a slam in any way. I have removed it.
  10. by   TazziRN
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Technically they are lying. Doing "almost" everything an RN can do is not doing everything. Many aspects of being an RN are not even considered by MA's. MA's cannot adequately triage a patient in a clinic or office where they work. That is the very basis of an RN. Critical Thinking Skills. MA's just don't have it or learn it. Critical Thinking Skills to an RN are EVERYTHING!
    see my post below.
    Last edit by TazziRN on Oct 14, '06
  11. by   smk1
    The issue is all about assessment, critical thinking, trouble shooting and prioritizing. If you are just trained to do procedure "X" and don't know why you are doing it or why you are doing it the way you were taught, then you won't have any idea of how to fix a problem situation. You won't have the education and assessment skills to recognize when to hold meds, when to question orders, when to suggest alternate treatment pathways. You won't have the theory behind you to guide the procedure when it doesn't go according to plan. You need to know how disease processes affect the whole patient down to the cellular and molecular levels, how to interpret wide open standing orders and parameters and make the correct decisons to treat the patient. You have to recognize when and why certain treatments may or may not be working and be able to knowledgeably discuss this with the provider etc...There is just so much more to the education of a nurse, so sometimes nurses and nursing students may get a bit ticked off when their education is compared to a profession that still accepts on the job training as the only educational requirement. Even if you are giving an I.M., it still is not the same as a nurse who is assessing skin integrity, tissue perfusion selecting the best locale for injection into that particular patient, evaluating the effects of the meds and having a true understanding of the complications and side effects not only with that drug, but with the other meds and the disease processes present in the patient. Evaluation of whether the client could benefit from another administration form, complimentary meds etc... It isn't just performing an ECG, it is knowing when a patients status requires one and some level of interpretation. Knowing the drugs that can cause different rhythms and when to call and request that a patient should be on telemetry and what the values mean and how they affect the s/s of the patient. It really is a vastly different process.
    Last edit by smk1 on Oct 13, '06
  12. by   TazziRN
    Okay, I need to clarify: I never ever said or meant to imply that MAs can be used in place of RNs. They can't. As the above post states, the issue here is the differences between the training and expectations of MAs and RNs. HOWEVER------what I said was that technically, the ads aren't lying because in many offices the MAs do what nurses do. Never said anything about thinking. I said do. MAs can do procedures and give meds, just like RNs. MAs can't interpret the results of the procedures or act on any reactions to meds, but they can perform the action. Therefore, I stand by my original statement: technically, the ads are not lying. Misleading, yes.
  13. by   TennNurse

    I never knew MA schools were saying all this. I started out 11 years ago in an MA program, because I had an inkling that I might like this field, but with no prior exp wasn't sure. I'd already spent 3 1/2 years working toward my BA in art and interior design, only to find out that though the classes were enjoyable, this was not how I wanted to spend my adult life. (Excellent example of why a 17-year-old fresh out of HS should never be pushed into declaring a major for the sake of scholarship money- what the heck did I know about how I wanted to spend my entire professional life at 17??) So I worked for a temp agency a bit and got sent to a lot of doctors' offices as a receptionist, and started thinking that this seemed interesting. I was hesitant to jump into another long educational process only to find that I wasn't suited to it, so when the community college in town offered an MA course, I thought I'd take it to see if I really was interested in the field.

    Well, I loved it. It wasn't that expensive, I got the best grades of my life at that CC, and our main instructor, God bless her, was constantly reminding us of our scope of practice. She often warned us of nurses who might ask us to pass a pill here and there if they were busy, but we were not to so much as apply Neosporin due to our very limited scope of practice. What this program did for me was prepare me to function in an office setting while I went to school at night to finish my LPN, then my RN. I've always been glad I went that route, largely because once I finished that program and started in an OB-GYN office, I had the opportunity to spend 40 hours a week in the presence of RNs, LPNs, and MDs. These wonderful people knew I was working through my pre-reqs to go to nursing school, and took every opportunity to educate me. They explained medications and procedures, and sought me out when they had unusual or interesting cases. Even though I had no idea of the rationale behind hardly anything, when I started the LPN program, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I found the course work, thinking skills, and clinicals to be a lot easier than a lot of my classmates did. Just having been in such a nurturing environment had allowed me to to be exposed to a lot of information that became much clearer once I started nursing school. As masochistic as it sounds, nursing school was a very enjoyable experience for me. And, naturally, the main thing I learned was how little I knew.

    For me, the MA program was a perfect first stepping stone. It showed me that I have an affinity for this line of work, and I was lucky to be able to stay in school till I finished my RN. I love what I do and can't believe that when I was 17 I had no interest in nursing.

    So I guess the moral of my success story is that if one wants to be an MA, community colleges are a much better route than "career schools".