Personal support workers calling themselves nurses?

  1. A huge pet peeve of mine is when Personal Support Workers, Nurses' Aides, Health Care Aides, and the like call themselves "a nurse". Not only is this illegal, it's also misleading and dangerous, especially when you've got a patient who thinks they're asking the nurse something and instead are talking to a PSW. I've called PSWs out on it before, but it's tough when you're a young nurse (who has gone through 4 years of university and has less than a year of experience) and you're working with people who have been PSWs for 5+ years and they think that their experience gives them the right to call themselves nurse.

    How do you deal with people who are not nurses calling themselves a nurse? Does anyone have any stories they want to share about what they did when a PSW/Nurses aide/HCA called themselves a nurse? Are there any situations where a non-nurse calling themselves a nurse backfired? Or is this just a reality of working in health care?
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    About Jb92

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 4; Likes: 7

    5 Comments

  3. by   Triddin
    Document specific times they did so and call the BON?
  4. by   BrandonLPN
    In all my years in long term care, I don't think I've ever witnessed a CNA try to say they're a nurse. I've had some very demented elderly residents who are convinced that I must be a doctor and my female CNAs must be nurses, and I'll admit we've all just rolled with it for the sake of convenience. But that's obviously a completely different story.

    I've met a few Medical Assistants who aren't aware I'm a LPN. They seem to be the main culprits.
  5. by   TriciaJ
    This has been going on since the dawn of time. You might point out to your coworkers that misrepresenting themselves is fraudulent, just like passing a bad cheque and the BON can impose civil penalties. It's one thing to give up correcting someone with dementia. It's another thing to willfully misrepresent one's qualifications.

    You might want to talk to the manager about the liability of personnel inflating their credentials. This really needs to be addressed in a staff meeting, and individually if necessary.
  6. by   adventure_rn
    Ugh, this is also a huge problem with live-in newborn care, aka "Baby Nurses."

    Baby Nurse | Ellie Blu Agency

    If you're a nanny, call yourself a nanny. Drives me crazy.
  7. by   Chazzie_Made_It
    Quote from adventure_rn
    Ugh, this is also a huge problem with live-in newborn care, aka "Baby Nurses."

    Baby Nurse | Ellie Blu Agency

    If you're a nanny, call yourself a nanny. Drives me crazy.

    "Baby Nurse" - omgoodness! In all of my years of being a Patient Care Assistant have I never called myself the nurse. I even made sure to inform patients or staff who assume I am the nurse that I am not. I didn't want to open myself up to questions or situations I couldn't and shouldn't be involved in.

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