Published Jun 5, 2003
Hi, I am writing with a very difficult subject at my office. I work with a CMA and myself (RN, BSN) in a small rural outpatient oncology clinic. The phyisicians see pt's maybe one to two mornings a week, so the rest of the time we are on our own. The CMA is very knowledgable in physician office settings, but has never worked in oncology. I do all of my own patient teaching regarding chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc. Last week, I overheard her talking with a patient after the physician had left about Rituxan and doing patient teaching. This really upset me, but I don't know how to tell her that she overstepped her bounderies doing this education. She just read some information in the booklet to the patient and then told me the patient already had been educated on the drug. What do you think?
renerian, BSN, RN
Gosh I might pull her to the side and ask her where she got her information and that she can direct questions about medication information, side effects, purpose and hopeful effects to you in the future.
That sounds tough. Just as nurses have to be careful not to operate outside their scope of practice, so do CMAs. If she is certified she has agreed to act in a certain way. Maybe you could explain to her that she might be liable for problems created if she were to inadvertently answer a question outside her scope of practice.
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