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Registered Nurse's role in physician's office

Nurses   (3,166 Views | 15 Replies)

Shortcake_BSn has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Critical care.

1,233 Profile Views; 27 Posts

What exactly should a registered nurse's role be in a physicians office? Sometimes I feel like an overpaid medical assistant. The RNs, LPNs, and MAs are used and viewed interchangeably at the physician's office that I work at. I honestly feel like the RN's are not being utilized properly but I could be wrong because I'm not sure. What should be the RN or LPN's role and what should be the medical assistant's?

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,289 Posts; 30,090 Profile Views

When I did my prenatal care, the office RN handled telephone triage. The office was a busy one, and she was on the phone a lot. It would take an experienced RN to be able to take on that big responsibility.

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1,035 Posts; 6,981 Profile Views

You don't say how long you've been there. If it's only been a few weeks or months, how about you keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to add value to the practice by doing things only an RN is licensed do-- better assessments, patient teaching, triage, staff training on the most common diagnoses your practice sees ... When you're really sure, like when you've been there a year, write up a proposal to the mgmt outlining what you could be doing to help make the providers' jobs easier and be specific about how it would save them time and money.

Meanwhile-- hey, enjoy being overpaid.

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Shortcake_BSn has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Critical care.

27 Posts; 1,233 Profile Views

The phone nurse at my job is a medical assistant. She handles triaged and PAs. This office is extremely busy as well.

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1,035 Posts; 6,981 Profile Views

The phone nurse at my job is a medical assistant. She handles triaged and PAs. This office is extremely busy as well.

She is not a phone "nurse," and she'd better not be describing herself as one or letting anyone else in the office (including docs and YOU) refer to her as one. It's illegal in just about every state. No nursing license, NOT A NURSE. You can get the official language from your state BoN website or the state general laws pertaining to nursing practice.

See, there's your first contribution to risk management! The practice could be vulnerable to suit if somebody takes "phone nurse" advice and acts on it and bad things happen. "The nurse told me to...!" "Hmm, yes, and what nurse was that?" "Jenny Smith, they said she was the phone nurse." Unh, hunh, followed by ka-CHING!

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Shortcake_BSn has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Critical care.

27 Posts; 1,233 Profile Views

You don't say how long you've been there. If it's only been a few weeks or months, how about you keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to add value to the practice by doing things only an RN is licensed do-- better assessments, patient teaching, triage, staff training on the most common diagnoses your practice sees ... When you're really sure, like when you've been there a year, write up a proposal to the mgmt outlining what you could be doing to help make the providers' jobs easier and be specific about how it would save them time and money.

Meanwhile-- hey, enjoy being overpaid.

Ive only been there for six months. And I just graduated a year ago. I really do want to work within my scope but I'm not sure if the higher ups don't know what a rn is capable of doing or they don't care. I'm mostly bringing back patients, getting vitals, and giving injections as needed.

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Shortcake_BSn has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Critical care.

27 Posts; 1,233 Profile Views

She is not a phone "nurse," and she'd better not be describing herself as one or letting anyone else in the office (including docs and YOU) refer to her as one. It's illegal in just about every state. No nursing license, NOT A NURSE. You can get the official language from your state BoN website or the state general laws pertaining to nursing practice.

See, there's your first contribution to risk management! The practice could be vulnerable to suit if somebody takes "phone nurse" advice and acts on it and bad things happen. "The nurse told me to...!" "Hmm, yes, and what nurse was that?" "Jenny Smith, they said she was the phone nurse." Unh, hunh, followed by ka-CHING!

Yes. Everyone is referred to as a nurse. By the providers, patients, and other staff. That's what I meant by the use us and view us interchangeably. I know that it's wrong, I am afraid to speak up on it though because they look at you crazy if you say you're not a nurse. An insurance rep was treated very nasty by the phone nurse after he told her he needed to talk to a licensed nurse and not a cma. But they all call themselves nurses to the patients. I don't want to say anything because a lot of them have been there a long time and really know their stuff. I don't want to appear as if I think I'm better or to make a RN vs MA post. I just want to do what I'm qualified and trained to do.

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561 Posts; 9,898 Profile Views

I worked in a Dr's office once. I lasted about 5 months and was done. They did the same thing; they used the licensed staff interchangeably with the CMAs.

Everyone referred to to them as nurses and I continuously brought it up with the office manager, physician, and the CMAs themselves. It never changed.

There was no deliniation between who did what. CMAs did assessments, telephone triage, meds, treatments, Etc. The docs would even give the CMAs their script pads and have them write out scripts. I was like....nope.

The offices I go as a patient, I constantly see CMAs self identify as a nurse and the docs refer to them as their "office nurse".

I don't know if it's a regional thing or not, but it's no bueno.

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570 Posts; 7,007 Profile Views

I wonder how much training Dr get in nursing scope of practice? I wonder if the majority of them know the difference?

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Shortcake_BSn has 1 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Critical care.

27 Posts; 1,233 Profile Views

I wonder how much training Dr get in nursing scope of practice? I wonder if the majority of them know the difference?

Thats true too. Im sure that they are too busy having to learn their own roles without having to worry about someone else's. So who regulates who does what?

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Cafelattee specializes in ER/SICU/House Float.

39 Posts; 1,810 Profile Views

doctors do not really know nurse or other medical folks scope of practice. Only those nurses that have been at it for a couple of decades will get this but I've trained a lot of new doctors LOL. I was a charge nursing a heap of years with residence. They learn how to treat and respect nurses from me. There also where lots of doctors married to nurses back when women didn't really go for master level stuff. Now doctors marry doctors/lawyer/CEO's

So the doctors of today don't' have a clue unless they were mentored during residency.

The fun part is working with the new doctors years later. I've had so many come to me and tell me how much they learned from me. The main thing is listen to the nurse intuition. They can save your butt and your pt.

Ok newbie nurse this might cost you your job. BUT IT IS ILLIEGAL in all 50 states to claim a license you do not have. It really does need to be reported . You need to contact your board of nursing and tell them what you posted here.

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JerseyTomatoMDCrab has 8 years experience as a BSN and specializes in med-surg, IMC, school nursing, NICU.

586 Posts; 9,466 Profile Views

doctors do not really know nurse or other medical folks scope of practice.

This is so true. I've had to correct several docs, usually first year interns but a couple residents and even an attending, regarding my scope. Usually they were asking me to pull a drain or central line, unaware that I am legally unable to do so!

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