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MAs telling patients - they are nurses

Last post 06-12-2009, 2:10 AM by Martin. 14 replies.
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  •  08-19-2005, 2:09 AM

    MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    I work in a busy family practice office. The nursing staff is made up of mostly RNs and LPNs and one medical assistant. The MA is very knowledgeable and very good at her job. But I have overheard patients ask her if she is a nurse and she replies 'Yes'. The Nursing Supervisor and Office Manager are both aware of this and have not said anything to the MA about this. Are the other nurse's licenses at risk because we know she's doing this? Or does this fall onto the supervisor since we made her aware and she chooses not to do anything about it?
  •  08-21-2005, 2:35 AM

    RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    Right now I am about as IRATE as a Nurse can get!!! I AM sick and tired of Med Tech's and M.A.'s. Which is nothing more than a NEW title for a NON-licensed individual  (usually a CNA) who knows how to do a set of vitals and possibly read an order to get away with using the TITLE of Nurse! I too am presently working with such an individual... who is titled as what... a Med Tech. amazingly enough she doesn't know the difference between Dilantin and Diltazem!!!Not more than 2 months ago she was actually going to 'substitute' one for the other because one of our patients was out of Diltazem. Fortunately (for the patient) I saw what was happening and stopped the near catastrophy. When I reported to the Senior supervisor what had nearly occured nothing was done with the explanation of ...well she's new.  I can certainly see your point ... so now I make it my point to explain that this person is a med tech and has NO medical training other than how to take a set of V.S. and pass a pill. IF the Nursing Supervisor will not be responsible enough to let people know, I will NOT put MY license in jeapordy. Do yourself a favor, tell others.

     

     

  •  08-21-2005, 2:35 AM

    RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    MESSAGE BY: hollowbeech
    I work in a busy family practice office. The nursing staff is made up of mostly RNs and LPNs and one medical assistant. The MA is very knowledgeable and very good at her job. But I have overheard patients ask her if she is a nurse and she replies 'Yes'. The Nursing Supervisor and Office Manager are both aware of this and have not said anything to the MA about this. Are the other nurse's licenses at risk because we know she's doing this? Or does this fall onto the supervisor since we made her aware and she chooses not to do anything about it?
    REPLY FROM: TAKNITEZE

    Right now I am about as IRATE as a Nurse can get!!! I AM sick and tired of Med Tech's and M.A.'s. Which is nothing more than a NEW title for a NON-licensed individual  (usually a CNA) who knows how to do a set of vitals and possibly read an order to get away with using the TITLE of Nurse! I too am presently working with such an individual... who is titled as what... a Med Tech. amazingly enough she doesn't know the difference between Dilantin and Diltazem!!!Not more than 2 months ago she was actually going to 'substitute' one for the other because one of our patients was out of Diltazem. Fortunately (for the patient) I saw what was happening and stopped the near catastrophy. When I reported to the Senior supervisor what had nearly occured nothing was done with the explanation of ...well she's new.  I can certainly see your point ... so now I make it my point to explain that this person is a med tech and has NO medical training other than how to take a set of V.S. and pass a pill. IF the Nursing Supervisor will not be responsible enough to let people know, I will NOT put MY license in jeapordy. Do yourself a favor, tell others.

     

     

  •  10-14-2005, 3:29 AM

    RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    if I am not mistaken there is a law against misrepresenting yourself as a Nurse (maning Licensed or Registered ) If you are not one. I may be mistaken , but I don't think so. I know it IS illegal to practice above the scope of your licensure but since MA's DO NOT HAVE licenses what is their scope of practice and where can Nurses find out. As far as the responsibility I HOPE it would fall on the supervisor. I have also made it my practice to INFORM  patients that this person IS a Med tech or MA , and is unlicensed. It may sound like I am being petty, but I am tired of thinking I went to school to get lower pay than a NON licensed individual who doesnot have to carry malpracice insurance.
  •  05-05-2006, 7:44 PM

    RE:RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    It is illegal in the state of North Carolina where I reside to represent yourself as a nurse if you are not one. We are also required by law, when we are on the clock and providing patient care, to wear a name badge with our name and licensure (either RN or LPN) in full view of our patients.
    Developmental Disabilities Certified
  •  05-07-2006, 4:25 PM

    RE:RE:RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    MESSAGE BY: cgryder
    It is illegal in the state of North Carolina where I reside to represent yourself as a nurse if you are not one. We are also required by law, when we are on the clock and providing patient care, to wear a name badge with our name and licensure (either RN or LPN) in full view of our patients.
    REPLY FROM: SGONZALES691
    I am LVN in Texas with Managed Care Certification as well as a BA in Healthcare Administration...It is against out Nurse Practice Act to misrepresent yourself as anything other than what you are licensed for. MA's/CNA's in our state may or may not be certified here, the same holds true for Medication Assistant. Always remember what you learned in nursing school...CYA...DO NOT COMPROMISE your license for a non-licensed healthcare worker.
    SAL, LVN, NMCC, CPT, BA Hca
  •  05-26-2007, 6:43 PM

    RE:RE:RE:RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    Hi everyone... I am new to all this.... so forgive any errors I may make...

    I began to research info reagrding LPN's/RN's using this web site and came across your story... The very fact that this individual is misrepresenting themselves angers me as a nurse.... Whether you are an LPN, such as I am, or an RN... we all studied and worked hard to obtain our license...where does this person come off doing such a thing.... I feel the Office Mgr/Nursing Spvr. should be addressing this ASAP!


    chris
  •  06-15-2007, 3:43 AM

    RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

     

    Many Nursing Homes are also facing the same problem with CNA's representing themselfs as nurse's as well. This is very confusing to to the family members of are patients.They are also now calling there cert. a license, which we all know it is NOT. I do give the cna's a lot of credit for all the hard work they do, but they are not Nurse's.


    D Burdsall.LPN
  •  01-07-2009, 8:54 PM

    Re: RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    You are 100% right.  MA's should not be identifying themselves as nurses.  I would like to clarify some misconceptions though.  MA's (Medical Assistants) are not the same as Med Techs, or CNAs.  MAs attend a medical assisting program that is on average 12 months to 2 years.  Their education includes anatomy and physiology, psychology, asepsis, phlebotomy, injections, EKG's, lab and x-ray procedures, clinical procedures, vital signs, critical thinking, CPR & First Aid, diseases, pharmacology, CPT & ICD-9 coding, HMO policies and procedures, medical ethics, laws as they pertain to the medical field, medical record maintenance and many other things.  Their scope of practice is determined by the Medical Examining Board of the state that they practice in; and therefore varies by state.  The only reason that they are "unlicensed" is because the various states have not found it to their benefit to do so.  However, 7 states have developed a specific scope of practice for MAs which includes: whirlpool treatments, diathermy treatments, taking and recording, vital signs, rooming patients, administering medications, collection of lab specimens and phlebotomy; perfoming basic laboratory tests, ultrasound therapy, electric galvation stimulation treatments, EKGs, observation and report of patient symptoms, assisting with patient exams or procedures, EEGs, plethysmography tests (other than full-body), suture and staple removal, applying and removing dressings and bandages; orthopedic appliances, ear lavage, establishing peripheral IV lines, injection of fluorescein dyes for retinal angiography, administer basic first aid, dialysis; including home dialysis, authorization of prescription refills; the those 7 states.  The rest of the states Scope of Practice for MAs are more broad.  At this time, unfortunately, unaccredited schools are graduating MAs, that should NOT be practicing.  The move is to require Certification (CMA or RMA) and eventual Licensing for all MAs.  Some states already do require Certification.  MAs who attend an accredited program are able to take the Certification exam; and are required to renew their certification every five years  by taking CEU's or retaking the exam.  MAs are also required to do a clinical of 160 hours for Certification. The only difference between Certification and Licensing, is that Certification is given by a non-governmental body and Licensing is given by a governmental body.  It is basically just politics. 

     CNAs on the other hand attend a training of approximately 12 days and do a three day clinical; and they are trained in bedside care.  MAs are trained in ambulatory care.  Hope this was helpful.

  •  01-07-2009, 9:41 PM

    Re: MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    hollowbeech:
    I work in a busy family practice office. The nursing staff is made up of mostly RNs and LPNs and one medical assistant. The MA is very knowledgeable and very good at her job. But I have overheard patients ask her if she is a nurse and she replies 'Yes'. The Nursing Supervisor and Office Manager are both aware of this and have not said anything to the MA about this. Are the other nurse's licenses at risk because we know she's doing this? Or does this fall onto the supervisor since we made her aware and she chooses not to do anything about it?

     In all states in the US, nurses are not liable for supervision or the actions of MAs.  The Medical Examining Boards in all of the states, require that the physician do the delegation and supervision of MAs.  The various Nurse Practice Acts, may allow nurses to delegate and supervise MAs, however, MAs Scopes of Practice are formulated by the Medical Examining Boards; and MAs must follow the Scopes of Practice in receiving delegation and supervision only from a "licensed medical practitioner (physician, osteopath, podiatrist, etc.."  Nurses are only responsible for the actions and supervision of CNAs, not MAs, CMAs or RMAs; and CNAs generally don't work in ambulatory care.  This creates another bind for nurses if the clinic supervisor is delegating to the the nurse to delegate to the MA.  I really think that uniformity and education among the professions is badly needed.

  •  03-27-2009, 5:11 AM

    Re: RE:MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    Even so,these personnel are not nurses. I had a lady in my class that was a MA while attending school. She would identify herself as a nurse to clients, as well as over the phone. SHe knew that this is illegal, but stated she does so because the doctors referred to her as one.
  •  03-28-2009, 9:35 AM

    Re: MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    I work in a clinic in Wisconsin and I supervise MA's and I have explained to them they are not to tell the patients that they are nurses and . when a patient addresses as a nurse, the MA is tell correct them. They are to explain to the patient that they are a Medical Assistant.  I know that a couple of the MA's in my clinic get upset, I then explain to them that they could be nurses if they went back to school.


    Jim
  •  04-05-2009, 12:25 AM

    Re: MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    I, too, work in a busy family practice.  Each doc has his own assistant.  I am the only LPN in the practice of 8 docs with the other 7 being MA's.  On our websit each MA as listed as Nurse.  One of our patients who is an RN called the Board of Nursing and complained.  The office manager received a call from the Board and had to change the website. 
    Katie
  •  04-10-2009, 7:41 PM

    Re: MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    The first clinic I worked in after graduationg from school also refered to the MA's as nurses and if you did not refer to them as such, they would get very upset. They would call patients and other Dr. Offices even the pharmacy and introduce them self as a nurse. they wore nurse buttons and celebrated nurse week and all that good stuff. They got to go to the nurse meetings and even did walk in triages, and our RN manager was completely aware of this...

    I am no one to say I am better than anyone or that I do not respect the MA' s they do a lot for little pay, but I worked hard in school to get to where I am and I dont go around saying I am something that I am not.

  •  06-12-2009, 2:10 AM

    • Martin is not online. Last active: 05-22-2017, 1:33 PM Martin
    • Joined on 06-12-2009
    • LVN Med/Psych
    • Self Employed
    • Hayward, CA
    • 5 Posts

    Re: MAs telling patients - they are nurses

    In California the only persons that can, within the strict sense of the law, state they are nurses are LVNs and RNs. MA may may practice nursing but they cannot state they are nurses.

    I have the feeling your Nursing Supervisor and Office Manager  believe it to semantics.

    My personal experience:

    I got into a heated argument with a MA student when she claimed to be a nurse. At the time I was just teasing and meant no harm but she took it to the extreme. The next day I put her in check in front of her instructor, an RN.  Appearently her instructor has not explained the legalities of false representation.

     

     

     


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