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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Medical Assistants get paid more than a little over minimum wage. My cousin has been a CMA for ten years and makes around $14 an hour. Payscale.com reports a current average starting wage over $10 an hour. It is certainly not an unskilled or unprofessional job.
    At the 7-11 on the corner, their starting pay is $12/hour. Petco's starting pay over here is close to $11/hour.

    Which isn't a dig on medical assistants--just a perspective on other entry-level pay scales.

  2. #22

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    Reiterating what IceAlisa said, for things like suturing, drawing blood, etc. the one you want doing it is simply the person who has done it the most often. Which is not the doctor or perhaps likely not even the nurse when there's a medical assistant around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    The Wiki link about PAs talks about the difference between PA and NP. The former is based on the physician model and the latter on the nursing model. There are specifics of autonomy that are different as well.

    Who knows, perhaps dupa wants an NP to take her temp and BP.
    I read the article but I don't really get what it means that they are based on the different model. What is the scope of their ability to care? Can a PA set up their own clinic like an NP can? Or do they have to work in a doctor's office? (I used a PA in high school,at my doctor's office, so I know they can do the whole appointment, but I don't know if they have to get approval for drugs they are ordering, etc)

    Dupa could go to my NP's clinic- there is no one else there to take temp/BP, it's a one woman shop.
    Although, maybe the secretary is actually an MA, so I guess she could

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by altai_rose View Post
    Reiterating what IceAlisa said, for things like suturing, drawing blood, etc. the one you want doing it is simply the person who has done it the most often. Which is not the doctor or perhaps likely not even the nurse when there's a medical assistant around.
    To clarify as altai_rose undoubtedly meant, the doc would be doing the suturing, the MA would just be assisting.

    As short answer to the question above is that PA has to be supervised by an MD. I gotta run to a meeting, will discuss more later.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post


    I personally find MAs an important part of modern medical practice. Good ones can make your life as a clinician easier and the patient's experience at the office pleasant and smooth.
    I personally find MAs don't necessarily make the patient's experience pleasant and smooth at all. Maybe that's because it's not exactly difficult to become one. Any ol' body can do it. But I'm so glad they make YOUR life as a clinician easier and hey, they're cheap. Bonus!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    At the 7-11 on the corner, their starting pay is $12/hour. Petco's starting pay over here is close to $11/hour.

    Which isn't a dig on medical assistants--just a perspective on other entry-level pay scales.
    Entry level in some fields, yes. But hardly "barely over minimum wage" as dupa described it. Federal minimum wage is still only $7.25 an hour. And around here, where my cousin is making roughly $14 -last I knew- as a CMA, convenience stores are starting in the $8.50 to $9 range (trust me, my father was the president of a company that owned 14 in the area until he recently retired). Since payscale.com gives average salaries, I would guess that in regions where other pay is as high as you say, experienced CMAs are probably making more.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    But I'm so glad they make YOUR life as a clinician easier and hey, they're cheap. Bonus!
    A stressed clinician is not an effective one. If an MA is making their job easier, you are recieving better service because of it.

    You might think it's bad, but it could be much worse.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    Why would I want this person to handle some areas of my, or more importantly my kids health?
    Because, with that one year of training plus experience, they still know more about healthcare as an industry, including minor clinical tasks, than you.

    Medical Assistants function under the license of the Physician. The Physician is responsible for the care provided by a Medical Assistant in his office. A Physician would not hire a Medical Assistant if they were not competent at the tasks that the Physician allows them to do for a variety of reasons, including malpractice considerations.

    I have been working in healthcare for quite sometime, and I have met some amazing Medical Assistants. Quite frankly, there are many Physicians that might forget important details if it was not for their Medical Assistant just like many Lawyers could be lost without a good admin, even if their role is not precisely analogous.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 01-25-2011 at 09:54 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    I personally find MAs don't necessarily make the patient's experience pleasant and smooth at all. Maybe that's because it's not exactly difficult to become one. Any ol' body can do it.


    Did you have a bad experience with an MA or something?

    Most basic-level medical care CAN be done by any ol' body. Don't you take care of your kids when they're sick? How much training did you get for that? But I'll bet you manage pretty well anyway, because it's just not that hard to do.

    You said you would rather have a nurse. May I ask why?
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    A stressed clinician is not an effective one. If an MA is making their job easier, you are recieving better service because of it.
    I am? Would the clinician be even less stressed having a nurse working for them?


    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    You might think it's bad, but it could be much worse.
    So am I supposed to settle for the lesser of two evils? And when did this happen. Is it because medical costs are so out of control?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post


    You said you would rather have a nurse. May I ask why?
    I guess I'd just like a health care provider to be a little more than just any ol' body. I find nurses to be more personal when it comes to patient care. But that's just me.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    And when did this happen. Is it because medical costs are so out of control?
    This is like asking, "What is a foster child and where are all the orphanages?"

    Medical Assistants have been taking care of patients in ambulatory care settings (clinics) since the 1950s.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    This is like asking, "What is a foster child and where are all the orphanages?"

    ...
    You sound like you're a MA. Are you?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    I guess I'd just like a health care provider to be a little more than just any ol' body. I find nurses to be more personal when it comes to patient care. But that's just me.
    Again, did you have a bad experience with an MA?

    I think being personal is a matter of personality more than anything else. I've had friendly, personable MAs and brusque, grouchy nurses and vice versa.

    It doesn't take years of clinicals to learn how to take vitals and a medical history, which is pretty much what MAs do. I don't understand how a nurse would, by definition, do those things better. But then, I also don't understand why people feel the need to see a doctor instead of a PA or NP when they have a minor problem, or why they have to see a specialist instead of a family doctor for routine care. Yeah, sometimes you need someone with more knowledge and training. Most of the time, you really don't.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    To clarify as altai_rose undoubtedly meant, the doc would be doing the suturing, the MA would just be assisting.

    As short answer to the question above is that PA has to be supervised by an MD. I gotta run to a meeting, will discuss more later.
    Yup. My point is that the person who you want doing these things is the person who has the most experience doing them.

    dupa, let's take a look at some of America's future doctors--my classmates. Some of us go out and party a lot, get drunk a lot, cram for exams, etc. Others have an appalling grasp of basic anatomy or care more about the disease than about the patient and perhaps will only go into residency as a "back up plan" in case they can't get a faculty position in a basic science lab. Does that make you feel better?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    I personally find MAs don't necessarily make the patient's experience pleasant and smooth at all. Maybe that's because it's not exactly difficult to become one.
    And may be it's because you had a bad experience. There are bad apples in every profession.
    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    Any ol' body can do it. But I'm so glad they make YOUR life as a clinician easier and hey, they're cheap. Bonus!
    I find it puzzling that the cost of health care is not a concern. You must be very rich. Our health care system is tiered and that's one of the ways to contain cost while providing high quality care as well as being efficient. The profession of PA is currently being studied by other countries.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think being personal is a matter of personality more than anything else. I've had friendly, personable MAs and brusque, grouchy nurses and vice versa.
    And hey, don't forget surgeons. They are the OGMs of grouchy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    It doesn't take years of clinicals to learn how to take vitals and a medical history, which is pretty much what MAs do. I don't understand how a nurse would, by definition, do those things better. But then, I also don't understand why people feel the need to see a doctor instead of a PA or NP when they have a minor problem, or why they have to see a specialist instead of a family doctor for routine care. Yeah, sometimes you need someone with more knowledge and training. Most of the time, you really don't.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 01-25-2011 at 10:54 PM.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  17. #37

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    Here, a Nurse Practitioner is pretty much a GP. The program is relatively new (had its first crop of graduates within the last ten years) and was established to say the health care system money. NPs make less than doctors- but certainly make a very decent salary - and do pretty much everything that GPs do, aside from prescribing narcotics. And I assume there are other limits to their practice. A NP can in specialized areas such as peri-natal care, but I don't think they can go into surgery.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    You sound like you're a MA. Are you?
    If I was, it would not bother me so long as I was working towards something more inline with my capacity, not unlike MDs that worked as EMTs, RNs that worked as MAs, X-Ray Techs that worked as receptionists. It takes all kinds to build a healthcare team.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 01-25-2011 at 11:16 PM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Again, did you have a bad experience with an MA?

    I think being personal is a matter of personality more than anything else. I've had friendly, personable MAs and brusque, grouchy nurses and vice versa.

    It doesn't take years of clinicals to learn how to take vitals and a medical history, which is pretty much what MAs do. I don't understand how a nurse would, by definition, do those things better. But then, I also don't understand why people feel the need to see a doctor instead of a PA or NP when they have a minor problem, or why they have to see a specialist instead of a family doctor for routine care. Yeah, sometimes you need someone with more knowledge and training. Most of the time, you really don't.
    I very rarely go to the doctor and neither do my kids. Other than my OB where I either saw her or one of her midwives I've only just established a relationship with a "primary care provider" in the last three years. My kids see her now too as they have outgrown their pediatrician. Believe it or not we all go once a year for our yearly check up. Bar regular child care checkups at the pediatrician, one cold last month for my older daughter who had a really bad cough for a month and my younger daughter spraining her ankle three years ago that's it. We are very lucky that we are as healthy as we are.

    The pediatrician's office always had a nurse (several over the years) who was very nice. I'm a little surprised I guess at how things are at the new office and the MA was kind of a bitch. For someone who goes to the doctor all the time I suppose it's just another day at the office. So I'm thinking, where're all the nurses? They're always very nice.

    My daughter has "post viral bronchial spasms" which I suppose is the new term for 'we refuse to give you antibiotics unless you are dying of pneumonia and have a fever of 105.'

  20. #40
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    Well, you must have met a mean MA. I assure you there are plenty of nice ones out there. And plenty of not so nice nurses. And vice versa. And don't let me get started on doctors, especially some surgical professions.

    Yes, they do try not to give antibiotics unless they absolutely have to, to prevent the development of resistant strains.

    Here's another recent development in tiered medicine: nurse anesthetist. So if you are having a routine procedure that doesn't require an ICU stay, chances are you could have a highly trained nurse managing your anesthesia, under the supervision of an MD.

    Like altai_rose said, and I find this very important: it doesn't matter what the letters after the name are, rather the amount of practice/experience they've had.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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