1. CNA training may be applied to nursing school for partial credit at many colleges or universities, whereas medical assistants would likely need to start a nursing program from the very beginning. Both medical assistants and certified nursing assistants She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys, Hannah Meinke | CNA coursework can take place mostly online or entirely on campus, but even online schools require a minimum number of in-person clinical hours to give the student hands-on experience in the field. These programs teach medical terminology and anatomy that provide a solid foundation for a healthcare career. Both professions involve working with patients but at different levels. For nursing assistants, … CNAs: Nursing assistant programs take a shorter period of six to 12 weeks, although the period varies by state. Becoming a CNA requires more training than becoming a medical assistant; therefore, CNAs often have an easier time progressing into a career as an RN. Medical Assistant program vs CNA You see, medical assistants are required to complete a 2-year degree program to pursue a career in this field. On the administrative side, you can find MAs scheduling appointments and keeping patient records up to date with correct family history and new information from the visit. Both occupations involve working with patients and collaborating with nurses and physicians in medical settings. The Perfect First Step for Aspiring Nurses. Which is fantastic, remember becoming a medical assistant is 8 to 15 months. While their schedule will vary depending on their workplace, they can have the opportunity for a more standard 9 to 5 work week. Amazingly, Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs have even a shorter training/education stint than MAs — anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months, depending on the type of program they get accepted into. For those considering a career in the medical field who may not want to dedicate years to medical school, becoming a medical assistant or nursing assistant is an excellent option. A medical assistant or clinical assistant is a healthcare professional who assists doctors and other health professionals complete clinical and administrative tasks. Medical assistants aren’t required to have a postsecondary degree, though the BLS notes that employers may prefer candidates who have gone through an MA training program. The primary function of administrative medical assistants is clerical. Medical assistants typically work in clinics or ambulatory care. Fiberglass splints, wound care, wound dressings, set the doctors up with suture kits, assist doctors with pelvic exams, collect specimens and take them to lab, take patients to xray, ct, ultrasound, assist the nurses in whatever they need, take vital signs, register patients when they come in thru triage and be an all around gopher. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical duties. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited college authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Medical assistance programs are more rigorous and include classes on anatomy and medical terminology. Some of them are also trained on the job by participating in special employer-led training programs. Related: Learn About Being a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). Related: Learn About Being a Medical Assistant. For example, years of experience, the type of setting where they work, and the shift they work may impact the hourly rate offered. MA duties depend on the specialty and size of the employer, location and level of training. Once MAs have landed that job, they can expect to earn a median annual wage of $32,480.1, CNAs are also enjoying faster than average job growth of 11 percent from 2016 through 2026, according to the BLS. CNAs spend most of their shift on their feet. Committing to at least an Associate’s degree to become a registered nurse sounds like too much for you right now. In any job search, you have to sort through many job postings to find the ones that are right for you. 3Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 176,594 nursing assistant job postings, July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018). That however, is where the similarities end. They use protective gear such as caps, gown, masks, gloves and goggles. They usually do this under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses. To become a medical assistant vs. CNA, CNAs are required 75 hours of training. Medical Assistant vs CNA: Salary Differences As per BLS May 2019 occupational employment and wages report, medical assistants in the USA earned an hourly pay of $17.17 and an annual salary of $35,720 on an average. They spend much of their shifts walking or moving. Medical assistants are most likely to be found in a clinic setting, with 57 percent working in physicians’ offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants and nursing assistants can work in various healthcare settings. [1] According to BLS, the median salary for a medical assistant is $32,480 per year, as of 2017. Medical assistants perform more administrative duties than CNA’s do. This article answers the commonly asked questions regarding MAs and CNAs to help you decide which is right for you. Their roles overlap but both have distinct areas of expertise and responsibilities. Once your education is complete, you officially become a CNA by passing a state-mandated competency exam. These habits can sometimes increase the chances of getting a positive response from employers. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college. … LPN vs. CNA Job Duties and Work Settings Both CNAs and LPNs are integral parts of a patient’s care, and some of their duties may overlap. The position of an MA focuses on the medical care of the patient, as well as the administrative work. There are, however, some important differences in the kinds of patient care each professional can provide. They also provide internships, allowing candidates to gain valuable hands-on experience before beginning a career. However, the workload is usually heavy, so you must have a high level of physical and mental strength. You don’t want to choose a career path based on salary alone, but you do need to know that the time you invest in a new career will lead you to a stable job with plenty of opportunities for the foreseeable future. The main difference between an MA and a CNA is that MAs perform clinical and administrative duties while CNAs act as nurse aids. More info. Please correct the errors and submit again. The first step is to learn the basics of patient care at a state-approved program and then gain experience through clinical work, according to the BLS. MA’s … Here are some other differences: MAs: Becoming an MA is more demanding than training as a CNA. The BLS reports that most CNAs work in nursing care facilities (40 percent) or assisted living facilities (11 percent).1 They’re also more likely to work in hospitals than MAs. A smaller percentage works in home healthcare. Medical assistants aren’t required to have a postsecondary degree, though the BLS notes that employers may prefer candidates who have gone through an MA training program. 4Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term. Here, you run tests, record samples and compile patient data. Only 15 percent work in hospitals, and the remainder can be found in outpatient facilities or chiropractors’ offices.1 Because many of these healthcare locations maintain daytime hours only, MAs are less likely to be scheduled to work overnight shifts or during holidays. A CNA’s work of providing day-to-day care makes them a valuable part of any healthcare facility where patients may need to stay long-term. Medical Assistant vs. CNA. Understanding the differences and similarities between the two can help you make an informed career choice. 2. Nursing assistants earn an average of $13.65 per hour. Medical Assistant vs. CNA Responsibilities: Despite the similar titles of a Medical Assistant and Nursing Assistant, the job duties differ significantly between these two careers. How to Become a Medical Assistant: 5 Steps You Can’t Ignore. They both assist doctors, nurses and other health-care providers with treatments, procedures and tests. They also need on-the-job training to learn the employer's policies and operational procedures. A CNA, also known as a certified nurse assistant or nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who supports nurses with direct patient care. Typical programs last between 6 and 12 weeks. I work in the ER and I do many different things. The role requires physical strength and stamina as they must be strong enough to lift objects that weigh 50 pounds or more. : The BLS (May 2016) reported that there are 200,140 medical records and health information technicians—an occupational category closely related to coding—employed in the U.S. By selecting "Submit", I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and certified medical assistants (CMAs) are both allied health care service providers or professionals who work with patients of all ages and physical conditions. Clinical MAs have similar functions as CNAs and work closely with patients. How Much Does a Medical Assistant vs. CNA Earn? Thanks to the aging baby boomer population, the BLS predicts employment for this healthcare job to grow by 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. They have less of a hand in traditional medical duties and instead focus on helping patients with basic care in hospitals or nursing homes. What is the difference between Medical Assistant and CNA? Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Medical Coder; Number practicing in the United States: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2016) reports that there were 623,560 medical assistants employed throughout the country. Medical assistants have an average annual salary of $34,800. Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of a medical assistant vs. CNA job. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. They can also work as home health aides or in hospice. Medical assistants and CNAs can choose to work with researchers in the medical field. Talk with an admissions advisor today. Medical assistants (MA) and certified nursing assistants (CNA) are health-care careers that involve working with patients of all ages and physical condition, providing them with high quality patient care. It's important to know the educational qualifications of the state you want to practice in before choosing a training institution. MA’s will administer injections, medications, and take the patients health information. First things first, a position as a CNA is not the same as a MA. Typical salaries range from $7.25 to $27.70 per hour, depending on location, experience and qualifications. This is an ideal work environment for administrative clinical assistants. © 2021 Rasmussen College, LLC. Like CNAs, they work 40-hour weeks but can also have part-time shifts. On the patient care side, their job duties typically include taking vital signs, administering shots and medication, preparing blood samples for lab testing and helping physicians complete exams. While the tasks of a CNA vs Medical Assistant may be different, the skill set required to accomplish those tasks are quite similar. • Medical assistant requires the presence of a doctor in a healthcare setting whereas CNA is more of a help to nurses. Typically, CNAs require 75 hours of state-approved training and a competency test to be certified. CNAs help with bedside patient care, take samples and support registered nurses' needs. • Medical assistants perform more of administrative and clerical duties than CNAs. There is no obligation to enroll. You’ve seen the full rundown of what it means to be a medical assistant versus a CNA. They are supervised by registered nurses and report directly to them in case of any issues with the patient. This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Medical assistants have ample opportunities to work in private practices. Activities of daily living (ADLS) assistance, Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify). Connect with Rasmussen College on Facebook, Connect with Rasmussen College on Instagram, Connect with Rasmussen College on LinkedIn, Connect with Rasmussen College on Pinterest, Connect with Rasmussen College on Twitter, Connect with Rasmussen College on Youtube, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, Information Technology Project Management, CNAs work in nursing care facilities (40 percent), What Is a CNA? Some factors may influence the rate of pay for both CMAs and CNAs. Some employers offer part-time shifts, and nursing assistants also work on weekends and holidays on a rotating basis. Though MAs and CNAs are both essential to patient care, you won’t need a four-year degree to get started in one of these careers. The work of CNAs exposes them to bodily fluids. A Medical Assistant can work in a variety of healthcare facilities including doctor’s offices, clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals. 2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 97,069 medical assistant job postings, July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018). Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. 09.14.2020, Kirsten Slyter | Some states may also have additional requirements, like passing a background check or completing continuing education. Medical assistants and CNAs have plenty of job opportunities in the healthcare industry. If you'd like to know more about becoming a CNA, check out our article, "What Is a CNA? You’re ready to stop daydreaming and start narrowing down your options for healthcare careers. Medical assistant vs. CNA: Education requirements Though MAs and CNAs are both essential to patient care, you won’t need a four-year degree to get started in one of these careers. While both positions work in healthcare assistance, they have different responsibilities, duties, and educational and certification requirements. They also take patients’ vital signs and communicate their patients’ health concerns to nurses. If you are comfortable with hands-on patient care, a CNA role will suit you. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Luckily, there are plenty of other entry-level healthcare jobs to get your foot in the door of this satisfying field—you just don’t might not know the difference between them. CNAs, on the other hand, work directly with patients all the time. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. The average CMA makes between $30,000 and $35,000 per year, a difference between 20 percent and 40 percent. [2] Please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website for more salary information. A CNA, also known as a certified nurse assistant or nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who supports nurses with direct patient care. The good news is, earning a Medical Assisting Diploma can take as few as 12 months to complete, allowing you to embark on your new healthcare career sooner than later. Both careers require certification and a state license. Lately that call has gotten too strong to ignore. We’re breaking down the differences between these vital healthcare roles, so you can take your vision further and choose the best healthcare position for your skills and interests. Certified Nursing Assistants work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities, and home health care. CNAs, on the other hand, do well with strong communication skills and the physical stamina required to adequately care for their patients. So you may need to certify again if you move or take a job in another state. A Medical Assistant is a bit different than a CNA. Be selective, organized and efficient when you're searching for a job. It may be in your best interest to have some schooling under your belt before you pursue becoming an MA. The valuable care CNAs provide is needed round-the-clock, so they’re more likely to have a schedule with overnight, weekend and holiday shifts. Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. Most of the positions deal with direct patient care, making it difficult at times to know the difference between roles. As noted above, Medical Assistants are responsible for both administrative and clinical tasks. This is more than four times the national average of seven percent growth. Follow these five guidelines to narrow in on the best. 10.19.2020, Kirsten Slyter | Now it’s up to you to decide which of these career paths could be your first step into the world of healthcare. Education ads list training time as full associates degrees (2 yrs). You know that entering the healthcare field means learning new technical and medical skills. Easily apply to jobs with an Indeed Resume, 3 Habits That Could Increase Your Chances of Getting the Job, Medical Assistants vs. CNAs: Everything You Need to Know. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. They walk, stand, bend, kneel, push and lift for long hours. Entering the healthcare profession may be done in several ways. They maintain patient medical records, answer phones, oversee inventory, schedule patient appointments and perform other desk-top tasks. The differences only continue from there. Their clinical training provides adequate knowledge of how to handle these fluids and infectious diseases. Working in a hospital provides ample hands-on experience, which you can leverage if you want to pursue advanced health studies. ", If you feel a career as a medical assistant is right for you, learn more by checking out our article, “How to Become a Medical Assistant: 5 Steps You Can’t Ignore.”. Related: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN). Unlike medical assistants, CNAs do not perform administrative duties. The program you have selected is not available in your area. When compared to medical assistants, CNAs have a much shorter training period. However, a CNA’s duties are more specific. Based on your experience, location and personal choices, you can work in these healthcare facilities: Hospitals provide medical assistants and nurse aides a fast-paced work environment where they can put their skills to the best use. Certified nursing assistants earned a median annual wage of $27,520 in May 2017 [vi] . Deciding between a medical assistant versus a CNA career doesn’t have to be difficult. However, many CNA training programs do not include internships or other hands-on experience, so students must arrange such experience on their own. CNAs provide hands-on care including assisting patients with feeding and bathing. This role requires extra training and certification. Their job duties include helping patients get dressed, bathe or shower, eat their meals and transfer between a bed and a wheelchair. These facilities are also called assisted living centers and cater to the elderly. Nursing assistants are responsible for patient safety and take preventative measures to ensure their comfort and recovery. What's the difference between a medical assistant vs. a CNA. CNA vs CMA hourly wages range from $13.77 per hour for certified nursing assistants to $16.28 for certified medical assistants. In any job search, you run tests, record samples and support doctors medical. 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