CNA vs Medical Assistant - page 7

by ZAR963 127,088 Views | 80 Comments

What is the difference between a CNA and a medical assistant?... Read More


  1. 1
    I want to go into MA program, yea I know it is about 8000-12000 and the program can be about 8-10 months and even tho /I am a CNA tho; I thought it be easier to get an MA job off the back with the CNA experience. So I plan to do CNA for a year or 2 prob 2 to get into a better position for an MA position, yea and I know the pay could be comparable too but MAs job description is more ideal than a CNA and more respect follows.
    Chris NS likes this.
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    if you are living by your self paying bills and rent it seems alot but if u still living with parents and not paying bills it dosent seem that bad
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    i would do medical assistant first but most of them require at least 1 year of bedside exp, so I thought CNA would be the best way to get into the health care field.
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    I have found a bunch of things about the field of MA that leaves much do be desired in my area (Louisiana).

    - Huge diploma mills that charge an arm and a leg for a 12 USD/hr job and flood the market with students.
    - Lab tech and phlebotomy - which is what most MAs end up doing - is a low turnover job with fewer openings than CNA.
    - Most MA graduates I have talked to at the various facilities agency sends me to had to drop to CNA work just to find a job.

    But... the plasma centers do use them. Hospital MA is a hard to get job. No one quits. And who would want to? No families. Just go get the blood for the test then carry on or work in a nice lab. Most of the MAs in my area have been there for years while CNAs get changed more than nursing home diapers.

    I have seen postings in other states though... but most want experience... hence the catch 22.

    If it were me, I would go LPN or COTA or PTA. around the same amount of school but seem to be more jobs.
    KimberlyRN89 likes this.
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    I have a friend that just finished Medical Assisstant class. She just got a job at a hospital. She starts out at $ 12.00 an hour, full-time. That's pretty good, here in Fl. Because, I am going for my cna license, and cna's only start b/w $9.00-10.50hourly to start. And that is NOT NEARLY enough, for what cna's do. My opinion- the pay scale should be switched around. Cna's $12.00-$15.00 and Med Asst. $9.00-$10.50. and they don't have to be State certified, right? I don't know. If there is such a "high demand" for nurses (of any kind), then they need to raise the pay scale.....ESPECIALLY, for the cna's. We are the backbone for the Rn's...
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    I haven't gotten the opportunity to read all of the replies posted, but to answer the question "What is the difference between a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) and a medical assistant....yes, there are many differences! A CNA is a very rudimentary program usually a 1-6 month program depending on the school and a medical assisting program is a minimum of at least 1 year (full time) and can range to 2 years. The medical assisting program is a different specialty altogether and is its focus is training a future medical assistant to manage a private practice. In many cases the medical assistant is delegated to utilize all of their training from administrative, clinical and general to work all departments. Furthermore, MA's (Medical Assistants), if certified or registered, are licensed to administer medication including injections/IV therapy, assist in surgery/Sterilize instruments and even provide exams to include ear lavages, etc. CNA's, unless certified as a PCT (Patient Care Technician- Also holds the title of CNA, but has additional training unsually provided by a hospital upon hire and must pass before they can work of the floor) are not licensed to dispense/administer medication, draw blood, or any other skilled clinical tasks since the education is minimal. Lastly, the only way a CNA can dispense/administer medication is if they are also a MT (Medication Technician or Medicine Aide) and can only do so in a facility or hospital under the direct supervision of an LPN or RN. A MT is not licensed to administer medication in the private sector (home setting) due to a nurse not being on the floor; therefore, MT's dispensing/administering medication in the home is considered illegal. Keep in mind that state to state laws vary in all disciplines, so you should always check your state's Nursing or Medical Assistant board to ensure you know your role/duties if you work in these fields.
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    Quote from cna hopeful
    My opinion- the pay scale should be switched around. Cna's $12.00-$15.00 and Med Asst. $9.00-$10.50. and they don't have to be State certified, right? I don't know. ...
    MA's are certified at the national level, though the AAMA or AMT.

    MA's also do not get just clinical duties--we are also taught the basics of billing and coding, filing insurance forms, ordering supplies, and other administrative tasks for the physician such as phoning in prescriptions. We are employed by physicians. This is why the payscale is higher. Also the longer amount of minimum schooling.
    am207 and CNA/glorified maid like this.
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    Im a CNA (future RN) and my girlfriend is a MA...she downed my CNA program while she was in school all the time...basically because it was 6 weeks and cost about 500 bucks, she thought nobody would take it serious, it would be easier to find a job as a MA and the pay would be better because of the schooling....never argued with her....2 years later, she changing her career field (now she is a future RN), nursing is where its at
    CNA/glorified maid likes this.
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    I disagree with alot of yall. Where I live (co) med assistant is 2years and cna is 2weeks. Also cna generally only works in old folks homes where ma can find better opportunities at hospital, doc office ECT..

    Hope that helps!
    HerditB4 likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from charley75
    I have been a medical assistant for 12 years and make about $18 a hour- i love it!
    I have a friend who is an MA with a hospital who makes great money, too. She has been in her field forever. However, I think that telling people that they will make that much as an MA is unrealistic. It is similar to telling people that all CNA's make hospital level pay - $20+/hr.

    While you may eventually make that much, it isn't likely that your very first or second job will pay that well.


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