Forgive my ignorance, I've been researching and trying to weed through the actual information and the "information" from schools advertising their programs. What is the real difference between a CNA, a Patient Care Technician, and a Medical Assistant? I am currently attending nursing school for my RN, but am still in the prerequisite phase. I would like to obtain a CNA, PCT, or MA certificate in the meantime so I can gain some experience, I have 12 years in the IT field and very little medical experience outside of volunteer work. Which is the best route to take? My goal is to work in a hospital, preferably peds but obviously anywhere will do at this juncture. Any advice? The more I can do online the better, I have two small children and I'm a single mother. Specifically I have the following questions:
1. What is the difference in actual job duties?
2. Which certification is most useful when applied to an RN?
3. Which certification has the best job outlook?
4. Which certification is most likely to lead to a job with more patient care and less office work?
5. Is it feasible to get any of these certifications online? If so, does anyone know of reputable programs?
Thanks in advance everyone!