Which has more responsibility/patient interaction: CNA or Medical Assistant? - page 2

I'm trying to get patient care experience working in the medical field for PA school. I need something with a lot of patient interaction, and I'd prefer to have a bit of responsibility. Which should I look to work as, a CNA or... Read More

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    That is true about different states. I was just trying to illustrate that they are very different fields. Healthy people only see their MA taking their VS once a year and have no idea what else they do. The same goes the other way. A MA cannot do everything a CNA can do. I watch a family ask an MA to toilet their grandma at an appointment. The MA looked so confused. They had never navigated an adult brief and had no idea what to do.
    MA_Davis and SHGR like this.

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    MA's cannot give injections in my states either (Arkansas), it is illegal. The only things they do here are draw blood and check patients in. They cannot even hook a patient up to O2 because it is considered a medication. They can assist the provider in the room with things such as paps and other procedures, but all that consists of is handing the provider the tools that they need. They are not allowed to call patients with results of tests, unless the provider tells them exactly what to tell the patient. It also does not take a year for them to get their license here. So it is completely up to you and the kind of facility you are looking to work in. If you want a clinic, MA is the way to go. Hospital then go the CNA route.
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    Quote from grownuprosie
    That is true about different states. I was just trying to illustrate that they are very different fields. Healthy people only see their MA taking their VS once a year and have no idea what else they do. The same goes the other way. A MA cannot do everything a CNA can do. I watch a family ask an MA to toilet their grandma at an appointment. The MA looked so confused. They had never navigated an adult brief and had no idea what to do.
    The above statement is so right on! We had a patient fall, and who helped me pick her up? Two docs, that's who. Also, I didn't realize that MAs don't give injections in every state. Ours give immunizations all day every day. We do a ton of well child checks and depo-provera.

    Please know that neither MA nor CNA nor RN or anyone else is better than anyone else. I think some people might misread these responses. All jobs are different, important, crucial. Also, one person may see being an MA or a CNA as a fulfilling career, and another as a stepping stone. There is nothing wrong with either path.
    MA_Davis, grownuprosie, and JDZ344 like this.
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    WHat is you Bachelor's in. PA school is a Master's program.
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    CMA school would be more beneficial than CNA school, because you learn more. CMAs also have a little more responsibility I think. The only way I can see being a CNA as more beneficial is if you plan on being a PA in some sort of an acute care setting, then it might be more valuable to work as a CNA in a hospital.

    One advantage to being a CNA is there are probably a lot more jobs available if you plan on working your way through school. Problem is, being a CNA can be really hard work with the potential for injury, so its possible you could end up getting your CNA, but will run away as fast as you can from the job after getting some exposure to it.

    I doubt there are many PAs who ever worked as a CNA. I think CNA would be something future RNs tend to do.

    I also dont think things like toileting people or ADLs or bedside care is something PAs ever do, so the type of patient interactions you do as a CNA arent likely to be very beneficial unless you plan on being an RN
    Last edit by funtimes on Jun 5, '12
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    OP:

    not sure what state you are in, but in CA it would be better to become a MA vs a CNA. the PA schools here suggest you to become a medical assistant, EMT, LVN and so forth, CNA exp does not usually count unless you are employed in the ER or similar area, which is a harder job to get as a CNA. like the above poster said, being a CNA is a better stepping stone to becoming an RN. i personally am consdering the idea of prep for PA school or pharmacy school, and am considering becoming a MA.
    MA_Davis likes this.
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    I would do neither. You'd get more relevant experience as an EMT-B.Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the experience had to be uncompensated. Maybe that has changed.
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    Quote from OCNRN63
    I would do neither. You'd get more relevant experience as an EMT-B.Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the experience had to be uncompensated. Maybe that has changed.
    This may be an old requirement. All the nursing schools that I have looked into considered CNA experience for application purposes.


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