what is the difference

  1. What is the difference in a CNA and a CMA?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   heatherbless
    Quote from BMcKenzie
    What is the difference in a CNA and a CMA?
    well- with duties--not a lot--but--you can get through a CNA I program in about 4-8 weeks and most CMA programs at community colleges last 9 months, so it depends on what you want to do with it--
    hty/
  4. by   Cindy_A
    A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant, who usually works in hospitals and nursing homes. They are the ones who give baths, help toilet pts, and many other duties.
    A CMA is a Certified Medical Assistant, who usually work in doctors offices. They take vitals on pts, sometimes give injections,and other duties. I believe it is mostly an office-type job.
  5. by   BMcKenzie
    Quote from Cindy_A
    A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant, who usually works in hospitals and nursing homes. They are the ones who give baths, help toilet pts, and many other duties.
    A CMA is a Certified Medical Assistant, who usually work in doctors offices. They take vitals on pts, sometimes give injections,and other duties. I believe it is mostly an office-type job.
    hhmmmmm. I am going to school now for the CMA, but I want to work in a hospital. After I pay off my loan, I want to return to school to be an RN. I am gettin a late start in life (I am 33 w/5 kids) but this has been my dream for a long time. They told me that without having a medical background that I need to take "baby steps" My average is 103.7 in school right now. It is challenging but I LOVE it. Thank you both so much for filling me in. I hope I made the right decision. I am starting to worry about it.
  6. by   Havin' A Party!
    Thought the difference was one is a certified nursing assistant and the other was the Country Music Awards show. ;>)
  7. by   Dr. Gonzo
    Quote from BMcKenzie
    What is the difference in a CNA and a CMA?
    CMA's usually work in clinics and CNA's usually work in hospitals.
  8. by   allacazzam
    I thought CNA's did work in nursing homes and all that good stuff, but could not give injections? Is this true.
  9. by   SFCardiacRN
    CMA's tend to work in Dr's offices. Sometimes they are asked to go beyond their training. A plastic surgeon in SF was using a CMA to recover surgical patients. After a Patient died during an overnight recovery (the CMA had given a 10X lethal dose of demoral) California finally made a law requiring 2 persons for overnight recoveries and 1 had to be an RN with ACLS cert. CMA can be a wonderful career and a real asset to a Dr's practice but be careful when asked to go beyond your training.
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from allacazzam
    I thought CNA's did work in nursing homes and all that good stuff, but could not give injections? Is this true.
    Yes, it's true. CNAs do not give ANY medications, including oral ones.

    CMAs might be trained for things like that in a doctor's office or clinic, and they work under the doctor's license.
  11. by   txspadequeenRN
    I havent read all the post yet but are we talking about med aides or medical assistants?

    Quote from BMcKenzie
    What is the difference in a CNA and a CMA?
  12. by   fyrelight74
    I'm currently in an A.S. program for Medical Assisting. CMAs/RMAs are graduates of accredited institutions-- CMAs from CAAHEP, RMAs from ABHES institutions-- who have taken and passed the CMA exam from the AAMA or the RMA exam from the AMT. There are MAs who aren't CMAs-- usually those are the ones with only on-the-job training or from a vocational school. Within the MA/CMA realm, there are 2 categories... Administrative Medical Assistants, and Clinical Medical Assistants. The clinical requires more lab hours on campus, and they are qualified to give injections, run EKGs, perform spirometry tests, check vitals, draw blood, start an IV(though we can't push meds through), etc.... with the STRICT clarification that a DOCTOR must be present in the building with which we are working. We are under his license, and therefore he must be present. THAT is why we can't work in nursing homes, home health, etc-- not always a dr present. That's also why we can't work in hospitals-- we have to receive our orders directly from a doctor. Technically, MAs only work in dr offices for that reason, and our equal partner in hospitals is an LVN/LPN (well, those who are CMAs, anyhow). We can't do catheters, push meds via IV, and several other things. We also get paid WAY LESS than nurses, but the trade off is that we don't have to have wild hours in hospitals, get our own licensing, etc.

    CNAs are basically assistants for the nurses.... and they do get the dirty jobs. They typically have less training (some just a couple of weeks!), and they work mostly in hospitals and nursing homes.

    MAs sometimes use the MA program as a starting point to get into Physician Assistant school. You get your A.S., get a few more courses in (Microbiology, etc), get your Bachelor's (though that is optional for some PA schools I think), get 2000 or so hours of medical practice hours, then apply to PA/NP school. The only difference between a PA and a Nurse Practitioner is an NP has a nursing background... they even go to the same classes/degree program, but end up with a different set of letters behind their name. That is my ultimate goal-- PA school. I have a B.A. in an unrelated field, and getting my A.S. in Medical Assisting now. After a few years of practice and a few more courses, I intend to apply to UC Davis Med School for the PA program.
  13. by   fyrelight74
    http://www.aama-ntl.org/resources/library/Role-delineation-2003.pdf

    has the list for what the MAs are qualified to do.

    Oh, yeah, MA's are not to be confused with medicine aides, although I understand they have the same initials...
  14. by   BBswan
    Another difference between PA and NP is that a PA has to work under a physician from what I understand. I know a NP can practice under their own license and obtain their own provider ID number(PIN).
    I currently work in a MIS department at a DME facility and I am going back in my memory about 2-3 years. PAs were set up in our system with the physician ID number of the physician they worked for and were were having some problems and with insurances and getting paid because the name and the PIN number did not match. I did not know a difference between them then and I may have some of the details wrong, but I know that an item prescribe by a NP was good and one prescribed by a PA was not.
    I am currently a LPN (no experience yet) working towards a RN and a coworker is going through a medical assistant program. I had not heard of a Medical Assistant before today and I am interested in the difference.
    Does the Medical Assistant fall under a nursing catagory, a physician type of certification, or neither? In other word, who regulates their certification?
    Thanks for any replys.

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