Medical Assistant vs. Nurses Aide, whats the differences?

  1. Greetings. I am currently looking to relocate my job closer to my home and schooling. I have not had to look for work as I have been at my position for about....welll a few years! I currently am going to school for my RN, but in the meantime I do not know what to do. Today, I called about a job and asked about a position. The HR asked if I had started my clinicals. I do not start them until this Aug. I hold now an associates degree for a medical assistant, which I never took the test to become certified. The HR rep told me after I completed my first semester in clinicals that I could work as a CNA. I thought I told her about my MA but maybe I didnt. I was just wondering, does it compare to a CNA? Should I call her back? It seems that in the first semester of clinicals would be the basics that I had with my MA. What should I do? Thanks for you help....I AM NOT LIKING THIS JOB HUNTING THING!!!!!!! Who would work around your school schedules *sigh* :uhoh21:
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   cherokeesummer
    Bump...

    I wanna see what everyone says to this because I'm interested in doing the same thing!
  4. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from RN2BinPA
    Greetings. I am currently looking to relocate my job closer to my home and schooling. I have not had to look for work as I have been at my position for about....welll a few years! I currently am going to school for my RN, but in the meantime I do not know what to do. Today, I called about a job and asked about a position. The HR asked if I had started my clinicals. I do not start them until this Aug. I hold now an associates degree for a medical assistant, which I never took the test to become certified. The HR rep told me after I completed my first semester in clinicals that I could work as a CNA. I thought I told her about my MA but maybe I didnt. I was just wondering, does it compare to a CNA? Should I call her back? It seems that in the first semester of clinicals would be the basics that I had with my MA. What should I do? Thanks for you help....I AM NOT LIKING THIS JOB HUNTING THING!!!!!!! Who would work around your school schedules *sigh* :uhoh21:
    Basically an MA assists the Doc, as in working in a Docs office.
    A CNA assists nurses as in LTC, home care and acute care settings.
    Many Docs hire MAs instead of nurses to work in their office with them.
  5. by   klone
    In general, Medical Assistants have more training than a CNA. An MA generally goes through a 9-month course at a technical college, whereas a CNA takes a class that can be completed in 3-4 weeks.
  6. by   RN2BinPA
    I never took the test to become a certified MA, but the HR rep told me that after my first clinical semester I could be hired as a CNA then in a few months take the test. Without being certified, but holding the associates degree, do you think I should contact her to "refresh" her mind that I DO have an MA degree? Or, should I just wait until after my first semester of RN school. When I phoned her on Friday, she seemed interested, as she phoned my house 2 times (thanks for the caller id), but then today, I do not think she knew "who" I was. I am not sure what I said on her voicemail and for some reason i was VERY nervous on the phone with her. She did mention that there was not any CNA positions open right now, but definately contact her in a few months. I am thinking I really want to get my foot in the door here, they are affliated with a hospital close by and it would be a great oppurtunity. So technically, in your opinion, I do have just as much,:uhoh21: or more, training than a CNA? Do you think with my associate's degree, but no certification that I would be able to apply for a CNA position? UGH, Im so torn. I really want a job closer to home, but I do not really know to much about the CNA vs MA. Thanks for your help!!



    T



    Quote from klone
    In general, Medical Assistants have more training than a CNA. An MA generally goes through a 9-month course at a technical college, whereas a CNA takes a class that can be completed in 3-4 weeks.
  7. by   klone
    Well, I don't know about in your area, but where I am, there are always job openings for "RN, LPN or MA" but not as many for a CNA. I would tell her that you have a MA, because due to the greater amount of training, you may be able to find a job that pays a little better, and you wouldn't have to wait until after your first semester.
  8. by   RN2BinPA
    Ok sounds good! I think I will give her a ring tomorrow, after all, she did phone my house twice, so must mean something. I was just so scared? to ask becuase if it were not an equivlance, I didnt want to look crazy. In my area, the office jobs usually call for an LPN or MA either....so seems like it would qualify for something!!! Thanks for giving me the hope!!!
  9. by   Achoo!
    I am an RMA. I went to a 2 year program. MA's are trained in clinical areas, laboratory, and administrative. We are more geared for doctors offices. Although we can draw blood, give shots, run lab tests etc, we are not trained in the hospital/ LTC areas in terms of positioning patients, I&O, making hospital beds, bed baths, and things like that.
  10. by   wonderbee
    The functions are different. The MA is trained for work in a medical office, both front and back. Blood draws, lab work and taking vitals are some of the common functions of both but the focus on each is totally different. Nursing assistants are prepared for basic nursing functions like feeding, helping patients ambulate, elimination needs (changing the diaper). A nursing assistant would be totally lost in a medical office. A medical assistant needs training for the acute or LTC setting. My daughter is an MA and she wouldn't know where to start if presented with a total care patient in a facility. You need to know how to change the diaper or offer the bedpan to someone who just had hip surgery and needed a complete bed change, for example.
  11. by   indyMA
    Quote from cherokeesummer
    Bump...

    I wanna see what everyone says to this because I'm interested in doing the same thing!
    Hi I am an MA in Indiana, and also a CNA a few years ago. I too agree that the CNA is geared more for a hospital or LTC facility, where as the MA's job descriptioin might be more of a clinical setting.. ie. the doctor's office. You must have more technical skills as an MA. and you work directly next to the doc, where as the CNA is directed by a licensed nurse, usually an RN in a hospital or nursing home. You will have more direct patient care as a CNA, which usually means bed pans and assisting with daily hygeine, feeding, and caring for the patient. Most CNA's don't do blood draws or give injections, or do EKG's or call in medicatioins for the doc. or schedule referals for the patient. Depending on where you choose to work, (type of setting) will pretty much determine your duties. Hope that helps.
  12. by   Michelle.
    Quote from klone
    In general, Medical Assistants have more training than a CNA. An MA generally goes through a 9-month course at a technical college, whereas a CNA takes a class that can be completed in 3-4 weeks.


    CNA classes are 10 weeks. in Missouri anyways.
  13. by   adamsmom
    I became a CNA at a LTC facility. I took a 13 day class and about a month of on the floor with a preceptor. I work crazy weekend hours so I can still see my kids on the weekends and be able to rest up for school during the week. My work pays for my education but I do have to work for them after I graduate. CNA work is very physical and hands on. Good luck
  14. by   truern
    I think we may be missing a critical point....can she work as a MA without being certified??

    Just asking

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