LPN vs. MA vs. CNA ??? HELP

  1. 0
    Hi; I'm a newbe and as ignorant as they come... and this after volunteering in a large hospital in seattle (but really even as a volunteer you can't stop people and ask them what they are and what they do, at least not easily or often).
    I'm 50 and thinking of going to school. I very confident that I have the physical stamina and the brain power to get through the LPN or MA courses but the REAL problem is I can't tell the difference between what a Med. Assistant really does and what a LPN does and really with all that I've heard maybe the easiest bet is to just take CNA training and forget the whole thing.
    So what does an LPN make, what do they do as compared to a Medical Assistant... Also the hospitals are only hiring MA's around here, but wouldn't an LPN have the very same qualifications? if not better? Forget about becomming an RN as I would not be willing to invest the time/money into that schooling.
    PLEASE ALL information would be really appreciated. THANKS!!!
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Hello new hear myself.
    I'm considering the same thing I'm currently 36 wanting to pursue a R.N career although i have to start @ the bottom of barrell so I will do the C.N.A first then on to L.P.N why the C.N.A first you may ask ??
    With the C.N.A i can get a foot in the door let them know what your plans are so they will be more willing to work with you or possibly a full scholarship, to help you through the school that you may choose.
    Good luck in what ever you do.
    The age thing you spoke about really think about it the way i see it if let the inner kid out, of yourself life will be no fun always always keep some kid at heart just my own personqal opion on that matter Sincerely Jerry Prospective student :spin:
  6. 2
    I'm a CMA and have been for 7 years. Here is the rundown on the CMA/LPN/CNA.

    As a CMA, I work in a clinic setting. CMA's are specifically trained for work in doctor's offices, not hospitals. Though, some hospitals are now hiring CMA's and retitling them Patient Care Assistants. In the clinic, I do phlebotomy, give injections and oral meds, catherize, do telephone triage and assit with minor surgeries. I also do OB teaching/counseling and a variety of other duties. I LOVE IT! The LPN's in my clinic do the exact same jobs as I do with the same exact pay. However, as a CMA I do not deal with IV's, work with speciality physicians like Cardiology, urology, etc, handle walk-in testing like pregnancy tests or do any independant patient assessments.

    In the hospital, LPN's do many,many different things. PRetty much total patient care, with the exception of IV's ( depends on the state).

    CNA's do not assist a physician in the same way a CMA/LPN does. They take care of a patient's physical needs like bathing, grooming, exercising, vitals, etc. They do not draw blood, give meds ( here in WI anyway) or assist with procedures.

    I have absolutely LOVED my experience as a CMA, and though I am now a nursing student, I haven't regretted being a CMA at all. It's very exciting, especially if you work in a clinic that will allow you to use all of your skills. Most clinics are hiring CMA's and the demand for them is great.

    I currently make $13 an hour as a CMA, but that's after 7 years. The pay isn't as much as a hospital LPN would make. The CNA's at our hospital make about the same as I do.

    My advice is that CMA training is always valuable. However, if you're long term goal is to be an LPN/RN, go for it right away. You will make more money and have many job opportunities. For me, being a CMA was beneficial because I have little kids and dont have to work nights/holidays, etc. I will be taking a distance CMA-LPN-RN program shortly, as I am ready for more knowledge and responsibility.

    If you have more questions about CMA, feel free to pm me. Good luck in what you decide!

    Lisa
    kfuller and rtimmons like this.
  7. 0
    I am a Regitered Medical Assistant and it has been a GREAT experience. I plan to become an RN. I can do IVs under the guidence of the doctor I worked for. He was internal medicine and taught me how to start IVs out of necessity. I was not allowed to start if he was not in the office. Medical assisting is a large field and covers a lot of territory. I learned a lot. But, if you can, just go staight to nursing school.
  8. 0
    Hi! I'm in a similar boat, or at least I was back in December when you posted. I almost went for the CMA course, but realized that the emphasis of the course being split between clinical work and office work wasn't really efficient for me. I actually took some of those courses previously when I went to a (nonaccredited) junior college of business years ago. I've been a medical transcriptionist, but I don't like working at home. It's boring.

    I settled on the LPN program because the RN one takes too long before you get into the clinical training. After I become an LPN I can decide whether I need to go for the RN.

    You can check out salaries in your area for various careers at salary.com. It appears that I should start at a similar rate as what I was making after 15 years as a medical transcriptionist, and since I was near the top in pay for MT, I am certain I can earn more as an LPN with time.

    All I have to do now is take the COMPASS tests, and then I can submit my application. Cross your fingers for me.


    >>I'm 50 and thinking of going to school. I very confident that I have the physical stamina and the brain power to get through the LPN or MA courses but the REAL problem is I can't tell the difference between what a Med. Assistant really does and what a LPN does and really with all that I've heard maybe the easiest bet is to just take CNA training and forget the whole thing.
    So what does an LPN make, what do they do as compared to a Medical Assistant... Also the hospitals are only hiring MA's around here, but wouldn't an LPN have the very same qualifications? if not better? Forget about becomming an RN as I would not be willing to invest the time/money into that schooling.
    PLEASE ALL information would be really appreciated. THANKS!!!
  9. 0
    Hi,
    I am a CMA in NC. I am in a family practice/ urgent care. I have found that it really depends on where you are as to the duties you can preform. In the setting I am in I do all of the same jobs as the LPNs I work with. I work with a FNP, there are three in our office and 4 docs. There are other places where the CMAs work under an RN or LPN. The hospital settings only allow a CMA to do the jobs of CNAIIs from what I have found in the job outlines that I have read. I am considering going back to get my LPN because there is a great difference in the pay between LPN and CMA where I am employed. The breakdown in NC is as follows: RN two year degree, LPN diploma courses range from 12 to 16 months, CMA is a two year degree although some offer a diploma program. I hope that helps; pay ranges widely too depending on where you go and what all you are allowed to do under a CMA title, I have friends that are CMA's that do not have much patient contact, I however preform everything from strep cultures to wound care to assisting with surgery to wet preps and blood draws. It really depends on the place you are at. I am going to take my transcipts to the schools here to see if all the classes I already have can transfer over, if so it is worth it to me to do and go for my LPN. If not I may bite the bullet and go for RN. Any feedback on if my classes would transer and which way to go would be great!! Classes were anatomy I and II, pathophisilogy, pharmacology, psych, invasive procedures, CPR, EKG interpretation, med law and ethics, etc. I did come out with an associate degree and had a GPA of 3.96 so I did okay. Good Luck in whatever you decide.
    Olivia
  10. 0
    I have been as CMA since 2002. I love it, but it became not enough fairly fast. I had to wait until I could go back to nursing for awhile, but I just started in a BSN program. Although I some times wish I had been a CNA instead since they have more hospital experience, I have already been drawing blood, giving shots, meds, office procedures, dealing with ins companies, ect. It has been a great steping stone in the direction of my nursing career. A lot of the ladies I work with are in their fourties and totally content with their jobs.

    Where I live MA get paid nothing. I have been at my job since I graduated and I only get $9/hr no benifits (program is one year). CNAs start about $11/hr (one class one semester) and LVNs start out at about $14. (one and a half years)
  11. 0
    when going to school for a lpn diploma/degree are you trained in the same areas as a cna i mean on brushing the patients teeth and changings? or because a lpn duties are different is that not included?
  12. 0
    Quote from SunnyRn2B
    I am a Regitered Medical Assistant and it has been a GREAT experience. I plan to become an RN. I can do IVs under the guidence of the doctor I worked for. He was internal medicine and taught me how to start IVs out of necessity. I was not allowed to start if he was not in the office. Medical assisting is a large field and covers a lot of territory. I learned a lot. But, if you can, just go staight to nursing school.

    Hi.. Please email me.. I need to know some things. I would much rather work in a doctors office then a hospital or home care. What is the difference between a RMA and a CMA? Any difference in pay etc ? Also.. what made you decide to do this instead of LPN OR RN first? Also.. do you prefer doctors offices? I read some blogs that CMAs are getting paid a few or so dollars less in drs. Offices. Also.. what do/did you start hourly with.. I know.. its a year program.. but to get out and have to re pay the loan and make 12-13.00 is low isnt it? Do you have to do insurance? I am not interested in that area. The doctors office here.. has a lower level where they send patients to get blood taken the CMAs don't do that in Dean Health Care.. In WI. They do basic care.. and so on. But.. The nurses in the doctors office are not half as stressed out as my bff that is a RN who works in a hospital. Also.. are these jobs in doctors offices hard to find? Because someone above said something about some hospitals will accept CMAs or RDAs? Last Question: How can you attend school for RN which is full time days.. while working full time days at a doctors office to support ones self? I am so.. interested in what you have to say. Please email me back starrfillednights2007@yahoo.com. Thank You... HUGS Leah... P>S> ... Glad to hear you love it.. all the nurses I spoke to in doctors office love it .. that I talked to also.
  13. 0
    Quote from shania534
    when going to school for a lpn diploma/degree are you trained in the same areas as a cna i mean on brushing the patients teeth and changings? or because a lpn duties are different is that not included?
    I'm a MA in a LPN program and I can say from my experience that the emphasis is more on patient assessment and pharmacology than on things like patient hygiene. I suppose that is considered a responsibility of the CNA?


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