Medical Assistant Prog before nursing

  1. HI all

    I just started a 6 month med. assistant program in St Louis area (will finish May 2007). I feel this will give me valuable experience before I apply to nursing. I have all my prereq done except for chem and anatomy.

    Does anyone out there start out as medical assistant first.?

    Thanks
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   lisabeth
    I am sure it will help. Any experience will help when you start nursing school or when you become a nurse. Good luck.
    Quote from carlarenee02
    HI all

    I just started a 6 month med. assistant program in St Louis area (will finish May 2007). I feel this will give me valuable experience before I apply to nursing. I have all my prereq done except for chem and anatomy.

    Does anyone out there start out as medical assistant first.?

    Thanks
  4. by   Irene joy
    I'm seriously thinking of getting into the nursing assistant program after I'm done with pre-requs (only one left to take). The program is only 12 wks long and evan if I never work as an NA, I will aquire alot of clinical skills, and I'll have alittle more confidence when it comes to actual nursing school, as I have no previous medical experiance.
  5. by   hlfpnt
    I had about 8 years experience as a MA. It was helpful, but not as much as I would have liked. The experience in blood draws, injections, vital signs, wound care & patient interactions was helpful...at least I was comfortable & confident with these skills. The MA training is geared more toward ambulatory settings (ie physicians offices, clinics, etc.). This is a whole different ball game from the hospital setting. I think CNA would have been more beneficial to me because their training is more specific toward hospital type care & that's usually where they work so they get good exposure. I don't feel my training & experience were a waste of my time because I loved my job...I just wanted to be able to give more in depth patient care.
  6. by   carlarenee02
    I reside in St. Louis MO area and many hospitals in this area will train someone without already being an CNA. That is one position I have applied for already. Different hospitals call CNA different titles such as Patient Care Associate, etc.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I completed a medical assisting program in 2000 and an LVN program in 2005. The medical assistant program helped with the medical terminology aspects and injections, but that's about it. It did not help one bit with the most important skills of all: critical thinking, application, and analysis.
  8. by   RN1263
    i'm a senior nursing student and becoming a nursing assistant is way cheaper & shorter schooling, than MA. also, it will help you in the nursing program, because you can get a job on a med/surg floor and get a feel for what bedside nursing is all about. just my 2 cents!
  9. by   hlfpnt
    Quote from TheCommuter
    The medical assistant program helped with the medical terminology aspects and injections, but that's about it. It did not help one bit with the most important skills of all: critical thinking, application, and analysis.

    Ditto!
  10. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I did. I wanted to find out if I like the medical field like I thought I did, and the MA program at the CC was only one year. I knew that many people spend years going to college to get a degree to only find out it is not really for them. It gave me a chance to get my feet wet and reassured me that the medical field was right for me. I worked for four years before going back to school but would have gone sooner if there was not financial problems.
  11. by   carlarenee02
    I am planning to combine CNA training (thur hospital training) with my Medical Asst training when I work in the hospital prior to nursing program. What is others opinion on this? I like a little jof both worlds

    Thanks.
  12. by   smk1
    If you are going to have a long wait before the nursing program and need to work I would suggest CNA or maybe getting in to the hospital as a tele tech etc... I think paying for MA school might be spendy if you already know you want to go straight to nursing, try to keep it cheap I always say!
  13. by   carlarenee02
    In St Louis, MO at the hospitals, it is next to impossible to get on at hospital as CNA unless you are in nursing school or have medical background. I thought MA school is better than no med background.
  14. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from carlarenee02
    In St Louis, MO at the hospitals, it is next to impossible to get on at hospital as CNA unless you are in nursing school or have medical background. I thought MA school is better than no med background.
    If you're going to spend more than $2,000 on the MA program, don't do it. The salaries are pitiful and the schooling won't help much with the nursing program. The CNA route is the way to go. The training is cheaper and the job description and duties are more pertinent to the field of nursing.

    Hospitals are not the only places that employ CNAs. Nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other extended care facilities all need CNAs.

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