1. Are Certified Nurse Assistant and Certified Medical Assistant the same thing? And if not what is the difference between the two (as in duties,pay,how do you become a cma, etc)?
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    About MVitiello

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 48; Likes: 3
    Nursing student; from US


  3. by   jb2u
    They are different. Although, I went to medical assisting school, got certified, and worked as a cna.

    The difference really is in what they are there for.

    CNAs learn how to assist the nurse with nursing care.

    CMAs learn to assist the doctor with medical care.

    Some tasks are the same, such as vital signs, drawing blood, doing EKGs.

    Some are different CMAs give shots while CNAs don't.
    I didn't learn to give baths, but in CNA training I did.

    CNAs are more likely to work in nursing homes and hospitals.
    CMAs are more likely to work in the doctor's office.

    The programs to become a CMA are longer, and some are associate degree programs.
    You can find some nursing homes that will train you to become a CNA for free.

    I was paid the same when I worked as a CMA and as a CNA. One office did pay me more as a CMA, but it is still comparable.

    I am sure some of our wonderful CNAs here on allnurses will come along and better answer this question for you.
  4. by   nguyency77
    Depends what you mean by CMA. In most cases it means Certified Medical Assistant, but at the place where I work, our Medication Aides wear name tags with "CMA."

    CMA are usually found in doctor's offices. They do simple procedures, take patient history, and usually do vital signs. It costs much more to become a CMA than it does to be a CNA. I'm talking thousands of dollars, unless a community college in your area offers a CMA program.

    CNA are found in inpatient centers like hospitals, skilled nursing units, nursing homes, etc. We can be cross-trained (although I do NOT like that at all; I think it's borderline illegal and compromises patient safety). As a CNA I help people with activities of daily living, i.e. things they can't/are limited in doing for themselves. I give people showers, feed them, change their briefs or clothing, take them to the restroom, and transfer them in/out of bed. I also take vital signs, and I report abnormal behavior or conditions to the nurse.

    In terms of salary I don't know which pays more.
  5. by   jb2u
    Thank you nguyency77. I forgot about medication aides!!! I wasn't even thinking about that.
  6. by   nguyency77
    Quote from jb2u
    Thank you nguyency77. I forgot about medication aides!!! I wasn't even thinking about that.
    You're welcome! Haha, that reminds me... I should describe what a med tech does.

    Med techs are CNA with an extra certification. They pass out different medications, within limits. I don't know how much they get paid, but sometimes they'll do CNA duties if needed.