CNA + medical assisant

Nursing Students CNA/MA


Finish my CNA class September 2nd . I am interested in taking ma classes, do medical assistants get hired in hospitals ??

I would not suggest MA. Everyone I have known to take an MA program has not been able to find a job. They are mostly hired in doctor's offices. I am a CNA and one girl I work with went to an MA program and couldn't find a job as an MA so she is still a CNA with debt from school. Another girl couldn't get an MA job so she's working a warehouse job now. Most places want experience for MA's from what I have seen. I don't know where you live but here in TN, MA programs are the same length and cost of LPN programs.

Specializes in Labor and Delivery.

What is your end goal for your career? My hospital doesn't hire MAs because they aren't licensed by the BON. If you are looking to work in a hospital I think it would be a waste of time and money.

I had a sales associate that worked for me who is a MA. It took her almost 2 years to find a job.

Specializes in TCU, Post-surgical, Infection Prevention.

I was trained as an MA, in 1996 - never was able to secure a position as a MA (even when I moved to Connecticut from California).

I am now enrolled in a CNA course, this will be my ticket to nursing school. I am kicking myself as hard as possible for wasting my life doing medical assistant many years ago...

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

I competed a medical assistant (MA) program in 2000 and was never able to find a job.

My workplace occasionally hires MAs to work as unit secretaries. However, they rarely hire into this position because once someone gets this job, they generally do not let it go.

I became an MA in 2010 and I got my job 2 months after I graduated I work at an Urgent Care Clinic. I'm also a pre-nursing student.

I wouldn't go for medical assisting. It is absurdly expensive, unless your community college has a program. At the colleges around my area, a full CMA/RMA program runs at least $20,000. And for what? A day job that pays $9-10 an hour? There's nothing wrong with being an MA; it's just that I personally feel that the cost far outweighs the benefit.

I know that in my area, nursing homes do hire CMA's to pass medications. But I don't think hospitals use them very much, except for clerical work.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Specializes in Peds, MH, Corrections, School, Tele.

I know many hospitals in the Sacramento area will hire a MA in the ER as a tech however those jobs are very few are far between. I was a MA for 10 years before becoming a nurse and the best way to land a job is by knowing the right person. It's a great job and I made good money doing it.

I am a certified medical assistant. Here's my advice for what it's worth. :twocents:

If you want to work in a hospital setting, do not become a medical assistant. There are a few hospitals that hire them in my area (Michigan), but even those who hire them hire very, very few. As a medical assistant you will most likely find employment in an outpatient setting (doctor's office, urgent care).

If working in a doctor's office, urgent care, etc., appeals to you, then I would advise you to go for it with a few caveats. I would recommend NOT going to a trade/vocational school. Most community colleges have excellent MA programs. Typically these programs are properly credentialed so that you can sit for your certification through the AAMA afterward. The cost is less than a trade/vocational school, and at least in my area, the education is superior.

As far as finding work, I graduated from my community college's MA program and had a job paying $11.00 per hour lined up within 2 weeks of my last class session, BEFORE I even had a chance to sit for my certification exam (which I did do). No, $11.00 isn't some kind of golden wage, and I had earned much more than that as an administrative assistant in the past. But I realized that this was my first MA job, and it was not reasonable for me to expect to come in at the top (or even middle) of the salary range.

Since then I have received job offers at insulting wages ($8 or $9 per hour, although if it's your first job and you have no prior work experience as an MA, then accepting such a job as a starting point so that you can obtain that much desired one year of experience might be a smart move). The highest offer I have received was $16.00 per hour, but I declined the offer because after interviewing with them I determined it was not a place that I would be happy working. It's not just about the money, it's about being fulfilled by your work, and more importantly, how you feel about your work will show in your attitude no matter how hard you try, and giving your patients your very best every day is priority.

Typically I have found that $13.00 per hour to start is what I ended up making as a medical assistant. No benefits. (The $8-$9 per hour jobs did have benefits so I suppose it sort of evened out if I had determined the monetary value of the benefits and if I had even needed the benefits.).

This I can tell you from working in medical offices as an MA. When we've had openings for an MA position, each time we have had over 100 applicants for each open position. I can give a few tips for those interested in how the candidates were weeded out:

1) Applicants who lived outside of a 10 - 15 mile radius of the office had their resumes thrown out. With so many applicants the doctors had the luxury of selecting someone who lived close to the office. Their reasoning was that these applicants were more likely to be able to get into work in bad weather and were less apt to be late to work due to running into unforeseen road construction, etc. They also were close enough that the doctors felt confident that the applicant would not continue looking for a job closer to their home if they hired them.

2) Resumes with misspelled words or poor grammar were tossed out immediately. Have someone proofread your resume if in doubt.

3) Ageism exists, but what I observed was reverse ageism. The offices I worked in would never have said it to an applicant, but they discriminated against candidates they felt were of childbearing age. My advice is to leave off the dates you graduated from high school. Only include the date you graduated from MA school. They can't tell how old or young you are that way and grant you an interview based strictly on your credentials and experience. Then you'll wow them at the interview and age won't be an issue!

4) When you land the interview, show up wearing a modest business suit (skirt), hair done nicely, modest makeup, no nail polish with nails trimmed, post earrings. Wear nylons and modest heeled pumps. Yes, I know the bare legged look is "in", and I know that sky-high heels with platforms are in too, but not for a conservative business meeting. Look like the professional you are.

We had so many extremely qualified candidates hustled in and out of the interview process because of their attire. I can't tell you how many applicants showed up with wet hair, dressed business casual (which was usually the best we could hope for), with their hair up in sloppy buns, with long painted nails and gobs of makeup/heavy perfume, or in scrubs. Yes, I know you will likely end up coming to work there in scrubs if you get the job, but you are not there to work. You are there for a business meeting between professionals. Dress like it and you will rise to the top of their list! First impressions do matter!

5) Be sure to mention your accomplishments, your positive attributes. Lean forward slightly in your chair. Mirror your interviewer's body language. Speak clearly and distinctly. Look them in the eye. And SMILE! A smile and a handshake while looking your interviewer in the eye is great. Practice your handshake if necessary(no dead fish please!). And finally, remember your manners. Thank them for their time at the end of the interview, reiterate how impressed you are with their practice and how excited you are at the prospect of working for them, and tell them how pleased you were to meet them.

6) Follow up your interview with a thank you letter. If you interviewed with several people, write each an individual letter and send them in a separate envelope. This shows them several things about you. It shows that you follow through! A very desirable trait. Secondly it shows them that they were not "just another interview", but that you REALLY want to work in their practice! Third, it shows that you appreciate them, their time and have common courtesy (something that is not so common these days).

For you it serves to remind them of you after the interview has passed and before they make their final decision. You have another opportunity to shine in their eyes and to elevate yourself above the other candidates.

I know this was long, but I hate seeing MAs being discouraged. The right education and then presenting yourself in the best possible light will help you land a decent MA job so you can begin your career.

Good luck!

I am having trouble finding a CNA job during a day shift when my kids are in daycare. I would qualify for a WIA grant to cover tuition and supplies for a semester long MA program at the community college. Will I be more apt to find a 7-3 shift as a MA than as a CNA?

My end goal is to become a RN and work in a hospital but the waitlist for the ADN program is 3 years so I have plenty of time to get there and right now I just need to support my family while making a difference.


Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.
I am having trouble finding a CNA job during a day shift when my kids are in daycare. I would qualify for a WIA grant to cover tuition and supplies for a semester long MA program at the community college. Will I be more apt to find a 7-3 shift as a MA than as a CNA?

My end goal is to become a RN and work in a hospital but the waitlist for the ADN program is 3 years so I have plenty of time to get there and right now I just need to support my family while making a difference.


Most MA jobs are scheduled during the day (Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm) because most opportunities are found in doctors offices and clinics. However, you must pay close attention to the MA job market in the city where you live since the jobs in many places tend to be either scarce or very low-paying.
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