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Ekg Technician & Phlebotomy Tech or Medical Assistant?

CNA/MA   (10,247 Views | 8 Replies)
by Cloud- Cloud- (New) New

630 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hi! Can anyone help me with this dilemma?! I recently became certified as a Nursing Assistant in the state of California! :DMy ultimate goal is to get my Associates degree in Nursing which I am getting close, I have been going full time so I have one more year of prerequisites before I can apply. My living situation will change by next year in the fall which means I need to find a job as a cna asap and start saving.

I know cna's don't make much which is why I would like to get some vocational training in another area that way I can look more appealing to employers and land a job in a hospital. I found a couple of schools that teach the Ekg Technician course combined with the Phlebotomy Technician course but they are all soo far but not far enough to not make the effort.

My research led me to a lot of Medical Assistant schools. I read the job description and it turns out some schools teach ekg reading for medical assistant course which kind of ends up being the same as ekg tech and phlebotomy tech right? MA is just extra schooling, taught medical office skills, something I never considered doing because I don't want to be put behind a desk I want to be on the floor helping and providing medical care for patients.

MA is about 8 months and the price range is not good for my budget and the Ekg/Phlebotomy is 10 weeks and $1,450. I understand it is very hard to get a job as an entry level anything! Especially Ekg and Phlebotomy! I just don't want to invest time and money into this shorter program when the longer program could better benefit my income now and benefit my skills in my future nursing career. Help? Anyone?!:nailbiting:

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akulahawkRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency Department.

2 Followers; 3,447 Posts; 28,093 Profile Views

Medical Assistant isn't nursing. You'll learn some skills that nurses do, but on the whole, about the only thing that being an MA might get you is some understanding of outpatient/clinic work. Unless they've changed the law/process, just about anyone can be an MA in California without going to a training program.

Since you're already a CNA, see what coursework you might need to take to become a Patient Care Technician in your local acute care hospitals. Being a phlebotomist might get you a position in a facility, but there's going to be quite a few phlebotomists out there also looking for those same jobs.

Unless you're looking at becoming a Medical Assistant, don't go for that program. Look at what the hospitals prefer as far as educational preparation for CNA/PCT employees and do that. In the meantime, any job that has you working as a CNA might just be better than no job at all.

Best of luck to ya!

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4 Posts; 630 Profile Views

Hey! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! Patient Care Technician is what I was originally looking for but I couldn't find zip! That's when I came across the Ekg/Phlebotomy courses and thought well..thats what a Patient Care Tech does right? My mother in law told me that a PCT is the old term for MA? On my google journey I found that CNA's can be trained by the hospital they work in but when they do they have nothing to show for it, no certificate is given to the CNA. There are no schools for PCT's in California are there?

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akulahawkRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency Department.

2 Followers; 3,447 Posts; 28,093 Profile Views

PCT is basically a CNA that works in an acute care hospital. They may have some additional skills, but the vast majority of PCT's that I've seen in acute care facilities around my area do CNA work... they just have a fancier title.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

1 Follower; 6,696 Posts; 45,266 Profile Views

Hi Cloud! I just want to reinforce the point that Medical Assistants and Patient Care Technicians are not the same and most MA courses are expensive and won't focus on those things that nursing programs do. I would say to research the hospital job market in your area to get an idea what types of unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) they are looking to hire.

I say this because as each employer is different, a phlebotomy or EKG course may not necessarily make you more marketable in combination with a CNA certificate. Carefully note the job offerings themselves that will tell you what is required and then look into affordable courses you may take.

Nowadays hospitals have techs for all kinds of things and different names such as the PCT, CMA (certified medication aide.. that might me a good choice for you) monitor tech, patient sitter, CNA I, CNA II, etc. Some places may hire you in as an entry-level CNA and train you to draw blood or other more complex skills.

Be very careful with for-profit vocational schools! They will try to sell you their product and not always in an above-board fashion!

I know it can be confusing to wade through all of this but the footwork you put in now will help maximize your efforts and give you the most value for the money spent. Best wishes!

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Natasha has 1 years experience as a CNA, LVN and specializes in Psych.

1,673 Posts; 30,390 Profile Views

Hii, I'm also based in the State of California with a CNA certification. Although, I have been a cna for six years in psych, I haven't found a hospital job that will hire me. I do not have any acute care experience. I was looking to take an ekg course but heard that some hospitals will hire and train the right person.

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jonorato has 2 years experience and specializes in CICU.

18 Posts; 1,466 Profile Views

do NOT get your CMA. I'm a CMA. It's all out pt private office settings. Being a CMA will NOT help you get a job at a hospital. CMA's do a lot of clinical work (especially if you land in a good practice that does minor surgical procedures in office)...or at least I got to in my practice with the specialty I was in. But it is a TON of office work too! Plus CMA's typically work 9-5 Mon-Friday (think out pt office hours) I would't trade my experience for the world, but it doesn't sound like the right path for you right now.

Furthermore when I applied to nursing school they still made me go back and get my CNA I. After the first semester we had learned all the skills to complete our CNA II. So now I have that too.

I would have to say that for a hospital setting, there is NO better training you can have for nursing school then your CNA.

My suggestion to you is to continue to put in applications at hospitals for a CNA I while getting your CNA II. That's what almost every student who needed/wanted a job in our nursing program did. I would look into taking programs at a local community college.

GL

Edited by jonorato
typo

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

6 Followers; 13,573 Posts; 119,361 Profile Views

You might look into what training is needed to become a QMAP (qualified medication administration professional, I believe) - like Nursel mentioned. It's like a CNA with special training/certification to administer meds. They are heavily utilized in LTCs/SNFs, etc.

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4 Posts; 630 Profile Views

Thank you all for the feedback! I appreciate it soo much :). I think I will definitely look into medication aide, it makes more sense for working as a CNA and continuing my education. If I would have taken the EKG/Phlebotomy I would have had to miss next semester Chemistry and Math super important! :specs:

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