1. Please some body help me!!!!!! I need to know the difference between a CNA and a CMA. Heres a bit about my background so maybe it will be easier for you to assist me. I spent 9 years in the military in a medical unit. Worked as a "medical grunt" (did any thing and everything from maintaining vehicles, ordering medical supplies, maintanence on medical equipment, admit/discharge, transport, drive). I also worked as a unit clerk in a state mental hospital for 3 years waiting for my name to be picked in the "Lottery" so I could attend nursing school. Then I went on to being a dialysis technician. We moved to California where I went to a trade school after having my name on the "Lottery" list for two years with no luck to become a medical assistant. So now here I am 13 years and $15K later unable to find a job. They either want CNA's or experience. So I am a bit confused as to what I was doing for the past 13 years if it wasn't OJT but anyway.....what is the difference anybody know??? Whatever you say please don't remind me I was an idiot for spending that much on what has turned out to be nothing.
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    About norcalidiot

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 14; Likes: 11


  3. by   racing-mom4
    You are not an idiot, sounds like you did what you had to do and gained alot of experience in the meantime.
    In my state CMA and CNA's are treated equally typically CMA's work more in the DRs office setting vs the Hospital setting. But our hosp has hired CMA's for a "CNA job posting".
    I know the hospital I work for has a CNA class, it is cheap, like 75.00 and it is 2 weeks long. You get your clinical hours in at the hospital and get paid CNA wages during clinical. If you still employed 6mos later, they refund your 75.00.
    So you may want to check out local hospitals and see if they offer anything such as that.
    Or Temp agencies offer the same thing, they run you through thier CNA course, then farm you out to work at local nursing homes/hospitals etc etc and once again, if your still employed X amount of time later, they refund the price of the class.
    Best of luck.

    And Thank You for your time in the service!!!!!!
  4. by   Quickbeam
    You will find many posters here who have been less than satisfied with what their MA courses got them in terms of employment. That appears to be a very common situation. You aren't an idiot. Many of these programs misrepresent what jobs you'll find after graduation.

    I've not been a MA, but I was a CNA for years and then an RN. A CNA does a lot of personal care under the direction of licensed staff. Very physical, very hands on. Back in my day (ancient) you got to be a CNA by taking classes at a nursing home and geftting state certified after so many classes and hours of experience.

    Best wishes to you. Sorry for the long road to a health care career!
  5. by   pagandeva2000
    CMA- Certified Medical Assistant
    CNA- Certified Nursing Assistant

    I do not think you were an idiot. What I do dislike is that medical assistants learn a great deal of information, but are limited to working only in a doctor's office, and the certification does not lead to working in a hospital.
  6. by   norcalidiot
    Today after posting this I went to Napa State Hospital and Yountville Veteran's Home to apply for jobs that were on the website. I was informed that even though I am a veteran and have 13 years of experience behind me that I cannot apply because I have not yet completed the 2 week CNA course. This is so annoying. I live near San Jose and drove almost 2 hours after talking to a person in Napa telling me I needed to come right away because the job closed today. So I wasted a day in wine country. I know it sounds boo hoo poor baby but that is a long way to drive when you are looking for a job and need to save everything you can.
    But thank all of you for your input it was very helpfu.