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Medical Assistant Prog before nursing

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

I am sure it will help. Any experience will help when you start nursing school or when you become a nurse. Good luck.

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

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.

hlfpnt, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTAC, Homehealth, Hospice Case Manager.

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.

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.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

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

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.

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!

hlfpnt, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTAC, Homehealth, Hospice Case Manager.

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!

HeartsOpenWide, RN

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

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.

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.

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!

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.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

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

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.

HeartsOpenWide, RN

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

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.

MA school was failry reasonable here in California. But it is true that CNA is cheaper and faster. At a local nursing home they will pay you while they train you and if you do it at the local CC it is only one 6 unit class.

labrador4122, RN

Specializes in Tele.

I wish that I could go back in time and just do a CNA course and worked at a hospital as a CNA ----- but I opted to not do any research and went on ahead with medical assistant school that cost me $5k ----

Holy thread resurrection batman! hehe This thread looks to be 2 years old. Sorry to hear about your experience though. Hope nursing school works better for you.

Speaking as a former MA, I say don't bother. (I know it is too late for the OP but for anyone else). MA jobs are hard to come by and the pay and benefits are not good. If your cc has a cna program that would be better imo because you can work in a hospital.

I wish that I could go back in time and just do a CNA course and worked at a hospital as a CNA ----- but I opted to not do any research and went on ahead with medical assistant school that cost me $5k ----

I made the same mistake. I got hired after my externship into a "part-time" temporary position by a major health care conglomerate. They worked me 39 hours a week for six months and then let me go. After that I could not find another MA job. My program was around $8000 and that was in 1994. If I could do it over again I would go straight for the RN program and maybe CNA.

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