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medical assistant

CNA/MA   (2,116 Views | 4 Replies)
by flowerchild93 flowerchild93 (New) New

488 Profile Views; 1 Post

i go to a trade school called north-west college and im studying to be a medical assistant but i want to work my way up to be a RN and i was wondering what would be the steps to do that

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RunBabyRN has 2 years experience and specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

3,677 Posts; 27,098 Profile Views

Medical assistant won't help much. Is that a tech school you're attending? I would strongly advise you to avoid the astronomical fees of those schools and look into a CNA course through the Red Cross or a community college instead.

Have you looked into any community colleges? I would start there, doing your general education and your nursing prerequisites. Look at the programs that interest you- they all have websites these days, and will tell you what classes are required (you may have to translate, since different schools have different course numbering systems). From there, you can figure out what you need. Since you are in CA, look into BSN programs through one of the CSUs. The more programs you can apply to, the better your chances. You'll need a high GPA, high prerequisite GPA and a high TEAS score in order to be accepted. CNA experience may help as well (medical assistant experience will not, except to understand how to take vital signs).

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marie4nursing has 1 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics and Rehab.

40 Posts; 1,841 Profile Views

Medical assistant won't help much. Is that a tech school you're attending? I would strongly advise you to avoid the astronomical fees of those schools and look into a CNA course through the Red Cross or a community college instead.

Have you looked into any community colleges? I would start there, doing your general education and your nursing prerequisites. Look at the programs that interest you- they all have websites these days, and will tell you what classes are required (you may have to translate, since different schools have different course numbering systems). From there, you can figure out what you need. Since you are in CA, look into BSN programs through one of the CSUs. The more programs you can apply to, the better your chances. You'll need a high GPA, high prerequisite GPA and a high TEAS score in order to be accepted. CNA experience may help as well (medical assistant experience will not, except to understand how to take vital signs).

I agree with this comment for the most part. But as a former medical assistant student, I'd like to add that medical assisting helps you to do more than just take vitals.

Medical assisting will also help in other things to be comfortable around patients. They do the clinical tasks(back office): take vitals, height/weight, take assessments(only RNs or the Physician do the initial assessment in my state), EKGs, being comfortable drawing blood and giving injections, record medical histories, assist in pap smear and minor surgical procedures, perform sutures, and do basic lab testing. They also do the administrative part( front office): answering phones, doing EMRs, billing and coding, filing out patient records, scheduling, phone triage(some offices let the nurses do this), etc. The duties depend on your state and what the Physician allows you to do.

This is what I was taught in MA school, which I didn't get through the entire program because of personal reasons. MAs are not limited to doctors offices, like most people believe. If you get the MA and CNA certifications, you can work as a Patient Care Tech, EKG Tech, Phebotomist, Lab assistant, or a Clinical Care Partner which is less backbreaking AND more pay than being a regular CNA. MAs have more options than CNAs.

I wish I gotten through the program because all I do as a CNA 90% of the time is wipe butts, change diapers, and lift patients. The experience has allowed me to see how to delegate tasks to CNAs and to never treat my CNAs like crap when I do become a nurse. I love my residents, but hate the fact that I do the same thing everyday and want to learn more than personal care on residents.

If you do want to be a medical assistant, save money and go to a community college. The career college I went to force me to pull a private loan and I am thousands of dollars in debt. Taking a Clinical Medical Assisting course is a cheaper option. Always get the diploma, the associates degree in medical assisting is a waste of time. Make sure your MA program is accredited by NHA, CAAHEP or ABHES. However, medical assisting will not transfer to RN. But its better than being a CNA as far as saving your back and pay.

Some nursing schools require the CNA certification. In my situation, my college uses a point system and being a CNA puts me 50 points ahead of those candidates who are not CNAs. The healthcare program advisor at my college said they favor CNAs over the non-CNAs when they do the final selection. But they also would favor anyone with healthcare training over someone who does not. Just something to consider.

I am working on my prerequisites for my LPN. God knows I don't want to be a CNA forever.

It depends on what you want to do and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Any experience in healthcare is valuable. Good Luck to whatever you decide to do! :)

*Sorry for the long post. LOL

Edited by marie4nursing

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77 Posts; 2,025 Profile Views

If you want to be a RN I would recommend just go straight with your pre-reqs and work your way up. When I came back to school after a 2 year break at first I wanted to get my certificate in Medical Assisting and start working while I was going for school for my pre-requs for Nursing School. So I registered to the Medical Assistant class in my college I was ready to go, but after seeing a few counselors getting my associates degree in medical assistant was gonna take me about 2+ years, and then additionally another 2+ years to complete my pre-reqs to get into a nursing program. After thinking about it, personally I didn't want to be a medical assistant I really wanted to be a Nurse .. at the end I dropped the medical assistant course and started with my pre-requs for nursing school. I'm thankful that I took this route and didn't stick to the original because at the end I would of wasted 2+ years when I could of used those years to do the pre-reqs which i'm doing now.

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jedi-medic has 2 years experience.

11 Posts; 820 Profile Views

You should research what CNAs do, and what MAs do, to see which starter career appeals to you most. I think that either path is a great stepping stone. I completed a two year degree in medical assisting, have worked the past two years as a medical assistant, and am currently working on my prerequisites for nursing school. I do NOT regret becoming a medical assistant, and don't view my time in MA school or my time as a MA as wasted. I have learned so much as a medical assistant, and love my job. However, everyone has different thoughts and views on this. I just wanted to share my experience. :)

But to answer your question, there's not really a bridge program to go from RMA to RN, and most classes don't transfer. If you do become a medical assistant, I would suggest that you soak up as much as you can, and learn asd much as you can from the LPNs, RNs, and NPs you may find yourself working with. Good luck! :)

Edited by jedi-medic

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