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Difference Between Medical Assistant and CNA

Medical Assistant vs CNA

More and more countries today are experiencing nurse shortages among hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, clinics and long-term health care facilities. The crisis may be bought by the declined interest of students in the medical field along with the hefty tuition fees in nursing schools. Mostly, nonetheless, this problem is the result of the limited number of professors and instructors among colleges and universities.

In fact, most nursing schools refuse to admit thousands of nursing students every year because of the limited population of faculty members. This scenario not surprisingly then led to the decreased quality of patient care and lower competency in many medical institutions.

As a temporary cure to the persisting medical crises, federal governments are constantly encouraging high school graduates to attend vocational nurses training, or sign up for programs that can get them a spot in the medical profession after just a few weeks of attending classes. Doing so would be like shooting two birds with one stone – the government gives disadvantaged individuals who cannot afford to go to college an opportunity to establish a stable career, get a generous salary from the medical field, while providing a quick remedy to the lack of personnel among medical institutions.

Thus, many states are currently holding certified nursing assistant (CNA) training programs. Generally, the requirements for the training include a high school diploma or a GED, a clear criminal record, drug tests, immunizations and state ID’s. Students should be 16-18 years old, but this depends on the admission requirements set by the government, the training provider, and the nurse’s aide governing bodies.

The same pre-requisites apply for certified medical assistants (CMA). Community colleges, universities, high schools, and private training centers offering CNA classes usually hold CMA classes for qualified students as well.

Both programs require six to twelve weeks of training, and at least 70 credit hours (for most states). Graduating from the program would qualify the individuals to sit in for the state licensure exam that can get them included in the registry necessary to be legally employed in hospitals and other facilities.

While these two careers have the same basic training, requirements, and procedures for employment, they also have clear differences.
CNAs, or nurse aides, are responsible to perform the basic duties of nurses. They may be employed in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, retirement communities, psychology wards, rehabilitation centers, and other home care facilities.

Their job description usually includes the monitoring of the patients’ vital signs and reporting them to the supervising registered nurse or physician, infection control, maintenance of hygiene and wellness of the patients, storage and operation of medical equipment, and other duties that will aid the patients in their everyday living.

On the other hand, the jobs of CMAs are more inclined to administrative duties and responsibilities. Generally, medical assistants assist the doctors, chiropractors and other supervisors of health care facilities in keeping the offices’ work running smoothly and efficiently. They are usually assigned to manage and organize records of patients, fill out insurance application forms, and set appointments for laboratory exams and hospital admissions. They serve as a secretary to their supervisors with tasks that may include answering phones, greeting patients, bookkeeping and administering billing.

CMAs, of course, may as well work in the clinic and handle the same job as those of the CNAs. They may be allowed to do basic phlebotomy and administer medications. Nonetheless, most employers would prefer giving this job to CNAs as they are expected to have more experience in these responsibilities from the courses they have taken during training.

Summary:

1.Medical assistants and CNAs assist their supervisors in various facilities.
2.Only a few weeks of training is allotted for both jobs.
3.CNAs are responsible to perform clinical duties while CMAs are often assigned administrative work.
4.CMAs can be allowed to do clinical jobs, but employers are more confident in assigning CNAs for these tasks.


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