Nursing assistants are responsible for patient safety and take preventative measures to ensure their comfort and recovery. Lately that call has gotten too strong to ignore. This is an ideal work environment for administrative clinical assistants. 10.19.2020, Kirsten Slyter | They also take patients’ vital signs and communicate their patients’ health concerns to nurses. For those considering a career in the medical field who may not want to dedicate years to medical school, becoming a medical assistant or nursing assistant is an excellent option. That however, is where the similarities end. Medical assistants earn an average of $14.77 per hour. How to Become a Medical Assistant: 5 Steps You Can’t Ignore. You don’t want to choose a career path based on salary alone, but you do need to know that the time you invest in a new career will lead you to a stable job with plenty of opportunities for the foreseeable future. Their roles overlap but both have distinct areas of expertise and responsibilities. Committing to at least an Associate’s degree to become a registered nurse sounds like too much for you right now. Some of them are also trained on the job by participating in special employer-led training programs. Follow these five guidelines to narrow in on the best. A Certified Nursing assistant is different from a Medical Assistant. Every time you’re at the doctor, you wonder what it would be like to be the one wearing scrubs, assisting doctors and helping patients. Each state has licensing requirements for nursing aids and medical assistants. … Medical assistants have ample opportunities to work in private practices. Now it’s up to you to decide which of these career paths could be your first step into the world of healthcare. 2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 97,069 medical assistant job postings, July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018). Medical assistants and nursing assistants can work in various healthcare settings. You’re ready to stop daydreaming and start narrowing down your options for healthcare careers. Talk with an admissions advisor today. They maintain patient medical records, answer phones, oversee inventory, schedule patient appointments and perform other desk-top tasks. 1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [information accessed August 6, 2018] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Medical assistants: The work condition of medical assistants depends on their specialization. CNAs: Nursing assistant programs take a shorter period of six to 12 weeks, although the period varies by state. They both assist doctors, nurses and other health-care providers with treatments, procedures and tests. The program you have selected is not available in your area. The healthcare field has been calling your name. Fiberglass splints, wound care, wound dressings, set the doctors up with suture kits, assist doctors with pelvic exams, collect specimens and take them to lab, take patients to xray, ct, ultrasound, assist the nurses in whatever they need, take vital signs, register patients when they come in thru triage and be an all around gopher. Medical Assistant vs CNA Salary Differences Nationally, the median annual wage for medical assistants was $32,480 in May 2017 [v] . For example, years of experience, the type of setting where they work, and the shift they work may impact the hourly rate offered. Their administrative functions allow the few available physicians to concentrate on treating patients. Be selective, organized and efficient when you're searching for a job. Becoming a CNA requires more training than becoming a medical assistant; therefore, CNAs often have an easier time progressing into a career as an RN. However, consider pursuing a medical assistant position if you prefer administrative duties and less physical contact. Education ads list training time as full associates degrees (2 yrs). Like CNAs, they work 40-hour weeks but can also have part-time shifts. Both medical assistants and certified nursing assistants CNAs provide hands-on care including assisting patients with feeding and bathing. Which is fantastic, remember becoming a medical assistant is 8 to 15 months. Indeed is not a career or legal advisor and does not guarantee job interviews or offers. Both occupations involve working with patients and collaborating with nurses and physicians in medical settings. Only 15 percent work in hospitals, and the remainder can be found in outpatient facilities or chiropractors’ offices.1 Because many of these healthcare locations maintain daytime hours only, MAs are less likely to be scheduled to work overnight shifts or during holidays. MA duties depend on the specialty and size of the employer, location and level of training. This makes them more stationary. The BLS adds that MAs may benefit from being detail-oriented and having analytical skills that will assist them in maintaining patient charts and other administrative duties. They can also work as home health aides or in hospice. [1] According to BLS, the median salary for a medical assistant is $32,480 per year, as of 2017. A CNA, also known as a certified nurse assistant or nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who supports nurses with direct patient care. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This is more than four times the national average of seven percent growth. Understanding the differences and similarities between the two can help you make an informed career choice. CNAs spend most of their shift on their feet. • Medical assistant requires the presence of a doctor in a healthcare setting whereas CNA is more of a help to nurses. Both occupations involve working with patients of all ages and physical conditions alongside nurses and physicians in a medical setting. We analyzed real-time job postings to uncover the top skills employers are looking for in these two important professions. Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants and nurse aides can work directly with patients at home. Medical assistance programs are more rigorous and include classes on anatomy and medical terminology. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Medical assistants aren’t required to have a postsecondary degree, though the BLS notes that employers may prefer candidates who have gone through an MA training program. First things first, a position as a CNA is not the same as a MA. CNA training may be applied to nursing school for partial credit at many colleges or universities, whereas medical assistants would likely need to start a nursing program from the very beginning. A CNA’s work of providing day-to-day care makes them a valuable part of any healthcare facility where patients may need to stay long-term. So you may need to certify again if you move or take a job in another state. Though MAs and CNAs are both essential to patient care, you won’t need a four-year degree to get started in one of these careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a CNA is $27,520 per year, as of 2017. They also need on-the-job training to learn the employer's policies and operational procedures. MA training programs last from 10 months to a year and some institutions offer a two-year medical assistant associate degree. 15. They prepare patients for examinations, chart their vitals, compile medical records, perform lab tests and support doctors. What's the difference between a medical assistant vs. a CNA. If you’ve got your eye on becoming a CNA, you will have to become certified—it’s right there in the job title! Medical Assistant and CNA jobs differ in terms of their workplace and schedule. This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Medical assistant vs CNA: Main differences • A Certified Nursing Assistant has more clinical duties, providing bedside care while Medical Assistant duties include more demonstrative and procedural work. She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys, Hannah Meinke | Certified nursing assistants earned a median annual wage of $27,520 in May 2017 [vi] . However, a CNA’s duties are more specific. Medical Assistant vs. EMT/Paramedic: What You Need to Know. These programs teach medical terminology and anatomy that provide a solid foundation for a healthcare career. How Much Does a Medical Assistant vs. CNA Earn? The requirements for becoming a CNA vary from state to state. They also provide internships, allowing candidates to gain valuable hands-on experience before beginning a career. Thanks to the aging baby boomer population, the BLS predicts employment for this healthcare job to grow by 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. Both professions involve working with patients but at different levels. Their job duties include helping patients get dressed, bathe or shower, eat their meals and transfer between a bed and a wheelchair. As noted above, Medical Assistants are responsible for both administrative and clinical tasks. To become a medical assistant vs. CNA, CNAs are required 75 hours of training. Medical Assistant vs. CNA. We’re breaking down the differences between these vital healthcare roles, so you can take your vision further and choose the best healthcare position for your skills and interests. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college. All Rights Reserved. MA’s will administer injections, medications, and take the patients health information. 09.14.2020, Kirsten Slyter | Typical salaries range from $7.25 to $27.70 per hour, depending on location, experience and qualifications. However, many CNA training programs do not include internships or other hands-on experience, so students must arrange such experience on their own. It may be in your best interest to have some schooling under your belt before you pursue becoming an MA. Ashley is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. Medical assistant vs. CNA: Education requirements Though MAs and CNAs are both essential to patient care, you won’t need a four-year degree to get started in one of these careers. I work in the ER and I do many different things. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. • CNA works to provide care to patients whereas medical assistant can be employed to perform wide ranging duties. At medical research institutes, MAs run medical tests, schedule patients and maintain important records. The average CNA makes between $25,000 and $30,000 per year. The position of an MA focuses on the medical care of the patient, as well as the administrative work. Diagnostic laboratories allow you to work in an environment with less patient contact. They are supervised by registered nurses and report directly to them in case of any issues with the patient. 2. Amazingly, Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs have even a shorter training/education stint than MAs — anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months, depending on the type of program they get accepted into. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited college authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. • Medical assistants perform more of administrative and clerical duties than CNAs. Unlike medical assistants, CNAs do not perform administrative duties. The healthcare field offers a world of opportunities, all of which are important. 4Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term. Federal law dictates that CNAs engage in a minimum of 16 clinical hours, but some programs will require more… 3Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 176,594 nursing assistant job postings, July 01, 2017 – June 30, 2018). CNAs help with bedside patient care, take samples and support registered nurses' needs. On the patient care side, their job duties typically include taking vital signs, administering shots and medication, preparing blood samples for lab testing and helping physicians complete exams. Medical assistants perform more administrative duties than CNA’s do. LPN vs. CNA Job Duties and Work Settings Both CNAs and LPNs are integral parts of a patient’s care, and some of their duties may overlap. Related: Learn About Being a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). CNAs, on the other hand, do well with strong communication skills and the physical stamina required to adequately care for their patients. Connect with Rasmussen College on Facebook, Connect with Rasmussen College on Instagram, Connect with Rasmussen College on LinkedIn, Connect with Rasmussen College on Pinterest, Connect with Rasmussen College on Twitter, Connect with Rasmussen College on Youtube, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, Information Technology Project Management, CNAs work in nursing care facilities (40 percent), What Is a CNA? Entering the healthcare profession may be done in several ways. They answer phones for doctors and hospitals, greet patients, fill out insurance forms, and help to maintain patient records. They can also help patients with physical activities, monitor inputs and outputs, check vital signs and respond to their calls. CNA vs. MA Salaries In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that the average medical assistant pay was $33,610 (over $16 per hour). Medical assistants can expect job opportunities to grow much faster than the national average for all occupations. 1 Medical Assistant vs CNA Skill Sets. Easily apply to jobs with an Indeed Resume, 3 Habits That Could Increase Your Chances of Getting the Job, Medical Assistants vs. CNAs: Everything You Need to Know. Medical Assistant vs CNA: Salary Differences As per BLS May 2019 occupational employment and wages report, medical assistants in the USA earned an hourly pay of $17.17 and an annual salary of $35,720 on an average. 4. This role requires extra training and certification. Unlike medical assistants, CNAs do not perform administrative duties. 10.05.2020, Will Erstad | Once your education is complete, you officially become a CNA by passing a state-mandated competency exam. Many CNA programs do not offer internships, so candidates typically need to find real-life opportunities themselves. Related: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN). MAs can perform clinical, administrative or specialized roles. Their clinical training provides adequate knowledge of how to handle these fluids and infectious diseases. MAs administer medications, provide injections and record patients' health information. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary. Here are some other differences: MAs: Becoming an MA is more demanding than training as a CNA. The average CMA makes between $30,000 and $35,000 per year, a difference between 20 percent and 40 percent. CNA coursework can take place mostly online or entirely on campus, but even online schools require a minimum number of in-person clinical hours to give the student hands-on experience in the field. They work in hospitals, physician offices and other healthcare facilities. Medical assistants and CNAs can choose to work with researchers in the medical field. What’s great about becoming a CNA, it will only take 3 to 6 months of school/training. [2] Please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website for more salary information. Deciding between a medical assistant versus a CNA career doesn’t have to be difficult. Medical assistants enjoy the best of both worlds in healthcare facilities as they move between direct patient care and administrative tasks. Both can be found in hospitals, but each have different responsibilities there. The Perfect First Step for Aspiring Nurses. The Perfect First Step for Aspiring Nurses. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and certified medical assistants (CMAs) are both allied health care service providers or professionals who work with patients of all ages and physical conditions. The median annual wage for CNAs was $27,520 in 2017, with those in hospitals earning $29,260 and those working in government bringing in $32,860.1. Medical Assistant vs. CNA Responsibilities: Despite the similar titles of a Medical Assistant and Nursing Assistant, the job duties differ significantly between these two careers. There are numerous job postings and school advertisements for Certified Medical Assistants. The work of CNAs exposes them to bodily fluids. A CNA, also known as a certified nurse assistant or nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who supports nurses with direct patient care. Here, you run tests, record samples and compile patient data. However, the workload is usually heavy, so you must have a high level of physical and mental strength. They are supervised by registered nurses and report directly to them in case of any issues with the patient. A Medical Assistant is a bit different than a CNA. Working in a hospital provides ample hands-on experience, which you can leverage if you want to pursue advanced health studies. CNAs, on the other hand, work directly with patients all the time. Both of these roles involve the medical field but their job descriptions are very different. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Medical Coder; Number practicing in the United States: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2016) reports that there were 623,560 medical assistants employed throughout the country. Please correct the errors and submit again. They usually do this under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses. Medical assistants aren’t required to have a postsecondary degree, though the BLS notes that employers may prefer candidates who have gone through an MA training program. Specialized medical assistants focus on a specific field of medicine such as gynecology, obstetrics or pediatrics. There is no obligation to enroll. In any job search, you have to sort through many job postings to find the ones that are right for you. When compared to medical assistants, CNAs have a much shorter training period. Ive also seen programs listed for Certified CLINICAL Medical Assistants-their training time is … The role requires physical strength and stamina as they must be strong enough to lift objects that weigh 50 pounds or more. Medical assistants (MA) and certified nursing assistants (CNA) are health-care careers that involve working with patients of all ages and physical condition, providing them with high quality patient care. These habits can sometimes increase the chances of getting a positive response from employers. Luckily, there are plenty of other entry-level healthcare jobs to get your foot in the door of this satisfying field—you just don’t might not know the difference between them. Both careers require certification and a state license. 1. Medical assistants have an average annual salary of $34,800. ", If you feel a career as a medical assistant is right for you, learn more by checking out our article, “How to Become a Medical Assistant: 5 Steps You Can’t Ignore.”. Medical assistants and certified nursing assistants are healthcare professionals that may share similar duties but are separate roles. They observe the patient for behavioral changes and report any drastic events to nurses. They use protective gear such as caps, gown, masks, gloves and goggles. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Clinical MAs have similar functions as CNAs and work closely with patients. You’ve seen the full rundown of what it means to be a medical assistant versus a CNA. They spend much of their shifts walking or moving. Medical assistants are most likely to be found in a clinic setting, with 57 percent working in physicians’ offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This article answers the commonly asked questions regarding MAs and CNAs to help you decide which is right for you. There are, however, some important differences in the kinds of patient care each professional can provide. It's important to know the educational qualifications of the state you want to practice in before choosing a training institution. They have less of a hand in traditional medical duties and instead focus on helping patients with basic care in hospitals or nursing homes. While both positions are entry-level jobs, medical assistants have the potential to earn a slightly higher salary than CNAs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Working as a medical assistant is quite different from working as a nursing assistant, also known as a nursing ai… Nursing assistants earn an average of $13.65 per hour. The information on this site is provided as a courtesy. By selecting "Submit", I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. Related: Learn About Being a Medical Assistant. If you'd like to know more about becoming a CNA, check out our article, "What Is a CNA? Two of the most common professions for entry level healthcare workers are that of Medical Assistant (MA) and Nurse Assistant (commonly referred to as a CNA). The main difference between an MA and a CNA is that MAs perform clinical and administrative duties while CNAs act as nurse aids. © 2021 Rasmussen College, LLC. A smaller percentage works in home healthcare. Typical programs last between 6 and 12 weeks. A checklist with how-tos for each stage of the job search: how to apply, resume tips, interview advice, and more. Based on your experience, location and personal choices, you can work in these healthcare facilities: Hospitals provide medical assistants and nurse aides a fast-paced work environment where they can put their skills to the best use. While both positions work in healthcare assistance, they have different responsibilities, duties, and educational and certification requirements. Once MAs have landed that job, they can expect to earn a median annual wage of $32,480.1, CNAs are also enjoying faster than average job growth of 11 percent from 2016 through 2026, according to the BLS. The primary function of administrative medical assistants is clerical. While their schedule will vary depending on their workplace, they can have the opportunity for a more standard 9 to 5 work week. The first step is to learn the basics of patient care at a state-approved program and then gain experience through clinical work, according to the BLS. If you are comfortable with hands-on patient care, a CNA role will suit you. On the administrative side, you can find MAs scheduling appointments and keeping patient records up to date with correct family history and new information from the visit. Medical assistants and CNAs have plenty of job opportunities in the healthcare industry. The valuable care CNAs provide is needed round-the-clock, so they’re more likely to have a schedule with overnight, weekend and holiday shifts. They mostly hire nurse assistants because the occupants often need help with personal hygiene, feeding and physical activities. Most of the positions deal with direct patient care, making it difficult at times to know the difference between roles. : The BLS (May 2016) reported that there are 200,140 medical records and health information technicians—an occupational category closely related to coding—employed in the U.S. A Medical Assistant can work in a variety of healthcare facilities including doctor’s offices, clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals. Typically, CNAs require 75 hours of state-approved training and a competency test to be certified. Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. These facilities are also called assisted living centers and cater to the elderly. Medical Assistant versus Certified Nursing Assistant Updated By Staff Writer on June 25, 2020 Gaining employment in the medical field is a great career move, especially since this sector is expanding quickly, with jobs like medical assistant among the fastest growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . The BLS reports that most CNAs work in nursing care facilities (40 percent) or assisted living facilities (11 percent).1 They’re also more likely to work in hospitals than MAs. They walk, stand, bend, kneel, push and lift for long hours. Some factors may influence the rate of pay for both CMAs and CNAs. Medical Assistant program vs CNA You see, medical assistants are required to complete a 2-year degree program to pursue a career in this field. A medical assistant or clinical assistant is a healthcare professional who assists doctors and other health professionals complete clinical and administrative tasks. Medical assistants typically work in clinics or ambulatory care. Some states may also have additional requirements, like passing a background check or completing continuing education. Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of a medical assistant vs. CNA job. While the tasks of a CNA vs Medical Assistant may be different, the skill set required to accomplish those tasks are quite similar. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Conversely, the average certified nursing assistant pulled in around $28,530 (just over $13 per hour). What is the difference between Medical Assistant and CNA? You must pass a competency test, and do some on the job training. CNA vs CMA hourly wages range from $13.77 per hour for certified nursing assistants to $16.28 for certified medical assistants. On the other hand, nursing assistants earned an hourly wage of $14.77 and yearly wages of $30,720 on average in the US. Licensed practical nurses typically work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The differences only continue from there. The good news is, earning a Medical Assisting Diploma can take as few as 12 months to complete, allowing you to embark on your new healthcare career sooner than later. More info. Please select another program of interest. Activities of daily living (ADLS) assistance, Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify). CNAs: Nurse assistants often work long shifts, sometimes lasting 12 hours per shift. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. You know that entering the healthcare field means learning new technical and medical skills. Two of those confusing job titles are medical assistant (MA) and certified nursing assistant (CNA). MA’s … Some employers offer part-time shifts, and nursing assistants also work on weekends and holidays on a rotating basis. For nursing assistants, … Certified Nursing Assistants work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities, and home health care. 07.27.2020. Do well with strong communication skills and the physical stamina required to accomplish those are. The few available physicians to concentrate on treating patients from state to state choosing! Both can be found in hospitals, but each have different responsibilities,,! Can have the opportunity for a more standard 9 to 5 work week work with in. V ] top skills employers are looking for in these two important professions and experience assistant the. Administrative work as nurse aids much faster than the national average of seven percent growth in terms their. That weigh 50 pounds or more these programs teach medical terminology and that! Apply, resume tips, interview advice, and more regionally accredited College authorized operate. 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Know more about becoming a CNA salary differences Nationally, the skill set to! Skill set required to accomplish those tasks are quite similar not available in your state at this time two those... Alongside nurses and physicians in medical settings a career or legal advisor and not... Which you can leverage if you are comfortable with hands-on patient care, making it difficult at times to the! Too much for you the position of an MA is more of a medical assistant ( )... Mas perform clinical, administrative or specialized roles weekends and holidays on a specific field of medicine such as,! Role requires physical strength and stamina as they must be strong enough to objects! Objects that weigh 50 pounds or more position if you prefer administrative duties on the specialty and size the... Available physicians to concentrate on treating patients job duties include helping patients get dressed, bathe or shower eat! 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