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Nursing Assistant Vs Medical Assistant

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Time In School: Medical Assistant Vs Physician Assistant

Certified medical assistant vs certified nursing assistant

You can complete a medical assistant program in as little as eight months. To become a physician assistant, you must have a bachelor’s degree , and then complete a physician assistant graduate program . Finally, you must pass a series of tests. All of these medical professions tend to range between those two extremes.

What Is The Job Outlook For Medical Assistants

Although there are no guarantees when it comes to gaining employment, the current demand for medical assistants in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas is very high.

Robin Galloway, Faculty and Clinical Coordinator for NWHSUs Medical Assisting Programs, is in regular contact with healthcare employers in the region. Based on what they tell me, the need for medical assistants is greater than Ive ever seen it before. She says shes also seeing sign-on bonuses being offered for medical assistant positions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 19 percent growth rate for medical assistants between 2019-2029nearly five times the average growth rate for all occupations.

For related information, see also A Medical Assistants Salary: Expert Insights to Help Understand the Numbers AND the Profession.

Where Do Cnas And Medical Assistants Work

Both CNAs and medical assistants can work in doctors offices, hospitals, and private clinics.

However, each facility may require CNAs and MAs to perform specific tasks:

  • Hospital Departments:CNAs arent required to choose an area of specialization. But if they want to become a nurse, the experience in a specific department can be highly useful. For example, if a CNA wants to become a midwife, working in an obstetrics department can help them gain valuable experience and learn more about the field.
  • Family Practices:Both CNAs and MAs can be vital additions to small family practices. There, one or two doctors work with many patients and need to be released of administrative or routine duties, such as taking vital signs, height, weight, etc.
  • Nursing Care Facilities:CNAs are commonly employed in nursing care facilities. Nursing homes are also known as assisted living centers for retirement and elderly communities. MAs may also be employed there.
  • Public and Private Outpatient Clinics:Some clinics provide a specific type of care, such as ambulatory surgery or reproductive health. They offer positions for both CNAs and MAs, where they can gain assisting experience in a particular field. It can be valuable for going back to school and trying to advance their careers to more prestigious ones.

Urgent care clinics are also becoming more popular and hire MAs and CNAs to assist busy doctors and nurses with their patients.

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What Hours Does A Medical Assistant Work

Though there are definitely exceptions, medical assistants often work in clinic or medical office settings that operate during regular daytime hours only. That means youre much more likely to enjoy having weekends, evenings, and holidays off as a medical assistant.

Also, medical assistants generally have plenty of opportunities for part-time positions.

Features like these make the profession a great option for parents trying to accommodate the needs of their family.

Medical Assistant Vs Patient Care Technician: What You Need To Know

Nurse vs Medical Assistant (What

By Will Erstad on 08/24/2020

If youre not very familiar with the variety of healthcare jobs out there, its easy to assume the people you run into on a visit to the clinic are all either doctors or nurses. But now that youre really digging into it, youre starting to realize there are many other job titles, which can make things confusing.

When comparing medical assistants versus patient care technicians, for example, most people dont understand how these roles differ. If youre interested in working closely with patients to help improve their health, these are both rewarding options.

But in order to choose which healthcare career best aligns with your skills and interests, youll want to have a detailed understanding of the each role. Use this side-by-side comparison to help you decipher the differences between a medical assistant and a patient care technician.

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How Does The Career Outlook Differ For Medical Assistants Vs Cnas

According to the BLS, the number of jobs for both medical assistants and CNAs is expected to grow much faster than average from 2019-2029. For medical assistants, the BLS projects 19% job growth, leading to the employment of over 139,000 more medical assistants. By comparison, the BLS projects 14% job growth for other healthcare support occupations and an average growth of 4% across all occupations.

The BLS expects physicians to hire more medical assistants to help serve aging baby boomers in the coming years. These assistants perform routine clinical and administrative duties, giving physicians more time to see more patients.

The job outlook for CNAs is not as positive as for medical assistants, but the occupation is still likely to grow. The BLS projects an 8% growth in nursing assistant jobs from 2019-2029, which would result in approximately 117,000 more nursing assistants. The aging baby boomer population will likely increase the demand for CNAs who care for patients in residential care facilities and nursing homes.

Job Duties: Nursing Assistant Vs Medical Assistant

A nursing assistant or CNA performs tasks related to daily living activities of patients, like bathing, taking vitals and preparing meals. A medical assistant performs clinical tasks like taking patient vitals, medical history and performing lab procedures, as well as works in medical offices answering phones, scheduling appointments and managing files.

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What Are The Requirements For Becoming A Medical Assistant

There are two options to become an MAâa certificate program that can take as little as eight months or an associate degree that usually takes two years. Both options equally qualify you to work as a medical assistant. Training consists of medical education in the classroom, labs and hands-on patient experiences, as well as education on office and administrative tasks to prepare you to work in healthcare offices. Medical assistant programs that end with a certified clinical medical assistant certification offer the added benefit of also providing students with certifications in additional healthcare skills like EKG, phlebotomy and basic lifesaving.

Medical Assistant Vs Cna: Employment And Future Demand

Medical Assistant VS Patient Care Assistant|Tech

Currently, 712,430 medical assistants and 1,419,920 nursing assistants are employed in America, according to BLS May 2019 estimates. BLS estimates a 9% growth for CNAs and a 23% growth for medical assistants in the USA .

Growth projected in the employment of medical assistants


CNAs can expect a 9% growth in the number of jobs in the 2018-2028 period.

There is a significant difference in the growth projections and demand for MAs and CNAs. As statistically stipulated above, medical assistants are estimated to see more than double growth prospects in terms of employability as compared to CNAs in the United States.

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Rn Vs Pa Vs Np: Job Duties

The daily duties of any job play a huge role in determining whether or not youll be happy in a specific career. Its important to remember that duties will vary depending on years of experience and job location.

RN: Registered nurses are considered by many to be the backbone of the healthcare system. They provide initial patient assessments, follow care plans, administer medications and educate both patients and their families on various health topics. However, they cannot diagnose patients or prescribe medicationa distinction from NPs and PAs.

Some RNs have job duties that arent focused on direct patient care. These roles often focus on quality or safety improvements, improving informatics systems, patient advocacy or nursing education.

PA: While there are distinctions to be found in the details, the work of a physician assistant is more similar to that of a doctor than of a registered nurse. Typical duties a PA can expect include examining and diagnosing patients, creating care plans, suturing lacerations, setting bones, prescribing medicine, assisting in surgery and conducting research on the latest treatments. Physician assistants can perform many of the same duties as a physician, but in many states have to report to a supervising doctor.

Physician assistants also have the opportunity to focus their practicesome choose to pursue generalist/primary care work, while others may choose to pursue a specialist track.

Nursing Assistant Vs Medical Assistant

Medical assistant and nursing assistant both have assistant in the name both clearly work in healthcare settings. So whats different besides that one tends to work under a doctor and the other under a nurse?

There are significant differences in common work settings and populations served. Because of this, there are also significant differences in common job duties.

Medical assistant and nursing assistant careers are both entry level. Both can both provide a strong background for other healthcare careers. Medical assistants have a wide range of duties jacks of all trades. They may choose to pursue more education and specialize in administrative or health tech roles.

MAs and CNAs can make strong nursing candidates. However, neither is part of a direct career track. A person cant expect to take a bridge program or shorten their nursing education much through either pathway.

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What Is A Cna

A CNA, also known as a certified nurse assistant or nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who supports nurses with direct patient care. Unlike medical assistants, CNAs do not perform administrative duties. They are supervised by registered nurses and report directly to them in case of any issues with the patient.

CNAs provide hands-on care including assisting patients with feeding and bathing. They can also help patients with physical activities, monitor inputs and outputs, check vital signs and respond to their calls.

Nursing assistants are responsible for patient safety and take preventative measures to ensure their comfort and recovery. They observe the patient for behavioral changes and report any drastic events to nurses.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

Physician assistant vs. nurse practitioner: whats the ...

Nursing Assistants usually need to complete a state-approved education program that teaches nursing principles and provides them the opportunity to gain clinical experience. These programs are often available in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, CNAs typically complete a period of on-the-job training to learn about their employers policies, procedures, etc.

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Why Is A Certified Nursing Assistant A Great Alternative Career Path For Medical Assistants

CNAs make a difference in the life of a patient and their families. The patient who has been sick for a long time and needs rehabilitation will be extremely happy to see someone taking the initiative to provide them with their basic needs, such as bringing food or reporting their health conditions to the doctor.

In conclusion, CNAs need extra training and certification from the state board of nursing or an institution to work in a medical facility as CNAs. MAs do not require any specific education but only a proper high school diploma, and then some certification is required depending on states requirements.

Medical Assistant Vs Cna: Education Difference

One of the topmost benefits of pursuing these two professions is that a traditional 4-year university course are not needed for either stream. More specific educational requirements are enlisted below for each.

MA Education Requirements

Formal educational qualifications to become a medical assistant differ with the state youre practicing in. Traditionally, MAs do not mandatorily need to attain post-secondary training. However, an aspiring medical assistant should note that, in reality, this is rarely true. Most employers do prefer candidates possessing at least some specialized medical assistant training.

There are accredited MA programs throughout the United States for the same. From diplomas to certificate programs and associate degrees, accredited courses can help you boost your employability and also permit you to sit for national MA certifications on program completion. These courses extend for around a year on average . Curriculums here include anatomy, pharmacology, and medical terminology and ethics, amongst other essential medicine-related knowledge areas. Thus, hiring establishments often seek applicants to showcase such skills they have learned in past educational training.

CNA Education Requirements

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The History Of Cnas And Medical Assistants

While there have always been support professionals working in medical settings, these rules were loose and unorganized until the 20th century. The role of the CNA was designated first and traces its roots back to the military hospitals of World War I, where the American Red Cross created the volunteer nurse aide service role. The medical assistant role wasnt officially recognized until 1955, when the Kansas Medical Assistant Society was formed. The Society grew to become todays American Association of Medical Assistants .

What Medical Assistants And Nursing Assistants Do


A medical assistant performs a wide range of job duties to assist physicians and nurses in diagnosing and treating patients. Typical job duties include:

  • Asking patients about their medical and personal histories
  • Assisting physicians with patient examinations
  • Measuring vital signs
  • Guiding patients to the examination room
  • Preparing samples for laboratory tests

The job duties of a medical assistant will vary based on work environment and state regulations that determine which tasks medical assistants are and are not allowed to perform. A certified nursing assistant works with patients who need help performing daily routine tasks. These job duties include:

  • Cleaning or bathing patients
  • Transfer patients between beds or into wheelchairs
  • Measure vital signs and log health complaints
  • Help patients eat

A CNA can expect to work primarily with elderly patients or those with disabilities who need assistance with the daily functions that most people take for granted.

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Ma Tasks Can Be Either Clinical Or Administrative Or Both

Medical assistants perform both clinical AND administrative duties. They are one of the most versatile members of the ambulatory health care team. Common duties of an MA include:

  • Check patients in and out upon arrival and departure
  • Answer phone calls and questions
  • Perform basic billing and coding procedures
  • Assist providers with exams and procedures
  • Assist with minor surgeries

Employment Settings

Determining Which Position Is Right For You

Medical assistants and CNAs have plenty of job opportunities in the healthcare industry. Both professions involve working with patients but at different levels. If you are comfortable with hands-on patient care, a CNA role will suit you. However, consider pursuing a medical assistant position if you prefer administrative duties and less physical contact.

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Length Of Education And Training

Training and education to become a nursing assistant is offered by community based technical or vocational schools, as well as some employers, like those in the long-term care nursing home industry. The duration of the education and training can range from a couple of months to about a year depending on the program and whether the student attends school full time or part time.

Conversely, medical assistants attending vocational or technical school rarely take under a year to complete their program. Many students also decide to attend colleges and universities for their associates degree, which can take two or more years to complete depending on how many courses the student enrolls in per semester.

Medical Assistant Vs Cna Career Opportunities:

Nurse Practitioner vs Physician Assistant: What

Both Medical Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants can expect a very bright job outlook in the years to come, however, Medical Assistants are currently in higher demand. This is because the demand for preventive and primary care is growing, along with the need for skilled professionals in this field of work. The baby boomer population is aging at record numbers, and the current pandemic has only added to the current shortage of medical professionals. According to national data:

  • Employment of Medical Assistants is expected to grow a notable 23% between 2018-2028. This is more than four times the average rate for all occupations.
  • Certified Nursing Assistants can expect employment to increase 9% between 2018-2028, which is slightly above the national average of 5% growth.

Now you may be wondering, what about the salary potential? Which of these two careers will position me for the highest earnings? Which career path will give me the greatest return on my investment? In general, Medical Assistants can expect a higher salary potential than CNAs:

  • Medical Assistants nationwide earn an average of $34,800 annually. In Connecticut, however, Medical Assistants can expect to earn over $40,000 per year across the state.
  • CNAs across the United States have an average salary of $29,660 annually. In Connecticut, they can expect to earn $34,360 per year.

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Medical Assistant Vs Cna: Choosing Your First Step In The Healthcare Field

By Carrie Mesrobian on 01/24/2022

The healthcare field has been calling your name. Every time youre at the doctor, you wonder what itd be like to be the one wearing scrubs, assisting doctors and helping patients. Lately, that call has gotten too strong to ignore. Youre ready to stop daydreaming and start narrowing down your options for healthcare careers.

Committing to at least an associates degree to become a registered nurse sounds like too much for you right now. Luckily, there are plenty of other entry-level healthcare jobs to get your foot in the door of this satisfying fieldyou just might not know the difference between them. Two of those potentially confusing job titles are medical assistant and certified nursing assistant .

Medical Assistant Vs Lpn Licensing & Certification

Medical assistants and LPN’s have different licensing and certification requirements for students to be aware of. LPN candidates will be required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination following completion of their state-approved and accredited Practical Nursing program. Once candidates have passed this exam they may begin working as an LPN.

Medical assistants, however, are not required to hold any similar licensing to begin work as a medical assistant. While many medical mssistant job openings do not require certification, medical assistants may also choose to become certified after graduation in order to increase employment and earning potential. The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the Certified Medical Assistant certification examination to candidates who have completed a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools .

Some MAs hope to become licensed and focus on more clinical patient care and explore becoming LPNs. They have the advantage of being exposed to patient care, and can already perform basic nursing functions independently such as:

  • Taking vital signs and identifying abnormal readings
  • Simple wound care
  • Collecting pertinent data from patients
  • Administering injections

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