What is the Difference Between a CNA and a CMA?

Posted by Athena Career Academy on Dec 19, 2019

What is the Difference Between a CNA and a CMA?

A career in the healthcare profession is often fulfilling, especially if you have that genuine desire to help others. You can decide to become a certified nursing assistant or a certified medical assistant. Some confuse the two, and although the two professions have similar job descriptions, they aren't the same. What's the difference?

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Medical assistants typically work in healthcare facilities and medical offices where they are tasked with administrative duties and clinical tasks. Their administrative duties include scheduling appointments, answering calls, and updating medical records.

A certified medical assistant has many other responsibilities on the job, and they vary from day to day, but generally speaking most medical assistants oversee:

  • Maintaining and keeping patients information confidential
  • Educating patients on a healthy lifestyle
  • Welcoming patients and answering any questions they have
  • Recording vital signs and test results
  • Scheduling lab tests
  • Filing insurance forms
  • Interviewing patients about their medical history

The path to becoming a medical assistant is quite easy. You begin by completing a medical assistant program. Once you've finished the required coursework, you apply for the certification exam. You are also required to participate in a practicum, which is an unpaid work program.

After you complete the practicum and become certified, you will earn a decent salary, which averages $34,000 yearly. Medical assistants can find both full and part time work in a variety of settings.

What is a CNA?

A certified nursing assistant provides hands-on healthcare to patients. They can provide assistance in personal residences, hospitals, assisting living facilities, adult care facilities, and nursing homes, just to name a few.

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As a certified nursing assistant, you will typically work under licensed nursing professionals. Your work as a nursing assistant is vital for patient care and recovery. It includes a patient assessment where you will check their vital signs. In addition, you will record the patient's response to care.

CNAs can work in various settings; however, the most overlooked is home care. At some point, patients, especially the elderly, have trouble taking care of themselves. This also means that they will have difficulty cleaning after themselves, feeding, and cleaning their homes. As a certified nursing assistant, you can help such patients by performing the tasks that they can't do.

You will help them bathe, eat, and even the tidy up the house. Providing exceptional care for the patient becomes your number one priority. Many nursing assistants take pride in their jobs, and really enjoy their career.

The Duties of a CNA Include:

  • Caring for patients
  • Stocking supplies
  • Bathing patients
  • Checking vital signs
  • Gathering and stocking medical supplies
  • Dressing wounds
  • Answering patient calls
  • Combing hair, brushing patients’ teeth, and caring for their personal hygiene
  • Operating medical equipment

While both career paths have their advantages, earning a certificate and beginning your new career in less than a year is certainly something to consider. Here at Athena Career Academy you can become a Medical Assistant in less than a year. Contact us today to learn more about this exciting career and our accredited CMA program.

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Topics: Medical Assistant, Medical Assistant Program Toledo, OH., MA Program