Medical Assistant vs CNA

There are two in-demand jobs in the healthcare field. One is a medical assistant position while the other is a certified nursing assistant career. If you come across to any of these, you might be a little confused on which is better. Medical Assistant vs CNA remains to be a hot topic in the internet and it is time to differentiate the two careers. These jobs do not require years of college education. As long as you take the training program and pass the certification exam given by the state, you can legibly work as a medical assistant or a certified nursing assistant.

Difference Between Medical Assistant and CNA

Based on the U.S. Department of Labor, the difference between medical assistant and CNA is the duties they perform in the medical field. Medical assistants carry out clinical tasks like preparing the patients for their examinations while certified nursing assistants complete a patient care routine such as feeding and bathing. CNA’s dress the patients and answer their calls whenever they need assistance. They also change the bed linens, take vital signs, transport patients and serve meals. On the other hand, medical assistants do not perform tasks for patient hygiene instead; they are responsible in explaining the procedures to the patients and assist the doctors during examinations. They also sterilize instruments, prepare medications, draw blood, change dressings, take electrocardiograms and complete the medical records of patients.

Medical Assistant vs CNA Salary

Medical Assistant and CNA jobs differ also on the salary they are receiving. If you are confused on which career path to take, it is good to know how medical assistant  salary compares to CNA salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 2008 that the median hourly wage of medical assistants is $11.46 per hour while the nursing assistants can make around $9.71 to $13.76 hourly. This still vary on your work experience including the state you are working. PayScale estimates that the median hourly salary of a CNA having one to four years of experience is $9.04 to $11.51 while CNA’s working for twenty years or more receives $10.37 to $14.55 per hour. Meanwhile, medical assistants having one to four years of experience receives a median hourly salary of $9.81 to $14.60 while those who have been working for twenty years or more receive $13.99 to $18.80.

Medical Assistant Certification

Medical assistant certification is not needed in order to be employed in hospitals. However, there are some states that require the medical assistants to pass a certification test prior to their employment. The U.S. Department of Education has recognized two agencies for the medical assisting programs namely the Accreditation Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Before enrolling in a training program, it is important to check the school on these two recognized agencies so that you will not waste your time and money.

With regards to CNA training program, a certification is required in every state of America. This is to ensure that qualified CNA’s are employed in different healthcare facilities like nursing homes and hospitals. Medical assistant vs CNA maybe misunderstood but it is good to know the difference between these two healthcare professions.