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What is the Difference Between a CNA and a Medical Assistant

What is the difference between a cna and a medical assistant

What is CAN?

Certified Nursing Assistants are professionals healthcare department who provide warm, hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Certified Nursing Assistants help patients with dressing, bathing, and other basic activities involved in daily life.

What is a Medical assistant?

Medical assistants work along with physicians, mainly in outpatient care facilities, such as clinics and medical offices.

Job duties

Medical assistants enjoy the both worlds in healthcare services as they move between direct patient care and directorial tasks.

On the patient health care side, their job duties typically include taking essential signs, administering shots and prescription, preparing blood samples for labotary testing and helping physicians complete exams. On the directorial side, you can find MAs arrangement appointments and save patient records up to date with correct family history and also new information from the visitor.

On the other hand, CNAs work directly with patients all the time. They have less of a hand in conventional medical duties and instead focus on helping patients with basic care in hospitals or nursing homes.

Their job duties include helping patients get dressed, bath, food and transfer to a wheelchair.

Work environments

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistants are increasingly found in the clinic setting, with 57 percent working in physician offices. Only about 15 percent of hospitals work, and the rest are found in pamphlet facilities or chiropractors’ offices.

The work of the CNA, which provides day care, makes them a valuable part of any health care facility that patients need to be long-term. They are also more likely to work in hospitals than MAs. Low percentages of home health care work.

Skills needed

You know that entering the health care field means learning new technical and medical skills. We analyzed real-time job postings to uncover the top skills that employers are looking for in these two important occupations.

Top skills for medical assistants:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Vital signs measurement
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Injections
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)

Top skills for CNAs:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLS) assistance
  • Patient bathing
  • Vital signs measurement
  • Home health assistance

Education requirements

Although both MAs and CNAs are essential to patient care, you do not need a four-year degree to start one of these occupations.

Medical assistants are not required to have a postsecondary degree, although employers prefer candidates who have gone through an MA training program, BLS said. These programs teach medical terminology and anatomy that form a strong foundation for health care.

It may be in your best interest to have some schooling under your belt before you become an MA. The good news is that earning a Medical Assisting Diploma can take up to 12 months to start your new health care career. 4

If you have your vision of becoming a CNA, you need to be certified – it’s on the job title! The first step is to learn the basics of patient care in a state-approved program and then gain experience through clinical work, BLS said.

After completing your education, you will officially become a CNA by passing the state-mandated competency test. Some states may have additional requirements, such as passing a background check or completing continuing education.


Updated: April 12, 2021 — 8:28 pm
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