What Is The Difference Between Medical Assistant And CNA?

What Is The Difference Between Medical Assistant And CNA?

Medical Assistants and CNAs are the two popular branches of careers in the health care industry. Although both titles seem similar, there is a wide range of difference between a medical assistant and a CNA in terms of the roles and responsibilities they perform, where they work, and the requirements to get these two degrees. Both professionals are assisting doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to deliver a better treatment to their patients.

Certified Nursing Assistant Vs Medical Assistant 

The most significant difference between a Medical Assistant and a CNA is the work environment: a medical assistant primarily works in clinics and hospitals under the direct supervision of physicians. Whereas a nursing assistant works primarily in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Here are some of the other major differences between CNAs and Medical Assistants:

Training Program

Certified Nursing Assistants: To become a CNA, students need to enroll a state – approved CNA training program. CNA training programs offered in Pennsylvania range from three to eight weeks. The CNA aspirants must complete a high school diploma to attend the CNA training program and to get certified. The CNA classes include direct patient care, CPR certification, patient safety, medication, documenting, clinical training and so on.

Medical Assistants: The successful completion of an accredited post-secondary program for Medical Assistant is essential to get the certification as a Medical Assistant. The centers like community colleges, technical schools and universities offer training programs across Pennsylvania. The training program involves the patient assessment, bookwork, and hands-on patient care experience.

Scope of Practice

Certified Nursing Assistants: Certified Nursing Assistant is a significant part of the nursing program. However, the scope of CNA is varies from state to state. CNAs are able to provide support in the day-to-day life of patients. CNAs spend most of their time with patients by providing them with direct care. They also work closely with registered nurses.

Medical Assistants: Medical Assistants can perform both clinical and administrative duties such as medical documentation, billing, scheduling treatments, explaining procedures and ordering lab tests. Medical Assistants have the opportunity to interact with Physicians, healthcare professionals, patients throughout the day.

Duties and Responsibilities

Certified Nursing Assistants: The primary responsibility of Certified Nursing Assistants is to provide care to the patients. They also provide basic support in all areas of the medical industry such as assisting nurses, administering medication, performing diagnostic tests and so on. Following are some of the other significant duties of CNAs:

  • Help patients eat and drink timely
  • Help patients bathe and dress properly
  • Listen to their health concerns and inform nurses or doctors
  • Transport patients to healthcare units and other essential places
  • Help with medication
  • Monitor blood pressure and temperature
  • Reposition and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs

Medical Assistants: The duties and responsibilities of Medical Assistance may vary from clinic to clinic depending on the size, and location. Medical Assistants have to perform both clinical and administrative duties that include:

  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Handling billing and accounting services
  • Preparing patients for exams and tests
  • Assisting physicians during exams
  • Performing laboratory tests
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Documenting medical records