What is the difference between a medical assistant and CNA?

What’s the differences between a Medical Assistant and a Certified Nursing Assistant? It may not seem obvious, but there are many differences in their responsibilities as well as where they are able to work.

Medical Assistant:

Medical Assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. Their duties often vary widely from office to office. The duties the Medical Assistant performs vary due to the size of the office they are working in, the practice of the physician, and the location of the office. In small settings, the Medical Assistant’s duties vary more widely than in a larger setting. The Medical Assistant may handle both administrative and clinical duties, as well as report directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. The Medical Assistant employed in a larger health care setting tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department supervisors. Medical Assistants usually work in well-lighted, clean environments. They may have to constantly interact with people and handle several responsibilities at once. Some Medical Assistants are trained on the job while others complete 1-2 year programs. TS-87649128

Certified Nursing Assistant:

Certified Nursing Assistant’s (CNA’s) may carry out the vast majority of the tasks needed to keep health care centers operating. CNA’s are employed by hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, as well as private individuals. A large amount of a CNA’s work involves personal care duties such as bathing, dressing, and feeding patients, as well as brushing teeth and combing hair. CNA’s help patients in and out of bed, often by lifting or carrying them, and assist them with walking as they travel to and from surgeries and treatments. In almost all work environments, CNA’s answer patients’ calls for help, take their vital signs, and monitor their behavior and physical condition for progress or deterioration. This level of hands-on interaction also means that CNA’s do tasks that some might shy away from, including changing bed pans or soiled undergarments. All CNA’s work under the supervision of an experienced nurse, and report any problems or worsening in a patient’s condition to the facility staff. In most states, a high school diploma or GED is sufficient to start the process of becoming a CNA. From there, applicants are trained in state-approved programs that usually take 6 to 12 weeks to finish; different states have different requirements for the number of credit-hours to be completed, but most candidates need to log 50 to 75 hours before becoming eligible to sit for certification tests.

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