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Can a CMA Get a Job as a CNA?

A CMA, or certified medical assistant, generally has a longer instruction course than that of a CNA, or certified nursing assistant. Unfortunately, the average CMA has not been properly trained when it comes to the tasks that are demanded of a nursing assistant. A medical assisting program is generally designed to train individuals perform clerical and administrative tasks within a doctor's office, hospital, clinic or some other type of healthcare facility. Although medical systems generally work directly under a nurse practitioner or physician and the duties that are required of them are quite similar to that of a nursing assistant, they are not nursing assistants.

A certified medical assistant will perform a variety of tasks ranging from making appointments, answering phones, transcription duties and even maintaining medical records. They may also be responsible for handling billing and collections on behalf of their employer. Some certified medical assistant will also be responsible for certain clinical tasks including preparing a patient for an examination, taking vital signs and even collecting specimens. They may also irresponsible for certain medical procedures such as urine or blood tests, cardio brands, dressing changes and the removal of sutures.

A certified nursing assistant, on the other hand, is generally responsible for more of the clinical aspects of patient care and less of the administrative duties. Although the training necessary to become a certified nursing assistant is generally shorter than that of a CMA, the two positions are not automatically interchangeable. Many individuals who are interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant have found that it is possible to get training while being employed at a nursing facility rather than enrolling in a program at a technical, vocational or community college. The duties of a nursing assistant often include aiding a patient with bathing and hygiene.

Although many CMA's and CNA's are perfectly well qualified to perform the duties of the other, most medical facilities will require an individual to have received the necessary training for their particular position. This means that a CMA may find it difficult, but not impossible, to find employment as a CNA. The training become in their certified nursing assistant generally takes anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks and usually costs less than $2000. Although the number of positions available for qualified nursing staff is expected to grow dramatically over the next 10 years, an individual with the training necessary to be a certified medical assistant may find that additional training is necessary to become a CNA