What is the Difference Between a CNA and a Medical Assistant

Difference Between a CNA and a Medical Assistant

What is CAN?

The Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA assists patients with daily living and other health care needs under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

While there are some similarities to working with patients and providing care to certified nursing assistants and medical assistants, it is important not to confuse both health care professionals.
Both careers assist doctors, nurses and other health care providers with treatments, procedures and testing. Nursing assistants have specific job-related duties that are dictated by job status.

Difference Between a CNA and a Medical Assistant

What Does a CNA do?

CNAs can help a unit run properly and smoothly, especially for those nurses that have multiple medical patients. Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant include, but are not limited to:

  • Turning or repositioning patients
  • Obtaining vital signs per protocol
  • Answering patient calls/bells
  • Bathing patients
  • Documentation of information obtained
  • Combing hair, shaving, caring for nails and brushing teeth
  • Cleaning rooms and bed linens
  • Stock supplies
  • Prepare rooms for admissions
  • Helping with medical procedures
  • Dressing wounds
  • Assisting patients with elimination

What is medical assistant?

Medical Assistant, also known as “Clinical Assistant” or Healthcare Assistant in the USA is an allied health professional who supports the work of doctors and other health professionals, usually in a clinic setting. Medical assistants are certified by an accredited program. Medical assistants perform routine tasks and procedures in the medical clinic.

“Medical Assistant” may be certified or enrolled or may be loosely defined group (covering relevant professional titles such as “Medical Office Assistant”, “Clinical Assistant”, “Assistant Medical Officer” or “Ophthalmic Assistant”). Not to be confused with the profession of physician assistants, they are trained by licensed professionals to practice medicine and perform surgical procedures in collaboration with a physician.
Medical assistants work along with physicians, mainly in outpatient care facilities, such as clinics and medical offices.

Job duties of Medical Assistant

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.

Skills needed

Top skills for medical assistants:

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

Top skills for CNA

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

Related: Difference Between a CNA and a Medical Assistant

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