With the demand for professionals in the healthcare industry, it is a little daunting to navigate the many different opportunities out there if you’re interested in a career helping others. Since NTI offers a Certified Medical Assistant training program, we thought it was an appropriate time to clarify the difference between a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA).
What does a CNA do?
CNAs are responsible for direct patient care, which includes tasks such as: turning or moving patients, gathering medical supplies, bathing patients, assisting with daily patient needs (brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.), feeding patients and documenting food and liquid intake, checking vitals, and tending to patient calls and emergencies.
What does a CMA do?
CMAs are responsible for documenting patient medical history, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, taking vital signs, collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, phlebotomy, electrocardiograms, wound care, and preparing and administering medication. CMAs may also perform administrative tasks such as welcoming patients, coding, filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments, coordinating hospital admissions and laboratory services, and updating patient medical records.
Where do CNAs and CMAs work?
Both CNAs and CMAs work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including but not limited to: hospitals, private practices, doctor’s offices, etc. CNAs focus primarily on facilities that provide direct patient care, such as hospices, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. However, CMAs have a little more freedom and more options as they are also able to work in facilities that don’t focus on or provide long-term patient care.
What is the job demand for CNAs vs. CMAs?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CMA job outlook expects to increase by 29% over the next decade, which is at a much higher rate than the CNA job outlook at a 14% increase over the same time frame.
The increase of demand in both lines of work directly correlates to the increase in medical facilities across the nation, as well as advancements in medical technology, and a growing elderly population.
What does the pay look like for CNAs vs. CMAs?
While salaries are dependent on skill set and level of experience, CNAs have an average salary of $30,885 per year (approx. $13.95/hr). CMAs, on average, make about $35,878 per year (approx.. 16.52/hr).