What’s the Difference Between a Medical Assistant and CNA in Atlanta?

What Careers Come After Being a Medical Assistant in Miami?

Becoming a medical assistant or a certified nursing assistant is a great way to get your foot in the door of Atlanta’s healthcare world. You can make yourself a candidate for these jobs by completing a certificate/diploma program that doesn’t take very long—5 weeks for a CNA and 36 weeks for an MA at Cambridge’s Atlanta campus. 

How do you know which job you might prefer? We’ll highlight some of the differences in this guide so you can get a better idea of which one might fit you best. 

Job Duties and Workplace Settings for a CNA

Also known as a patient care assistant (PCA) or a nursing aide, the job of a certified nursing assistant is to provide hands-on care to patients. At the direction of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, the CNA performs tasks such as:

  • Repositioning patients who cannot move well on their own
  • Lifting patients from wheelchair to bed
  • Assisting patients with eating, bathing, dressing and using the bathroom
  • Checking vital signs

CNAs work directly with patients and get to know them over time. As a result, the CNA is often the first to spot any physical or behavioral changes in a patient. The CNA reports such changes to their RN or LPN so they can decide whether the patient needs further attention or might need to see the doctor.

CNAs are employed in several different types of facilities, including rehab centers, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, adult daycare centers, and sometimes in hospitals. CNAs are not often employed at outpatient clinics or private doctor’s practices.

Job Duties and Workplace Settings for a Medical Assistant

Like a CNA, a medical assistant provides direct care to patients. But the MA role also includes a variety of administrative tasks that help the facility operate smoothly, so the MA is not purely a patient care position.

An MA might spend part of the day doing office-related tasks such as updating records and setting up appointments. The smaller the office, the more administrative work they might need. MAs also spend part of their day working on clinical matters, which might include taking a patient’s vitals, administering medication, and preparing specimen samples for testing. 

The most common workplace for an MA is a clinic or physician’s office. However, they may work in hospitals or outpatient care facilities too.

Earn Your CNA or MA Diploma From Cambridge College in Atlanta

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology is proud to offer diplomas in medical assisting and certified nursing assisting to students in Atlanta. If you want to know more about the differences between MAs and CNAs, explore our site or contact our academic advising team. Call 877-206-4279 or send us a message.