Becoming a medical assistant (MA) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) allows you to enter the medical field in Miami without dedicating years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to medical school.
Both jobs give you the chance to work with patients and experience the fulfillment of helping people. But there are key differences between the medical assistant and CNA jobs that you will want to know about when you’re choosing what to study in college.
If you choose to become a medical assistant in the Miami area, you’ll spend your days doing a combination of clinical tasks and administrative tasks. Exactly what you do will depend on where you work, but most MAs perform job duties such as:
- Updating and filing patient medical records
- Scheduling appointments and laboratory services
- Preparing treatment rooms for patient examinations
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Collecting laboratory specimens and performing basic laboratory tests
- Administering medications and injections
CNAs in the Miami area differ from MAs in that the CNA job almost exclusively focuses on direct patient care. As a CNA, you really become an assistant to the patient, and to the medical staff you work with. It’s an emotionally rewarding job as you get to see the positive impact you have on patients. It’s also challenging because you see people who are struggling.
As a CNA, your job duties will vary based on where you work, but you can expect that everything you do will be clinical, not administrative. Miami CNAs usually perform duties like:
- Visiting patients’ rooms when they press the call button
- Turning or repositioning bedridden patients
- Helping patients perform daily living activities like eating and dressing
- Measuring and recording food and liquid intake
- Measuring and recording urinary and fecal output
As you can see these tasks all involve working directly with the patient. Unlike MAs, who might spend some time scheduling appointments or doing other administrative tasks, the CNA’s job is entirely about assisting patients.
Here are a few things to think about as you decide whether to pursue an MA education or a CNA education:
- Do you think of yourself as a compassionate caregiver? If so, perhaps a CNA job in a Miami nursing home or long-term care facility would be a fit, because those places are always in need of people who care deeply about aging and infirm residents.
- Are you interested in healthcare administration? If so, then the medical assistant path could be a better fit because MAs get introduced to the admin side of healthcare.
- Is money an important factor for you? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average MA salary for 2020 was $35,850 while the average CNA salary was $30,850. MAs make a few thousand more per year on average.
Get your healthcare career started at the Miami campus of Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology. If you aren’t quite sure whether to go for the MA or CNA diploma, you can always talk to one of our advisors who can answer all your questions. Reach us at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.