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

Medical Assistant Training Program in Orlando

Healthcare providers in Orlando and the surrounding communities have a great need for medical assistants and certified nursing assistants. That makes the area appealing to students who are looking to start their medical careers by becoming a medical assistant (MA) or certified nursing assistant (CNA). 

But it can be a challenge for students to figure out the real differences between MAs and CNAs. After all, they are both very important support roles that help healthcare facilities meet patient needs. 

Even so, there are significant differences between being a medical assistant and a certified nursing assistantin Orlando. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two jobs so you can make an informed decision about which academic program would fit you best.   

MAs and CNAs Support Different Professionals

Medical assistants spend most of their time working with and supporting doctors. MAs also support physician assistants and other providers in clinics, medical offices and other settings. You can think of a medical assistant as the person who facilitates the interactions between the doctor and patient, the person who makes office visits go smoothly. 

Certified nursing assistants, on the other hand, usually work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). This is why CNAs are sometimes also called “nurses’ aides.” Nurses usually delegate certain duties to the CNA, such as feeding and bathing patients and helping patients get from wheelchair to bed, for example. 

MAs and CNAs Have Different Job Duties

Medical assistants typically perform a combination of patient care tasks and administrative duties. Administratively, the MA might schedule appointments, update medical records and arrange lab work. On the patient care side, the MA might collect blood samples, record vital signs, administer medication and even assist the doctor during minor procedures. 

Certified nursing assistants’ jobs are focused on patient care all the time. Typical job duties include helping patients with daily living activities (bathing, dressing, eating, etc), changing linens, and moving patients who have trouble moving on their own. 

Therefore the CNA role can be physically demanding. CNAs are also regularly in charge of communicating with families, nurses and other staff regarding the patient’s condition. And finally, CNAs often provide the companionship and care that patients need; this aspect can make the job both emotional and rewarding for the right person.

MAs and CNAs Have Different Educational Requirements and Salaries

Medical assistant study programs are typically longer than CNA programs. At Cambridge, you can earn your diploma in medical assisting in 36 weeks. Our CNA program can be completed in just five weeks.

In exchange for the slightly longer education investment, medical assistants typically get paid more than CNAs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for MAs in 2020 was $35,850 while the median annual wage for CNAs was $30,850.

Get Your MA or CNA Certificate/Diploma From Cambridge in Orlando

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology’s Orlando campus offers certificate/diploma programs for aspiring medical assistants and certified nursing assistants. Our advisors would be happy to talk about the programs and help you decide which one to pursue. Give us a call at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.