Cna vs Ma: Difference and Comparison

Medical support involves working continuously in various healthcare facilities. As an occupation, it demands full attention and determination. As you are working with patients, you must also be cautious.

Medical assistant and clinical nursing assistant are two essential occupations in terms of medical support facilities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) primarily provide basic patient care, whereas Medical Assistants (MAs) perform clinical and administrative tasks.
  2. CNAs require state certification after training, while MAs complete a formal educational program and may obtain certification.
  3. Both CNAs and MAs work in healthcare settings but have distinct roles and responsibilities within patient care.

Cna vs Ma

The difference between Cna and Ma is that clinical nursing assistants work on providing basic care to patients. In contrast, medical assistants work more on the completion of administrative tasks. The two have other differences in terms of their work, terminology, duties and responsibilities, routine or shifts, and requirements.

Cna vs Ma

A clinical nursing assistant is a medical supporter who works towards providing basic care to patients in healthcare centres. They are commonly referred to as a nursing aide. They also render their services in nursing homes.

Their job demands more physical labour than medical assistants. 

A medical assistant is a medical supporter who works towards providing assistance in the completion of clinical as well as administrative tasks in healthcare facilities. They are commonly referred to as a clinical assistant.

They handle the front and back office work in a hospital or a doctor’s clinic.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCna Ma
WorkThese work more closely with the nurses and less with the doctors. These work more closely with the doctors and less with the nurses.
TerminologyThey are commonly referred to as nursing aides.They are commonly referred to as clinical or healthcare assistants.
DutyThe duties involve all hands-on work regarding taking care of the patient. The duties involve other activities like filling out forms, taking calls, scheduling appointments, reports, documentation, and so on.
RoutineTheir typical shift or routine involves toileting, bathing, changing clothes, feeding, answering the patient calls, tracking their daily intake, and assisting them in physical movements. Their typical shift or routine involves preparing the patient’s reports, getting them ready for doctor’s appointments, checking examination tools or rooms, taking their samples for examination (example- drawing blood), and organizing things. 
RequirementsThe requirements for this role vary based on the location. The duration of the training courses is between 1 or 4 months. Post training, the candidates have to go through state examination including practical as well as clinical questions.They can work without any prior education or training. The training can be provided during the job by the employer. 

What is Cna?

A clinical nursing assistant, commonly referred to as a nursing aide, refers to a medical supporter who provides basic care to hospital patients. They also render their services in nursing homes.

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They have a job that requires more physical labour than medical assistants.

They are the ones who take complete care of the patients on a daily basis. In general, they are responsible for the following activities: Toileting, bathing, answering the call signals, changing diapers of old people, changing clothes, helping bedridden patients change their positions, assisting them in the execution of daily activities, feeding them with food or water, record their daily intake of solids and liquids, and record their daily output of solids and liquids.

Their work is more on the clinical side of healthcare services. Their interaction is more with the nurses. They interact with the doctors only when necessary or asked. In nursing homes, they are also the primary caregivers.

In nursing homes as well as residential clients, they interact more with the patients.

cna

What is Ma?

A medical assistant or commonly referred to as a clinical assistant refers to an individual assisting in the completion of clinical as well as administrative tasks in a hospital or healthcare facility. They handle the work at a hospital help desk or a doctor’s clinic.

Their work does not involve the huge amount of physical labour required by the nursing assistants.

They work more closely with the doctors and less with the nurses.

Their responsibilities depend upon a number of factors, including the location of the healthcare centre, the type of healthcare centre (doctor’s clinic, hospital, examination centre), and the size of the healthcare centre.

However, the duties, in general, including answering the phone calls, handling front-office work, handling back-office work, preparing and updating the patients’ charts and reports, compiling the reports in a file, scheduling appointments with others, preparation of treatment and examination rooms, explanation of procedures to patients, collection of samples or specimens (urine collection, drawing blood), checking the equipment (injections, boxes), talking to the relatives of the patient, and coordinating with physicians.

Nurse Practitioner

Main Differences Between Cna and Ma

  1. Cna works more closely with nurses and less with doctors. Ma works more closely with the doctors and less with the nurses.
  2. Cna is commonly referred to as a nursing aide. Ma is commonly referred to as a clinical or healthcare assistant.
  3. The duties of a Cna involve all hands-on work regarding taking care of the patient. The duties of a Ma involve other activities like filling out forms, taking calls, scheduling appointments, reports, documentation, and so on.
  4. A typical Cna shift or routine involves toileting, bathing, changing clothes, feeding, answering the patient’s calls, tracking their daily intake, and assisting them in physical movements. Their typical Ma shift or routine involves preparing the patient’s reports, getting them ready for doctor’s appointments, checking examination tools or rooms, taking their samples for examination (for example- drawing blood), and organizing things.
  5. The requirements for a Cna role vary based on the location. The duration of the training courses is between 1 and 4 months. Post-training, the candidates have to go through state examinations, including practical as well as clinical questions. A Ma can work without any prior education or training. The training can be provided during the job by the employer. 
Difference Between Cna and Ma
References
  1. https://journals.healio.com/doi/abs/10.3928/00220124-20100401-10
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Last Updated : 22 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Cna vs Ma: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The information gives a good overview of the difference between these two roles. It’s essential to have clarity about the duties and responsibilities of the professionals working in the healthcare sector.

    Reply
  2. The comparison of CNA and MA roles presented in this article is truly enlightening. It’s beneficial for anyone considering a career in the healthcare industry.

    Reply
  3. This article is so enlightening! It’s incredible to see the differences between the two roles so clearly outlined. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  4. The article provides a comprehensive comparison of clinical nursing assistants and medical assistants, offering valuable insights to those interested in these healthcare professions.

    Reply
  5. This comparison is very helpful to understand the key differences between these two important roles in the healthcare industry. It’s really great to know more about what each of them does.

    Reply
  6. The roles of CNAs and MAs are clearly defined in this article, which is very informative for those looking to pursue a career in the medical field.

    Reply

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