(Closed) Nursing Aide, or Medical Assistant

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
7291 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Nursing aide will keep you in hospitals and perhaps home health, while medical assistants typicall do doctors offices/sub specialties ( Obgyn, gastro, ENT, Ortho, GP’s, etc).

Both are great experience. Nurses aide might be more flexible with shiftwork/nights etc which is beneficial if you are in school, while medical assistants work days, make more most likely, etc.

Post # 4
Member
240 posts
Helper bee

If you want to get into nursing, I say go for the nursing aide position. Sometimes they are called “Patient Care Technicians” (in my area at least). I work in a hospital, and the PCT’s do everything from vital signs, patient transport, EKG’s, admissions, discharge, medical histories, etc.  Most of the PCT’s are in nursing school where I work, and they get a lot of personal attention from the nursing staff.  🙂

Post # 6
Member
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

 I know people that make a career out of both. They make about the same, but MA’s are usually in the clinic where as CNA’s are usually in the hospital or nursing home. If you think you will go into nursing at some point I would go the CNA route, most nursing programs require you to have yur CNA before admitting you into the program.

Post # 7
Member
5543 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

@ieatunicorns:  Hm. That is interesting, none of the ones I applied to required that! I know after most 1st semesters of nursing school you don’t have to take the certification to be a CNA though! 

OP, there are lots of nursing students working as CNAs from my nursing school. I think it gets you the most in hospital exsperiance. 

Post # 8
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

All the nurses I know have had to be a CNA before even starting a nursing program.( and that’s a lot since I work in a hospital laboratory)  Definitely go the CNA route!

Post # 10
Member
830 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

@Mrs.Sunflower:  Keep on the nursing path if your goal is to have children and stay at home or work minimal part time hours. Many nurses in my unit with young children work casual hours (they make themselves available and get booked or not depending on the needs of the unit.) You can have all of the major holidays off (just don’t make yourself available) and work only when you want to (while still making a decent wage.)

One of our nurses works twice a month, night shift only. It can be that flexible. Then, when the kids are grown and you want to work more hours, you’ll be more likely to be hired in the unit because they know you.

If you do decide on the nursing path, nursing aide is the way to go. You will have exposure to equipment, procedures, etc. that will help you in your studies and future job. Good luck – I looove nursing and went back to school at the age of 38 to become one.

By the way MissSunflower, what country do you live in? Each country may have different requirements.

Post # 11
Member
2224 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

My experience- CNA is the least fun, you work in nursing homes and rest homes, etc. You’ll be changing adult diapers and linens and dealing with a lot of gross stuff, BUT they are in high demand! The school is less time and probably less money- you get what you pay for.

MA- It’s a bit cleaner and nicer. You work more in a drs office and take vitals, chart patients drug history / health history, clean up rooms, a whole plethora of stuff! Schooling is longer, mine was 6 months classroom and 180 hours of externship. It was about $18k, including equipment and books.

Post # 12
Member
830 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

@Omgbunnies:  True, but there are positions for nursing aides in hospitals (called PSW – personal support worker here in Toronto, Canada.) The OPs best bet, if she chooses to continue in nursing, is to obtain a position in a hospital as a nursing aide/psw. Most docs where I live prefer RNs (vs medical office assistants) to work in their offices (several job postings on my hospital’s internal website from docs seeking RNs to work in their office doing vitals, billing, initial call screening etc.) So much depends on the country in which OP lives (and even within that country, different regions will have different practices.) Either way, if possible, the OP should seriously consider becoming a Registered Nurse – it provides varied carreer opportunities, flexible work hours (depending on schedule) and a decent wage.

Post # 13
Member
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

In my area (Texas), none of the nursing schools require a CNA before being acepted to a nursing program.

That being said, if you are interested in becoming an RN or LVN, you should persue the CNA route. It is a dirty job, but being a nurse is a dirty job too.

Post # 14
Member
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I’m a CNA so I might be bias, although I did think about becoming an MA when I decided I didn’t want to be a nurse, but instead I went in a different direction with my education.  I know people who have made a career out of both, so I would say that it’s a non-issue.

The great part of being a CNA is that you can work with an actual nursing staff, unlike being an MA.  You get to see firsthand what nurses do.  I know at the hospital where I work, as a CNA you can work in the nursing home, hospice/home care, medical/surgical , or the OB.  It also doesn’t take a lot of time to become a CNA which means it isn’t a big loss.  You also have a good chance of becoming an RN if you worked at that place as a CNA.

The hours as a CNA have been very flexible for me being an over full time student and there always seem to be a lot of job openings.  I just work casuel now, just picking up open shifts.  Being a CNA paid for my associates degree completely out of pocket without any loans.

 

Post # 15
Member
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

@chasesgirl:  It’s  requirement in our state for all nursing programs. You don’t have to work as a CNA, but you have to be certififed. It makes sense when you think about it though.

Post # 16
Member
5543 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

@ieatunicorns:  

That is interesting. Here it is opposite, being in a nursing program certifies you to work as a CNA.

The topic ‘Nursing Aide, or Medical Assistant’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors