The Heart of Patient Care: Medical Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants
When we think about healthcare careers that impact our daily lives, doctors and nurses often come to mind. However, these practitioners can’t do everything that comes with providing excellent patient care on their own. They need caring and competent professionals who support their work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and anywhere people seek medical care. At the College of Professional Education (CPE), we can help you train for two essential patient care careers: medical assisting and certified nursing assistant (CNA).
Medical Assistant vs. Certified Nursing Assistant: How are They Different?
While both medical assistants and certified nursing assistants will have direct contact with patients, they have different responsibilities.
- often work in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities such as medical offices and clinics
- perform both administrative and clinical tasks
- update patient medical records
- take medical histories
- prepare patients for examinations
- assist during exams
- perform laboratory tests
- administer injections
- explain treatment procedures, medications, and special diets to patients
Certified Nursing Assistants:
- work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN)
- often work in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and long-term care facilities
- dress, bathe, and feed patients
- help patients with range-of-motion exercises and walking
- transport patients
- monitor and report changes in patients’ vital signs, behavior, or personality
Whichever role you choose, you will be impacting lives, serving your community, and building relationships with patients and families.
What is the Job Outlook for Medical Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants?
The aging population will continue to increase the demand for patient care services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both jobs are growing faster than average (23% growth for medical assistants and 11% for certified nursing assistants). In addition, certified nursing assistant was recently named as an occupation that offers a fast-growing salary, receiving an 11.1% pay increase over four years.*
Because medical assistants and certified nursing assistants interact with many medical professionals in a variety of work environments, they receive a good overview of the healthcare field. This experience can be invaluable when considering career advancement opportunities or furthering your education.
Is a Career in Patient Care Right For You?
If you are compassionate, enjoy helping people access the medical care they need, and want to get started in healthcare without earning a four-year degree, becoming a medical assistant or certified nursing assistant may be an excellent choice for you.
The CPE Difference
At the College of Professional Education, our Medical Assisting Certificate is a 14-month course that focuses on both classroom and hands-on training. The course will help you prepare for the National Healthcareer Association Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam and also includes a two-month externship in a physician’s office or urgent care setting.
Our Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate is offered in both daytime and evening formats. Both options include classroom instruction and offsite clinical training that will help prepare you for the State of Georgia Nurse Aide Competency Examination.
Both certificates are taught in our state-of-the-art facility by healthcare experts who are committed to your success.
What Our Graduates Say
“What makes this program unique is the cost. Most MA programs are twice the price and with me being a veteran, I could use my education benefits. Medical Assisting is one of nearly 40 programs approved for VA Education Benefits at CPE.” Kat Lawrence, Medical Assisting graduate
“The teachers genuinely want you to succeed. I would not have chosen any other school for this.” Denisse Sanchez, Medical Assisting graduate
“This program taught me how to safely care for patients and enabled me to have supervised clinical exposure in the hospital and in the nursing home. [It] gave me the basic skills I needed to work safely in the hospital and taught me to think about how my actions in the clinical setting could impact my patients.” Jenna Leo, Certified Nursing Assistant graduate
“I have always wanted to study to be a nursing assistant. It was my dream vocation since I like to help and take care of people. From the first day, I was very pleased and impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the teachers.” Rocio Colon, Certified Nursing Assistant graduate
*Atlanta Journal Constitution