A certified nursing assistant can practice as a medical assistant (MA) after obtaining their certified nursing license. In most of the states, deserving candidates get posted as MA, because the required training for this post is provided by the employer itself. Most of the training content is similar to the one that is taught in the nurse certification course. Therefore, it is said that a person holding a nurse aide certificate can try to build a career as a MA in the health care industry, if not interested in a CNA job. There is a separate training and certification for medical assistants too and this is conducted in most of the nursing and community colleges. The Association of Medical Technologists and the American Association of Medical Assistants are the major organizations providing this training. During these training sessions you will be taught about the anatomy and physiology of the human body, insurance procedures, medical terms and concepts. However this training is not compulsory like a CNA exam.
Though both the designations sound similar, there is a huge difference between them in respect to their duties. A nurse assistant will have to take care of the patient right from helping them in commutation, changing their bed linens, conducting vital tests such as blood pressure, temperature, rate of pulse and in many other daily activities of the patient. All these activities can be performed by them independently. In case of medical assistants, they too are allowed to carry out vital tests for the patients, not independently but under the guidance of a doctor. They do not assist the patient in their day to day activities. Their main duties include sterilization of instruments, taking electrocardiograms, maintaining clinical records of the patients that would help the physicians to know about the condition of the patient, drawing blood, assisting the administrators in proper management of the health care, maintaining a record of the billing of patients, giving appointments to the patients and advising the patients about the health precautions that they should take. Usually the reporting person for an MA is a doctor or an office manager.
MA's can work in any of the health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care facilities, clinics, surgical care facilities, or in any of the offices where clinical doctors are available. This is so because they should always work under the guidance of a doctor while performing any of the medication.
Thus, after obtaining a nurse assistant certification and preparing your CNA resume, you can build your career as a medical assistant and get an opportunity to learn many things from a physician.