There are many people who uses the terms “certified nurse assistants” and “medical assistants” interchangeably. Are they right? Certified medical and nurse assistants are always in demand. The difference in the two is more pronounced if people would decide on what career path to take after them. But, really, how do they differ?

A medical assistant is mostly seen in a physician’s office. Without them, a physician would have to welcome the patients, make sure they are comfortable, take initial notes on the patients, weigh them, ask questions, lead them to their clinic, diagnose them, ask more questions, treat them and then write them prescriptions. They would also need to remember all their meetings, and set appointments with their clients personally. What do you ever see your physician do? Mostly, you would only be passed on to the physician after a medical assistant have welcomed you, made you sit, take notes on your health condition, ask questions and then lead you to the physician’s office room.

A nurse assistant is someone that is mostly known to take care of residents. Rather than physicians, their direct interactions are with licensed nurses. Nurse assistants are more exposed to medical equipments and nurse works than medical assistants. Basic tests like blood draws and blood pressure tests could be done by a certified nurse assistant. Medical records are kept up-to-date by assistants, and a patient’s vital signs are always noted. However, there is one main thing that distinguishes them from medical assistants: bedside care. Nurse assistants could bathe, feed, clean and take care of a resident patient. More than 90% of all nurse assistants are females, and they could earn from $ 8 to $ 14 per hour. Nurse assistants could continue to be nurses too.

Nurse assistant trainings could take 1 and a half to three full months. You could never handle a patient without completing a 16-hour discussion about it. These 16 hours would be devoted to teaching them to move patients, help them eat, bathe and dress, and even to do bed baths. After the training, you would be expected to handle all patients with care. Completing the while 3 months of training would determine the things in which you are good at. You would only be given a chance to practice those skills in which you are deemed effective and proficient.

In trainings, a person who aspires to be a nurse assistant would need to spend about 75 hours of class discussions. Around 16 to 24 additional hours would be allotted for clinical practices. Theoretical knowledge is important, but skills are even more important. To become a certified nurse assistant, you need to pass a state test. These tests would be random and would test different skills that would gauge your understanding about how you are supposed to do the job and how skillfully you do them would define what you could practice as a nurse assistant. You could renew your license as a nurse aide, but you need to provide proofs that you are still continuing education.

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