Difference between Medical Assistant and CNA


Both Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing assistant are career options in medical field. Even though both the professionals work in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and so on, there exist certain differences in the job responsibilities assigned to them. These professionals in general help hospital supervisors in accomplishing various facilities of the hospital. The medical assistants are assigned with various administrative as well as clerical duties in Clinics or in other health care centers. On the other hand, Nursing Assistants support registered nurses in offering health care services to patients.

Medical Assistant Courses and Job opportunities

There is one-year certificate as well as two-year associate degree courses for medical assistants. The course study includes topics on mathematics, science, medical terminology, medical billing and so on. The course imparts students with adequate clinical and administrative skills in medical care environment. After the course, the aspirants have to pass the national certification program for Medical assistants. They can find job openings with hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, retirement communities, and so on. They keep track of the record of patients, their admissions, filling up their insurance claim application forms and so on.

Certified Nursing Assistant Courses and Job opportunities

The time duration for the Certified Nursing Assistant Courses is approximately equal to that of medical assistant courses. The course may include one year training as well as one year apprenticeship program. Well known institutes such as Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, NIMS University etc offers diverse courses in nursing assistant training. After completion of the course, the professionals can get enroll as certified nursing assistants in various health care organisations.

Key differences between Medical Assistant and CNA

  • The job assigned to both the professionals is different. CNAs act as assistants to registered nurses and are inclined to perform clinical duties while MAs are often assigned with administrative and clerical work.
  • A certified nursing assistant care provides health care facilities even in the absence of doctor, as they can report to the registered nurse or other licensed nursing professionals. The medical assistant can only work in an environment where the doctor is present as required by law.
  • The Certified Nursing assistant can get more engaged with medical practice rather than that of a medical assistant.

Medical assistants usually assist doctors and other supervisors in health care facilities where as nursing assistant works under registered or licensed nurse. The risk involved in the job of MA are much low when compared to nursing assistants.



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