Frequently Asked Questions About CMAs

A Certified Medication Aide (CMA) has the skills to administer medication and monitor its effectiveness. The CMA course, along with the CNA course, were the first to be offered at Quality Career Pathways and remain our core classes. Because we have been graduating CMAs since 2011, we have fielded our fair share of questions about this profession. Below are the ones we get asked most often.

CMA taking medication

What is the difference between a Certified Medication Aide and Medical Assistant?

This is the most popular question we receive. While the names may sound similar, they are very different certifications and job titles. A Certified Medication Aide course takes 40 hours to complete and covers the skills required to administer and monitor a patient’s medication. To become a Medical Assistant, your training will take approximately 9 months to 2 years depending on your course load.

While medication administration skills are included in a Medical Assistant program, you will learn additional medical skills in a program like this, such as chart and code reading, surgical assistance procedures, ECG training, sample collection methods, and more. This level of training requires a higher time and cost investment.

Please note: Quality Career Pathways only offers a Certified Medication Course

Should I become a CNA or a CMA?

This is a question only you can answer. What we can do is tell you about the differences between a CNA and a CMA. The CNA course takes a more comprehensive patient care approach and teaches you how to check vital signs, monitor a patient’s safety and wellbeing, and assist with personal tasks. The CMA course is specifically designed to focus on medication administration and monitoring.

So you may be thinking: if I become a CNA, do I also need a CMA certification?

While there are some aspects of medication awareness taught in a CNA course, the level of detail may not be enough for some employers to allow you to administer medication. Some may require the additional CMA certification to do so. Think of it this way, medication is just one part of the overall care plan for a patient. As a CNA you learn the skills to care for the patient’s personal needs. As a CMA you learn the skills to care for the patient’s medication needs. With a dual certification, you can care for the whole person.

Quality Career Pathways

How long does it take to become a CMA?

The Quality Career Pathways CMA Class is a 40 hour course and is offered as an online hybrid. You will complete 24 hours online before coming to the school for 12 hours of hands on training and testing. Courses are offered at our main Fort Campus or our new Vinton Campus.

What is the salary range of a CMA?

No one can predict salaries, but according to Zip Recruiter, the average salary for a Certified Medication Aide in Omaha in 2022 is $27,859.

What are the job opportunities for a CMA?

A Certified Medication Aide can work in a variety of medical settings. Basically anywhere that administers medication to patients can be a future workplace for you, including hospitals, in-home medical care, nursing homes and more.

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