Glossary of Medical Titles

When selecting your certification, you want to ensure you are taking the right course for the job you are seeking. Unfortunately, many medical acronyms sound the same but are actually very different from each other. Below is glossary of terms to help you decipher which certification is best for you. Once you know, reserve your seat in class!

Nursing Certifications

Certified Nursing Aide (CNA)

Certified Nursing Aide is the official title for a CNA and is the nursing certification offered at Quality Career Pathways. To become a CNA in Nebraska, you need to complete a 76-hour course where you will learn how to check vital signs, make up patient beds, assist patients with personal tasks and more. View the full course description HERE.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

The next step up in the nursing profession is a Licensed Practical Nurse. They are often the person administering the medical plan for a patient, sometimes with CNAs assisting them. LPNs require formal training, usually at a community college or technical school, that can be completed in about one year. QCP does not offer an LPN course. Most LPN programs require you to be a CNA for admission.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered Nurses or RNs are the ones that work directly with the doctors and medical teams to determine the proper course of action for a patient. Many times they also meet with family members to offer education and guidance about the level of care being provided. RNs become qualified through a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma program from an approved nursing program. Generally these options take anywhere from two to four years to complete, and are not offered at QCP. Most RN programs require you to be a CNA for admission.

Medication Certifications

Certified Medication Aide (CMA)

A CMA administers routine medications and monitors a patient’s vitals and behavior while on medication. This 40-hour course is offered at Quality Career Pathways and is a great way to get a start in the medical profession. View the full course description HERE.

Qualified Medication Aide (QMA)

A Qualified Medication Aide is simply another name for a Certified Medication Aide. It is becoming a popular title in Omaha-area job postings, but know that the terms CMA and QMA can be used interchangeably by employers but the Nebraska Department of Health Human Services utilize the term CMA.

Medical Assistant (MA)

This title can be deceiving. Although it sounds like a CMA, it is actually very different. A Medical Assistant trains for approximately nine months to two years, depending on your workload. The MA program will cover medication management along with more advanced skills like surgical assistance, EKG reading and more. QCP does not offer a MA course.

Additional Certifications

Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

A PCA is one of the most entry-level positions available and is great for someone exploring a possible medical career. The 12-hour training course is offered at Quality Career Pathways and will teach you basic caregiver skills and knowledge. View the course description HERE.

Life Saving Certifications

Basic Life Support (BLS)

Basic Life Support is a comprehensive course specialized for health care professionals that teaches you proper CPR techniques, AED instruction and how to remove airway obstructions in both adults and infants. It is certified by the American Heart Association and is required for hospital and most clinic jobs. View our full course description HERE.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR is just one element included in our BLS course. Specifically it is an emergency procedure consisting of chest compressions combined with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve brain function until further measures are taken to restore blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

The skills in an ACLS course are the same ones you’ll learn in a BLS course, but they are more advanced and designed specifically for health care professionals who will frequently encounter cardiovascular emergencies. QCP does not offer an ACLS certification.

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