When it comes to the medical community and nursing assistant positions, there are a variety of different titles that can be used to classify the level the education and training required of an employee. Below is a list of common titles and the general requirements for each. This list was compiled from the inquiries and questions we receive most.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
To become a CNA, you will need to take a certification course. The CNA Classes offered at Quality Career Pathways is 76 hours and includes state testing. While salary ranges fluctuate based on demand and location, according to Salary.com THIS is the average salary for a CNA in Omaha.
Sometimes CNAs are called Nursing Assistant or Nurse Aide. When looking at job descriptions, make sure you look carefully at the requirements.
Certified Medication Aide (CMA)
A Certified Medication Aide focuses solely on the medication side of the medical responsibilities. While not all CMAs administer medication, they all monitor the effects they can have on the patient. There are 2 levels of Medication Aide in Nebraska. The Quality Career Pathways 40-Hour CMA Classes are required if you are going to work in an assisted living facility, nursing home, or an intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities.
Like with all careers, the salary levels fluctuate constantly. Indeed.com keeps track of the averages. Visit THIS LINK to see the average hourly rate of Omaha CMAs.
Medical Assistant or Medical Aide (MA)
Nursing Assistant – Medication Aide – Medical Assistant – they all sound so similar, right? But you need to know there is a big difference. We have already described a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) but what about a Medical Assistant or a Medical Aide (MA)?
People with this title are basically a doctor’s right hand. Meaning, they most often help doctors instead of nurses. They prep patients, update charts, and prepare medical instruments. The key piece that makes a Medical Assistant different than a CNA or CMA is the additional training on the administrative side of the medical world. Because of this extra certification, Medical Assistants generally have a higher salary than CNAs and CMAs.
Currently, Quality Career Pathways does not offer a Medical Assistant (MA) Certification Course but is planning to add to our offerings in late 2021.
Patient Care Technician (PCT)
The term Patient Care Technician (PCT) – or Patient Care Assistant (PCA) – is often used by one of QCP’s Premier Partners, Nebraska Medicine, to promote their CNA positions. Other employers do it too.
As we stated in our CNA discussion, many times job titles are used interchangeably without justification. But they are not the same. Just make sure you read all the qualifications when applying for a job so you know exactly what the employer is seeking.
While some states require an outside certified training program to become a Phlebotomist, Nebraska is not one of them. (See more information about this HERE. But trust us, there are only four states require you to become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT): California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington.)
In Nebraska, employers will provide phlebotomy training on-site through a hands-on approach. In most states, “No experience required. Training will be provided.” You just need to have a high school diploma, a good work ethic, and the willingness to learn.
Quality Career Pathways does NOT provide Phlebotomy training or testing.
Certified EKG Technician (CET)
The last certification we will cover is a Certified EKG Technician (CET). This is a course that teaches you how to read an EKG or ECG chart. An EKG (Electrocardiogram) test records and monitors electrical impulses transmitted by the heart. While formal certification is not mandated by every employer, many prefer it.
Quality Career Pathways currently does not provide CET training or testing.
Hopefully this answers many of your questions around the various nursing titles and certifications. Keep in mind, EVERY state and employers have different requirements and terminology when using these titles, so it’s best to the employer who has posted the position. If you have any additional questions about Quality Career Pathways’ courses, please contact us.