Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients or clients with healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The individual who carries this title needs a strong work ethic and ability, but issues of liability and legality prevent CNAs from performing certain procedures.
Certified Medication Aide
A certified medication aide, or CMA, administers routine oral medications and is responsible for monitoring a patient’s vitals and behavior while on medication.
So What is the Difference
The first difference comes with time requirements to get your certification. A Certified Nursing Assistant Certification requires 76 hours of curriculum and training, while it only takes 40 hours to get a CMA Certification.
Because of the increased training involved, there is also a difference in pay. In the Omaha, NE area CNAs have an average salary of $30,000, while full-time CMAs generally make about $25,000 a year. If you get a double certification as a CNA and CMA, your salary could jump to $35,000.
Both of these training programs will prepare the student for work in a health care facility (e.g. Assisted Living, nursing facility, hospital) or in a residential setting (e.g. in-home care), but CNAs also have the opportunity to work within doctor offices and hospitals.