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Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky

67 months ago

I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am worried that I am making the wrong choice. I am starting my A.A.S in Medical Assisting this spring but with all the new graduates and the lack of jobs I am worried that this is a bad investment. I worry that the pay is not what I thought it would be and that there is a lack of respect for this profession. I have been thinking that I should just go ahead and get my nursing degree but I worry about the competition on getting in the school, trying to work while I am going, the stress, the death of a patient, and the hours. I work in retail now and I hate that I have to work every holiday and can't spend time with my family. These were the reasons I chose medical assistanting instead but if the job market is bad and the money and respect aren't there then I am rethinking my decision. I don't want to spend all the money on student loans and either not get a job or get low wages when I can do that without an education. Any advice??

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Learning Something New Everyday in Stockton, California

67 months ago

I was in the same situation, 6 months ago I graduated and didn't find any work. Now I owe six thousand to the school and the school claimed that so many are working. But what they failed to count is that as long as they are working and it doesn't matter where, they still counted. I feel bad for those that go into these programs because they need to find work and support themselves. These for-profit places are just bad and hide the truth from there students. Now, no one made me sign up and I actually found the program to be of great interest.So my advice to you is to get your nursing degree, it will benefit you much better in the long run. Another thing is if you want clinical experience then you could go to school for CNA. Its a dirty job but you will be working along side nurses and gaining experience.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

67 months ago

It seems like every medical "specialty" field is flooded, so the pay decreases steadily. What I call local "storefront colleges" (they seem to take over supermarket locations) offer classroom training & should offer internships for experience, so they need a certain number of students to pay their expenses w/no regard for actual employability (hey, same goes for community colleges). No one told us truthfully about our veterinary technology degree (abusive work environments/low pay - no wonder there are job openings if you're masochistic & wealthy)!

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Kat in Mansfield, Texas

67 months ago

Well you really can't go wrong with choosing nursing as far as finding employment and salary. With your RN you have pretty much endless opportunities and are in great demand and usually get paid very well, like $24-25/hr starting pay where I live. LPNs or LVNs usually have more limited opportunities as far as employment settngs or specialities, but are still in demand and the pay starts off less more like $18-20/hr where I live. Maybe I am being judgemental, but if one is going to spend thousands of dollars on schooling wouldn't one research the employment availability, work environment and typical pay before you started instead of taking a for profit school's word? It's sad that some schools take advantage of people that way, but I find it hard to feel sorry for them for not knowing better. Always do your own research before you make a commitment.

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Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky

67 months ago

I did research the job before applying to the school. I am not going to a diploma mill school lol. I am going to a community college that only charges $95 per credit hour. I looked into some other schools here and they wanted twice that and sometimes more!! I won't have to go to school as long as others either because I have transferable credits from before. I was disheartened after reading some of the posts on the forum and worried that the job is looked down upon by others in the healthcare field. There are always MA jobs in the paper where I live though so I hope I will be lucky. I worry about going into the nursing program because burnout is high here for nurses. I have a couple of friends who left nursing because of the stress. Hight patient workload and the pay here isn't as high as other places in the US. I think I will stick with it and hopefully make some good contacts at the externships I have to do.

Thanks to everyone who responded though :)

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

67 months ago

What makes me most sad is how many people look at employment itself & not at the work environment. I LOVED my job as a vet tech; it was a perfect fit for a single senior like myself who wanted a job that meant something. I love science (I'm female, so I'm limited to bioscience), so the continuing education was great. It's the work environment that's abusive @ 3-4 clinics that no one mentions, & "low pay" is different than inability of support yourself financially.

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Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

67 months ago

Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky said: I did research the job before applying to the school. I am not going to a diploma mill school lol. I am going to a community college that only charges $95 per credit hour. I looked into some other schools here and they wanted twice that and sometimes more!! I won't have to go to school as long as others either because I have transferable credits from before. I was disheartened after reading some of the posts on the forum and worried that the job is looked down upon by others in the healthcare field. There are always MA jobs in the paper where I live though so I hope I will be lucky. I worry about going into the nursing program because burnout is high here for nurses. I have a couple of friends who left nursing because of the stress. Hight patient workload and the pay here isn't as high as other places in the US. I think I will stick with it and hopefully make some good contacts at the externships I have to do.

Thanks to everyone who responded though :)

Michelle,

You are right to look at the reasons why there are so many jobs available in nursing. It's because many nurses spent all the money on school, worked hard, went through the stress and no longer want to be nurses. They are trying to get back into ambulatory care or insurance companies, so that they can have regular hours and less stress. Many people will say "just get your LPN/RN"; but then why are nurses leaving the field in large numbers? One of the reasons that MAs are looked down on, is because they are trained to do the same things as nurses; in ambulatory care and nurses want those jobs back. It isn't because they don't think that MAs are sufficiently educated to do patient care, it's because THEY ARE.

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Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky

67 months ago

You are absolutely right pebcle and Ramona. I don't need this income as my sole way of taking care of my family. It will be supplemental because my husband has a job. I wanted something that was better than retail and could help me put away more for my kids education. Our college plan didn't gain anything at all this year and my part time retail job just isn't enough to help with that. I want something with regular hours and that is worthwhile as well. I think I would like to do this type of work and even though it isn't nursing I think I will still be providing a valuable service to people. I honestly think nurses don't get enough for what they have to do. Beligerent patients and families (who are probably sick or upset I know) that don't appreciate them and the pay isn't enough. I don't really want that. I work in retail which isn't nursing I know but you are treated as less than a person alot and I have a feeling nurses deal with that frequently.

Thanks for the responses :)

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Kat in Mansfield, Texas

67 months ago

Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Michelle,

You are right to look at the reasons why there are so many jobs available in nursing. It's because many nurses spent all the money on school, worked hard, went through the stress and no longer want to be nurses. They are trying to get back into ambulatory care or insurance companies, so that they can have regular hours and less stress. Many people will say "just get your LPN/RN"; but then why are nurses leaving the field in large numbers? One of the reasons that MAs are looked down on, is because they are trained to do the same things as nurses; in ambulatory care and nurses want those jobs back. It isn't because they don't think that MAs are sufficiently educated to do patient care, it's because THEY ARE.

I'm and LVN and work with both LVNs and RNs. In my 3 years as a nurse, I know none of them who are "trying to get back into ambulatory care or insurance companies." I have no desire to myself. Business hours, M-F, no thank you. From what I hear is that it is fairly boring because nurses don't get to fully use their skills and practice as automonously as in inpatient settings. Not to mention the pay is significantly less. So I'm not sure where you are coming up with you information.

Some nurses might look down upon MAs because some of them have the attitude that they are basically a nurse and learn and know all the same things. When in actuality, if you have been to nursing school and have practiced as a nurse you know it is not true. What irks us the most is when they are actually called nurses by the doctor or by themselves, which is actually a legal issue - nurse is a protected title. Yes the general public is none the wiser and thinks anyone in scrubs is a nurse. MAs have an important place in the healthcare field and are trained for certain areas, but they are not the same as a nurse. I'm happy where I am at, so 'NO' I don't "want my job back", whatever that means...

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Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

67 months ago

I'm and LVN and work with both LVNs and RNs. In my 3 years as a nurse, I know none of them who are "trying to get back into ambulatory care or insurance companies." I have no desire to myself. Business hours, M-F, no thank you. From what I hear is that it is fairly boring because nurses don't get to fully use their skills and practice as automonously as in inpatient settings. Not to mention the pay is significantly less. So I'm not sure where you are coming up with you information.

Some nurses might look down upon MAs because some of them have the attitude that they are basically a nurse and learn and know all the same things. When in actuality, if you have been to nursing school and have practiced as a nurse you know it is not true. What irks us the most is when they are actually called nurses by the doctor or by themselves, which is actually a legal issue - nurse is a protected title. Yes the general public is none the wiser and thinks anyone in scrubs is a nurse. MAs have an important place in the healthcare field and are trained for certain areas, but they are not the same as a nurse. I'm happy where I am at, so 'NO' I don't "want my job back", whatever that means...

Just because your circle of nurses is not trying to get back into ambulatory care, insurance companies or other positions that are not in hospitals does not mean that that applies to all nurses. All you need to do is read the nursing forums and you will see that what I am saying is true.

I understand the anger at MAs who call themselves nurses. They shouldn't and don't need to. MAs are ambulatory care providers and are trained as such, and not for bedside care. Some of the things overlap into nursing, but that doesn't make them nurses. As ambulatory care providers they are specialized in areas that bedside nurses are not; such as phlebotomy, lab procedures; EKGs; HMO regulations; CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS coding and medicolegal issues. Doctors should refer to medical assistants as MAs.

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Kat in Mansfield, Texas

67 months ago

Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said:
Just because your circle of nurses is not trying to get back into ambulatory care, insurance companies or other positions that are not in hospitals does not mean that that applies to all nurses. All you need to do is read the nursing forums and you will see that what I am saying is true.

I do read nursing forums, for instance allnurses.com and I do not find that to be the concensus. I have worked in different hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, in two different states so it's not just one circle of nurses either, just to clarify.

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wandab in Hamtramck, Michigan

67 months ago

I don't spend alot of time reading on this board or responding, however I must say. I went to school as a medical assistant 15 years ago when they were in demand and easily found a job soon after. Cost of my education 8 month program $3000.

There is no way today I would pay more than $5000 to become a medical assistant considering the pay a new assistant starts out with. If you do the research receptionist/front desk staff get paid more. So if you choose to pursue this career go to the front.

I never went back to be a nurse because that was never my desire. I am not willing to work the hours or do the leg work and you truly need to have the heart to work as a nurse. So much need for nurse's in care for the sick and elderly, not my cup of tea.

I still work in the medical field (RMA) as an insurance examiner for the past 8 years and average $20 hour. This works best for me because I have 3 children (16, 10, 7) and a husband to care for.

There are plenty of jobs in the medical field that pay just as well as a nurse without crazy work schedules. Some times nurse's do think they are better than anyone else because of the money, but money is not everything and I have worked with a nurse whom I swear someone took her exam for her.

Just do your research before choosing to spend lots of money on a career. I have gone on to earn my business degree so that I can open my own maternity store. I will be moving to Florida at the end of the year and plan to open my store by 2010. For now I will be trying my product line on the web.

Good luck to all of you in whatever you choose. Lots of great careers are possible. MA's also try working for someone like AAA insurance in their medical claims dept.

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ag389w in Huntsville, Alabama

67 months ago

wandab in Hamtramck, Michigan
You just made my vision clear I want to be in the medical field, but not a nurse that's why so many people get into the profession but never stay. I'll do medical assistant right know but I want to do something administrative like an run a health insurance company

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jill in Charleston, South Carolina

67 months ago

Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky said: I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am worried that I am making the wrong choice. I am starting my A.A.S in Medical Assisting this spring but with all the new graduates and the lack of jobs I am worried that this is a bad investment. I worry that the pay is not what I thought it would be and that there is a lack of respect for this profession. I have been thinking that I should just go ahead and get my nursing degree but I worry about the competition on getting in the school, trying to work while I am going, the stress, the death of a patient, and the hours. I work in retail now and I hate that I have to work every holiday and can't spend time with my family. These were the reasons I chose medical assistanting instead but if the job market is bad and the money and respect aren't there then I am rethinking my decision. I don't want to spend all the money on student loans and either not get a job or get low wages when I can do that without an education. Any advice??

RUN, DON'T WALK TO GET YOUR RN!!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON THE MA PROGRAM. I HAVE BEEN A CMA FOR 10 YEARS AND HAVE WORKED ALONG WITH AND REPLACED RN'S. I CHOSE TO BECOME A CMA WHILE WAITING FOR A SPOT IN THE RN PROGRAM AND HAVE REGRETTED IT EVER SINCE. WHOEVER IS ON THIS POST TALKING ABOUT RN'S GETTING BURNED OUT IS MISLEAD. CMA'S GET BURNED OUT, TOO, BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING MOSTLY THE SAME WORK FOR A LOT LESS PAY! I HAVE TRIED IN VAIN TO FIND A CMA TO LPN OR RN PATH AND CANNOT FIND ONE. SO, MY ADVICE IS GO FOR THE RN. If pay is not an issue, the CMA work is rewarding, but not much else. THERE ARE A LOT MORE OPTIONS OUT THERE FOR RN'S. THERE ARE NO OPTIONS FOR CMA'S.

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Undecided in San Jose, California

67 months ago

Kat in Mansfield, Texas said: I'm and LVN and work with both LVNs and RNs. In my 3 years as a nurse, I know none of them who are "trying to get back into ambulatory care or insurance companies." I have no desire to myself. Business hours, M-F, no thank you. From what I hear is that it is fairly boring because nurses don't get to fully use their skills and practice as automonously as in inpatient settings. Not to mention the pay is significantly less. ...

As a person contemplating nursing school, I will tell you that I want a M-F job. So do quite a few of my other pre-nursing friends who are also parents. For me, a clinic job would be IDEAL. I'm sure many other people ( nurses and prospective nurses alike) feel the same way. Unfortunately, RN and LPN clinic jobs are nearly impossible to secure as new grads. That is the reason becoming a CMA is appealing. Just my $0.02.

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Undecided in Eugene, Oregon

67 months ago

I just wanted to clarify: RN and LPN clinic positions IN MY AREA are nearly impossible to secure as new grads.

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tsanichar in Burlington, North Carolina

66 months ago

Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky said: I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am worried that I am making the wrong choice. I am starting my A.A.S in Medical Assisting this spring but with all the new graduates and the lack of jobs I am worried that this is a bad investment. I worry that the pay is not what I thought it would be and that there is a lack of respect for this profession. I have been thinking that I should just go ahead and get my nursing degree but I worry about the competition on getting in the school, trying to work while I am going, the stress, the death of a patient, and the hours. I work in retail now and I hate that I have to work every holiday and can't spend time with my family. These were the reasons I chose medical assistanting instead but if the job market is bad and the money and respect aren't there then I am rethinking my decision. I don't want to spend all the money on student loans and either not get a job or get low wages when I can do that without an education. Any advice??

Do nursing you can work three days a week and the pay is great and there is a demand

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tsanichar in Burlington, North Carolina

66 months ago

ag389w in Huntsville, Alabama said: wandab in Hamtramck, Michigan
You just made my vision clear I want to be in the medical field, but not a nurse that's why so many people get into the profession but never stay. I'll do medical assistant right know but I want to do something administrative like an run a health insurance company

You should go back and get your degree in Health Service Administrator

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Kat in Mansfield, Texas

66 months ago

Undecided in San Jose, California said: As a person contemplating nursing school, I will tell you that I want a M-F job. So do quite a few of my other pre-nursing friends who are also parents. For me, a clinic job would be IDEAL. I'm sure many other people ( nurses and prospective nurses alike) feel the same way. Unfortunately, RN and LPN clinic jobs are nearly impossible to secure as new grads. That is the reason becoming a CMA is appealing. Just my $0.02.

Well when you look at salaries and benefits, you will be paying a pretty penny to work in outpatient care as a nurse. For me I would probably take at least a $10,000 pay cut and probably would not have as good benefits. Traffic where I live is HORRIBLE that's why I avoid rush hour as much as possible, I don't like spending hours every day commuting. Lots of nurses work 3 12 hour (7a-7p or 7p-7a) shifts a week which is great to have more days off with your family. In nursing homes most nurses never work weekends and have 6a-2p M-F hours. So it's a bit of a myth that nurses only work "crazy hours" however many choose to because it pays VERY well and it's usually an easier shift to work! Around here LVN clinic jobs are a dime a dozen, many even advertise MA/LVN or RN/LVN.

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Undecided in El Cerrito, California

66 months ago

Kat in Mansfield, Texas said: Well when you look at salaries and benefits, you will be paying a pretty penny to work in outpatient care as a nurse. For me I would probably take at least a $10,000 pay cut and probably would not have as good benefits. Traffic where I live is HORRIBLE that's why I avoid rush hour as much as possible, I don't like spending hours every day commuting. Lots of nurses work 3 12 hour (7a-7p or 7p-7a) shifts a week which is great to have more days off with your family. In nursing homes most nurses never work weekends and have 6a-2p M-F hours. So it's a bit of a myth that nurses only work "crazy hours" however many choose to because it pays VERY well and it's usually an easier shift to work! Around here LVN clinic jobs are a dime a dozen, many even advertise MA/LVN or RN/LVN.

It's great that nursing has worked well for you. I have done extensive research on hiring practices in my area. Most of our ambulatory clinics are owned by the local hospital. They hire CMAs at around $14-$18/hr, fully benefitted. My expenses and lifestyle require a salary of about $30,000 and I am more than comfortable with the wages of a medical assistant. I know what hours are required at our hospital; and all staff nurses are required to work rotating shifts. As a single mom, it's incredibly difficult and expensive to find reliable round the clock chilcare. Unfortunately in my area "crazy hours" are a reality.

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hello in Oakland, California

66 months ago

i agree with undecided in el cerrito. i'm a single mom and working rotating shifts is just not an option. i need to have my childcare hours set and predictable.

just my .02, the RN hype is just nuts. people think RN=$$$ but are you really set on "caring" for people?

my son was in the NICU a few years back and i overheard one of the RNs complaining that "her patient" was UGHH and that she couldn't wait til the shift was over. she obviously wasn't too crazy about caring for a tiny 2 year old with a heart condition! or at least that particular 2 year old (who, by the way, was sedated half the time). why the heck is she working in the NICU of a children's hospital? i was apalled. it wasn't professional, and it was quite disturbing. what if she was caring for MY child? my child's life placed in the hands of a half-hearted RN? no thanks.

i know of another RN who works at a pretty big hospital and she relies on certain "things" to "get by" because she is on major burnout after only 5 years on the job. i don't want someone like that caring for me or my family. how scary is THAT?

RNs have lives outside of their jobs just like everyone else, they get stressed and burned out, yada yada...but nursing is a major deal because you are responsible for people's LIVES. if you truly understand this, and absolutely LOVE and WANT to make a difference in lives, go for an RN. but if you want to be an RN because it pays better than an LVN/MA/CNA and you're more "respected"...then i would think twice.

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taylornicole315 in Marietta, Georgia

66 months ago

I'm right there with you Oakland, I'm currently in school to become a medical assistant because I know what my concerns are. I have a 16 month old son and a husband that depend on me, they are my world and working all through the night is not an option. My goal is to have a rewarding career helping others where I can also be home every night to care for my family. My son was in the PICU for 2 weeks when he was only a month old. I have deep appreciation for those nurses and doctors for everything they did for my son but I also saw something that I didn't want to become. A couple of nurses that cared for him came across as very rude and once he began to recover it seemed like they didn't even care to get up off their butts and do anything for my child. He was still an infant for gods sake! I know money plays a vital role in life but family comes first always. No matter what, do what makes you happy. To each is own...good luck to all!

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Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

66 months ago

Oakland and Marietta:

Great posts!!!! You are 100% right. Caring about patients HAS TO come first. There are too many nurses who ARE in it for the money and the "respect" they think they have. My mother is in the hospital right now, and if she had a nurse that was "half-hearted" about her care, you can be sure I would raise he--! I was always taught that "respect is earned" and is not a given. You are right that nursing is different because they are dealing with peoples' LIVES. You will both be great, "Professional Medical Assistants" that the profession desparately needs. Keep posting. There is also another website for MAs: certmedassistant.com that has an encouraging group of MAs, CMAs and MA students and a lot of links to studying help for MAs.

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c. bell in Baraga, Michigan

65 months ago

Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky said: I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am worried that I am making the wrong choice. I am starting my A.A.S in Medical Assisting this spring but with all the new graduates and the lack of jobs I am worried that this is a bad investment. I worry that the pay is not what I thought it would be and that there is a lack of respect for this profession. I have been thinking that I should just go ahead and get my nursing degree but I worry about the competition on getting in the school, trying to work while I am going, the stress, the death of a patient, and the hours. I work in retail now and I hate that I have to work every holiday and can't spend time with my family. These were the reasons I chose medical assistanting instead but if the job market is bad and the money and respect aren't there then I am rethinking my decision. I don't want to spend all the money on student loans and either not get a job or get low wages when I can do that without an education. Any advice??

Don't waste your time there are no jobs out there for CMA I know I received mine over 20 years ago, there is just no demand for it and it is a waste of time and money, go back to school for nursing and use Obama's college credit for "09"

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Kayla in Vancouver, Washington

65 months ago

geez..everyone do has different opinions and i sometimes i usually rely on peoples opinions..now i don't know if i want to become a medical assistant or nurse i'm definitely lost!

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Paul in New York, New York

65 months ago

I am from NY I am going to take classes for the medical assistant Iam taking my Associate apply to Science degree in MA.they told me that aftr I graduate I can be able to transfer my credit into a Rn if this true.

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jonesboro in Shreveport, Louisiana

65 months ago

Paul in New York, New York said: I am from NY I am going to take classes for the medical assistant Iam taking my Associate apply to Science degree in MA.they told me that aftr I graduate I can be able to transfer my credit into a Rn if this true.

No defintely a negative

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Kat in Arlington, Texas

65 months ago

Paul in New York, New York said: I am from NY I am going to take classes for the medical assistant Iam taking my Associate apply to Science degree in MA.they told me that aftr I graduate I can be able to transfer my credit into a Rn if this true.

You may be able to transfer some of your core class like A&P, English, math, etc. towards RN PREREQUISITES if you attended a regionally accredited college. You will still have to go to an RN program the same amount of time because MA courses do not transfer into nursing courses.

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Joyce in Tampa, Florida

63 months ago

I have been a housewife and have only my GED, came from a poor country and marriage was the only education my culture required, I am settled in life with husband, 2 kids and a beautiful home, but I need to fill the void in my heart, I need to work in the medical field I don't if to become an MA where my weekends matter to me or should I spend the next 5 years going for an RN, I am 47 years of age and I am lost I know I want to be in the Medical field but I don't know
if to choose a MA then RN or just one or the other..help

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Ramona in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

63 months ago

Joyce,

If your weekends matter to you, MA may be a better choice. Most, but not all nurses start out working in hospitals; which require weekend work. In medical offices as an MA, you may need to work a Saturday morning, but they usually have a rotation with other MAs. You may only be required to work a Saturday a.m. every 3rd to 5th Saturday. Of course, there is a big disparity in pay; but if money is not an issue for you an MA program would be shorter for you.

If your dream has always been to be a nurse, now is the time to do it because of the shortage and available financial aid. An MA program will focus on working in ambulatory care, and an RN program will focus more on acute care.

Hope this helps.

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janis in Minneapolis, Minnesota

58 months ago

Ive been a CMA for thirteen yrs. I am no longer impressed with being a clinical nurse at all. There is no compaction for the sick and helpless its all about money. This is my opinion. When i first started it was wonderful i took my career path very seriously and enjoyed every minute of it. Now its dog eat dog, lies and to much competition I'm getting out. My patients now days walk into a doctors office no and get 20 min to say how the feel so a Dr. can make over 100.00 in that amount of time. I see kids coming in with the same symptoms and Drs. ordering the same tests over and over never getting to the bottom of the problem. You hear it all the time how kids are dying from the flu, patients being told you got 1yr to 6 mo to live. What happened to I give a dam about you and your family its gone. I absolutely hate this field now. I hope that the compaction that used to be there comes back. Even as i Read about become an Rn i don't hear its so rewarding. what i hear is the money is great the Bennies are awesome. It makes me sad that the career i worked so hard to be so good at has fallen to this.If you go into this career for money you'll do well if you go in for compaction for others i think you will be unhappy. Just my opinion. Thats what i feel.

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DLOURSLER@YAHOO.COM in Greene, New York

57 months ago

I GRADUATED FROM MA SCHOOL (6 MOS PROGRAM, FULL-TIME)IN JULY 09 WITH NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS IN CLINICAL, ADMINISTRATION AND BILLING & CODING. I AM STILL UNEMPLOYED. I HAVE APPLIED FOR MA POSITIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. MOST HAVE DENIED ME THE POSITION EITHER BECAUSE I AM CERTIFIED THROUGH NHA RATHER THAN AAMA OR BECAUSE I LACK 1 YEAR EXPERIENCE IN A MEDICAL OFFICE. I UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMY IS TOUGH BUT THERE ARE MANY MA POSITIONS ADVERTISED THROUGHOUT THE US. I CAN'T GAIN EXPERIENCE WITHOUT GAINING EMPLOYMENT. I AM NOT SURE WHAT MY NEXT STEP IS SO THOUGHT MAYBE SOMEONE ON THIS FORUM WOULD HAVE SOME FEEDBACK. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE.

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Registered Nurse/license to practice in Painesville, Ohio

52 months ago

jill in Charleston, South Carolina said: RUN, DON'T WALK TO GET YOUR RN!!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON THE MA PROGRAM. I HAVE BEEN A CMA FOR 10 YEARS AND HAVE WORKED ALONG WITH AND REPLACED RN'S. I CHOSE TO BECOME A CMA WHILE WAITING FOR A SPOT IN THE RN PROGRAM AND HAVE REGRETTED IT EVER SINCE. WHOEVER IS ON THIS POST TALKING ABOUT RN'S GETTING BURNED OUT IS MISLEAD. CMA'S GET BURNED OUT, TOO, BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING MOSTLY THE SAME WORK FOR A LOT LESS PAY! I HAVE TRIED IN VAIN TO FIND A CMA TO LPN OR RN PATH AND CANNOT FIND ONE. SO, MY ADVICE IS GO FOR THE RN. If pay is not an issue, the CMA work is rewarding, but not much else. THERE ARE A LOT MORE OPTIONS OUT THERE FOR RN'S. THERE ARE NO OPTIONS FOR CMA'S.

THIS IS TRUE, but maybe because of those subtle words like REGISTERED vs. CERTIFIED, or could it be medical assistant versus nurse? I don't know, but "scope of practice" for a registered nurse is on a competely different level than the MA's, and last time I checked the MA's scope is task based only. No med pass, no med rec, no teaching/advice, and absolutely no taking/writing physician orders.

Only the RN can do a patient assessment, head to toe (using the nursing process) (not even the LPN according to the board of nursing) and if a real nurse, RN or LPN steps outside of his/her "scope of practice" their license will be at risk! Misrepresentation is a crime! Please people, if you are not a nurse stop saying so!
Also, average of $20/hr. Thats great, but a new RN will start out at about $24-$26/hr x36-40hr/week (3 12hr shifts usually) and the average hourly for an experienced nurse is about $32-36/hr. And, dont forget the fact that the opportunity for more hours is always available, I cant tell you when I had a day off without my staffing office calling me in! So, I would say average yearly for base only for a registered nurse is about $70,000. For 3 days of work.

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tm in Houston, Texas

49 months ago

Medical Assistance can usually find work in a private doctors office Mon- Fri Sometimes Sat. Average pay, no benefits or insurance or vacation packages.other downfall is that most doctors office expect a lot from their MA's - have to run the medical office from patient care,vital signs, wound dressings, EKG,transcribe doctors orders, give injections,draw blood, prepare labs,document results. assist doctor, take all doctors orders. Then jump back to the front office filing, ordering test supplies, and acting as medical receptionist, doing billing and coding,charges,receive payments, greeting incoming patients, answering phones, etc. You will see the doctor make a lot of money, but he or she will only pay you $8-12.00 and hour and oh almost forgot if your office was not too busy or you had downtime the doctor expected me to clean the parking lot., clean toilets, and other janitorial duties. I am only saying if you want to be a medical assistant ask to get paid what you are worth because $8.00 an hour 40 hours a week does not make ends meat, and want you pay your bills you may not even have enough to pay for daycare if you have kids.

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tm in Houston, Texas

49 months ago

MA's- is a good start, but if you want a career that you enjoy with the rewards just go to get your LVN/or RN Degree, because you can do more with and RN degree like earn your Master's- MSN and you can be a Nurse Practitioner or a Midwife or even teach at a community college- there are endless possibilities. With a higher degree you can enjoy what you do and not get burnt out as easily. Working at the hospitals 12 hour shifts can be rewarding, sometimes at County hospitals they hire MA's as CNA's to work and it can be rewarding., you help out where needed and usually do vitals, and make beds , give patient snacks, refill water pictures,a warm blanket, what ever they need sometimes you help the RN's,
The medical field has different areas you can work in just check out your local hospital human resources also the state is always hiring and is more stable. check out the website of The Department of aging and disability services here in Houston,Texas there are alot more opportunities, Good tip- is to start applying to places right before you graduate from your school and set up interviews, get resume together adding your recent accomplishments, and graduate of your school etc. start filing out applications online,

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Jobhuntsucks in Atlanta, Georgia

49 months ago

Michelle in Crestwood, Kentucky said: I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I am worried that I am making the wrong choice. I am starting my A.A.S in Medical Assisting this spring but with all the new graduates and the lack of jobs I am worried that this is a bad investment. I worry that the pay is not what I thought it would be and that there is a lack of respect for this profession. I have been thinking that I should just go ahead and get my nursing degree but I worry about the competition on getting in the school, trying to work while I am going, the stress, the death of a patient, and the hours. I work in retail now and I hate that I have to work every holiday and can't spend time with my

family. These were the reasons I chose medical assistanting instead but if the job market is bad and the money and respect aren't there then I am rethinking my decision. I don't want to spend all the money on student loans and either not get a job or get low wages when I can do that without an education. Any advice??

Please do not take a MA class. It will be the biggest disappointment in your life unless you already have a job promised to you before you graduate. It is a respectful job to be an assistant to the doctor. You are doing the things in this position the doctor doesn't have time to do- the small details. It is bascially something people take for granted such as the lack of respect a Nursing Assistant gets, but they are needed. Patients need to be fed, bathe, cleaned after and assisted in many ways and someone has to do it.

Back to the point at hand, do not, I say, DO NOT TAKE A MEDICAL ASSISTANT COURSE. you will not find a job and you'll be forced to go out and work in a nonrelated field to pay off the loan. Now the loan are not only place on your credit report,but they keep you from buying a house and sometimes you face wage garnishment. Yet, you weren't assisted in locating a job.

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Jobhuntsucks in Atlanta, Georgia

49 months ago

tm in Houston, Texas said: MA's- is a good start, but if you want a career that you enjoy with the rewards just go to get your LVN/or RN Degree, because you can do more with and RN degree like earn your Master's- MSN and you can be a Nurse Practitioner or a Midwife or even teach at a community college- there are endless possibilities. With a higher degree you can enjoy what you do and not get burnt out as easily. Working at the hospitals 12 hour shifts can be rewarding, sometimes at County hospitals they hire MA's as CNA's to work and it can be rewarding., you help out where needed and usually do vitals, and make beds , give patient snacks, refill water pictures,a warm blanket, what ever they need sometimes you help the RN's,
The medical field has different areas you can work in just check out your local hospital human resources also the state is always hiring and is more stable. check out the website of The Department of aging and disability services here in Houston,Texas there are alot more opportunities, Good tip- is to start applying to places right before you graduate from your school and set up interviews, get resume together adding your recent accomplishments, and graduate of your school etc. start filing out applications online,

You offered great tips but I did every last one of them. I never found a job in the field as a MA. Life challenges didn't allow me to finish my training as a RN. I wish I could try again, but I am in my 40's now and have a child going to college. I sent resumes while in school and it didn't work out. Sounds like things went well for you- thats wonderful!!

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aahill in Wilkinson, Georgia

49 months ago

Jobhuntsucks in Atlanta, Georgia said: You offered great tips but I did every last one of them. I never found a job in the field as a MA. Life challenges didn't allow me to finish my training as a RN. I wish I could try again, but I am in my 40's now and have a child going to college. I sent resumes while in school and it didn't work out. Sounds like things went well for you- thats wonderful!!

Don't give up just because you are 40. I am 41 and have a daughter that is about to go to college and I would love to go back to college.

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Mel in Summerville, South Carolina

47 months ago

janis in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: Ive been a CMA for thirteen yrs. I am no longer impressed with being a clinical nurse at all. There is no compaction for the sick and helpless its all about money. This is my opinion. When i first started it was wonderful i took my career path very seriously and enjoyed every minute of it. Now its dog eat dog, lies and to much competition I'm getting out. My patients now days walk into a doctors office no and get 20 min to say how the feel so a Dr. can make over 100.00 in that amount of time. I see kids coming in with the same symptoms and Drs. ordering the same tests over and over never getting to the bottom of the problem. You hear it all the time how kids are dying from the flu, patients being told you got 1yr to 6 mo to live. What happened to I give a dam about you and your family its gone. I absolutely hate this field now. I hope that the compaction that used to be there comes back. Even as i Read about become an Rn i don't hear its so rewarding. what i hear is the money is great the Bennies are awesome. It makes me sad that the career i worked so hard to be so good at has fallen to this.If you go into this career for money you'll do well if you go in for compaction for others i think you will be unhappy. Just my opinion. Thats what i feel.

I FEEL U 100 PERCEN AND IT IS HORRIBLE,mY child goes to his doctor on a regular for his exzcema, he already went through 10 different topic prescrip prescrib by his pediatri 3 different topic creams, zyrtc an allergy medicine by his dermatologist and he is only 18 months. Nothing really helps it sooths it for the moment and comes right bk, it frustrating.I applaud u for your compassion and I said continue doing wha u do if u can tak it, we got to hv some sincere people in the medical field. Good luck and God bless

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Scoots in West Union, Ohio

47 months ago

There is NO RN shortage! If you don't believe this then check out the graduate nurse thread on allnurses.com. These folks are not getting work after years of graduation! As for MAs, I see 100s of jobs posted on local internet sites in my area. I know several people who are MAs and love the job. It's all subjective. It's what you want to do with your day, how much money means to you or not, what brings you happiness and fulfillment. I am getting ready to start an AAS program for MA and I plan to specialize in IT/Billing in a healthcare setting. I have over 10 years of experience as a clinical staff person (not nurse) and nursing assistant and hope that this gives me a foot in the door. You gotta do what appeals to you and just move forward and see what unfolds. I think that anyone who wants to make a satisfactory lifestyle out of working as an MA can do so. Key is finding a nice place to work and nice people to work with. True in any job. Me, I think I will enjoy the MA role and I already know what it's like to work under tremendous stress and make big bucks in healthcare and I can tell you it is not worth it! Find what makes you happy first and the opportunities will follow...

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AndiOrange76 in Columbus, Ohio

46 months ago

I just wanted to add to this, I went to a School for my MA and I take my Certification in 2 weeks, well, I just want to say that I am a hell of a lot better off then I was a year ago because I made up my mind an did something then sit around trying to decide what I wanted to do...I don't want to be a superviser, or clean up crap all day and I wanted to help the doctors not take orders, as a MA, you help the doctors. You are the go-to person for everything concerning your Doc, as a nurse in the hospital, you work with many Doctors and Many pt.s an have to Supervise other's on the floor..Personally, I'm not good a telling people what to do an how to do there Job. I Love Being an MA and I would not change my mind if it was offered to me to become a LPN or an RN, oh yea, it just depends on where you want to work too....95% of all doctors offices Hire just MA's, here in Columbus to work in a hospital they only hire MA's as Tech's but they hire nurse's an Sometime LPN's Most LPN's I know work in Nursing homes or For supported-living sites.

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Marti in Chattanooga, Tennessee

46 months ago

Paul in New York, New York said: I am from NY I am going to take classes for the medical assistant Iam taking my Associate apply to Science degree in MA.they told me that aftr I graduate I can be able to transfer my credit into a Rn if this true.

I am currently about to finish my MA program and have been looking into others colleges to get my degree as an RN. What I have found is that most MA programs DO NOT TRANSFER! Unless your director of education is willing to fight this the credits you earn will be for nothing, so please check the school you plan to get your RN degree before you sign anything to make sure they will transfer. I was told the same as you and have learned a valuable lesson.

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Nicole in Syracuse, New York

42 months ago

Wow, im going to bryant and stratton college for MA and i graduate next year in april. i had to take out a 11 thousand dollar loan to go to this school and get my MA! im 4 weeks into the program and im still undecided i know one thing for sure i want to become a RN but i dont know where to start or where to go! Im working as a personal aid now and i dont mind the work i do actually like working with and taking care of people! if you can help please write me back!

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MA Student in San Jose, California

41 months ago

Please don't let any one influence you. The power of choice is yours. Think about the reason why you made a choice to begin with. I strongly suggest that you stick to your goal and don't let anyone poison your mind. People are going to say what they think, but ultimately it's what you want is what really matters. Never change your mind on anyone else account. MA may not be for some people, but if might be for you same goes for RN and vice versa. Study shows that MA field is the fastest growing field. Those people who are having a hard time finding a job has nothing at all to do with you. You may or may not find a job right away after you graduate, like I said, if the MA field is for you you just might be more luckier than the rest of us. It's all about hard work and who you know so I suggest you start networking now. Don't let any one poison your mind. Do what you think is best for you. Set a goal and compare your pros and cons. As for me, I think the MA field is great even though I do plan to excel later on in the medical field, as for now I'm taking the baby steps and I think the MA is a good way for me to go, but that just me. Regardless of what I've read on here about the MA field so far. I'm sticking to my guns about getting into MA. I will still wake up tomorrow morning knowing that in 8 months I will be making a difference in someone's life. I'm telling my self that when I graduate I will find a job in MA field and it will be great. Then I will go from there. Good luck to you and I hope that what ever decision you make it's not because of what people had influenced you in doing :)THINK POSITIVE AND POSITIVE SHALL HAPPEN ;)

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cobb.tisha in Greenville, Kentucky

26 months ago

Paul in New York, New York said: I am from NY I am going to take classes for the medical assistant Iam taking my Associate apply to Science degree in MA.they told me that aftr I graduate I can be able to transfer my credit into a Rn if this true.

im in a school for CMA and i ask my counsler the same question and she told me i would have to get my LPN befor i get my RN but it might be just the school im at

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drdomedicine@gmail.com in Des Moines, Iowa

23 months ago

If you want to avoid hitting dead ends/walls, I would suggest you make your minimum goal an RN. There is no better position in the respected side of medicine for the amount of time given to your education. Being a CNA or equivalent has numerous restrictions and poor pay. If you want to go further and have the drive and ability, consider shooting even higher and moving into a PA route. PA's are generally favored amongst medical professionals over the Nurse Practitioners. It is a mater of opinion and minutia, but as a physician this has been my experience. Good luck either way, medicine needs hard workers.

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