Medical Assistant/CMA VS LPN in Oregon

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Hi everyone,
First of all, thank you for reading this! Like so many other people, I was laid off due to the economy. I hold a B.S in business and that's just NOT where my heart is, so I THOUGHT I was ready to enter a LPN program until the admissions advisor (after asking me a series of questions) suggested I go into the Medical Assisting program instead.

Here was his reasoning: I can not envision myself changing adult diapers :( Although I'd love to be able to stand it; I just can't. He explained that, most likely, the only opportunities I'd have as a LPN would be working in assisted living (changing clients/bed-pans/lifting/bathing- sounded just like a CNA quite frankly) whereas a Medical Assistant would typically work in a Dr's office (and listed a slew of items I could be qualified to do that sounded like a perfect match for me).

My dream is to work in Psych/Mental health setting- addiction/recovery/eating disorders-in any capacity I can!

I have been hunting online trying to figure out what exactly a Medical Assistant is allowed to do in Oregon???? Phlebotomy? EKG? Administer shots? Could I work in a lab? If someone has a specific list of the Oregon approved range of scope for MA's I'd GREATLY appreciate it!

Also, what about a LPN??

What about job outlook for MA's VS LPN's? Can I really anticipate making about $15+/hr as a MA?

The admissions counselor also explained that if I were a MA, I could become certified and that would be automatically recognized/transferable into any other state. Is that true?

I will stop rambling for now- there is so much going on in my head I hope that some kind person will take the time to reply. I am on such a short time line since my husband was ALSO laid off!!! Neither one of us have employment....

Thank you!!! :)

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Matt, NCMA in Salt Lake City, Utah

37 months ago

Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon said: Hi everyone,
First of all, thank you for reading this! Like so many other people, I was laid off due to the economy. I hold a B.S in business and that's just NOT where my heart is, so I THOUGHT I was ready to enter a LPN program until the admissions advisor (after asking me a series of questions) suggested I go into the Medical Assisting program instead.

Here was his reasoning: I can not envision myself changing adult diapers :( Although I'd love to be able to stand it; I just can't. He explained that, most likely, the only opportunities I'd have as a LPN would be working in assisted living (changing clients/bed-pans/lifting/bathing- sounded just like a CNA quite frankly) whereas a Medical Assistant would typically work in a Dr's office (and listed a slew of items I could be qualified to do that sounded like a perfect match for me).

My dream is to work in Psych/Mental health setting- addiction/recovery/eating disorders-in any capacity I can!

I have been hunting online trying to figure out what exactly a Medical Assistant is allowed to do in Oregon???? Phlebotomy? EKG? Administer shots? Could I work in a lab? If someone has a specific list of the Oregon approved range of scope for MA's I'd GREATLY appreciate it!

Also, what about a LPN??

What about job outlook for MA's VS LPN's? Can I really anticipate making about $15+/hr as a MA?

The admissions counselor also explained that if I were a MA, I could become certified and that would be automatically recognized/transferable into any other state. Is that true?

I will stop rambling for now- there is so much going on in my head I hope that some kind person will take the time to reply. I am on such a short time line since my husband was ALSO laid off!!! Neither one of us have employment....

Thank you!!! :)

Hi there, Being a Medical Assistant is a beautiful thing. There are LPN's that work in Clinics, and hospitals as well.

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Matt, NCMA in Salt Lake City, Utah

37 months ago

Hi there Overwelmed, I would suggest with going with your gut instinct. One thing you should know, there are a lot of Medical Assistats out there, and chances of getting a good MA job are rare. You might want to check out Nursing school. The best advise I can give you is to pray about it. Heavenly Father knows your needs and he will show the way. Good luck in your journey, and may God be with you.

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Jennifer in Bronx, New York

37 months ago

Hello, I am an RN, and while I work in the NYC area, where the job market may be different, I will say that I think the job opportunities for MAs are not very good. Also, I work in a hospital alongside with LPNs. In a Nursing Home, I believe the CNAs do much of the diaper changing and the LPNs are responsible for medications, treatments, etc. However, that is not to say that if you were an LPN, the patient would not ultimately be your responsibility. Yes, I am an RN and I make $40 an hour, but you can bet I changed 4 diapers at work yesterday---that is not just CNA work, it is RN and LPN and sometimes even very nice doctor work!
Perhaps check out the forum allnurses.com, I have read several threads there posted by people who have become MAs and regretted it, and then went on to LPN or RN school. You can search for the topic...I am not trying to put down MAs, but I have heard that the programs are expensive and that the salary/job market is not good.

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it.

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

If anyone could contribute any info with regards to the current employment environment on MA opportunities in Oregon, I'd really appreciate it! Is it realistic to get a job, or is the market already flooded?

Has anyone attended Concorde in Portland, OR? I am considering going there...

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

To say there are no or little jobs as MAs in ANY area is furthers from the truth.
I work in allied health clinical, administration and healthcare (including Labor Dept)
The fastest growing fields are allied health not nursing.
The reason? Specialty and certifications. As an MA u can be a phlebotomist, EKG tech, tele tech., certified MA, Administrative medical assistant.

A nurse once a nurse that's the job u get! MA offers variety in job options provided the certification in specialties are taken. Still not a believer??
Read the US Labor stats n info Recent news
, Fla., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the explosive growth of the healthcare industry, students are now more interested than ever in evaluating this industry as a possible career choice. U.S. News University Directory is pleased to provide a greater level of information and support for students interested in pursuing careers in the allied health sector of the healthcare industry.

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

According to a 2009 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry will generate over 3 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry. In addition, 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations will be related to healthcare. Employment in the healthcare industry is projected to increase 22 percent through 2018.
The new online resource offers prospective students detailed information about in-demand allied health professions. The new content provides an easy-to-use interface that makes locating accredited schools and colleges that specialize in specific allied health training and education easy as possible. The combination of career, training and up-to-date news and career information all on the same page makes the new allied health section an invaluable resource for anyone interested in entering or already working in the healthcare field.  

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

U.S. News University Directory's new section on allied health careers and allied health degrees will arm prospective students with the information they need to pursue training and education that will prepare them to work in clinical healthcare professions. The Allied Health section will help students locate allied health schools, degree and certificate programs, job descriptions with videos, and industry news.

The allied health sector includes most healthcare positions outside the core fields of dentistry, medicine and nursing. It accounts for the majority of healthcare jobs and includes fields and degrees or certifications such as:
Medical Assisting
Medical Transcription
Medical Billing and Coding
Occupational Therapy
Pharmacy
Physical Therapy
Social Work

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

According to the BLS, employment opportunities in allied health fields are expected to grow faster than average between 2008 and 2018. Candidates with certifications or formal education, such as a bachelor's in medical assisting or a master's in social work (MSW degree), should have the best opportunities. Those who wish to pursue a career in fields such as medical assisting or social work will find the new U.S. News University Directory section to be particularly useful. The new directory section contains valuable information such as job descriptions and overviews, videos, and resources and reference materials for training and accredited education options, including various degrees and certifications available.
About U.S. News University Directory
U.S. News University Directory provides comprehensive and unbiased information on more than 2,000 academic institutions directly from U.S. News & World Report, the most trusted source for college and university rankings since 1983.

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Jennifer in Bronx, New York

37 months ago

Well, Cjmoorishprincess, yes once you're a nurse you're a nurse and you get a job AS A NURSE in:
Hospitals-EMERGENCY ROOM
CATH LAB
OR
MICU/CCU/PACU/NICU/PICU ETC.
MED-SURG
TELEMETRY
PULMONARY
STEPDOWN
MATERNITY
LABOR AND DELIVERY
PSYCH
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
HOSPICE
ONCOLOGY
NURSING INFORMATICS/COMPUTERS
NURSING EDUCATION
NURSING MANAGEMENT

OR, LONG-TERM CARE
SHORT-TERM REHAB CENTERS
OR,COMMUNITY NURSING, HOME HEALTH CARE ETC. VISITING NURSE,

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSE
SCHOOL NURSE
NURSE IN DR.'S OFFICE
COSMETIC SURGERY CENTER
AND, if you then further your educationan become a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nursing Professor, etc, etc.

THERE ARE ALSO A LOT OF OTHER POSSIBILITIES I HAVE LEFT out...YES the job market is bad now...but I think boasting all the benefits of becoming a medical assistant is a little deceptive

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Jennifer in Bronx, New York

37 months ago

Also, you don't have to be an MA first to get certified as a Phlebotomist, EKG tech, etc.!!!!!

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Thank you once gain for your thorough and thoughtful comments! I believe you just helped me dodge a bullet. You see, since I have a bachelors degree (in business) I have accumulated quite a bit of student loan debt already. I have been exploring "MA"/Medical Assisting programs at a few vocational/trade/career colleges here in the Portland,OR area and the average tuition for a MA program is about $14,000. Although this is nothing compared to my B.S., $14,000 is nothing to scoff at!!! Especially for someone in my situation: already has a large amount of student loan debt.

Furthermore- 1)it seems that there are not many opportunities for medical assistants (like just about any other industry due to the economy) 2)even if I were "lucky" enough to gain employment as a MA, the wage will be pretty low.

It seems that "these" vocational schools are painting a rosy picture of the job itself along with career availability, charging astronomical tuition, churning out students as quickly as possible into a barren wasteland/no jobs...OR worse, may not even qualify for a job that they were told they could apply to once the program is completed. For example, just as you said- If I went into this MA program, could I really work as a phlebotomist or an EKG tec? I think I may be better off just spending about $1,500 on phlebotomy training/cert and individual certifications rather than the $14,000 MA ambiguous program.

Thoughts?

I am also considering becoming a CNA1, then 2, with the goal of becoming a Certified Med Aide. Would anyone be so kind as to shed some light onto that. It seems very clear that it is true the jobs exist at that level (CNA) and the training, once again is only about $1,000) for each level. I don't know if I could handle the nature of the work though. Can anyone tell me what it's like to be a CNA/CMA?

Thank you!!!! Sorry for the long post

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Here is a revised version-Thank you once gain for your thorough and thoughtful comments! I believe you just helped me dodge a bullet. You see, since I have a bachelors degree (in business) I have accumulated quite a bit of student loan debt already. I have been exploring "MA"/Medical Assisting programs at a few vocational/trade/career colleges here in the Portland,OR area and the average tuition for a MA program is about $14,000. Although this is nothing compared to my B.S., $14,000 is nothing to scoff at!!! Especially for someone in my situation: already has a large amount of student loan debt.

Furthermore- 1)It seems that there are not many opportunities for medical assistants (not unlike many other industries due to the economy)& 2)Even if I were "lucky" enough to gain employment as a MA, the wage will be pretty low.

It seems that "these" vocational schools are painting a rosy picture of the job itself along with career availability, charging astronomical tuition, churning out students as quickly as possible into a barren wasteland/no jobs...OR worse, may not even qualify for a job that the school leads one to believe he/she could be qualified for once the program is completed. For example, just as you said- If I went into this MA program, could I really work as a phlebotomist or an EKG tec? I think I may be better off just spending about $1,500 on phlebotomy training/cert and individual certifications rather than the $14,000 MA ambiguous program.

Thoughts?

I am also considering becoming a CNA1, then 2, with the goal of becoming a Certified Med Aide. Would anyone be so kind as to shed some light onto that. It seems very clear that it is true the jobs exist at that level (CNA) and the training, once again is only about $1,000) for each level. I don't know if I could handle the nature of the work though. Can anyone tell me what it's like to be a CNA/CMA?

Thank you!!!! Sorry for the long post

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icelily20 in North Brunswick, New Jersey

37 months ago

I would say emt is also another alternative. I know of someone who did emt basic, and ekg, phlebotomny, cpr separatly. And he works in a hospital in the ER.

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

Yes. It's not worth 14000. A good cert program should cost no more than a few thousand and the community college level. Many tech schools are interested in taking money not you bring successful.
Yes although there are Many nursing areas Passing the certifications classes and courses are not easy and costly.
I work in US Labor Workforce development across the US and they are asking for nurses but the Majority of the jobs are allied health
Tele
Lab tech
SPD
Resp therapy
EMT
paramedic
Transport
Er Tech
Once you are in a hospital than I can see what nursing jobs are needed in your area so u know what u want to do. 92% hospitals pay u to go back to school to specialize as a Nurse or other med professions
Then u can work where u want as Jennifer suggested

These are just facts about healthcare field at misconceptions. People out in the field as doctors are not sure what MAs do. I tell them all the time and they say
"why did their resume not say they could do all those things?"

For every nurse there are 7 allied health job. It's a great place to start working and have the job pay for your next step!

There will always be a place for nurses and MAs especially with all the veterans coming home

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Thank you for your response. Yes, I WISH I could get into a community college program, but they are always full with a wait...I concur with you- the for profit/private career schools are just in it for the money and should not be trusted. Since there are affordable state/nationally recognized programs in Phlebotomy, I have now been considering that as an alternative.

Can anyone shed some light on phlebotomy? What about a lab tech? It seems that a lab tech receives more education and is also cross trained in phlebotomy?

Thank you each once again. I am very concerned for my future. As I may or may not have stated in a prior post, I hold a Bachelors degree in business, was laid off and my husband was also laid off.

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

Lab tech does phlebotomy as well as well as lab procedures , blood bank jobs, IV therapy with special certification , laboratory assistant amoung others,
Because u have a degree there are non clinical jobs that you may quailify for where you live already! Businesses offices. Administrator in hospitals In the HR department are not medical. Records departments because everything is going electronic need records techs.
Many hospitals have their own training courses u can take. Consider taking just a medical terminology course and add that to your business skills for an even
Better chance of job in hospital then u can help
Pay and research schools while in hospital getting a paycheck in HR, business or administration, enviornmental service or dietary. Especially if u have supervisor or managing experience. Many non clinical departments headed by those that are not technically medical oriented?
What type of work do I want to do ? Or just get foot in the door ?
Just something to consider.
Hope this helps

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

The biggest jobs in allied health non clinical seem to be at Umiversity or teaching hospitals in Oregon
administrative assistants, Patient access clerk, Superviosor of support services (non clinical -providence area),
Foundation assistants (help raise money In hospitals need degree and type 50wpm - Astoria), there are more!
What type of skills do u have? U can surely find a job doing things u do now or has done from the past.
Can u type, ever supervised? What kind of classes did u take I'm past, what's your goal ?
Would love to help even if it's just a little

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Overwhelmed2011 in Oregon City, Oregon

37 months ago

Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey said: The biggest jobs in allied health non clinical seem to be at Umiversity or teaching hospitals in Oregon
administrative assistants, Patient access clerk, Superviosor of support services (non clinical -providence area),
Foundation assistants (help raise money In hospitals need degree and type 50wpm - Astoria), there are more!
What type of skills do u have? U can surely find a job doing things u do now or has done from the past.
Can u type, ever supervised? What kind of classes did u take I'm past, what's your goal ?
Would love to help even if it's just a little

Thank you so much. I feel so lost. I have a B.S. in business marketing and am not interested in admin. From what I can tell, I'd love to be a MA, but I just don't trust any of the trade schools. Can anyone recommend a trade school in Portland that I can "trust?" I read that Pioneer Pacific College offers a MA w/limited x-ray...Furthermore, are there really any employment opportunities for a new MA in OR? What are my opportunities as far as career growth is concerned? I wish that I could be a mental health/addictions counselor, but unfortunately the grad school programs are too rigorous/lengthy (I need to get out and work asap). The community college program is full for at least another year... I am going to sign off for now.
Thank you again for your help/support. Very kind :)

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.coM in Franklinville, New Jersey

37 months ago

Not sure about schools in your area can look into that. Think about a short course as well like EKG tech or tele tech (read ekgs), phlebotomy or pharmacy tech patient care technician. You may have to spend as much. Also check local hospitals for programs
There are Also accredited programs that I use for military personnel or traveling adults that are international. The programs are by correspondence (online). The courses prepare you for certification and sends you the certification book as well. I have used these programs for years, they are gov approved and accredited.
Penn Foster - look them up! Books come with each section.
If you can't find a school right away, take a med term course online with Penn Foster or any school to get your foot in the door. Many of my students work in hospital front desk or records for a few days Just to be in the field because usually within 6 mo they Pay for you to go to school? Why put out the expense when u r not sure? A shorter medical class or cert like in med term with CPR /BLS is all u need to get a basic tech Job.
The salary of an MA Is not worth taking out a loan on any med program in this field. Every area In US has a specific need. My advice, get foot in door and see where the need is.
Save your money and in a few short months you may learn u want to be a nurse or a respir therapist or CT scan tech.... All which have the same initial base education.

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HOPE in OREGON in Portland, Oregon

35 months ago

hi

i graduated in 2007 as a medical assistant but still unemploeyed and looking for LPN training in Tigard or Beaverton area ....do u know any facility that offers LPN program ...

also can i get into lpn programs for free or online

pleaseeeeeeeeee help me i deserve to have income

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Medical Assistant in Portland, Oregon

35 months ago

Concorde Career College is awesome! 7 months I got my Medical Assistant and now I am working on my Surgical Tech. They landed me a job at 5 months into school when they sent me to Emanuel for my externship. I started out at $18 an hour at emanauel after I graduated. I say go see Erik at Concorde! You will not be disappointed! LPN's are a hospice type care or assisted living. LPN's cannot draw blood, give shots, or do any casting or sutures. Medical Assistants do all that!

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Carla j in Franklinville, New Jersey

35 months ago

LPN can draw blood. The ones in my pr

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Carla j in Franklinville, New Jersey

35 months ago

All of my Lpnd draw blood, read ekgs and give medication. They r also certified in each before the take their nclex! It all depends on where u go to school. My Lpns start at 25 an hour. I also teach MAs and they can do all my Lpns can do Just not IV care but I am getting them all IV certified! It's all about the school and teacher and what they provide. College n tech schools r no different. It's all in value of type of education.
What I do is limited to the value of education and what certifications u take. My MAs also work as Cardiac Monito tech and tele tech because they can read the ekgs they perform and they can make up to 22 hour. My Lpns that do IV make up to $ 28. Certifications r included and review. Anything is possible with MA or LPN. One is NOT better than the other. I have doctors that will take either depending on certs, what they r good at and what they want to do. Good luck LPN n MAs!! We need u ALL Both are needed and Equally important. LPNs work in research, specialty labs and my Lpns mainly work in specialty NOT hospice.
www.brooksalternative.org/index_files/Page444.htm

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yournurse2011 in Mayville, Michigan

35 months ago

where can i get IV certified I am an LPN but where i use to work the wouldnt let the LPNs draw blood so i havent done it since my clinicals in1998

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Carla j in Franklinville, New Jersey

34 months ago

Most Lpns do not draw blood simply because they did not take a phlebotomy certification test.
I tell all LPNs to take that. Here is a source for online and in person phleb, IV n Picc line courses.
The sessions r across the US
www.piccresource.com/

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Lee W in Tacoma, Washington

29 months ago

Carla j in Franklinville, New Jersey said: All of my Lpnd draw blood, read ekgs and give medication. They r also certified in each before the take their nclex! It all depends on where u go to school. My Lpns start at 25 an hour. I also teach MAs and they can do all my Lpns can do Just not IV care but I am getting them all IV certified! It's all about the school and teacher and what they provide. College n tech schools r no different. It's all in value of type of education.
What I do is limited to the value of education and what certifications u take. My MAs also work as Cardiac Monito tech and tele tech because they can read the ekgs they perform and they can make up to 22 hour. My Lpns that do IV make up to $ 28. Certifications r included and review. Anything is possible with MA or LPN. One is NOT better than the other. I have doctors that will take either depending on certs, what they r good at and what they want to do. Good luck LPN n MAs!! We need u ALL Both are needed and Equally important. LPNs work in research, specialty labs and my Lpns mainly work in specialty NOT hospice.
www.brooksalternative.org/index_files/Page444.htm

Carla, Thank you for your comment. I know what you stated is true. I am a Medical Assistant who been around for a long time. Working as a Medical Assistant as been great, but I always wanted to be a LPN; and that's what I'm going to do. Although I live in Tacoma Washington, I would love to work for a supervior/manager as yourself. Your comments regarding MA's and Lpn's is great. I truly believe so is the head, so is the body, meaning; if management have it together, it will trickle down to the rest.

Thank You

Lee W

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.com in Franklinville, New Jersey

29 months ago

Welcome!
I have many MAs that choose after years to be LPN and they find their experience as MAs certainly give them that extra edge and ease getting the LPN curriculum!
Good luck in your studies! And thanks for your trickle down comments. So true!
Much success with your LPN!
Carla J

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Cjmoorishprincess@yahoo.com in Franklinville, New Jersey

29 months ago

Lpn and vocational nurse IV certification list
www.bvnpt.ca.gov/education/schools/iv_providers.shtml

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jewlspatrice in Florence, South Carolina

26 months ago

In the state of sc Lpn only works in nursing homes. Hospitals and Doctor offices prefer Medical Assistants. I go to South University and my school trains on the Lpn level. If i wanted to get my Lpn license I can go back for two more semesters and become one which is not necessary. If you go to the right school with the right training you can make the same as a Lpn. There are nursing schools who will transfer in medical assistant my teacher told us we can go get our Lpn but its not worth it go on and get the BSN degree. The only classes left for a MA to take is med surg 1 and 2 pharmacology nursing fundamentals. Folks it depends on the school and training u receive Virginia College is another good school for training. To me Medical assistant are train to be multi skilled heatlh workers there are several jobs we can do from unit secertary to medical billing and coding call centers insurance companies doctors offices hospitals etc if you a good MA the raises are wonderful some become office managers.

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