What is the Difference Between a CNA & MOS

There are many great reasons to start a career in healthcare. There is a wide variety of available careers, and the healthcare industry is continuing to grow quickly. If you work in healthcare, you also have the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives by helping and caring for patients.

With so many different paths available to starting a career in the medical field, it can be overwhelming and confusing to figure it out by yourself. So we’re here to help by breaking down the differences in two entry-level healthcare positions, certified nursing assistant and medical office specialist.

Career Outlook

Medical office specialists have a promising career outlook. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, medical office specialists, or medical assistants, have a projected growth rate of 19% for 2019-2029 in the United States, which is much higher than the 4% average growth rate for all jobs. This means that employers will be hiring more and more medical office specialists in the years to come and will need qualified candidates to fill the positions.

The BLS estimates that positions for certified nursing assistants will grow 8% in the US between 2019-2029. Although this is higher than the average growth rate of 4% for all occupations, it’s not as high as the expected growth for medical office specialists or medical assistants.

Skills Required

What is the Difference Between a CNA & MOS
Medical office specialists perform a variety of both administrative and clinical duties while on the job. They assess patients and help doctors with patient care and treatment. Some of the skills medical office specialists must learn are helping with exams, administering injections, taking vital signs, preparing lab tests, and entering patient information.
At Boardman Training Center, our medical office specialist students get to practice hands-on skills in classrooms and labs, preparing them for success while on the job.

Certified nursing assistants are more focused on helping with daily living activities and direct patient care. Common skills that CNAs must perform while on the job are bathing and cleaning patients, moving them between wheelchairs and beds, helping patients use the bathroom and get dressed, feeding them, and changing linens.

Training Needed

To begin a career as a medical office specialist, specialized training is required to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills. Most medical office specialist or medical assisting programs are completed in under two years, combining classroom instruction and hands-on training. In addition, it’s helpful to choose a medical office specialist program that prepares you for professional healthcare certifications, as many employers prefer certified candidates.

For example, in our Medical Office Specialist program here at BTC, you learn vital knowledge and practice hands-on skills in essential areas while preparing for professional certifications like Certified Medical Administrative Assistant*, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist*, and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist*.

Specialized training is also necessary to become a certified nursing assistant, and this training is typically completed in under six months. CNAs will learn and practice different areas, including direct patient care, documentation, and patient safety. The CNA class has to be approved by the state, and a competency exam must be passed upon completion of the program. Additionally, clinical hours are required to become certified, and the number of hours varies by state.

Work Environment

According to BLS data, medical office specialists, or medical assistants, most commonly work in physician’s offices, with 57% working there in 2019. Another 15% work in hospitals, and the remainder work in outpatient care centers and at chiropractor’s offices. Most of these professionals work full-time, 40-hour workweeks, and some may work evenings, weekends, and holidays if they work in a healthcare facility that is always open, like a hospital.

Certified nursing assistants work more in nursing care facilities, with 37% employed there, and hospitals, with 27% employed there, according to data from the BLS. The rest of the employed nursing assistants work in assisted living and retirement facilities, home healthcare services, and government. Certified nursing assistants are required to be on their feet a lot when they work and are expected to lift over 50 pounds, which makes the job more strenuous and physically demanding. Most CNAs are employed full-time, but some work part-time as well. As a result, they may be expected to work more on nights, weekends, and holidays and for longer hours at a time.

Get Started

You’re now informed of the differences between medical office specialists and certified nursing assistants. If you think a career as a medical office specialist is the right choice for you, BTC may be perfect for you! Explore our Medical Office Specialist program and request information now to get started!

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.

Amar’ia Yates – Student Highlight

Meet Amar’ia Yates, our student highlight feature this week at Boardman Training Center!

Like many people who have just graduated high school, Amar’ia was unsure what she wanted to do next. It can be challenging to choose the one that’s right for you with so many different options.

“I’d just finished high school a few months before. I was working in fast food and retail, and I wasn’t happy,” Amar’ia said. “I had a sense of what I wanted out of life, but I just wasn’t sure where to start.”

After looking at the options available to continue her education, Amar’ia decided she wanted a fast-track healthcare training program that gives you the skills you need and is affordable.

Amar'ia Yates-Student Highlight

“The staff is wonderful. They’ve worked with me, and for once, I felt as someone other than me and my family cared about my education,” said Amar’ia on her decision to attend Boardman Training Center.

She chose to enroll in the Cardio Phlebotomy program, which trains students in just 24 weeks for entry-level opportunities in the healthcare field.

“I choose my program because I wanted to get my foot in the door for a medical career and so I can feel useful to other people in the world,” said Amar’ia.

In the Cardio Phlebotomy training program, Amar’ia will learn and practice specialized skills to use on the job when she starts her new healthcare career. Performing EKGs, drawing blood, completing venipuncture procedures, and practicing patient care are some of the valuable skills Amar’ia will develop as she completes the program.

When asked about her favorite part of attending Boardman Training Center, Amar’ia had great things to say about the staff. “My favorite part of BTC would be the staff there. No one wants to see you fail. They’re like your second family. If you’re having a hard time, they’ll do everything they can to assist you and get you where you need to be,” said Amar’ia.

Amar’ia says that she can’t choose who her favorite teacher or class is just yet, since she has only finished one course. However, she will say that Ms. Sandy, the instructor of her Intro to Healthcare class, was wonderful. “She made class interesting while still teaching me and my fellow classmates. She always pushed into our heads that we can do this, that we’re going to finish strong, and how proud she was of us.”

After she completes the Cardio Phlebotomy program and graduates, Amar’ia would like to work in a hospital, blood bank, or nursing home.

In addition to working in a healthcare facility, Amar’ia would like to further her education in the medical field and enroll in a program or be looking into programs within five years.

When asked if she would recommend Boardman Training Center to a friend, Amar’ia said, “Of course I would refer a friend, because if you’re like me and didn’t really know where to start, BTC is a great place to start. If you’re like my fellow classmates, looking to further your education, or you want to get back into the medical field, choose BTC, and let BTC choose you and meet your goals.”

Maybe you are just like Amar’ia, a little unsure of what to do next and how to get started in a healthcare career. Or perhaps you are like her classmates, who want to take the next step and further their healthcare training and education. Whatever your unique situation may be, Boardman Training Center is here to help!

Explore our healthcare training programs in Cardio Phlebotomy, EKG Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, and Medical Office Specialist. Contact us now to get started on your path to an exciting new healthcare career today!