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What do yall recommand I take to perpare for both CMA and a lawyer

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I am in Job Corps and I and planning on going into CMA (Certified Nursing Assistant) but plan on going to law school to be a lawyer #law-school #nursing #lawyer

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Juliet Jaye’s Answer

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I'm in NJ and a CMA is classified as a Certified Medical Assistant. Here we have a 2 month course for CMA or a 6 month course for CMA or RMA/Administrative Assistant with Medical Coding and Microsoft Office. I took the 6 month course since I'm much older and needed the computer experience as well.

To explain the difference of RMA and CMA, you need to get 100 blood draw sticks as opposed to 35 (if I remember correctly), plus you had to take the 6 month course. The addition of the 6 month course can also prepare you to basically run a doctor's office successfully. I chose to take a Critical Care Technician in a hospital. This is very different than a doctor's office. My hospital is in a low income city area, so we get a lot of different diseases compounded by poverty. As a Critical Care Technician, you're expected to take vital signs when needed, blood sugars, EKG'S, bloodwork, change patient's bedding and clothing, daily patient hygiene, specimen collection, empty catheters and wound drains, assist the nurses as needed, and make sure the patient is well taken care of. It's a lot and you have to go in every day with your problems left outside the door. You're there to take care of them, PERIOD! My roommate was a CMA in a doctor's office where she was expected to gather patient's information for the doctor, collect patient from waiting room and put them into an exam room, take down their immediate complaint and vital signs and enter them into computer, perform doctor's orders, such as EKG'S, bloodwork, specimen collection, and provide patient with any discharge papers. Also, perform follow up calls, and take prescription refill orders. Again, very busy work taking care of patients needs. Hope that gives a picture of some of the things you can do with a CMA.

Juliet Jaye recommends the following next steps:

  • Find an accredited medical career institute. Review the courses, the hours available and the certifications offered. Inquire about cost and any financial aid available. Keep in mind you will need to have a certificate in BLS/CPR. Many schools do not have this on site so find out if they do and if not, where is this available to you.
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Marisa’s Answer

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I don't know anything about CMA, but I'm currently working full time and going to law school at night. I would highly recommend understanding what legal work is before you invest 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars into law school into becoming a lawyer. I know too many lawyers who are no longer practicing because being an attorney was not what they thought and they hated their work. Legal work is not for everyone and nothing like what they portray on television. It's a lot of reading, synthesizing information, and applying rules to the facts at hand -- something a lot of my friends call "drudgery" for a work product that may or may not see the light of day. If you can, try to get a taste of what legal work is by asking an attorney you know to walk you through memos, train you on non-disclosure agreements, walk you through a brief, etc. You can also get an attorney sponsor try to volunteer at some local legal aid organizations. You'll get to work with an attorney, see what they do and get a flavor for the work. You can also consider a side hustle as a paralegal or once you're at a hospital ask the legal department if they can shoot some work your way.

I love my work and find legal work incredibly satisfying. People make jokes about how lawyers are the worst people in the world, but it's really only because people only go to lawyers at the worst moments in their lives. It's an amazing feeling to help someone through rough patches, I just want to help steer you in the right direction for you.

Marisa recommends the following next steps:

  • reach out to attorneys you know and see if they will give you legal work
  • understand what legal work is and then make a decision on whether to go to law school
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