MentalItch.com recently published an article on the differences between a nurse and a medical assistant. The article mentions all of the potential career paths available within the healthcare field, and how it’s important to weigh the options available, as there are certain benefits and downfalls associated with every career. Although medical assistants and nurses are two different career paths, they oftentimes do work together in the same healthcare facilities, and they are both responsible for providing invaluable healthcare and support to their patients. Before choosing a career path, the article suggests its best to do some further research into the opportunities available.
For instance, a major difference outlined in the article is the difference in the education required. Medical assistants typically require less time in a formal education setting than a nurse would. For example, the article references Genesis Career College, a medical assistant school in Georgia, that offers students a hands-on medical assistant program that provides students both real-life and in-classroom experience through their classwork and externship opportunities.
Although each state is different, registered nurses must typically complete at least an associate degree as well as the licensure requirements dictated by their state. However, the article suggests many states are now requiring a bachelor’s degree after a certain period, as well. According to the article, laws are beginning to state that registered nurses who only have an associate degree must complete their bachelor’s degree within 10 years of obtaining their initial RN license. To become a registered nurse, individuals must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which isn’t required for those pursuing a medical assistant degree. The article also suggests that oftentimes, individuals choose to pursue the medical assistant path so they’re able to jumpstart their careers quicker, as the quicker they dive in and get started, the quicker they can obtain the hands-on experience needed.
The article also goes into detail about the different job tasks and duties associated with each field. For instance, as a registered nurse, job tasks tend to be a bit more involved. Typical duties vary on a daily, but typically involve assessing patients’ conditions, administering medications and treatments, recording patients’ medical history and symptoms, operating medical equipment, prescribing at-home treatments, educating patients and their families on illnesses and injuries, and consulting with doctors. However, medical assistants can be thought more so of as the glue of the healthcare team. They help complete the administrative and clinical tasks of the job which registered nurses provide and coordinate patient care.
The article suggests that as a medical assistant, there are more flexible career options available. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook is projected to grow over 3% within the next decade. This is primarily because medical assistants aren’t just bound to healthcare facilities. The article mentions that even insurance companies have begun to hire medical assistants to help with administrative duties and processing insurance claims. Although there is significant flexibility in both fields, the article ultimately suggests there is more room for change and growth as a medical assistant.
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