On the surface, nursing and medical assisting may seem very similar, as they share some of the same duties and requirements. However, once you look deeper, you will see that the two careers are actually very different, and it is important to understand these differences fully before you decide which would be the better path for you.
Students at nursing school learn about hospital and residential health care. This usually includes courses on anatomy, physiology, the fundamentals of nursing, and specialist study on the students’ chosen field. As a nurse, you are expected to provide both long-term and short-term care to patients, provide emotional support to patients and family members, and carry out invasive procedures under the supervision of a physician. You will work through an accredited training program that leads either to certification or licensure.
Medical Assistant Schools
As medical assistants work in both medical and administrative settings, students must learn clinical skills and clerical duties. The clinical side of programs covers all aspects of health care that could be required in a position, rather than any specialized area, including patient care, clinical assisting, pharmacology, health sciences, laboratory procedures, and therapeutic care. Students also learn how to carry out a range of tasks for the front and back office — scheduling appointments, taking phone calls, authorizing insurance claims, and filing medical records, for instance.
You will end your training by taking the Registered Medical Assistant Exam or Certified Medical Assistant Exam. Both of these are national credentials that allow medical assistants to work in a wide range of support jobs across an array of medical facility types.
Who Should Consider Becoming a Medical Assistant?
There are some significant advantages to becoming a medical assistant that makes this a better option than nursing for many students:
- You will finish training in less than a year. Traditional nursing schools take at least two years to complete, whereas medical assistant schools offer all the training you need to begin your career in under one year.
- Job growth is above average. Across all fields, average job growth is 11 percent between 2012 and 2022. Expected growth for registered nurses is slightly faster, at 19 percent; however, job outlook for medical assistants is much faster — at 29 percent for the same period, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Work a flexible schedule. As a certified medical assistant, you will be in high demand. This will give you the chance to work hours that are convenient to you — no waiting for work to be available or being forced to take shifts at odd hours. This allows you to fit your job around your family life and easily find a new job if you need to move to a different city.
If you enjoy working with people as well as making things happen behind the scenes, if you want a job where you matter and will make a difference in the lives of others, and if you want job security, flexibility, and variety, training to be a medical assistant could be the perfect option for you.
To find out more about medical assistant training and how it can lead to an interesting, rewarding career, contact us at Southern Careers Institute. We can provide you with all the information you need to know about our medical assistant courses and how you can get started with the enrollment process.