Sunday, August 28, 2011

Medical Assistant or Nursing?

Medical Assistant or Nursing?

Medical Assistant or Nurse? Which is Better?

What Is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants are non-licensed members of the medical office team. Doctors in private and group practices prefer to hire them because they are trained specifically for the medical office and are often more cost efficient (less pay) than RNs or LPNs. They work under the direct supervision of a doctor, in the front and back office of the practice, usually Mondays through Fridays, from 8-5 PM and rarely on weekends or holidays, which some feel are better hours than those in nursing. They are utilized in the administrative, laboratory, or clinical areas depending on the office's specific needs.

The medical assistant curriculum typically covers general clinical and administrative medical office skills and knowledge such as medical office administration, patient appointment scheduling and medical transcription. Some medical assistants are trained directly on the job without any formal training in a medical office and may include health insurance billing procedures, appointment referrals and medical records management, which is not typically taught in a nursing program.

The difference between medical assisting and nursing is that the medical assistant's skills are geared toward ambulatory care and medical office management in a doctor's office, while nursing is geared toward providing skilled medical and health care for the sick, chronically ill, or dying.

Medical assistants work under direct supervision of the doctor

In Comparison, What Is A Nurse?

Nurses, on the other hand, work independently and as part of a team to assess, plan, implement and evaluate patient care in different specialties and different shifts. They are registered and licensed within their state and are allowed to perform more complex patient care procedures than a medical assistant, such as drawing arterial blood samples, administering chemotherapy, or starting and flushing IV tubing.

Some pull doubles and many work on weekends, holidays, on-call and per diem. The nurse's training is geared toward hospital or institutionalized patient care and mainly focuses on the foundations of traditional nursing and patient care, which is taking care of people that are sick, injured, infirm, or elderly in a hospital, institution, or nursing home. Their focus area lies on the anatomy and inner workings of the body, disease processes, medical management of diseases, conditions and nursing interventions associated with each disease, physiology, chemistry and pharmacology.

Significant differences:
  • wages and benefits
  • work hours
  • duties
  • continuing education
  • scope of practice
  • supervision
  • licensing
  • education
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can spend from 12 to 18 months in an accredited nursing school and then must take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX PN). The Registered Nurse (RN) associate degree takes at 2 years of full time college attendance, followed by the entry-level Nursing Competence Exam for Licensure as Registered Nurses, the NCLEX-RN. There also are 4 year programs in nursing which end in a nursing degree that leads to highly respected RN credentials.

Why I Became a Medical Assistant and NOT a Nurse

Is RN Better than LPN?

Anybody would be hard pressed to state with occupation is better, nursing or medical assisting, since both occupations have their place in health care as a whole. Each discipline has its specific place and purpose, even though there is a plethora of never ending discussions on the Internet revolving around this topic, going back and forth. We invite you to do your own research to find out what is right for you. Check your local newspaper and job offers in your area to see who and where medical assistants are hired and who is hiring RNs and LPNs. In reading the job offers you can also learn much about the kind of duties and responsibilities each one has and what employers expect and are willing to pay.

To learn more about the medical assisting career and what a medical assistant does please visit Medical Assistant Net on the Web.

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