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Medical assistant Vs. Nursing- Know the core difference!

Making a career in medical field is one of the finest career options to opt for, as it promises safe and secure future with plenty of growth opportunities. While not everyone ends up being a surgeon or doctor, there are other profiles that do not involve dealing with blood and intensive surgical care.

Examples of such occupations are that of a nurse and medical assistants. These are two most commonly sought-after professional that lot of youngster pursue after completing high school diploma. Both of these are quite different occupations in terms of nature of work, associated responsibilities and benefits. Which career one chooses will depend upon the number of hours he is ready to spend and the willingness to do different tasks. This section differentiates the core difference between these two medical occupations.

One can become an MA (medical assistant) within two years of completing schooling. Medical assistant training programs are available at local colleges, universities, and schools providing vocational courses. Depending upon the number of classes and courses taken each semester, duration of program will be less. On the other hand, to become a registered nurse, one will have to complete Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. This can take up to four years. Another option is to go for two or three year training program to become an RN (registered nurse).

Talking in terms of work responsibilities, nurses are responsible for recording patient history, administering medications and diagnosing signs and symptoms by discussing all the conditions with senior doctors. MAs on the other hand, are responsible for administrative tasks such as filling and maintaining medical records, helping doctors and physicians in completing clinical work more quickly. Registered medical assistants also perform some part of clinical work. For example, they take vital signs, and record symptoms of health issues. Some also collect and send lab samples for further laboratory tests.

Typically, medical assistants have to work at least forty hours a week with a structured and predefined schedule. Those in nursing profession have to work twelve hours and may have irregular shifts which can often make their work schedule quite hectic. In addition, the duration and nature of shifts for each of these occupations will vary greatly depending upon the type of work setting you chose to work in, and office’s individual office timing.

A number of institutes, vocational schools, college, universities and medical institutes offer medical assistant training and nursing programs.


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