Do you have a passion for healthcare and need a new career?
Over 22 million Americans currently work in the healthcare field. They help keep our society healthy and allow us to live life longer and happier.
Working in healthcare, you really can’t go wrong with choosing any of the roles. The only question is, which one do you want to focus on? Today, we’re going to compare two jobs you might be interested in medical assistant vs physician assistant.
We’ll examine their differences to help you decide what direction you want to go.
What Is a Medical Assistant?
A medical assistant is an essential part of the healthcare team. They work in entry-level positions in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. They assist in several administrative and clinical tasks.
Medical assistants report to a physician or other healthcare provider. A day in the life of a medical assistant might start by checking in with the physicians to be sure they have everything they need.
Some may work side-by-side with the physician or in a team with other assistants who share tasks or rotate assignments.
Medical Assistants provide basic care and help to patients. These include taking vital signs and administering medications. Also, they schedule appointments, file insurance forms, and arrange for laboratory tests.
Medical Assistants are also responsible for managing medical records. Then order supplies and update patient files with the physician’s notes.
In the examination room, other medical assistants’ job roles may perform some clinical tasks. These include preparing patients for examination or administering injections.
Also, they may assist the physician. This is to provide explanations of medical procedures to the patient.
The Medical Assistant’s job roles are to ensure the smooth running of the medical practice.
Medical assistants and physician assistants are two different allied health professionals. They have different career paths and educational requirements.
Medical assistants usually need to have a high school diploma or GED. Also, you need postsecondary education and receive on-the-job training from employers. These can give them an added edge in the job market.
Medical Assistants can qualify for an entry-level position. They can do this by completing a one or two-year certificate or diploma program. These educational programs are available from community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools.
Education should include courses in human anatomy, medical terminology, and office procedures.
Salaries for Medical Assistants may vary. It depends on the specific job area, geographical area, and other factors.
On average, MAs in the United States earned a mean annual wage of $38,190 in 2021. Yet, salaries in major cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles, can be much higher.
If furthering their education and experience and become certified, MAs can make up to $50,000 per year. Salaries are higher for those working in physician’s offices, specialty clinics, and hospitals. This is because of the higher level of duties and responsibilities.
What Is a Physicians Assistant?
A Physician Assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional who practices medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. They know general medicine and certain specialty areas, such as surgery and psychiatry. They collaborate with physicians to provide the best patient care for their patients.
PAs may also consult with specialists in other medical fields. These include ophthalmology or radiology to help patients get the best care.
PAs can serve in all medical settings. They can work in clinics, hospitals, private offices, and home or community settings.
PAs play an invaluable role in healthcare today. This allows physicians to dedicate more time to complex cases.
Physician Assistants work in a variety of medical settings in general diagnosis. Also, they work in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
The primary work responsibility of a PA is to test, diagnose, and treat the symptoms of patients. This must be under the direction of a physician.
The PA may provide physical exams and order and interpret laboratory tests. And counsel patients on preventative health practices.
PAs must be skillful in communication. This is when working in interdisciplinary teams with allied health professionals. In some states, PAs may prescribe medications.
Other physician’s assistant job roles are developing treatment plans and performing minor surgeries. They may research and understand the nuances of specific diseases and conditions. This will assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients.
Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. These include biology, human anatomy, psychology, and chemistry. They must have completed coursework in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and ethics.
Applicants must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). This is to become certified physician assistants.
Those with a master’s degree may choose to pursue a post-graduate residency. This is to specialize in a certain area of medicine. These include pediatrics, internal medicine, or family practice.
The educational requirements for a Physicians Assistant may vary from state to state. Check with your respective state’s board of medical examiners for specific requirements.
The salaries of a Physicians Assistant vary depending upon several factors. These include experience, type of practice, geographic region, and educational level.
According to the BLS, the average median annual salary of a Physicians Assistant is $119,460. It may range from as low as $ 74,990 to as high as $ 167,240.
Salaries may be higher if the doctor’s office or hospital is in an area with a higher cost of living. Also, you will get a higher salary if the PA has higher educational credentials.
Besides, those who specialize in fields such as mental health may also earn higher salaries. Physician Assistants receive a competitive salary and benefits package. This is because many employers pay for continuing education and certification fees.
Difference Between Medical Assistant vs Physicians Assistant
In conclusion, understanding the difference between Medical Assistant and a Physicians Assistant can help you decide which career path best fits your needs.
With the difference in job duties, educational requirements, and salary range, they have valuable roles in a patient’s healthcare team. Consider this Medical Assistant vs Physicians Assistant guide and research and determine if one of these careers is the right fit for you.
If you want to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.
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