So You Want to Be a Caregiver? Medical Assisting Could Be a Good Career Alternative

So You Want to Be a Caregiver? Medical Assisting Could Be a Good Career Alternative

Medical Assisting vs. Caregiving – Weighing the Choices

So you want to be a caregiver? That’s a positive direction, many people start their healthcare careers as caregivers. However, you may want to consider becoming a medical assistant instead. In this post, we’ll compare and contrast the two career choices.

Personal Home Care vs. Medical Setting

Caregivers and personal care aides typically provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, and meal preparation, for elderly or disabled individuals in their homes. This role offers the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with clients and provide essential support to enhance their quality of life.

Medical assistants have a wide range of employment locales, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and specialty practices. In these settings, they perform various clinical and administrative tasks, such as taking vital signs, assisting with examinations, scheduling appointments, and maintaining patient records. With the healthcare industry’s growing demand for skilled professionals, medical assistants enjoy plentiful job opportunities and the chance to make a positive impact on patient care.

Interested in becoming a medical assistant? Request information and find out more about the program.

Basic Assistance vs. Range of Career Pathways

As an entry-level caregiver, individuals typically start by providing basic assistance and support to elderly or disabled individuals in their homes or in residential care facilities. This role involves tasks such as helping with daily activities, providing companionship, and assisting with personal care needs like bathing and dressing. With additional training, caregivers may advance to roles with increased responsibilities, such as taking the coursework to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or pursuing specialized certifications in areas like dementia care or hospice care.

Entry-level medical assistants have a range of career pathways available to them. Initially, they may work in hospitals, clinics, or medical offices, assisting healthcare providers with patient care, administrative tasks, and medical procedures. With experience and further education, medical assistants can specialize in areas such as phlebotomy, electrocardiography (EKG), or medical billing and coding. Additionally, they may choose to advance their careers by pursuing higher education to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs), or they may choose to specialize in fields like medical imaging, surgical technology, or healthcare administration. The versatility of the medical assisting profession allows individuals to explore various career options and tailor their career paths to align with their interests and goals.

Basic Certification vs. Professional Certification

Caregiver certification is relatively informal, and often requires only a modestly priced, 8-hour basic training certification course which covers the basic skills for caregiving. There may also be options to do additional training on specialities such as dementia if planning to work with seniors with memory loss. The credential may be required at the state level to be able to work with patients.

Medical Assisting can prepare you to seek certification with a variety of professional accrediting bodies, including the following:

Phlebotomy Certifications

EKG Certification

You may even be able to get certified in phlebotomy and EKG before you even finish the program, giving you a chance to start building your certifications right away.

Burnout Potential

Caregivers have a hard, underappreciated, and sometimes dangerous job. Caregivers may work directly in patients’ homes, which sometimes means dealing with unpleasant odors and individuals for hours on end as the only person present and with no support from other trained staff. Caregivers also often require a high level of physical strength, as they may need to assist patients with mobility, transfers, and positioning. This can involve tasks such as helping patients move from beds to chairs, assisting with walking, and providing support during activities of daily living like bathing and dressing. After a certain amount of time dealing with these difficulties, many caregivers decide to return to their education seeking something else.

Medical assistants often work in fast-paced environments, juggling multiple responsibilities and facing ongoing pressure to provide efficient patient care. They must deal with the emotional and physical demands of the job, coupled with the need to maintain high levels of accuracy and professionalism. Medical assistants typically work in professional hospital environments where they collaborate with other trained healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and administrative staff. This setting provides medical assistants with a supportive team environment where they can rely on their colleagues for assistance, guidance, and collaboration in patient care tasks and administrative duties. Having this network of trained staff enhances efficiency, promotes teamwork, and ensures quality patient care delivery.

Find Out More

Curious about how you can contribute to healthcare through a career in medical assisting? Explore our Clinical Medical Assisting program and see how you can become a part of this impactful profession, or click here to Request Information.

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