Do you want to work in a medical facility assisting doctors and taking care of others? Are you concerned this job description only fits a nurse? Well it doesn’t!
You’ll be happy to hear that helping heal the sick and injured isn’t strictly limited to doctors and nurses. In fact, there are several healthcare careers that allow you to work closely with patients and make a difference. Let’s take a closer look at two of these commonly confused careers: medical assistant versus patient care technician.
We examined the essential information about each position so you can make an informed decision about which suits you best. So pay close attention to this side-by-side comparison of these in-demand healthcare careers.
MA vs. PCT: Job duties
A medical assistant (MA) is like a jack-of-all-trades in a medical office. They’re trained in both clinical and administrative work, with responsibilities in both the exam room and the front office.
FACT: Medical assisting jobs are projected to increase 29% through 2022.
The clinical side of medical assisting involves recording vital signs, compiling patients’ medical histories and administering medications under the direction of a supervising physician. Administrative duties include greeting patients, scheduling appointments and assisting patients in completing insurance forms.
A patient care technician (PCT) is mainly focused on working closely with patients, in conjunction with nurses. PCTs, sometimes referred to as nursing assistants, help perform basic care for patients, such as assisting them in using the restroom, serving meals or changing bedding. They may also monitor vital signs and provide emotional support to patients and families.
Both professionals play a vital role in the healthcare system, but the range and degree of responsibilities will determine the level of training and education needed for each position.
MA vs. PCT: Skills needed
We used real-time job analysis software to examine nearly 106, 000 MA and PCT job postings from the past 12 months.* The data helped us identify the top eight skills employers are seeking from candidates in each position. Here’s what we found:
It’s clear that the skill set required for each job is quite different, as it should be, given the job differences. But don’t be intimidated by these lists of abilities. These are precisely the skills you’ll acquire during your education and training.