Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.
One of the more commonly asked questions when it comes to entering the medical field is “what is a medical assistant vs patient care technician.” The answer might surprise you.
A medical assistant is generally certified as a medical assistant and goes through an average of one full year of schooling at a community college. A patient care technician is often a nurse assistant working in a hospital setting and undergoes an average of 12 weeks of vocational training.
However, both make around the same rate, even though one requires less training. This can depend on the state you’re applying for as some states require a PCT to have experience with medication reconciliation, lab testing and drawing blood (medical assistants are certified in this and nurse assistants are not). Medical assistant vs patient care technician, let’s dive into the differences.
A medical assistant vs a patient care technician generally works in a physician’s office and has training in both front and back office medical assisting.
A patient care technician generally works in a hospital setting on units such as Telemetry, Medical Surgical and ICU. They are responsible for assisting the nurse with nearly all aspects of patient care from time of arrival to discharge.
The biggest differentiators between a medical assistant and patient care technician is the environment that they work in. As you can see above a medical assistant vs a patient care technician does not seem that different when comparing the responsibilities. However, as noted above the amount of training as well as the location of work is what sets these two apart.
Love fast-paced settings, don’t mind 12 hour shifts and plan to work in a hospital one day? A role as a patient care technician vs a medical assistant might be the best option for you.
Love slow-paced settings, stability, and don’t mind working 5 days a week? Looking to advance your career in a physician’s office? A medical assistant role might be the best option for you.
The difference between a medical assistant and patient care technician might be minor, but it can play a role in where you get hired and what training you’ll need.
Thinking about becoming a medical assistant vs patient care technician? Let us know in the comments below.
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