Should You Become a Medical Office Specialist or Medical Assistant?
Launching a career in the medical field is great for people who like to feel good about helping others, are personable, detail-oriented, and find comfort in earning a steady paycheck. Plus, becoming a medical assistant or medical office specialist is a good start if you are interested in health care and eventually would like to move up into a nursing program or other sector of the medical industry. However, to get started in either job position, most employers expect people to have some sort of secondary school certification. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between these two roles.
Before we do that, if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, consider enrolling in UEI College’s Medical Assisting Program. The program can be completed, and you can earn your diploma in as little as 10 months.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN MEDICAL OFFICE SPECIALIST AND MEDICAL ASSISTANTS
Medical office administrators and medical assistants are alike in the sense that they both do clerical work such as managing filing systems, answering phones, and understanding how the office printers and copiers work. Both of these roles have direct contact with the patients, therefore it’s important to be outgoing, communicative, and enjoy dealing with customers.
At most health care establishments, both of these jobs also require an additional certification beyond a high school education. Since both medical office specialists and medical assistants are projected to be in high demand in the next 10 years, it’s a good idea to get a certification and start in either of these positions and see where your medical career takes you.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEDICAL OFFICE SPECIALISTS AND MEDICAL ASSISTANTS
However, although they sound like they are a lot alike and do have many similarities, there are some differences between the two positions. Medical assisting is considered more of a “back office” role whereas medical office administrating is more of a “front office” role. Medical office specialists are handling more of the clerical work, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and perhaps insurance processing, plus dealing with patient paperwork and taking on more assessment-type tasks than performing direct care.
Most medical assistants deal directly with patients and take direction under the doctor, while performing more one-on-one patient tasks like removing suture, checking a patient’s vital signs, taking X-rays, and administering injections. A medical assistant role combines clinical and administrative work, acting as more of the liaison between the doctor and patient whereas a medical office specialist is more of the liaison between the patient and the insurance companies.
BENEFITS OF STARTING A CAREER AS A MEDICAL OFFICE SPECIALIST OR ASSISTANT
There are many benefits to becoming a medical office specialist or a medical assistant, besides the satisfaction of helping people improve their quality of lives. The most notable ones are that it offers career stability and flexibility, as many medical assistants and office administrators start out in private practices (however, hospitals and outpatient care centers are always looking for qualified candidates in these positions as well). Plus, once you are certified as a medical assistant or office specialist, it opens the door to advanced training opportunities.
THE PLACE TO GO TO BECOME A MEDICAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR OR MEDICAL ASSISTANT
Now that you been given benefits to both career paths, you can find out how to get started with the programs offered at UEI College. UEI offers hands-on training in both medical office specialist and medical assisting to help prepare you for an entry-level job in the healthcare industry. Get started with a new career today!