Right now is a great time to enter the medical field. Among the in demand careers within the medical field are positions for medical assistants and patient care technicians. Are you interested in a rewarding career that focuses on patient care? If so, either of these professions could be for you. Unsure of which career option would be the best suited for you? Here’s a breakdown of what you can look forward to with each career.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants (MAs) are found in all sorts of exciting medical practices, from urgent care to neurosurgery, and enjoy a variety of patient-focused job duties. Medical assistants are valuable because they possess knowledge of both front office patient intake skills and back office clinical skills. An MA can be skilled in phlebotomy, EKG, patient intake, medical records and more.

Medical assistants differ from patient care technicians in a few ways. Medical assistants are skilled in administrative duties in combination with clinical duties, and medical assistants are prominently employed in doctors’ offices.

Medical assistants can gain qualifications through certificate programs, associate degree programs and/or on the job training. Medical assistants can also gain two nationally recognized credentials: Registered Medical Assistant(RMA) and Certified Medical Assistant(CMA). Employers might also have specific requirements.

Patient Care Technician

Patient care technicians (PCTs) can be found in hospitals, outpatient facilities and doctors’ offices. They work with nurses to provide clinical care to patients. A PCT might have phlebotomy skills, wound care knowledge, training in IV care and more. Patient care technicians are valuable to ensuring quality patient care.

Patient care technicians differ from medical assistants in a few ways; they are found in a variety of practices and focus solely on patient care. Patient care technicians generally work with nurses, providing clinical care for patients.

Patient care technicians are sometimes required by their state to be certified, and potential employers might also have specific qualification requirements. Additionally, patient care technicians can gain a nationally recognized credential, the Patient Care Technician Certification.