You may have interest in pursuing a career in the medical industry. You may be wondering what the difference is between medication administration technician and a certified medical assistant.
A certified medical assistant (CMA) is someone who works alongside physicians in medical offices or clinics. It’s one of the fastest growing occupations due to an increase in elderly patients who need care which leads to an increase in the demand for physicians and, by extension, medical assistants.
CMAs are responsible for administrative duties such as answering telephones, greeting patients, updating medical records, filling out insurance paperwork, scheduling appointments and book keeping. They’re also responsible for clinical duties such as recording patient medical history, explaining treatment or procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, conducting or preparing physical examinations, performing basic lab tests, assigning diets to patients, drawing blood, changing dressing for patients and taking electrocardiograms.
A CMA also must receive certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants. It’s important to note that CMAs can work alongside physicians in a long-term care facility.
Medical administration technicians typically work in group homes, assisted living, memory care unit or independent living. MATs are not permitted to work in long term care facilities. In order to obtain your MAT certification, you can complete a 12-hour course and renew your certification annually with a 6-hour course.
Once Certified, MATs can work and pass medicine in Assisted Living, Group Homes and homes for disabled people.
The primary difference between these two occupations is the permissions. CMAs can work in long term care facilities. They can work alongside physicians and administer medications and also help out with administrative duties. MATs are not licensed to work in long term care facilities, the certificate is more quickly obtained and MATs typically work in Group Home type settings. CMAs must be certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants while MATs do not.
If you’re interested in a long term investment, then perhaps a CMA would be the more appropriate certification. However, if you’d like to try out the medical industry without investing an extraordinary amount of time and money, then perhaps an MAT would be the more appropriate path for you to pursue. At least in the short term.
Medical assistants are more in demand now than ever before and now is a great time to pursue a career in the medical industry.