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Medical Assistant vs. Administrative Medical Assistant

In healthcare, there are various career paths. The two well-liked choices are becoming a Medical Assistant or an Administrative Medical Assistant. While these roles appear alike, they vary in tasks, certifications, and job outlook. This blog post examines the distinctions and similarities between a Medical Assistant and an Administrative Medical Assistant. The goal is to help make an informed decision about your career.

Smiling medical assistant in medical clothes pulling on sterile gloves and a medical administrative assistant looking at a medical form.

Is a Medical Assistant the Same as an Administrative Medical Assistant?

While both work in healthcare settings, their roles and responsibilities differ significantly. Let’s closely examine each role:

Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a crucial part of a medical team providing administrative and clinical support. They collaborate with physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals. This is to ensure the smooth operation of a medical facility. Common duties include:

  • Assisting with patient intake, including vital signs and recording medical history
  • Preparing patients for examinations and aiding in procedures.
  • Administering medications and injections as directed
  • Conducting basic laboratory tests and specimen collection
  • Scheduling appointments and managing medical records
  • Providing patient education and at-home care instructions
  • Assisting with minor medical procedures and wound care

Administrative Medical Assistant

On the other hand, an Administrative Medical Assistant focuses on handling administrative tasks. Their pivotal role ensures office efficiency and excellent customer service to patients. Common duties include:

  • Greeting patients, scheduling appointments, and managing the front desk
  • Managing patient records, including updating and organizing files
  • Handling billing and insurance claims
  • Maintaining inventory and ordering medical supplies
  • Assisting with the coordination of patient referrals and scheduling specialist appointments
  • Answering phone calls and addressing patient inquiries
  • Providing administrative support to the healthcare team

Medical Assistant vs. Administrative Medical Assistant Job Duties

As mentioned, Medical Assistants and Administrative Medical Assistants have distinct job duties. Here’s a breakdown of the primary responsibilities for each role:

Medical Assistant Job Duties:

  • Clinical tasks include taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, administering medications, conducting basic laboratory tests, and assisting with procedures.
  • Administrative duties encompass scheduling appointments, managing medical records, handling patient intake, and providing patient education.

Administrative Medical Assistant Job Duties:

  • Front desk responsibilities involve greeting patients, scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and handling billing and insurance claims.
  • Office management tasks include maintaining inventory, coordinating referrals, answering phone calls, and providing administrative support.

While both roles contribute to a medical facility’s overall functioning, choosing a career path aligning with your interests and strengths is crucial.

Medical Assistant vs. Administrative Medical Assistant Certifications

Certifications are vital in showing a candidate has the knowledge, skills, and ability for their roles. Let’s look at the certificates available for Medical Assistants and Administrative Medical Assistants:

Medical Assistant Certifications:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), validating competence in both clinical and administrative duties.
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) by American Medical Technologists (AMT), demonstrating proficiency in various aspects of medical assisting.

Administrative Medical Assistant Certifications:

  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), verifying knowledge and skills in administrative duties specific to the healthcare industry.
  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) by the NHA, focusing on medical billing and coding, a crucial aspect of administrative medical assisting.

Certification is only sometimes required. However, having one improves job opportunities and opens doors for career growth.

Medical Assistant vs. Administrative Medical Assistant Job Outlook

Both roles exhibit promising job outlooks with strong projected growth. Here’s a glimpse of the job outlook for each position:

Medical Assistant Job Outlook:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 19 percent increase in the employment of Medical Assistants from 2019 to 2029. This growth rate is significantly faster than the average for all occupations. The main factors driving this expansion are the rising demand for healthcare services and the necessity to support healthcare professionals.

Administrative Medical Assistant Job Outlook:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 10 percent rise in employment for Medical Secretaries, which includes Administrative Medical Assistants. This increase is expected between 2019 and 2029. The reason behind this growth is the expanding healthcare industry. There is a growing need for skilled professionals to manage administrative tasks efficiently.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between a career as a Medical Assistant or an Administrative Medical Assistant relies on your interests, skills, and career objectives. So, take the time to research and evaluate your options. Doing so can ensure an informed decision that aligns with your goals. CCI Training Center provides thorough training programs if you want to become one. This will equip you with essential skills and knowledge for success in the healthcare industry. Take the first step towards your career goals by exploring our programs today.

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