Once you’ve narrowed down your career choice to one in the healthcare space, the next step is to research and choose a profession that suits you. Many careers overlap when it comes to scope, amount of patient interaction, and educational requirements. Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and Medical Assistants are two professions that are similar in some respects but incredibly different in others. Let’s explore these two distinct professions to help you make an informed decision.
About These Healthcare Professions
One notable difference is that Vocational Nurses must pass an exam in order to receive their license and practice in the field. Medical Assistants may only need a high school diploma to practice in some states. However, it’s important to note that the completion of a Medical Assistant program can be key in this increasingly competitive world and may often improve the likelihood of employment.
If you’re in a hurry to hit the workplace with a specialized set of skills, Medical Assisting may be a better option since formal programs can typically be completed in under a year. Whether you are exploring a new career or embarking on a first-time career, salary* is another legitimate consideration that is on the minds of most prospective healthcare professionals.
Responsibilities of LVNs and Medical Assistants
Overall, there are major differences when it comes to scope of practice between the two occupations. LVNs learn a greater number of clinical skills and will carry more responsibility. It’s worth noting that, in a few select states, a Medical Assistant may be allowed to place an IV. Below, we have included some job responsibilities for Vocational Nurses and Medical Assistants.
+ Assess and monitor patients
+ Report adverse reactions to medication or treatment
+ Gather information from patients, including their health history
+ Teach patients about good health habits
+ Often teach family members how to care for a relative
+ Supervise nursing assistants and aides
In some states, LVNs are permitted to administer prescribed medicines, start intravenous fluids, and provide care to ventilator-dependent patients. They may use this information to complete a plan of care for a specific patient in long-term care; to complete insurance forms, pre-authorizations, and referrals; and to work with the interdisciplinary team to help determine the best course of care for a patient.
+ Answer telephones
+ Schedule appointments & greet patients
+ Update and file patient charts
+ Order supplies
+ Arrange for hospital admission and laboratory services
+ Handle billing, collections, and bookkeeping
***Clinical duties vary according to state law and may include the below…
+ Taking medical histories and recording vital signs
+ Preparing patients and assisting the physician during the examination
+ Telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy
+ Collect and prepare laboratory specimens
+ Sterilize medical instruments
+ Preparing patients for x-rays
+ Taking electrocardiograms
+ Removing sutures and dressing changes
While it can be argued that there’s some overlap between these two professions, there are also distinct differences that are worth noting before you make a commitment.
A Brief Overview of Eagle Gate College
The Eagle Gate College Group is known for giving power to students and associates by teaching cutting-edge, skills-based education, and leadership and personal effectiveness skills to have the career and life they desire. They are caring professionals who empower individuals to achieve personal excellence through student-centered, market-driven education.
If you’d like to change your career but do not want to spend years in school, you might want to consider the Medical Assistant program at Eagle Gate College; it can be completed in as little as 10 months! For more information, please contact a school representative at (801) 333-7133.
Change your future with Eagle Gate!