May 27, 2022

Check Out These Key Differences Between Registered Nurses and Medical Assistants

By B&SC Blog Team

Check Out These Key Differences Between Registered Nurses and Medical Assistants

Medical assistants are not the same as registered nurses (RNs). While both careers perform vital healthcare tasks with the ultimate goal of improving patient care, their day to day responsibilities and educational paths differ.

If you’ve been considering pursuing a healthcare career, it’s good to know you have options. Both career fields are on the rise. Before you start down an educational path, make sure it’s the right one. Here’s a look at the similarities and differences between these two distinct careers.

Where Nursing and Medical Assisting Are Alike

One of the main things you likely know about these healthcare professions is that they are both focused on helping patients. Each of them requires professionals with a highly qualified skill set in order to practice in the field. The educational journey may start out in a similar fashion but branches out once an individual has taken courses in biology, medical terminology, medical law and procedure, physiology, and human anatomy.

Both nurses and medical assistants often conduct light procedures in the clinical setting, such as taking vitals of the patient’s temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation. However, nurses are responsible for analyzing the data, while the medical assistant records it.

The work that’s done in a clinic or hospital setting requires that the person has a strong sense of what’s involved with patient care. It’s important to be respectful and empathic as well as patient. Many patients become distressed so it’s ideal if their nurses and assistants are able to remain as calm and compassionate as possible.

Both sets of healthcare professionals need to ensure that patients are aware of what treatments and procedures are going to be used in their care. Some additional characteristics that are crucial in both nursing and medical assisting are attention to detail, effective time management, and strong communication skills.

Differences Between Nursing and Medical Assisting

One of the most obvious ways that these positions differ is that there are more qualifications to become a registered nurse compared to what’s necessary for a medical assistant. This means that the RN will need to attend school for longer and take more specialized courses in order to fulfill the requirements of the job.

The pay for these positions is also significantly different-mostly due to the RNs lengthier educational requirement and the need to be licensed RNs typically will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. If they started out with a nursing diploma or an associate degree, they would often need to pursue more education to earn the bachelor’s and satisfy educational requirements for becoming an RN. Programs to certify medical assistants typically run 12-18 months before awarding a career-building certificate.

Nurses can earn up to

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