Is an LPN better than a medical assistant? We take a look at the pros and cons of each profession to help you make the best decision for your career.
Checkout this video:
What is an LPN?
An LPN is a Licensed Practical Nurse. An LPN is trained to provide basic medical care and perform nursing duties. An LPN can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes clinics, and physicians’ offices.
Medical Assistants (MAs) are trained to perform basic medical and administrative tasks in healthcare settings. MAs typically have less training than LPNs.
There is no clear answer as to which position is better. It depends on the individual’s training, experience, and preferences.
What is a Medical Assistant?
A medical assistant is a health care professional who performs administrative and clinical tasks in a medical office or clinic. Medical assistants are often the first point of contact for patients and play an important role in patient care and customer service.
LPNs, or licensed practical nurses, are another type of health care professional. LPNs provide basic nursing care and may work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices.
So, which is better – a medical assistant or an LPN? The answer depends on your specific needs and goals. If you want to provide basic nursing care, then an LPN may be a better option. If you’re looking for a health care position that involves more customer service and administrative tasks, then a medical assistant may be a better fit.
The duties of an LPN
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), also called licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in some states, provide basic nursing care. They work under the supervision of registered nurses and doctors. LPN duties include monitoring patients’ vital signs, giving injections and IVs, changing dressings, checking blood sugar levels, and giving enemas. They also help patients with bathing, eating, and using the bathroom. LPNs keep records of patients’ health and report changes to the RN or physician.
The duties of a Medical Assistant
Medical Assistants perform a variety of duties to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Their tasks vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Others may have an associate degree in medical assisting.
The duties of a medical assistant include but are not limited to the following:
Taking and recording medical histories and vital signs
Preparing patients for examination
Assisting the physician during examinations
Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
Instructing patients about medication and special diets
Performing basic laboratory tests
Authorizing prescription refills as directed by physicians
Maintaining patients’ medical records
Filing insurance forms
The education of an LPN
An LPN has more formal education than a medical assistant. An LPN completes an accredited practical nursing program, which typically takes one year to complete. A medical assistant may have some formal education, but it is not required. Many medical assistants have on-the-job training or complete a short training program, which may last a few weeks to a few months.
The education of a Medical Assistant
The education required to become a medical assistant is typically a one- or two-year diploma or certificate program from a community college, vocational school, or business school. Some accredited four-year colleges also offer medical assistant programs. The curriculum in these programs typically includes courses in anatomy, physiology, Medical Terminology transcription, office practices, and First Aid/CPR. Some programs may also offer an externship opportunity in a medical office or clinic to provide students with practical experience prior to graduation.
In contrast, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) must complete an accredited practical nursing program, which typically takes one year to complete. These programs include both classroom and clinical instruction in subjects such as medical surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, and pharmacology. LPNs must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed to practice.
The job outlook for an LPN
The job outlook for an LPN is good. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) estimates that there will be a 7 percent growth in the demand for licensed practical nurses between 2016 and 2026. This is faster than the average for all occupations. The aging Baby Boomer population is one of the main factors driving this growth. As people live longer, they will need more health care services.
The job outlook for a Medical Assistant
Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging baby-boom population will require more preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, although some have completed formal medical assisting programs. Many states regulate medical assistants.
The salary of an LPN
An LPN, or licensed practical nurse, is a registered nurse with more experience who has completed a year-long program. In addition to an associates degree, they must also pass the NCLEX-PN, a licensing exam. An LPN can earn up to $50,000 per year.
A medical assistant is a person who has completed a short training program, usually lasting about a year. Medical assistants do not need to be licensed, but they must complete a certification exam. Medical assistants can earn up to $30,000 per year.
10)The salary of a Medical Assistant
The average salary for a Medical Assistant is $14.61 per hour. The average salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse is $21.54 per hour.