Difference between PCT and Medical Assistant?

  1. Hello everyone!

    Is there a difference between a Patient Care Tech and Med Assistant?
    Schools are offering courses for the two either seperate or combined...which is confusing ..I'm currently unemployed (laid off) but have found it to be a blessing since now I can go into the medical field...the field of my dreams! Unemployent provides a training grant and I would like to take advantage of it. Eventually I want to become a RN but want to take it one step at a time. Which course would I benefit from the most? Any advice would be a great help.

    Take care and Thank You!
    •  
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   nekhismom
    Medical Assistant is very different from PCT. A PCT is also known as a CNA, tech,etc. They assist with basic bedside care in hospitals and nursing homes, and often do quite a bit more! A med. assistant works in a doctor's office and does things directly under a doctor's supervision. This is not likely to occur in a hospital as a nurse, unless you work in the ER! However, you do learn more skills that can transfer to nursing such as giving injections, learning about different medicines, etc. Both are good preparation, but in different ways. I would advise you to check into opportunities for both PCT and CMA's in your area, and choose the curriculum that will be most advantageous to you after graduation. Good luck!
  4. by   coolatta19
    Quote from nekhismom
    Medical Assistant is very different from PCT. A PCT is also known as a CNA, tech,etc. They assist with basic bedside care in hospitals and nursing homes, and often do quite a bit more! A med. assistant works in a doctor's office and does things directly under a doctor's supervision. This is not likely to occur in a hospital as a nurse, unless you work in the ER! However, you do learn more skills that can transfer to nursing such as giving injections, learning about different medicines, etc. Both are good preparation, but in different ways. I would advise you to check into opportunities for both PCT and CMA's in your area, and choose the curriculum that will be most advantageous to you after graduation. Good luck!
    I had a chance to visit 2 tech schools this week. One offered the Medical Assistant course and the other offers a diploma/or certificate for both. I decided on the second school. Even though it's only a certificate program I'm nervous but thrilled at the same time..It's a scary going back to school after 10 years.
    I figure if I can handle this I can go forward with my Nursing dream.

    Thanks again for your reply and good luck with the relocation and with your Nursing career! <-----4 U!

    Gwen
  5. by   AmyLiz
    Whatever you do, try to find out if the courses you take for your certificate will eventually transfer to a nursing school, if you desire to go eventually. A friend of mine got a certificate & has worked as an MA for years & just went back to school last year for nursing. Found out NONE of the classes he took for his MA certificate transferred, so he has to take them all over again.
  6. by   yaneisys
    Dear Amy,
    I am interested in persuing a career in nursing as well and I am very scared to go to a school where they tell you that the courses will transfer over after you have invested all your time and money . Then find out they are not acceptable. I really want to become an RN but don't know exactly the best way to go. Can you or anyone make things clear as to what the best approach is. I agree its all confusing with the medical assistants, and cma's. Or is the best bet to be an LP first.


    Quote from AmyLiz
    Whatever you do, try to find out if the courses you take for your certificate will eventually transfer to a nursing school, if you desire to go eventually. A friend of mine got a certificate & has worked as an MA for years & just went back to school last year for nursing. Found out NONE of the classes he took for his MA certificate transferred, so he has to take them all over again.
  7. by   Jasra
    it depends on what you want to do.
    as well as what you are allowed to do.
    as MA , I can do EKG's , Blood draws, wound care, injections,
    you learn about billing and coding, use of EMR, as most Dr' office are connected to their local hosps.
    depending on dr office you assist with minor surgery,

close