Patient Care Tech vs Medical assistant

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    I currently have a CNA certification and have worked in long-term care for 3 months but the job is too hard and I am alreadfy sufering from severe back pains. I have only been working 8 hour shifts but soon I will be forced to do 16 hours per day to cover my living expenses once I move out on my own. I am curretnly living with a relative.

    I woud like to advance my career and I am considering medical assistant and patient care technician as a stepping stone. What do these positions actually include in a hospital setting? My sister is willing to have me live with her family as long as I am going to school to cut down on my expenses. I wasn't very smart in High school and so going to nursing school is out of the question for now since I am not sure I would pass. To make matters worse, Iam relatively new in the US (came last year from Africa) and I am still trying to learn the new system.

    Any advice? How marketable is Medical assistant/ medical billing or patient care tech?

    Thanks.
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    If you're still looking to remain in the patient care type setting of the job, go for a PCT! In most cases, MA's are being pushed behind reception desks and performing clinical tasks such as answering phones, making appointments, etc. While PCT's (in some cases) actually draw blood and what not (depending on your additional training).
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    Quote from kikuyu
    I currently have a CNA certification and have worked in long-term care for 3 months but the job is too hard and I am alreadfy sufering from severe back pains. I have only been working 8 hour shifts but soon I will be forced to do 16 hours per day to cover my living expenses once I move out on my own. I am curretnly living with a relative.

    I woud like to advance my career and I am considering medical assistant and patient care technician as a stepping stone. What do these positions actually include in a hospital setting? My sister is willing to have me live with her family as long as I am going to school to cut down on my expenses. I wasn't very smart in High school and so going to nursing school is out of the question for now since I am not sure I would pass. To make matters worse, Iam relatively new in the US (came last year from Africa) and I am still trying to learn the new system.

    Any advice? How marketable is Medical assistant/ medical billing or patient care tech?

    Thanks.

    Honestly, neither option will "advance your career". A care tech IS a CNA in most hospital settings; most of our techs have worked in LTC at one time or another. Most of our techs are also CNAs. And the job is essentially the same: if your back is the problem, being a PCT is definitely not your answer. It's hard work, physical work, dragging people up in bed, picking them up and helping them walk, moving and bending all day.

    The MA is likely to be less physically taxing for you, as they are usually not used in hospital settings for physical work (unless someone is an MA but is actually employed as a tech, that's common too). An MA is basically an office assistant most of the time. I'm sure others here will give you more details on MA work. Thing is, that usually requires a fair amount of time in classrooms and alot of money spent, and it doesn't usually yield much income at all. Come to think of it, from the wages I've seen posted on these boards for MAs, our care techs make about the same money with a six-week certificate, no $$ out.

    You said your sister is willing to have you live with her as long as you are in school, to "cut down on expenses". But going to school is usually somewhat expensive, so not sure how you're going to be cutting down on anything...? Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Apr 26, '07


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