MedAssistant program or Surgical Tech?

  1. My brother currently has the option between taking a Medical assistant course or a Surgical Technologist course (each one takes 2 years to complete). In the medical assistant course he will be able to be certified in phelbotomy, radiology tech, and medical coding on top of medical assisting (FL doesn't offer CMA at this time, according to my knowledge)

    The surgical tech program doesn't offer certification, but I don't know if it's the state of Florida (although I've read that most places prefer certification)

    Which path sounds better? I have a rough idea of how much each profession makes, but i'm not entirely sure how much they would make in the current economy and if somebody with no experience in any of these fields could get a job. If you guys would put in your 2 cents that would be great!
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    About dancer_meggs

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 42; Likes: 11
    Student/ Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Home Health/Geriatrics


  3. by   Bean79
    Interesting Medical Assisting program. If you had said it was 2 years to become just a CMA then I would say no way. I a CMA and would never reccommend going to school that long. But in order to become certified to do radiology too, well that might be worth it. In florida it is not required to become a certified medical assistant, but I will say many employers are looking at this now. If he goes this route he needs to make sure the school he chooses is approved through the AAMA or AST. These are the major certifying bodies and hold institutions to strict standards.

    on the oter spectrum, Surgical Technology, most employers will want you to become certified. Schools typically do not certify you. From what I understand you must sit through an exam in order to do this.

    As a CMA and now nursing student, I can honestly say I had wished I went the Surgical Tech route. It seems like a challenging, but rewarding career and many of the CST I shadowed during nursing rotations seemed to have passion for what they do. They are at the thick of things and have a wealth of knowledge. I loved the pace in the OR setting too and having to be prepared for the unexpected. One CST in the OB area said its ideal for her because she is an adrenaline junkie. Medical Assisting is ok, but for me it felt redundant and I was bored. Advancement in both areas are rather limited, but I believe CST overall can make more in the long run. In the end it depends on what he likes. If it were me and if I made tha choice again I would pick Surgical Tech. Good Luck.
  4. by   prowlingMA
    He should really think about what his long term goals are. If it is to be an RN, the the surg. tech program will probably be more benificial.
    However,as a surg tech he won't have as much patient contact. More of the equipment and surgery prep. in a hospital setting.
    As an MA he will have tons of patient contact and will get experience that pertains to a doctors office setting.

    Depending on where you live pay would be about the same. So it all depends on what he wants to do in the long term.