Phlebotomist vs. Medical Assistant – What is the best career path?
The problem of choosing a profession that can let you have a career is widely known. Especially among those, who decided to advance in the medical sphere.
There are dozens of specialties to develop at, and we spend years talking about all of them. Today, we are going to talk about phlebotomists and medical assistants. What differentiates them, what do they do, where to start and the job outlook.
For some people it may seem, that phlebotomist’s work is not that hard. Believe me; they are wrong. It is a profession that requires from a specialist more than a simple skill of taking blood.
Phlebotomists must be responsible for their work as much as possible. They should allocate and label taken blood correctly. No mistakes should be made. Also, the phlebotomist should communicate with thousands of people they take blood from.
Some of them have a tranquil attitude to this operation. Some may be afraid of it just a bit. And some may even have a panic attack. Phlebotomists should choose their word carefully when they talk to people.
It is important for their tone always to be calm and kind. In that way, patients and donors will feel safe and sound after the blood is taken.
How to become a Phlebotomist
After you got the high-school level education, you have several ways to obtain a phlebotomist diploma. First of all, you need to pass a phlebotomist training program. It depends on you, where you want, or you can pass it. You may choose between programs at a college, vocational schools or technical schools. There you will be taught the needed skills for phlebotomist.
How to take blood from patients, how to allocate the blood properly and how to interact with patients. After the program is finished, you now have to earn a professional certification. It may be provided to you by some medical organizations.
Some of the leading are American Association of Medical Personnel and American Medical Technologists.
How long does it take to become a phlebotomist?
Of course, it depends on the training program. Some of them may last longer than others, but mostly they take less than one year to pass.
What is the phlebotomist pay scale?
Again, it depends on some factors. The place of your employment and the working experience can affect your wage. However, referring to the U.S. statistics, the average annual phlebotomist wage in 2016 is more than $33,000.
When it comes to medical assistants, it sometimes may be tough to answer one question. What does medical assistant do? Some say, they should assist doctors everywhere they go. Some answer that they must provide patients with medical examinations.
Others respond that they work with the patients’ information in the hospital. I should say, that all of the answers are correct. It is also common for people to mix up medical assistants with phlebotomists.
Their lines of work can often intersect, but they have dissimilar roles. If phlebotomists take and study the blood, medical assistants are those, who prepare it for tests and analyses.
The entire process is similar enough to how phlebotomists do this. You need a postsecondary education that you can get from some programs. Lasting one or two years, they will provide you with the needed skills and a corresponding certificate. Along with it, you will have bigger chances to be hired by employers.
How much does a medical assistant make?
In 2015, the average annual wage was more than $30,000. In 2016, it was more than $32,000, and it keeps growing. It is evident, that the wage varies widely, depending on the working time. Medical assistants often work a full time day in day out, including nights, holidays and weekends.
What qualities should a good medical assistant have?
First of all, medical assistants must be communicable. They talk with doctors, they explain everything to patients and often have to deal with children.
A negative attitude from specialists is intolerable. Along with speaking skills, medical assistants should be able to listen to doctors’ directions and patients’ complaints. They must not argue with people they work with. In controversy, they should have an ability to adapt to any situations and problems.
Referring to all above, we can now see the difference in these specializations. Undoubtedly, it is up to everyone to decide which one to choose.