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Medical Assistant vs Dental Assistant

When it is time to begin a new career or change careers, it is a well know fact that the medical profession may be the place to go. The opportunities for various jobs is large and in a year or two you can be making a comfortable salary as a chosen profession. Two of those choices may be that of a medical assistant or a dental assistant.

Medical Assistant Career

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work primarily in physicians’ offices or clinics. The projected rate of growth is higher than that in many other fields. There are occasions when medical assistants are trained on the job. Many choose to take the one or two year courses that are available either at a school or online . The required tasks will vary depending on the size of the practice.

In smaller practices the medical assistant may be called upon to perform both clinical tasks and administrative tasks. In these circumstances the medical assistant generally reports to the office manager the physician or other practitioner. Within the larger practices, duties may be more specialized with assigned tasks in a particular area. Administrative medical assistants work with medical records. The may fill out insurance forms and arrange for lab studies and admissions. On occasion they will do billing, scheduling and some bookkeeping. Clinical medical assistants tasks include recording vital signs, interviewing the patients and assisting the physician during examination of the patient.

There are also positions for medical assistants available with chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists and as ophthalmic assistants.

Dental assistants have a varied number of tasks including patient care, office and laboratory duties. They will be working in the treatment room with the dentist. Processing and hanging x-rays also fall within their responsibilities. They do not perform the tasks of a hygienist.

Training to be a dental assistant can be done through community colleges, technical institutes or trade schools. Many others learn their job in the office itself. A dental assistant is required to have good people skills and excellent manual dexterity.

Dental Assistant Job

Dental Assistant

There are states that dental assistants are required to be registered or licensed. Some of the tasks they perform may require special training. This is especially true with the performance of radiological procedures. There are states that require special safety training in this category. Advancement is possible with time. They can become office managers or perhaps teach others to become dental assistants.

The outlook for jobs is very good. The projections indicate that it will accelerate faster than other professions that require only on the job training.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary for Dental Assistants is about $4000 more per year than for medical assistants.

Salary will depend on the chosen setting, either doctors office or clinic or trust type employment. It is also based on your location. Areas where the cost of living is high will obviously be paying a higher salary as well. All of these points need to be taken into consideration before you make your career choice.

They are two well paying professions with many opportunities.

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