Medical Assistant Technician vs. Patient Care Technician: What to Know
Okay, so you know you want a career in healthcare, but you don’t know which career YOU want. There are many opportunities within the healthcare field and choosing which one is right for you will depend on what your career goals are.
Many different professionals work together to achieve a common goal in a hospital or doctor’s office and that is to ensure that each patient is healthy and properly cared for.
Two growing healthcare careers are medical assistant technician and patient care technician. They sound a lot alike, but there are some key differences in the duties they perform, their work environment, and what is expected of them.
As you ponder which avenue is right for you, we think it is important that you know both options are good choices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a medical assistant averages about $16.16 per hour or $33,610 annually. Employment for MATs is expected to grow at a rate of 29% until 2026. The average wage for a patient care technician is $13.72 per hour or $28,530 annually. Employment for PCTs is expected to grow at a rate of 11% until 2026.
Below, you will find some helpful information about medical assistant technicians and patient care technicians. We believe this information will help you differentiate between the two career choices and help you make the best, informed decision about your future.
Skills Required – Medical Assistant Technician vs. Patient Care Technician
While patient care technicians and medical assistant technicians are closely related in their scope of work, they do not require the SAME skill sets. In fact, when it comes to skills needed, both MATs and PCTs share some similarities, but as you will notice below, each one requires its own set of skills. Let’s look.
- CPR of cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Measuring vital signs
- Patient care
- Patient assistance
- Bathing and dressing of patients
- Measuring vital signs
- Scheduling patients
- Record keeping, documentation, and filing
- Patient care
As you may notice, these two positions share some of the same skills, but also have different skill sets that are required to be successful.
Job Duties – MAT vs. PCT
Like the differences in skills required to be successful, both medical assistant technicians and patient care technicians have different job duties.
Medical assistants are responsible for both administrative work in the office and clinical work within the exam rooms. On the clinical side, MATs are expected to gather medical records and background information about the patient, record vital signs, administer vaccinations, injections, and medications, and assist the physician as needed. On the administrative side of things, MATs are responsible for following up with patients, printing lab referrals, scheduling, and record filing.
Patient care technicians have a stronger focus on patient care and do not perform administrative duties in their scope of duties. Patient care technicians provide basic care to patients such as helping them utilize the bathroom, shower, get dressed, eat, and change bedding. Sometimes, they will monitor a patient’s vital signs.
Train to Become a MAT or PCT at Florida Career College
Students searching for a career in healthcare will find that becoming either a medical assistant technician or patient care technician will pay off. Both positions are similar in some ways but also have their differences. As you start to think about which career training program you want to go through, think about where you best think your skills would fit in. For example: do you want to be in a hospital or doctor’s office setting? What type of hours do you want? Do you want to be hands-on with patients or do you want to work in the office to break up your routine?
Florida Career College offers both a medical assistant training program and a patient care technician program. Both programs can be completed in less than a year and each one offers you the skills and training needed to be successful in the healthcare industry.
If you would like to explore your options, call one of our FCC advisors today!