A physician’s assistant is an individual licensed to practice medicine under the direct supervision of a physician or surgeon. Many people confuse the job of the physician’s assistant with the job of the medical assistant. However, the duties of a physician’s assistant are far more in depth. Physician’s assistants are educated and trained to perform a wide variety of health care services. Some of these services include therapeutic operations, diagnostic services, preventative health screenings, medical examinations, as well as a host of others.
PAs operate under the direct supervision of a licensed physician. Physician’s assistants also take medical histories, diagnose and treat variety of diseases review x-rays and perform laboratory testing. Physician’s assistants are also licensed to treat minor injuries; they often cast broken bones, splint joint injuries, and suture open wounds. In 48 out of the 50 states including Washington, DC physician’s assistants are also allowed to prescribe medications. Keep Reading About Physician’s Assistant Training.
A medical assistant is an individual who has trained extensively to perform the duties delegated to them by a licensed physician. He or she should be well versed in communication as well as clerical operations, phone etiquette, hands-on patient care, and a host of other medical specialties. It is also an advantage that the medical assistant has obtained some hands-on clinical training, either on the job or through an accredited program of study. Medical assistants often come in contact with human pathogens, and therefore are required to wear personal protective equipment or PPE.
Medical assistants are required to perform a wide variety of duties. Often times these duties include scheduling appointments, patient filing telephone operations as well as more hands-on procedures in caring for patients. These hands-on duties include taking blood pressure, monitoring pulse rates and respirations, as well as taking temperatures and the overall review of vital signs. In some cases, a medical assistant is also trained and certified to perform dressing changes, complete blood draws, perform patient education, as well as operate x-ray equipment and execute EKGs. Medical assistants are also required to maintain guest facilities waiting rooms, exam rooms and perform equipment sterilization. See What Medical Assistant Training You Need.