Certified Medical Assistant: Promising Career of the Future

Job opportunities are on the rise in Certified Medical Assisting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this industry is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations between 2008 and 2018—seeing a 34 percent increase within the decade.

As a Medical Assisting Instructor, many questions about the nature of this career are fielded my way, like: “What exactly is a Certified Medical Assistant?”…or, “How does this career path differ from a Licensed Practical Nurse?” Below you will find a chart that highlights the similarities and differences in job duties between Certified Medical Assistants and Licensed Practical Nurses.

Certified Medical Assistants Compared to Licensed Practical Nurses


Job Duty
Certified Medical Assistant
Licensed Practical Nurse
Record patients' medical history
Yes
Yes
Administer medications as directed by a physician
Yes
Yes
Drawing Blood
Yes
No
Perform CLIA Waived Lab Testing
Yes
No
Assist in Minor Surgical Procedures
Yes
Yes
Perform Medical/Procedural Coding
Yes
No
Perform Spirometry Testing
Yes
Yes
Administer and monitor catheters
Yes
Yes
Sterilize equipment by autoclave
Yes
No
Instructing patients on medication and special diets
Yes
Yes
Perform Tympanometry Testing
Yes
Yes
Perform Limited Scope X-Rays *
Yes
No
Call in prescriptions to pharmacies
Yes
Yes
Perform Medical Transcription
Yes
No
Remove sutures and change dressings
Yes
Yes
Taking electrocardiograms
Yes
Yes
Perform Clinical billing and collections
Yes
No
* Most Medical Assisting Programs include Limited Scope X-Ray Operator Training within their Programs

Rasmussen College

An innovator of higher education, Rasmussen College is a career-focused, private college that specializes in offering the most in-demand degree programs in a highly supportive, student-centered educational environment. Rasmussen College offers market-relevant degrees online and across its 22 campuses in the Midwest and Florida to more than 15,000 students. By combining its expertise in career development with high academic standards and with unparalleled student support services, graduates of Rasmussen College leave with the most up-to-date knowledge, the skills that employers look for, and the tools to succeed in their chosen field. Since 1900, the primary focus at Rasmussen College has remained constant: student achievement is of the upmost importance, the employer who hires its students continues to be a valued partner, and Rasmussen College is dedicated to being a primary contributor to the growth and development of the communities it serves.

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This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

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