Pursuing a new career takes time, hard work, and dedication over the course of a year or more to achieve depending on the area of expertise. Finding the right career that suits a person personally is vital to finding their niche and having a greater chance of success. When entering into a new career, especially one in healthcare, it’s best to consider if the ideal one for you.
There is a demand for trained professionals, especially for pharmacy technicians and medical assistants. Each of these career paths have their own demands and responsibilities, but people are often unsure of which one to pursue.
What are the Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician?
The FVI Pharmacy Technician program is designed to provide the instruction necessary to package and to distribute medication. Graduates who choose this career path usually find employment in health maintenance organizations, hospitals, wholesale drug houses, nursing care facilities, and private and chain drugstores. The program helps students to develop and the skills necessary to succeed in this career field including the following:
- The ability to perform functions connected to clinical and institutional systems
- Identify drugs by both their brand and generic name
- Define the ethics and to explain the laws applied to the practice of pharmacy
- Able to calculate using different measurement systems the correct dosage and solution strength
- Perform procedures and techniques to compound and mix a variety of drugs
Upon entering the workforce once mastering these different skills, pharmacy technicians are responsible for assisting pharmacists with the compounding and distribution of medications. They also assist in preparing mixtures for intravenous use and other services that required to be performed in a pharmacy program.
Students who are prepared to enter the program must also be aware they will need to be certified before they can enter the workforce. Students must become registered with the Registered Pharmacy Technician with the Florida Board of Pharmacy before they can begin working. All employers do a background check and drug screen for employment in this career field.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant?
The responsibilities of a medical assistant are different from a pharmacy tech in several ways. Medical assistants will often end up working in clinics, doctor offices, and other healthcare facilities. Their responsibilities can vary depending on their work environment and the tasks that need to be completed every day.
Medical assistants are required to remain professional at all times and are often exposed to stressful or intense situations. They are responsible for putting patients at ease and making them comfortable throughout their doctor’s visit. They may also be required to perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, filling out insurance information, and other duties required to keep the office operating smoothly.
Employers look for a medical assistant who is professional, looks nice, and understands the importance of HIPPA. Medical assistants don’t have to be certified to get started in their career, but FVI strongly advises students to become certified by taking their exam. The exam is given at our learning facility.
What’s the Difference Between the Two?
The career of a pharmacy technician and a medical assistant are different in vast ways and yet similar. They’re both involved with healthcare facilities and dealing with patients on a daily basis to ensure their health. Medical assistants and pharmacy care techs may even meet up with each other on a regular basis depending on the work environment.
The main difference between the two is pharmacy care techs have to be certified before they can start on their career. Employers will also require a drug screen and background check to be done before they hire a new employee. Medical assistants are not required to be certified, but FVI strongly encourages students to take their exam to become certified. Becoming a certified medical assistant may open more opportunities for students and allow them to grow in their chosen career field.
These two career paths are vastly different, but they’re both involved with the healthcare industry. Medical assistants will be dealing with patients on a daily basis and will often be exposed to intense and stressful situations. They have to be professional and maintain their composure when emotions are running high so they can help the patients throughout their doctor’s visit.
Pharmacy care techs come into contact with patients too, but they are often involved with handling medications. They are also required to remain composed during patient interactions, but they’re less likely to encounter intense or stressful situations.
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