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Medical Assisting in a Clinic vs. Working in a Hospital

Posted On Mar 3, 2021

If you’re considering becoming a medical assistant (MA), you might be wondering what the main differences are between working in a clinic versus a hospital setting. What are the pros and cons between the two? And more importantly, how do you ensure that you’re choosing the right working environment that’s best suited for you?

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Main Differences Between Clinics vs. Hospitals

Since hospitals are open 24 hours a day, they’re more fast paced than health clinics. If you’re looking for a job where anything could happen, then becoming a medical assistant and working in a hospital might be a good fit. However, if you have a family and don’t wish to work odd shifts, then a private clinic offers a more standard work week.New Call-to-action

Hospitals are large facilities that treat a wide variety of medical conditions and illnesses, whereas clinics are smaller practices. Since clinics are smaller and typically consist of one to five physicians, they often focus on specific aspects of medicine. Examples include obstetrics, dermatology, and pediatrics.

The daily tasks of a medical assistant are very diverse, ranging from patient care to record keeping. For MA’s who choose to work in a hospital, their daily tasks can be even more diverse. Medical assistants often bridge the gap between physicians and patients in the hospital and have a lot of responsibilities, including scheduling appointments, by recording vital signs, updating treatments, assisting in minor procedures, directing patients on where to go within the hospital, and providing patient information to physicians and nurses. If you’re wanting to work in a hospital after becoming a medical assistant, you must be willing to adjust to working in a fast-paced and stressful work environment with little downtime.

Medical assistants working in private clinics also have a lot of daily tasks and responsibilities, but the work environment isn’t quite as hectic as a hospital. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant and working in a clinical setting, you can also expect to perform a wide variety of clinical and administrative tasks.

One of the unique aspects of working in a clinic versus a hospital is you’ll often work in a specialized facility catering to a particular type of medical condition. However, there are also plenty of express or urgent care clinics that make excellent opportunities for entry level medical assistants to gain valuable experience working directly with patients.

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Pros and Cons of Working in a Clinic

Pros:

  • More dependable shifts, with fewer holidays and weekends required.
  • Less hectic work environment than a hospital.
  • Easier to establish long-term relationships with patients.
  • Smaller clinics provide a sense of community.

Cons:

  • Pay is sometimes less than hospitals.
  • Overtime and odd shifts are often required.
  • More paperwork may be required at clinics.
  • Predictable schedules/work environments may become boring to some.

Pros and Cons of Working in a Hospital

Pros:

  • Hospitals usually offer higher pay than clinics.
  • Often less paperwork to complete than in clinics.
  • More opportunities to learn a variety of skills.

Cons:

  • Hospital positions tend to come with capped salaries.
  • Overtime may be required.
  • Less predictable schedule than clinics.

The Choice is Yours

Medical assistants are a valuable member to any healthcare team and excel in almost any work environment, so it’s really up to you to decide which work setting best suits your needs. Both hospitals and clinics provide medical assistants with plenty of passion, professionalism, versatility, and career satisfaction, so whatever path you choose, you’re never going in the wrong direction. Learn more about becoming a medical assistant by contacting Athena Career Academy today. We offer accredited programs with flexible schedules for people just like you.

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Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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