Differences between an Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistant?

Posted On September 12,2017


The medical field offers an array of exciting careers. Entering this field will provide you with the professional skills you need to earn a better living and open opportunities for advancement.

Having a love for helping others is all you need to get started, and from there build your education around a career that is fulfilling, rewarding, and one that can put you on a path to success. A great start to your career could be as an Administrative or Clinical Medical Assistant.

What is the Difference between an Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistant?

If you are looking for a career in the medical field that will offer you an opportunity to work with others and provide you the opportunity to advance; consider becoming an Administrative or Clinical Medical Assistant. To help you choose which path will work best for you, take a look at the differences between these two titles.

Administrative Medical Assistant

As an Administrative Medical Assistant, you will work mostly from the front office of the clinic. This role will put in contact with patients only when they are checking in or out of their appointments. Your main assignments as a medical assistant in this capacity will include:

  • Retrieving patient records, so they are ready for appointments
  • Putting together reports that can be computer generated
  • Contacting patients to schedule appointments
  • Filing papers for insurance purposes
  • Providing insurance companies or other medical specialists with lab results
  • Performing other bookkeeping duties

You are required to have medical knowledge for this position. Patients will often question you regarding their care and health, and general medical skills will be necessary. You must be able to provide them with accurate information.

Clinical Medical Assistant

As a Clinical Medical Assistant, you will spend the majority of your day working directly with patients. Some of the duties you will perform are:

  • Noting any concerns, the patients have regarding symptoms and allergies
  • Conducting routine in-office testing
  • Making sure the information received from the doctor are understood fully by the patient
  • Helping with the physician during an exam
  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Assisting the patient to their exam room

There may be other duties required of you during your day, such as drawing blood, administering injections, or possibly beginning an IV. The duties will also vary depending on the type of clinic you work for. Specialty clinics, such as heart specialists, or other special care units will have certain medical devices or tests that will be required.

As a Clinical Assistant, you will need to have a strong stomach and a compassionate heart. Patients may arrive with serious injuries that need attending, and others will need a good listening ear while you administer care. This position requires a lot of walking and standing with little time to sit.

Choose Which One Works for You

Choose which career will work for you. Knowing what you can handle for long periods of time and how sensitive you are to situations will help you decide. If you are not overwhelmed with paperwork and have excellent clerical and computer skills, you may want to pursue the administrative path. If you prefer working directly with people and are a compassionate and understanding person, then you should enter the clinical direction.

Whether you’ve chosen to become an Administrative or Clinical Assistant, you need to attain a certificate or degree in medical assisting. The Athena Career Academy dedicates themselves to helping you achieve personal success. They strive to nurture the needs of their students and are ready to help you begin an education to better your future.

Get on the Fast track to becoming a Medical Assistant