What Is the Difference Between a MA and LPN?

Many people dream of starting a career in the healthcare industry, and maybe you are one of them. The healthcare field is continuing to grow, and the different types of available jobs are also increasing. When you work in healthcare, you have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them when they need it most.
With so many different opportunities to starting your healthcare career, it can be challenging to figure it all out. To help you do this, we’re explaining the difference between a medical assistant and a licensed practical nurse. Keep reading to learn more about these healthcare career options!

Career Outlook

Medical assistants have a promising career outlook here in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, medical assistants have a projected growth rate of 19% from 2019 to 2029. This is very high compared to the average growth rate of 4% for all other occupations. This means that employers will need even more qualified and skilled medical assistants in the future to fill open positions.

The BLS estimates the projected growth rate for licensed practical nurses will be 9% for 2019 to 2029. This is also more than the 4% growth rate for all occupations, but not as high as the growth rate for medical assistants. This means that employers will also need skilled and well-trained licensed practical nurses at a higher rate in the future.

Skills Needed

Medical assistants complete both clinical and administrative tasks while on the job, focusing on assessing patients and helping with care and treatment. They need to learn various skills, including performing lab tests, practicing phlebotomy, taking vital signs, assisting with minor surgeries, and performing EKGs.

For those who choose to become a licensed practical nurse, the focus is more on providing basic medical care while working under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses. Skills a licensed practical nurse needs include performing IV therapy, caring for wounds, assisting patients with daily activities, and monitoring medical equipment.

At United, our Practical Nursing program gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience practicing their skills as they complete their clinicals while in the program. With this valuable hands-on experience, Practical Nursing students are ready for their careers in just one year.

Training Required

To start a career as a medical assistant, you will need to prepare for this specific job via specialized training. Most medical assisting programs are comprised of both classroom instruction and hands-on skills and are completed in under two years. It is also beneficial to choose a Medical Assistant Degree program that will prepare you for professional certifications, as many of today’s healthcare employers prefer certified candidates.

For example, students enrolled in our Medical Assisting program at United learn valuable knowledge in the classroom and practice their hands-on skills in labs and their externship. Additionally, students prepare for professional healthcare certifications, including National Certified Clinical Medical Assistant*, Certified EKG Technician**, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician**.

To become a licensed practical nurse, students are required to complete a state-approved program that can usually be completed in one year. Students are trained in areas like nursing, pharmacology, and biology. After graduating from a practical nursing program, students must take the NCLEX-PN° exam and pass to be employed as a licensed practical nurse in their state.

Work Environment

According to BLS data, 57% of medical assistants work in a physician’s office, and 15% work in hospitals. The remainder of medical assistants works in outpatient care centers and at chiropractors. Most medical assisting positions are full-time with a 40 -hour workweek. Those who choose to work in healthcare facilities that are open all the time, like hospitals, for example, may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Licensed practical nurses are more likely to work in nursing and residential care facilities, with 38% working there, 15% working in hospitals, 13% in physicians’ offices, 13% in-home healthcare services, and 6% in government, according to BLS data. LPNs are required to be on their feet for a lot of the workday, and they need the ability to lift patients who cannot care for themselves. Due to the type of healthcare facilities they work in, many practical nurses must work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Now that you have a good understanding of the difference between medical assistants and licensed practical nurses, you can decide on the best way to start your healthcare career!

Explore our healthcare training programs in Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Practical Nursing today. Request information now to start your dream healthcare career!

 

°Passing the NCLEX – PN exam is required to become a Practical Nurse.

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. Required/included in tuition/fees.

**Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. Optional at own expense.

 

United Learning Experience

For those who have never been to our campuses, we want to give you a sneak peek of what it’s like for students who attend United Career Institute. Our Irwin and Mt. Braddock campuses train students for rewarding healthcare careers. Read on to discover what it’s like to attend school at United!

Hands-On Skills

Students enrolled in our healthcare training programs have the opportunity to learn a variety of hands-on skills that are essential for their future careers. Practicing these skills gives you valuable experience that you will need while on the job caring for real patients or dealing with real office situations. Check out some of the awesome hands-on skills United students have practiced in their classes!

Classroom Instruction

At United, we provide students with up-to-date classrooms and labs to complete your classes and earn your degree. You will learn from experienced instructors who truly care about you and your career. Our classroom and clinical lab instructors support you in every way possible with a one-on-one approach to education. Check out United students enjoying their educational experience in the classroom!

Certification Prep

We understand that today’s employers want candidates who are qualified and prepared to perform their specific job. That’s why our healthcare programs include training and preparation for certifications* or licenses that are valued by healthcare employers. As a student, you will prepare for those that are specific to your chosen program. Check out some of our students as they prepare for and celebrate earning their professional healthcare certifications!

Student Success

Our purpose is to empower change by creating opportunity, and we are dedicated to this mission every day. We strive to help every student realize their dreams of having a successful, fulfilling career. As you go through your learning experience with United, we are here for you every step of the way, from when you first contact us to learning in your classes to graduation and beyond. Check out some of our awesome students and graduates and request information today to get started on your own path to a successful career!

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.

A Holiday Message From The Mt. Braddock Campus

We know this year has been tough on many people. The stay at home orders, the cancellation of important events, and the general stress of this year has taken a toll on almost everybody. Through all of that, United Career Institute students have persevered and remained on track with their goal of becoming medical professionals. Our students had their educational worlds turned upside down this year as they went from in-person, on-ground classes to learning in a virtual capacity. Although this came with struggles for our students, they never lost track of their goals.

While this holiday season may look different for many, one thing that has not changed is that United Career Institute is proud of its students and are wishing them a happy and healthy holiday!

As 2020 comes to a close, we are excited and hopeful about what 2021 has in store. Most of all, we are hopeful for a successful vaccine, not just for ourselves, but for our friends and families, especially those that are high risk. The hope of returning to a somewhat “normal” way of life is definitely a reason to be thankful!

At United specifically, we have many things to be excited about. We are looking forward to continuing to see our medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and practical nursing students graduate and go on to work as the essential workers that have played such a large role in fighting the COVID pandemic. We are also thrilled to be starting a second nursing class in April of 2021! Having the ability to provide the medical community with qualified nurses is something United really prides itself on.

We also can’t wait for this time next year as it brings the hope of celebrating the holidays United style. Anybody who has graduated from United knows that we celebrate BIG for the holidays around here! In addition to a trick or treat event at Halloween, we also host a large Thanksgiving feast for our students and have multiple Christmas events that include visits with Santa and door decorating. While this year has forced us to celebrate differently, we are hopeful that next year we can celebrate bigger and better than ever!

As the holidays draw nearer, the United faculty and staff want to reiterate that we are here for our students and are hopeful that 2021 will bring many good things for all.

Happy Holidays and a Happy (and healthy) New Year from all of us at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock!

To learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

Campus Security – Irwin Campus

At United Career Institute’s Irwin Campus, security is not just a person or a physical alarm system, it is also the student’s peace of mind. Entering into a post-secondary school can be full of excitement, stress, and lots of overwhelming feelings. Students certainly need to feel that the school they choose can keep them physically protected along with supporting them emotionally. Let’s face it, there’s no room for concerns about safety. That’s why United Career Institute has recently contracted a security firm to install a state of the art surveillance and monitoring system, complete with camera recordings and key fob entry to the only access point. This will allow us to always monitor who is coming into our campus. This new system will give assurance to the students and employees that their physical safety is paramount to campus leadership, but it certainly doesn’t stop at physical safety.

In this day and age of COVID-19, entering a clean, environmentally safe atmosphere can go a long way in relieving the stress and anxiety of this virus, so steps were taken to give all students, guests, and employees the peace of mind that United Career Institute has followed and met the CDC guidelines for safe reopening. First, all individuals entering the school must wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. Next, every person must attest that they are experiencing no Covid symptoms, have not traveled to a hot spot, and are not running a fever. This is verified with a temperature scan, and all people must be below 100.6 temp or they are immediately sent home. While in the building, all people will be reminded constantly by the displayed placards that social distancing, frequent hand washing, and sterilization must take place to keep the campus as virus free as possible. Lastly, we have contracted a cleaning service to do a deep clean and sterilization of the entire campus EVERY day of the week after students leave.

The combination of the physical security additions along with the extensive Covid remediation has given all students, employees, and guests that peace of mind we were after.

“Safety brings first aid to the uninjured.” – F.S. Hughes