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The difference between Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist: A Complete Guideline for Choosing the Right Career!

A hospital or health care unit is incomplete without the presence of supporting staff apart from Doctors and paramedics. These include Medical Assistants and Phlebotomists which are required to perform various clinical and administrative services. 

Mostly people are unable to differentiate between a Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist. There is no any rocket science involved in understanding these medical professions. But it is somehow technical in nature. 

Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist both professions are delightful and pleasing healthcare professions. Helping people in fighting with their diseases and emotional sufferings not only make you satisfied internally but also help you to overcome your own miseries by keeping you near to those people. It is said that when you listen to problems and melancholies of other people and find the ways of their solutions, it spiritually influences on your own nerves and keep you calm and tranquil from inside. 

Medical profession is the same field. It is the way to give you your own peace of mind by helping others. Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist both professions have very promising future and other incentives too. 

You can see both of them working in various same kinds of health care units, but they have very different functions and jobs to do. If you want to make your career in either of the careers, you need to be acquainted with the jobs and functions performed by them. 

To opt for a right profession, that is rewarding and fulfilling at the same time, you need to first understand what it is all about. If you are confused to choose a profession between medical assistant and phlebotomists and want to opt either of them as your future career, you need to understand the drastic radical differences between both of them. We will guide you to help to make right and optimal choice and put your mind in ease in order to make the right decision regarding your future goals. 

Here is a complete guideline for you to get familiarized with the professions by understanding the differences between both of them. 

Their Training Requirements

The training for a medical assistant starts from a medical school or any other online training center. They can opt for training that may provide them with certificates or degrees in various kinds of medical assistances. That includes general, clinical or administrative assistance mainly. Their training includes courses on billing, various medical terminologies, office procedures, anatomy, human physiology etc. Furthermore, their training period lasts from one to two years. It is recommended that if you want to opt for Medical assistant profession, you are advisable to complete ABHES or CAAHEP programs. Clearing those exams will make you eligible for certification exams once you are done with your graduation. 

On the other hand, phlebotomists are diploma-holders or professionally certified in their fields. Their fields of study include various instructions on lab working and physiology, anatomy etc. Mostly employers prefer to hire those Phlebotomists who are certified in their field. However, certification is not a compulsory requirement by all employers. 

Their Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a medical assistant may vary from person to person and place to place. It also depends on the type of training they achieved. However, mostly their duties include gathering and recording medical background and antiquities of diseases or disorders of patients, their symptoms and indications, their previous reports, tests, major and minor procedures and many others. Furthermore, they are supposed to perform administrative tasks such as to response to phone calls, execute billing operations, enlist patients appointments and likewise. 

On the other hand, Phlebotomists are predominantly employed for drawing the patient’s blood and procedure the specimens for various testing procedures. Additionally, they are hired for verifying donor’s and recipient’s identity, to label the blood samples of patients carefully, to record the patient’s complete information, to collect and uphold medical equipment like syringes, test tubes, vials etc. 

Their Employment and Salaries

Both the professions not only promise you to give you excellent salaries, funds and incentives but also many new and diverse job preambles in the future. Both of these professions can help you to enter into other healthcare units apart from those you already worked in the past. Their average salaries and incentives are pretty handsome to raise your living standards and ideals in the best possible ways. As they both are the indispensable requirements of today’s medical industry. 

But you can say that as compared to phlebotomists medical assistants can adore significantly high amounts of salaries and incentives. 

Their Opportunities

Opportunities for both are also vary distinctively. A phlebotomist can only work with blood samples while a medical assistant has a lot of other samples to work upon. Working with wide range of samples provides lots of experiences and opportunities to medical assistants to excel not only in their own field but also in various related ones too. Most of the medical assistants learn the skills of drawing blood and dealings with blood specimens and perform the jobs of phlebotomists too in various health care centers. 

Take-home Message

In short, you can say that both of these professions are highly worthwhile and gratifying careers to opt for. Whatever the career you choose, be loyal and dedicated towards it. No achievement is possible without putting your energies and drives in the right direction and in the best possible ways. 

One should choose the career that best passable in his or her personal interests and abilities. In the same way, you can acquire the knowledge and training of both these professions in order to be the part of both at the same time in various health care units. 

Making the optimal choice and decision that is veracious for you not only will principally lead to what you have visualized to do, but also to your field of interest in order to pursue the educational necessities in any of the fields. But remember that, both of these fields are challenging and achieving at the same time. The choice is yours!

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Fastest Growing Careers in the Medical Field

Most people are now considering options for careers and jobs in the medical field whether they are fresh out of high school and want to pursue a career in healthcare or they are already well established individuals needing a change of focus in their careers. 

Despite a career in healthcare services being challenging, the returns for acquiring a job in this type of profession can be very rewarding in terms of professional and personal satisfaction. This is why many individuals are beckoned to join the healthcare field. 

Fortunately for these individuals, there is a high demand for skilled professionals in this field. The high numbers of jobs available and the continuously growing demand for individuals to fill these positions is a result of an aging population coupled with advancing technology. 

So while people get older and age, technology allows for more services and treatments in healthcare that lengthen life expectancy and improve one’s life quality. It also doesn’t hurt that lobbyists continue to push the agenda of healthcare at the forefront of the political platforms of heads of state. 

So all in all the future for individuals in the medical or healthcare field are quite promising. With attractive benefits, numerous opportunities for career advancement and varied areas to choose from to suit each individual preference and inclination, the medical and healthcare field has indeed become the place to be for people who want to take charge of their lives and improve their careers. 

The opportunities in the medical and healthcare field are indeed numerous. When traditionally the only positions that were top of mind for individuals in this field were doctors and nurses, now doors to vast opportunities have opened up and there are positions for medical assistants, medical encoders, medical billing specialists, medical supply sales people, and lab technicians have come to fore. 

This is only scratching the surface because the list of opportunities goes on and on and while job opportunities increase so does the list of medical colleges increase.

So now if you want to secure a career in the healthcare and medical field, you won’t lack options for choosing a medical school to go for. Even better is the fact that these medical and healthcare schools conduct their trainings and lessons using flexible schedules that allow students to study and continue working on their day jobs. This makes the time, effort and money invested into medical college all well spent.

While traditional medical school that train individuals to become doctors is also time, effort and money well spent, this path is clearly not everyone. The amount of money and time spent to become a doctor cannot be afforded by everyone. Fortunately, for less time and less money, individuals can still be a part of the fast growing medical and healthcare field through medical colleges that offer specialized courses and training.

One can simply not go wrong in choosing to explore the possibilities offered in the medical and healthcare field because the options are vast and there is sure to be an option suitied for each individual preference and requirements. 

For instance, people in sales can choose to move and launch their career as medical supply sales agents where they target physicians and other healthcare professionals and specialists to purchase or endorse their particular products to their patients. 

Careers in medical field are growing. The need for people to care for an aging, baby-boomer population in the world, has created a deficit of qualified medical personnel. There is a lack of medical professionals in areas from entry level to executive management.

Open positions range from certified nursing assistants and hospital orderlies to board certified physicians specializing and various areas of medicine and everything in between. The largest deficit, however, falls in the areas of registered nurses and physicians assistants. Register nurses are wanted in the entire country in offices, clinics, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and other medical facilities.

Other careers in medical field include physical therapy, respiratory therapy, x-ray technician, radiation services (CT, MRI), and other specialized medical fields. All of these career areas required training and education specific to the area of specialty, but its well worth the effort. People who choose the medical field as a career can expect to receive wages and salaries that are well above the norm.

With the exception of the most entry level positions, such as CNAs, who are usually paid a little more than minimum wage, those who choose careers in medical field are paid well and can often earn as much or more than corporate executives. There is a tradeoff, however. Many medical professionals, especially physicians and nursing staff, will often be required to work longer and more hours than the average professional. These are demanding positions and require a person with the physical and emotional fortitude to handle the many ups and downs that come with working in medicine.

Careers in medical field also include those of psychiatry, mental health, nutrition, and addiction. These career fields require education and training in addition to the normal requirements for a particular position. If you are interested or working in one of these fields, you should be prepared for continuous changes in the science and application of your chosen area of expertise. The sciences of these special fields are ever-changing and the people who have dedicated themselves to them must be able to adjust and change along with them
The medical field is a great industry to work for when a person has an interest in technology. The complex medical software systems and innovative medical equipment is constantly being updated. Working in this field as a respiratory therapist allows people to work with a variety of advanced technology. In some cases individuals are directly working to research and develop better technology.

If you’ve chose careers in medical field, you’ve made a good choice. The job outlook for medical careers is stable and steadily rising. It is unlikely that this will change any time soon. Just remember that the the more education and the more specialized education you have the better the pay will be.

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Why were Obamacare enrollments so high after the election?

The health insurance industry has changed tremendously since the implementation of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”. Over five million Americans had their policies terminated, as they did not meet the standards of the new Affordable Care Act requirement. While the government of the United States referred to them as “junk” plans, many were better and more valuable than what is offered today.

The “Obamacare” plans focus on preventive care. Under the law many of the services are covered without co-pay and not subject to a deductible or co-insurance. The proponents of the law refer to this service a “free”, however, these benefits add cost to the premium so you are paying for it on the front end instead of the back end. Prior to the ACA, plans tended to focus more on the major medical. For example, the Health Savings Account (H.S.A) which was approved by Congress in 2003 and became a law in January 2004, is a High Deductible Health Plan with a savings account attached to it. On these types of plans they realized that the most expensive part of the health plan was doctor visits co-pays and prescription coverage. So these features were removed from the plans and applied to the deductible. You could use the money from the savings account (assuming you funded it) for these services. I personally have had one of these since 2005, originally with a $2600 family deductible and leading up to 2014 a $5200 family deductible. I would be responsible for all charges up to the deductible, after that I was covered at 100%. Now under the ACA most of these type plans fall in the Bronze category and have a family deductible of over $12,000. They cover your preventive care 100%. The problem with this philosophy is most of us could afford to pay $100 or $200 for a physical, but a major claim, such as a heart attack or cancer, and have to spend $12,700, that would cancel a few family vacations.

Insurance rates are a derivative of the costs of the insurance carrier’s claims in relation to the premiums collected. Now that there is no more underwriting it is reasonable to see the insurance carrier’s claims expense going up as they are adding additional risk to their portfolio, which in turn you can see adding to the premium cost. To offset some of this cost, many insurance companies have narrowed their networks of doctors and hospitals. This means you may have to either change doctors or change insurance carriers depending on your plan.

Another part of your insurance plan to be concerned with is the prescription drug portion of the plan. Most prescription drug plans prior to the ACA were a four tier co-pay plan, such as $10 Tier one ( preferred generic) Tier 2 might have been $20 (non-preferred generic), Tier 3 may have been $35 for preferred name brand and tier 4 might have been $100 or a 25% of list price. Sometimes you may have had a separate deductible for name brand medications (Health Savings Accounts were not like this). Now you need to look closely at this part of the new ACA plans. Now many plans will say generic drugs no cost. Tiers two through four might have a co-pay, but after the deductible is met. Most silver and bronze plans utilize the same major medical deductible before you get the co-pay for name brand medications. If you take a drug such as Nexium, which costs somewhere around $400 per month, that would all be applying to your deductible.

In the event you choose to go out of network, the costs get more out of control. This will vary from company to company, but in general if you go out of network on a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), the deductible and out of pocket expenses double. There are many reasons you may want to go out of network, especially for things like cancer or a transplant. Some hospitals across the country are better equipped to handle certain illness than others, but it will cost you a lot more. Also some services are not covered out of network. In that case you could pay thousands of dollars and not even have it applied toward your out of pocket maximum.

Under the ACA, all plans are required to cover what are called the ten essential health benefits. Most plans prior to that ACA covered seven out of these ten. The other three were, generally speaking, optional. The seven included were outpatient care, emergency room care, hospital care, prescription drugs, recovery services (occupational or physical therapy, psychiatric etc.), lab and blood work. Preventive care was also covered, however, the scope of what is considered preventive has been expanded. Some of these were covered with a copayment, while others were applied to the deductible. The three that were often optional in the individual market were mental health, maternity and pediatric dental. Maternity coverage, if offered, would raise monthly premiums between $100 and $200 per month and often had a 12 month waiting period. Mental health really varied from state to state and plan to plan. Mental health ranges from attention deficit disorder all the ways to schizophrenia. This has been streamlined under the ACA.

Preventive care has been expanded under the new law and these services are covered without co-pay regardless if the plan covers doctor office visits or not. A large change is in how colonoscopies are handled. They were always considered a “covered expense”, but applied to the deductible, now they are covered as all other preventive services. You hear proponents of the law saying you now have “free” preventive care. I would say that the cost is already built into the premium.

Healthcare.gov provides a list of about 26 services that are free to women under the Affordable Care Act. Yes, you read it right – under Obamacare, there are 26 preventive services that women can have done for free as long as they are delivered by an in-network provider. I can’t possibly discuss every single one here, but I feel that there are a few that are definitely worth mentioning.

These services are broken into two broad categories on hc.gov – services for women who are or who may become pregnant and other preventive services. First, we’ll touch on some of the more general benefits available for all women.

General Preventive Services for All Women

Some general preventive services that are covered for women include multiple cancer screenings, including mammograms for breast cancer for women over 40 and cervical cancer screenings for sexually active women. These screenings are always highly unpleasant, so removing the financial burden makes them a little easier to deal with, in my opinion.

Other services include tobacco use screening and interventions, osteoporosis screening depending on age and risk factors, and domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women. The list goes on, so I highly recommend visiting healthcare.gov for full explanations of services offered.

ACA Benefits for Women Who Are or May Become Pregnant

First, the ACA requires that FDA approved contraception must be covered by health insurance plans without requiring a copayment. This is personally one of my favorite benefits, because my birth control prescription that my doctor considers to be medically necessary, once cost me $30 a month. I know several ladies who have saved a substantial amount of money thanks to this free preventive services.

I also know several ladies who thrilled that breastfeeding support and counseling from trained providers and access to breastfeeding supplies are free preventive services for women. Also for those who are or who will become pregnant, new health plans must also include maternity coverage. Although not all maternity services will be free, health plans will at least help cover costs associated with pregnancy. A big Obamacare WIN!

Multiple other services are available at no charge, including folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant, expanded tobacco counseling and intervention for pregnant women who are tobacco users. Again, the complete list, along with more detailed information, is available at healthcare.gov.