Dental Assisting or Medical Assisting?
Did you know we also offer a 6-month medical assisting program? Our program puts you on the fast track to earning your nationally-recognized CCMA, while still providing comprehensive, hands-on labs in a real medical practice. Check out our full network of schools through Zollege, and find a program near you!
Dental assisting and medical assisting are two of the most rewarding, in-demand careers in healthcare with opportunities for growth and specialization. These valuable roles are the perfect starting point to learn both clinical skills and administrative duties in an office. While some practices offer in-office training for these positions, certification from a state-regulated program will help both dental and medical assistants find employment more readily. And right now, the need for qualified healthcare workers is higher than ever.
But which one is the best fit for you?
To put it simply, a dental assistant does just that: assists the dentist. Unlike a hygienist or orthodontic assistant, you will work directly alongside the dentist as their extra set of hands.
Dental assistants are responsible for:
- Chair assisting
- Taking impressions and making molds
- Preparing examination rooms
- Sterilizing instruments
- Taking x-rays
- Maintaing patient charts
- Scheduling appointments
Offices typically have many dental assistants and can offer full-time or part-time positions. This is a great fit if you are seeking a consistent schedule, as most dental offices are open from 8am-6pm on weekdays. However, different states have varying requirements for dental assistants, so it is important to receive your certification in the state you are planning to work in. You can also consult the Dental Assisting National Board if you need to move your credentials to another state.
Similar to dental assisting, a medical assistant works in a supportive role under the supervision of a healthcare professional. However, medical assistants can be found in many different settings: primary care, specialty offices, hospitals, diagnostic labs, and more. This also means you can develop a more flexible schedule, including evening and weekend hours if you choose. You can also travel with your CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant), and work in any state as a medical assistant!
Medical assistants can be responsible for:
- Measuring and recording vital signs
- Patient intake
- Drawing blood samples and basic lab work
- Scheduling appointments
- Setting up and breaking down exam rooms
- Preparing prescriptions
Both of these positions offer a chance to provide exceptional patient care and use your technical skills to serve the healthcare needs of your community. Still undecided between a career in dental assisting or medical assisting? Call our Admissions team and we can chat more about your own goals!
Lisa Leslie, a professional copywriter based in New Hampshire, is the Content Manager and Lead Copywriter at Zollege, the parent company of a network of over 120 medical assistant and dental assistant schools ...