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Medical Office Assistant vs Administrative Assistant: Differences

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Although Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) and Administrative Assistants seem like similar job titles, the training required for both job positions helps differentiate the two from one another.

Administrative Assistants are trained to use spreadsheets and other word processing software to create reports, invoices, letters, and several other documents. They greet and attend clients, answer phone calls, schedule and book appointments, while also completing a variety of other tasks on a daily basis.

It may seem as if this job description is identical to the one for MOAs, but the differentiating factor between the two positions is that MOAs are trained specifically to work in medical facilities, while Administrative Assistants are trained to work in any general office-based settings.

Mandatory Education for a Medical Office Assistant?

Prior to completing the MOA certificate program, students are introduced and familiarized with medical terminology, body systems and diseases. In addition to this, a basic overview of physiology, anatomy, and pharmacology is also given.

With this education, MOAs are qualified to work in any of the following medical facilities:

  • Medical, Dental, Chiropractic and Physician offices
  • Home Health Care Agencies
  • Long Term Care Clinics
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Nursing Homes
  • Health Care Agencies
  • Public Health Clinics
  • Medical Supply Companies

What is the Need for this Education?

The reason why MOAs require all of this education prior to beginning work is because most of their clients are patients of the facility in which they are employed in. Often, the attainment of basic medical knowledge and terminology prior to employment is mandatory in an attempt to make the patients feel more comfortable. The office assistants are able to answer medical questions and concerns that patients might have, while also being able to check their height, weight and blood pressure during every visit.

General Administrative Assistant training would not be sufficient for Medical Office Assistant occupations, as the patients, general environment, and clients of MOA facilities are specifically oriented towards healthcare. Aside from this, in order to be considered an eligible candidate for a MOA position, certification is required. For Administrative Assistant job postings, certification is preferable, however, it is not mandatory.

ABM College offers a Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program! Generally, both of these certificates are offered separately, but ABM has combined them into one 44 week program!

Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk CTA.

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