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Are there any differences between Nurse and Medical Assistant?

A career in the medical field is always a safe way to go. It’s a recession proof career that is fulfilling as you help patients in need. Two great options are to become a Medical Assistant, or a Licensed Practical Nurse. They are both similar positions so its good to know the details before you get started.

Education Differences

Medical Assistant:
Diploma in Medical Assistant is an undergraduate programme that aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitude to enable them to practice as a Medical Assistant or Assistant Medical Officer. The teaching-learning activity is geared into substantially describing and discovering how the different human system work, e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory etc., relating cellular and molecular to whole-body aspects of both normal and diseased states. Upon graduating the programme, the graduates would be able to understand, diagnose, treat simple ailment, caring and curing in wellness and disease.

This professional programme provides you with a wide carrier pathway into a medical profession in the Malaysian healthcare sector as an Assistant Medical Officer. You will be introduced to medical science subjects and clinical placement in government hospital and health clinic. A bright future awaits graduates in both public and private hospitals or other healthcare organizations in Malaysia.

Medical assistant programs are similar to a first-year nursing program. Both teach anatomy and physiology, biology or chemistry, lifespan and disease and pharmacology, depending on the program. Medical assisting programs also include broad administrative training, whereas nursing school does not. MAs learn to handle medical insurance claims, file medical records and make appointments.


A nurse as a healthcare professional is one who has undergone training and has learned how to take care of sick people — providing medical attention or assistance and helping them through their process of recovery.

Nurses must possess some certain qualities that can help them attend to any kind of patient. They must be patient and calm, hospitable, and tolerant. Not everyone gets employed to become a nurse. Nurses can be trained overseas or their countries of origin. They can also look for employment in other countries but must meet certain requirements before they are considered for employment in certain countries including Malaysia.

A diploma in nursing in an institution with a Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (LAN) accreditation, which is duly recognized by the Nursing Board Malaysia is enough to get a nursing job in any hospital or clinic as a staff.

There are a lot of nursing programmes available in Malaysian nursing schools, which offer courses in all the branches of nursing (pediatric nursing, midwifery, neonatal nursing, and clinical care nursing). There are also different requirements for different nursing degrees, such as a diploma in nursing, a degree in nursing, masters in nursing, or Ph.D. in nursing. Major nursing courses in Malaysia for a diploma, degree, masters, and Ph.D. programmes are Nursing, Nursing Science, and Nursing (honors).

Similar tasks for Medical Assistants and LPNs
  • Check vital signs
  • Take patient’s information
  • Administer medication and vaccinations
  • Collect samples
  • Assist in minor surgeries

Medical Assistant vs Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Job Description

Medical Assistant’s Tasks

Medical Assistants work under the care of Physicians and other Healthcare Providers. The tasks can vary between a Clinical Medical Assistant vs an Administrative Medical Assistant. A Clinical Medical Assistant focus on the care of the patient and administer to them with tasks such as medication, taking vital signs, and other clinical tasks. If you choose to go more of the Clinical Medical Assistant route, you will be in charge of gathering insurance information from the patient, filling out patient information, making appointments, and other office work.

Licensed Practical Nurse’s Tasks

A LPN is a licensed Nurse who can work under the direction of a Health Care Provider or a Nurse. An LPN’s tasks focus on the physical care for a patient such as administering medication and injections, helping with the patients personal hygiene, checking vital signs and providing care to patients. An LPN has mostly physical tasks but does some paper work such as documenting what medications are being administered to a patient.

Medical Assistants and Licensed Practical Nurses are both prestigious positions in the medical field that will always be in high demand. When looking at a career being a Medical Assistant vs LPN, you can be sure to know that you are headed into a great career.

If you like to view tertiary programs related to this article, click here to go to the list of recommendation.  If you are not sure which path you want to pursue for your tertiary education,  you should find this psychometric test here to be helpful in providing some aptitude breakdown and course suggestions upon completion of the test. Feel free to proceed to the test, it's free after all!
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