Working in healthcare can be very rewarding. You have an opportunity to help vulnerable people and make a real difference within your community, in an in-demand sector with opportunities for growth. However, choosing which medical profession is best suited to your personality and abilities can be challenging.
Medical office and physiotherapy assistants are two important and rewarding healthcare positions that share several similarities. The employment outlook for both professions in the coming years is very good, as the aging population is leading to increased demand in all areas of healthcare. Both roles also require good people skills, as these healthcare professionals work with patients and medical professionals on a daily basis. However, there are a number of key differences in the types of duties undertaken in each role, and most people will naturally be more suited for one occupation or the other.
Although physiotherapy assistants do undertake some administrative duties, such as maintaining patient records, it is a much larger part of a medical office assistant’s role. Medical office assistants manage appointment schedules, order supply, and maintain accounts, among other duties. As a result, a medical office assistant course is more focused on important office procedures such as inventory management and the computer skills necessary for patient scheduling, billing and medical record keeping.
While physiotherapy assistants undertake fewer administrative tasks, the role offers its own challenges, as these healthcare professionals take a far more active role in a patient’s treatment. Their duties generally include guiding patients through exercises, demonstrating how to use mobility aids, and assisting other therapeutic activities. Medical office assistants may also be called upon to assist with simple diagnostic procedures, but their role is not as hands-on as that of a physiotherapy assistant.
Physiotherapy assistant training includes courses in health and socio-psychological sciences, as well as therapeutic techniques. As a result, physiotherapy assistants often play an important role in designing and implementing treatment plans, consulting with the physiotherapist to modify their approach as treatment progresses.
Medical office assistants also receive specialized training in medical language and basic procedures, to enable them to interact with patients and staff and deal with medical documentation.
Canadian College of Health Science and Technology’s (Canadian College) college courses in Windsor provide students with a variety of possible career paths, and these two programs are good examples of the diverse workplace settings that graduates may find themselves employed in. Medical office assistants may work in small private practices or clinics, or take on roles in larger facilities like hospitals. Their transferable skills can be applied to a wide variety of office roles in many different areas of medicine.
Physiotherapy assistants also work in private practice or hospitals, as well as rehabilitation and long-term care facilities. Both training programs include clinical placements in relevant environments so students can better understand which type of workplace they would prefer to begin their rewarding new career.
Still trying to make up your mind? Contact Canadian College and speak to one of our admissions representatives to discuss your career options!