HomeSkin-CareHealthMedical Assistant vs Home Health Aide: What's the Difference?

Medical Assistant vs Home Health Aide: What’s the Difference?

Both medical assistants and home health aides are responsible for helping patients. But that’s where the similarities between their job roles end. Medical assistants work under the supervision of physicians in hospital settings. A lot of the work they do is either medical or administrative. A home health aide on the other hand, cares for patients in the comfort of their own homes.

A home health aide’s patient may be suffering from a chronic illness, or they may have some other issue that requires constant care and attention from someone. A lot of elderly patients don’t want to spend prolonged periods of time in hospitals, and would rather someone provided them with care and assistance at home. This is where a home health aide comes in.

How Are The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant Different From That Of a Home Health Aide? 

A medical assistant is someone who is often a part of a team of healthcare professionals. They work alongside doctors as well as nurses, to care for patients. They may help prepare the patient for different tests, or they may perform administrative tasks as well.

A home health aide on the other hand, is responsible for taking care of sick, disabled, or elderly patients, in home settings. They need to assist their patients with daily living, as well as special healthcare needs.  Most home health aides are self-employed, and they receive their training from sites like Caregiverlist. They may, however, be under the supervision of a registered nurse or another medical professional.

What Are The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant? 

These are the responsibilities of a medical assistant:

  • You may need to perform EKGs as well as phlebotomy procedures
  • You could have to assist doctors during physic exams as well as minor surgeries
  • You may need to take the vital sign of a patient, as well as measure their height and weight
  • You may need to dress wounds as well as administer medications
  • You will need to sterilize medical instruments as well as prepare examination rooms
  • Ensuring patient health records are updated will be your responsibility
  • You may also have to do front office duties

What Are The Responsibilities of a Home Health Aide? 

The responsibilities of a home health aide include:

  • You’ll need to take the vital signs of patients
  • You will need to dress wounds as well as administer medications
  • You will need to feed patients
  • You will need to know ow how to turn as well as reposition patients who are bedridden
  • You’ll have to do shopping as well as housekeeping
  • You should be able to help the patient bathe, brush their teeth, shave etc.
  • If a patient is sick or injured, then you’ll need to provide bedside care to them

How Are The Education Requirements Different? 

You’ll need to undergo different kinds of training for both these positions. To become a medical assistant, you’ll need to have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Then you’ll need to complete a training course, following which you can become a medical assistant.

To become a home health aide, there are no educational requirements. You will have to however complete a training course from an accredited institution. You may also need to complete an evaluation showcasing competency, done by a home health care agency that is registered.

How Are The Job Prospects Different? 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has come out with projected growth rates for both career paths. For medical assistants, the expected growth rate between 2018 and 2028 is around 23%. For home health aides, the projected career growth rate for the same period of time is around 36%.


The only thing similar between medical assistants and home health aides are that they provide care for patients. Outside of that, their job roles are very different.

If you’re a home health aide, then consider home healthcare insurance. This is as your career exposes you to several risk factors, such as getting sued by a client. With home healthcare insurance, you can protect your career as well as your finances. If you want to learn more about home healthcare insurance, then click here.

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