June 19, 2024

The Differences Between Health Aides And Medical Assistants

Do you want a career in the medical field without needing to get a degree in the medical discipline? Then becoming a health aide could be the perfect career choice for you. Some of the most in demand professions within the medical field are that of medical assistants and health aides. Sometimes, people can confuse what the job descriptions of these two professions are. Knowing what these differences are, is important, as they are very different.

So how exactly is a medical assistant different from a home health aide?

The Basic Differences Between Medical Assistants And Home Health Aides

As a home health aide, you’ll be responsible for taking care of elderly, chronically ill, or disabled patients. You’ll be addressing their health concerns and providing them with assistance within their homes. Often, a home health aide works independently. On cases that are more complex, you could be working alongside a nurse.

Your tasks could include administering medicines on time, preparing and serving meals, taking care of sounds, light housekeeping tasks, and more. You should know how to check the vital signs of the patient, help them with grooming and personal hygiene, as well as provide companionship.

Medical assistants on the other hand need to handle various clinical tasks, and they work as a part of a larger healthcare team. They usually assist doctors, registered nurses, as well as various medical professionals. You could find yourself helping care for the patient or doing administrative work. Your main responsibility will be to help the doctor with different tasks.

You should know how to perform simple physical exams, take the vitals of the patients, update their health records, sterilize instrument, and more.

How Are The Work Environments Different?

Home health aides can usually be found working in the homes of patients. They can work for one patient, or multiple patients, traveling between homes. Some health aides also choose to work in retirement homes or healthcare facilities. Your daily routine will be dependent on the needs of the patient.

Medical assistants tend to have a more regular work schedule than home health aides do. You’ll also be working in professional medical settings, such as hospitals and clinics. How many hours a week you’ll be working and when you’ll be working will be dependent on what shifts you’re given.

What Educational Requirements Do You Need For Either Role?

In order to become a home health aide, you’ll need to complete a training course that has been approved by the National Board Of Nursing. Following the course, you’ll also need to sit for a competency evaluation. This will be done by professional healthcare providers who are licensed.

To be a medical assistant, you’ll need to at least have your high school diploma. If you don’t have your diploma, then you can consider getting a GED equivalent as well. This will allow you to qualify to train as a medical assistant. Before you can start working, you’ll also need to complete a course where you learn the essential skills of the trade.

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What Is The Career Outlook Like For Either Role?

Working in the healthcare industry can be beneficial for you if you want to be a part of a fast-growing industry. The demand for home health care workers is especially on the rise. This is as more and more people are becoming elderly, and choosing to continue living in their homes.

Whether you become a medical assistant or a home health aide, you can expect to find regular work in the coming years. Until 2028, the demand for medical assistants is expected to grow by 28%. For home health aides, the demand within the same period of time is expected to grow by around 36%. These are some of the highest growth rates out of various industries.


If you’re unsure about whether you want to become a medical assistant or a home health aide, then this guide should be able to help you. There are key differences between these job roles, and knowing what they are can help you make an informed decision about your future. The great news is that whether you choose to become a medical assistant or a home health aide, you’ll be entering a field that’s competitively engaging. You’ll also be able to help people lead better lives, and care for their ailments.


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