Med Techs vs. LPNs: What Are the Main Differences?

3 minute read

Behind every good physician is a team of nurses. This team of nurses consists of Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Medication Technicians (Med Techs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). If you are interested in becoming a nurse but not sure what position is best for you, you came to the right place. Let’s look at Med Techs and LPNs and see how they differ. 

What Is a Med Tech?

A Med Tech works in a personal care/assisted living facility as a nurse’s aide. You will work closely with patients. Also, your duties will include distributing medication to patients and assisting with primary care. Med techs are considered lead aides. This means that you must ensure that all aide duties are complete. Often, this means that you will begin to help CNAs with their tasks when you finish your assignments. 

To become a med tech in Pennsylvania, you must complete a training program and pass an examination. Once you take and pass the exam, you will then be able to become certified. You must remain certified by being evaluated on the job every six months by an authorized PA State Med Tech Trainer. PA’s Medication Administration Training Program can be completed in a few days or take as long as a few weeks. 

What Is an LPN?

An LPN works under the direct supervision of RNs and doctors. As an LPN, you can choose to work in various healthcare settings. The most common work environments are nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but you can work in hospitals or primary care offices. Your duties will largely depend on the healthcare facility but will most likely include:

  • Monitoring patients’ vitals,
  • Discussing care with patients
  • Treating wounds
  • Keeping accurate records of a patient’s health
  • Helping transport immobile patients
  • Communicating patient needs directly to the doctor

To become an LPN, you will need to complete an LPN education course after graduating high school. There are programs designed to obtain LPN credentials or coursework to get you an associate’s degree or college credit. You can complete an LPN program in as little as a year. Once you have completed the education requirements, you must pass the NCLEX-PN, submit an application for licensure, and pay the appropriate fees. To maintain your LPN license, you will need to complete the renewal process every two years.

Med Tech vs. LPN

Med Techs and LPNs are generally found working in the same residential and nursing care facilities. However, their job duties are a bit different. Med Techs are not trained to perform the level of care that an LPN completes daily. Therefore, the main difference between Med Techs and LPNs is the level of patient care responsibility. With more responsibilities comes a higher salary. Med Techs should not expect to make as much hourly as LPNs. However, you can start making money faster as a Med Tech without the year or two-year education requirement.

Although LPNs are required to administer a higher level of care to patients, it does not mean that they are more critical. Every nurse on staff has a vital role in patient care. Without Med Techs, LPNs’ work would be tremendously more challenging. Becoming a Med Tech is also a great way to gain experience before pursuing LPN certification.

The job outlook for both Med Techs and LPNs is similar. These positions are currently in high demand. Cynamed offers occupational opportunities for Med Techs and LPNs in the Western Pennsylvania area. We match nurses with the perfect employer to fit their availability, experience, and skill set. Contact one of CynaMed‘s representatives to start an exciting career in the medical field today!

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