Tag Archives | medical

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

Choosing to enter the medical field after high school is a wise decision. It is one of the most promising career fields in America, as it is constantly growing and advancing. It is also an excellent field where you can get your foot in the door without having prior experience or a degree. Below you will find the top 5 medical jobs to get you started in a medical career, right out of high school.

Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant you will help doctors take blood, administer certain medications, record vital signs and maybe even assist in some office procedures. In other environments you may have clerical duties such as scheduling appointments, answering phones and greeting incoming patients. In either situation, your job is to keep your doctor on time and up to date with vital information about patients. Many places will hire you right out of high school and provide educational assistance or on the job training. In order to further your career, consider getting your medical assisting degree, which can be done without quitting your current job.

Surgical Technologist

If you are interested in watching surgeries, you may want to consider becoming a Surgical Tech. In this profession, you will prepare the operating room for surgical procedures. This includes making sure all of the necessary tools, sponges, sutures and other equipment needed for the operation, are in place. In some settings you may also monitor patients during surgery. Many hospitals and surgical centers will hire you with a high school diploma. However, there are several programs that will provide you with education and a diploma after high school.

Occupational Therapy Aide

As an occupational therapy aide you will help a certified occupational therapist in various areas. You may be the person who transports patients to and from their appointment. You may also be asked to wash linens or clean treatment areas. You may also be the person who schedules patients for follow up appointments. The certified therapist may also rely on your eyes and ears by paying close attention to the patient. You may be able to pick up on certain things that the therapist may miss. In this career, you can provide very helpful insight as the therapist’s “second set of eyes.”

Emergency Medical Technician
An occupation as an EMT is a great way to help others in need and also have time to take online college courses, as you will have down time between calls. As an EMT you will be one of the first responders to accidents or homes to provide care for sick or injured people. As an EMT you may also assess patients, provide CPR, help victims out of dangerous situations and more. You have the opportunity to progress your EMT career into different levels such as Intermediate EMT and Advanced EMT. Additionally, you can choose to go to school to become a Paramedic.

Personal Care Aide
If you have a lot of compassion and enjoy helping others, you may want to begin your medical career as a personal care aide. In this occupation you will be helping elderly people, those with chronic or severe illnesses as well as those with diminished mental capacity to live their daily lives. The people you help will also have varying degrees of abilities. You may have one patient that can do most things of him or herself, while another patient may need your assistance with basic functions, such as eating. Many companies will hire you right out of high school and will provide you with any required training.

This article was contributed by guest author April Adams.

Image by Unsplash, pixabay.com

The medical field is extremely broad and has hundreds of different jobs. From administration to brain surgery and everything in between, the options for a career in the medical field are abundant. There are many aspects to a career to consider in order to find a medical career you’ll love. Knowing what’s important, finding your passion, having realistic expectations, and doing your research are all ways to find a medical career you’ll love. Whether it’s location, salary, education, patient interaction, management, science, or changing the world that motivates you to do your job, there is a medical career to fit your passions.

Know what’s Important
When deciding on which medical career is right for you, you’ll need to prioritize what’s important. If salary is important, research the medical careers available in the salary range you desire. If your degree is important, research the educational requirements of some fields that seem interesting to you. Since the medical field is so broad, there are options in education from a certification to a doctorate degree. If travel is important to you, research the options for travel nursing and what is required to work in that field. The opportunities are limitless as long as you do your research and prioritize what’s important.

Since having a job with every perk we dream about is pretty much impossible, prioritizing in a realistic way is important. Chances are we might have to sacrifice a few more years than we’d like to schooling, or work shifts we’d rather be home for, or make a little less money than we’d prefer, but as long as you know what is important, you can prioritize certain things and discover the non-negotiables while finding your perfect job.

Find Your Passion
Whether animals, patient care, diagnostics, or another area of medicine, you have to discover what your passion is in order to find the job that’s meant for you in the medical field. Any career in the medical field is difficult, filled with late nights, life or death decisions, and physical and emotional stresses. Without a passion to do the work, it’ll be a taxing career choice. So before deciding on salary, location, or educational requirements of each option, decide what aspect of healthcare you are passionate about and seek options in that category. Those in administration, for instance, may not have to work the more difficult shifts, but they do lose out on patient interaction. If your passion is dealing with patients, it might be better to look into the hands-on careers.

You have the ability to work with children, infants, the elderly, emergencies, cancer patients, injured animals, department organization, hospital finances, or a regular clinic. There is a place for your passion as long as you are able to find it. Hospitals need nurses, medical assistants, paramedics, doctors, and hundreds of other positions. The world needs medical professionals passionate about their patients and it’s important to find your passion in order to find the career that coincides with it.

Having Realistic Expectations
Discovering what’s important and what your passion is the first step in finding a medical career you will love. The next step is to make sure your expectations of each career choice is realistic. Research is your friend and it’s important to know the ins and outs of each career option that may satisfy your passion. Medical assisting, for instance, not only requires minimal schooling, but also offers growth for the future as well as a variety of medical settings to work in. Veterinary medicine is not just cuddling kittens and puppies all day, but also involves some less than glamorous procedures as well. Working in pediatrics is a great way to be involved in the treatment of children, but it also involves some heartbreaking decisions to make. Nursing is a great way to experience many different aspects of medicine, but it also involves less than ideal working conditions. The better you manage your expectations, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your job.

Finding a medical career you love is all about discovering what’s important to you in a career, what you are passionate about in the medical world, and managing your expectations for each career choice. The medical field is not a career path for the faint of heart, and those that find their passions within the medical world have to be dedicated and strong individuals. The options can be overwhelming, but it’s a blessing in disguise in order to find the perfect career path for you.

This article was contributed by guest author Chelsy Ranard.

Image by Western Connecticut State University Peggy Stewart on Flickr

Image by Western Connecticut State University Peggy Stewart on Flickr

Whether you are a nurse or you’re in nursing school, chances are you’ve spent some time trying to figure this nursing thing out. You’ve done your research, spoken to seasoned nurses, or spent many nights studying while watching Grey’s Anatomy and laughing at the procedures the doctors are doing that are actually the nurse’s job. You’ve watched your free time drift away, taught yourself how to survive without sleep, and started to accept that just because your answer is right doesn’t mean it’s the most right. The need for nurses is at an all-time high in a variety of capacities. It is a demanding and draining position that is not for the faint of heart, but is also extremely rewarding.

The nursing shortage

If you are already a nurse or wanting to be, you are helping aid in the problematic nursing shortage. Right now more than 50% of the nursing workforce is close to retirement age and in the U.S., baby boomers are experiencing an increased number of chronic conditions that require hospitalization. While we are losing nurses to retirement and gaining patients, we need more nurses to fill the gap. Increasing enrollment is one way to impact the shortage, but this uncovers yet another issue, which is the low number of nursing instructors. The only way to promote a higher number of nurses willing to teach is to raise their wages. Due to the unequal amount of supply and demand in the nursing industry the job market for nurses is at an all-time high for potential nurses looking for work and therefore salaries are much higher.

The options are endless

The options for types of degrees and the jobs you can obtain with those degrees are expansive. With options for LPN, NP, and RN programs available at a slew of different nursing schools with varying pathways, every student will be able to find the degree and pathway that suits them best. The degree preferred by most nursing leaders is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), so do your research if you are thinking about joining the nursing profession to make sure you have the degree appropriate for your career track. One you’ve obtained your degree, the options open even more with careers available to nurses in a wide variety of specialties and lifestyles such as travel nursing, nurse educator, oncology nursing, pediatric nursing, and the list goes on and on.

You’ll always be learning

The learning process does not stop with graduation when you are in a medical field. Nurses focus on such a wide variety of medicine that they are always attending seminars and conferences, reading medical journals, learning new procedures, and trying to keep up with the forever changing medical industry. You’ll always be learning from seasoned nurses, trial and error, and mandatory continuing education. Coursework never stops when you are a nurse and in order to thrive in the field, nurses must be eager learners and naturally driven. A nursing career isn’t for everyone, and the obligation to stay on top of the evolving nursing world is one of the many difficult tasks required.

Nursing is difficult

Let’s drive this point home one more time: Nursing is hard. Nursing school is hard because being a nurse is even harder. If you are already a nurse, you understand this. Compiling an impossible amount of information in your mind and being able to pull it out at the most stressful time in an effective manner can be the difference between life and death for patients. Not only dealing with the long hours, lack of sleep, no social life, and the never ending amount of learning involved, but the physical and mental strain it puts on your body is not for the weak. You’ll cry for patients, make mistakes, work with an aching back and feet, get yelled at by faculty and patients alike, develop a strong stomach, work overnight, work into the next day, miss birthday parties, be invited to patient’s funerals, and be covered in bodily fluids. You are on the front lines of healthcare and you will see things that no one else sees. Be prepared.

It’s all about patient care

For those in nursing, the entire reason that they go through the rigors of nursing school and the battles of the job is for their patients. Without a passion for people and their welfare, maintaining a job that is so difficult would be impossible. Nursing isn’t a job you do for the money; good nurses in the field for a long time do it to help people. Caring and compassionate nurses mean the world to their patients and end up being the best at their jobs. Every single day you will be making a big difference in someone’s life. You are responsible for positive quality of life for your patients, you will be fulfilled and satisfied in your career, seeing immediate gratification for the tasks you complete correctly. Despite the pain, heartache, stress, time away from loved ones, and lack of sleep, nurses do it for their patients.

This article was contributed by guest author Chelsy Ranard.

Image by Ilmicrofono Oggiono, Flickr

Image by Ilmicrofono Oggiono, Flickr

As a freshman entering college, it seems as though a large percentage of students are just starting on their career path towards becoming a doctor. It can feel like nearly every declared biology and/or chemistry major has goals set on a luxurious specialized practice after ten plus years of hard studying.

Needless to say, not many actually achieve this goal. Aside from an average minimum GPA of 3.5 and a MCAT score somewhere in the 70th or 80th percentile, students are also strongly encouraged to spend a lot of time volunteering in a hospital setting, completing research, and building a strong resume. For many students that must work part-time just to afford school, this can be an insurmountable task.

There is good news though. Nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry is expected to grow over the next ten years. More than that, in the United States with baby boomers reaching retirement age and the implementation of The Affordable Healthcare Act, there couldn’t be a better time to become a healthcare professional without attending medical school.

Here are a few different positions where those interested in healthcare can expect the market to continue to grow over the next decade.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are medical professionals that help individuals to maintain or recover movement and manage pain. Typically, physical therapists treat a variety of patients from a number of different scenarios ranging from car accidents to old age. With baby boomers reaching the age in which movement starts to become difficult a 39% increase in physical therapists is projected, especially in rural areas.

In most states the typical physical therapist needs three years of coursework after undergraduate education to become a licensed physical therapist. They can work in nearly every hospital setting including private offices, clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. The average physical therapist makes approximately $76,000 annually.

Nurse Midwife

The idea of becoming a nurse midwife might sound somewhat ancient to some people. However, nurse midwives are a playing a major role in the healthcare industry. With an advanced degree in female health issues, nurse midwives are helping women with adolescent issues, maternity and childbirth, and menopause. The job market is projected to increase by 26% in the next ten years.

To become a nurse midwife, it is necessary to first become a registered nurse. After a few years of experience it is possible to go back to school and complete a certification program. The extra education tends to be well worth it as the average nurse midwife makes $114,000 annually.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are probably one of the most versatile positions within the healthcare industry. These medical professionals typically work in various doctor’s offices and occasionally hospitals to provide assistance to the leading health care physician in the form of both administrative and medical tasks. Often times this position requires individuals to check patients in, taking vital signs, and updating medical records.

This profession requires a bit less schooling, usually just a two-year associates degree followed by a certification examination. Salaries can range pretty widely based upon the setting in which you are working. However, it will typically range between $22,000 and $32,000 annually.

Healthcare Informatics

For those people that like the idea of working to improve the lives of people, but do not handle sick and in pain patients well, perhaps a career in healthcare informatics is more ideal. Healthcare informatics professionals generally deal more with the technical and organizational side of hospitals. The day-to-day work of the career can vary widely, ranging from managing patient records to maintain confidentiality all the way to researching health care costs and trends.

The healthcare informatics field is expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020. Typically these specialists need some form of technical work experience and often a degree beyond undergraduate education to manage. The average healthcare informatics tech earns around $70,000 annually.

This article was submitted by guest author Brittni Brown.


Four years. It may not seem like a long time, but it’s long enough – long enough to get cavities, need glasses and develop a prescription-dependent medical illness. Health and dental insurance are important to have during your university years.

One may adopt poor eating habits living in residence. Many students don’t know how to cook or find it difficult to make time to cook with their studies. They may resort to junk or fast food, which contribute to obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis and many other diseases. Another downside to poor eating habits is they can cause cavities.

Medical expenses can be costly. It’s even more difficult when you are away from home, as your parents may expect you to pay your own bills. Students tend to have many other expenses to pay that make medical expenses an added cost, such as tuition and book costs. Tuition typically ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 per year and books can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 per year. Students living on their own tend to have to pay rent as well as utility costs and grocery bills. During school, there is little time to work, so students are usually on a tight budget.

During my five-year university stay, I experienced a chipped tooth and cavities. If I didn’t have dental insurance, it would have cost me $110 to fill the chipped tooth, and $300 for the cavities.

There are many reasons you could be visiting the doctor or dentist this semester. However, you don’t have to pay steep prices. Many universities provide health and dental plans at discounted prices for students. Sacrificing a minimal premium could make the difference between an inexpensive and healthy year, and a very pricey or unhealthy one. Make it a priority to look into your school’s medical and dental insurance at the beginning of the year, and your wallet will thank you.