Health care is one of the fastest growing fields in the work world right now. It’s also one in which job security is fairly high. There’s always going to be a need for doctor’s offices, whether that’s a family practice, eye care, cardiology, chiropractics or some other field of interest. There are many options, and getting a qualification isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
1. Choose a Field of Interest
The most important first step is to choose your field of interest. That could be in an administrative capacity in a doctor’s office, a Certified Nurse Assistant, a Chiropractic Assistant, an Optometrist Assistant, an EMT, a Registered Nurse, or even a Doctor. Obviously, some of these options require far more education than others. But there are some that you can get into and it’s possible that some of the qualifications that you already have will transfer and you may only need to get some training through a community college in order to have what you need to make the switch from your present field to another field.
2. Medical Assisting
There is an actual field called Medical Assistant, and that will require some specialized training at a community college. Just Google the words "Medical Assistant Programs" and a plethora of options show up. Usually the best options are through a college or community college. The program can be completed in as little as about six months, and is broad enough that you would be qualified to apply for work in pretty much any doctor’s office. If you already have typing skills, phone skills, and some customer service experience, all of those skills will transfer and benefit you as you go about your daily routine.
3. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
If you enjoy working with the elderly, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is an option that only takes a few weeks. This is more common sense than it is being "book smart," but it is still very rewarding if you are are a person who enjoys being a caregiver and you have a cheerful personality or at least an optimistic mindset. Once you get your certificate, you can either work in a nursing home or you can work through an agency that will arrange for you to go into people’s homes for a few hours each day who need your assistance. If you choose to go through an agency, you will be assigned patients for whom you will care on a regular basis over the course of an eight hour day, so there would be some driving involved. If you like driving, are self-motivated, and can’t stand being micromanaged, this can be a great situation and much preferred to being in a medical facility.
4. Chiropractic Assistant
This is another one whereby a Google search (Chiropractic Assistant Programs) will bring up available programs through participating schools. There are some practices that may not require any specialized schooling because they train you on-site. The primary responsibilities involve following the treatment plan prescribed by the Chiropractor and general office duties. The actual adjustments are done by the Chiropractor. Becoming a Chiropractor is far more involved than being an assistant, and it is a multi-year program. Sometimes people who start out as a medical doctor will become a Chiropractor, or those who start out as Physical Therapists may choose to become a Chiropractor. This is a field that is growing quickly and has many expanding opportunities.
5. Optometrist Assistant
While it is possible to find a one or two year program for Optometrist Assistant training at a community college so that you have some specialized education in this field, not all practices will require that since some are willing to offer on- site training. This is another one of those fields in which typing, good phone skills and quality customer service skills will go a long way in helping you to be successful. If you find that you like this field, there is the option of additional studies so that you can become an actual Optometrist (at least a four year program) or Ophthalmologist (an eight year program).
6. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
If you think well under pressure and tend not to fall apart until after the emergency is over, this particular field may be a good fit. While being an EMT can be a high stress occupation, it doesn’t require a great deal of specialized training. Only 160 hours of training are required, and it can be done either through your local community college (sometimes night courses are even an option) or on-line. You do have to keep up with your training and do refresher courses every couple of years, though. This particular field can lead to other options in the medical field in the future such as paramedic, sports therapy, nursing and many others.
See Also: How to Become a Health Educator
The above are just a few of the options out there for people who want to make a career change in the direction of the medical field. Certainly a career in the medical field can be very rewarding, and can even eventually lead to higher paying positions.
Are you thinking of making this change in your career? What are your aspirations? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.