When you are looking to pursue a career in healthcare, the earlier you start the better. And, even if you cannot afford it or are not ready to pursue medical or nursing school, there are many ways to get your foot in the door in the healthcare field in the meantime. Get to know some of the healthcare paths that you can take to get your career in the field started as soon as possible as well as the educational requirements to get there so that you can get your medical career started.
Become A Certified Phlebotomist
One of the medical professions that you can join to get your foot in the door at clinics, hospitals, or other medical centers is through the field of phlebotomy. Phlebotomy technicians (also referred to as phlebotomists) are responsible for drawing blood, maintaining the equipment for blood draws, checking blood glucose levels, and handling/transporting blood and urine samples to the laboratory for testing. There is also an educational component to the job as phlebotomists often have to talk patients through the blood draw process and explain the reasoning behind the test as well as offer support and comfort for patient scared of or uncomfortable with needles.
Phlebotomists are in high demand because of the absolute necessity of their services. Getting your phlebotomist certification will ensure that you have the skills and education necessary to be able to successfully insert the needle into the vein and draw blood for testing as quickly and painlessly as possible for patients. Phlebotomy certification courses and programs can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months and require you to pass a certification exam. Once you receive your certification, your job prospects will open up and you will be able to get your foot in the door in a medical practice to see what it is like to work in medicine and get valuable contacts and experience.
Consider Being A Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified nursing assistants (or CNAs) are another in-demand career in the medical field. CNAs can work in a wide variety of medical environments including hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, and even with in-home care service providers.
A certified nursing assistant is one of the primary caregivers to patients in that they provide assistance with daily living as well as basic care like bathing, bathroom assistance, take vitals, help with lifting and transfers out of bed and walking, and the like. They also help with eating and are often the caregivers who answer call lights. A CNA is often the first face a patient sees when they need assistance, care, and compassion.
To become a CNA, you need to go through a certification program that often lasts eight week (but can take longer if you choose to go slower). Once the program is complete, you will need to pass practical exams as well as a written exam and sometimes an oral exam as well (depending on the specific state). Passing the certification exam will allow you to be registered with the state as a CNA and begin applying for jobs.
Now that you know a few of the medical careers you can pursue to get your foot in the door of the healthcare field, you can get started as soon as possible. Contact a local training program, like Western Career Training or a similar location, for more ideas and information.