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Is It Worth Getting into the Medical Field?

Is it worth getting into the medical field?

When thinking of a career in the medical field, you likely envision certain ideals and rewards that go along with it. You may want to find a career in which you help others. You may want to make a lot of money. You may not care anything about money but want to have flexible hours or be able to work in a variety of environments.

Choosing a career requires having a large amount of information. The more you know, the more confident you will be in deciding if it is right for you. If you have an interest in getting into the medical field, keep reading.

The information provided here should help you determine if the medical field is a career choice that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.


Medical Field Job Options

If you want to work in the medical field, you will have many job options. Medical assisting is usually listed as a good career to seek in the medical field. You can also choose a nursing career, which can range from vocational nursing to registered nurse to nurse practitioner.

Other careers include dentistry, physician, surgeon, occupational therapist, physical therapist, pharmacy technician, and medical administration.

You can work in a lab, research facility, or family practice. Or, you may want to work in a high paced emergency room helping patients or working on the budget with administration and no contact with patients.

Out of the numerous jobs in the medical field, there is likely one to meet your career goals.


Making Money

Just like the job options vary, so do the salaries within the medical field. For example, according to global rankings, a clinical lab technician earns an average of $25 an hour. Licensed vocational nurses earn an average of over $21 an hour.

On the administrative side, working in medical records can average someone around $20 an hour.

There are ample opportunities within the medical field to make a good salary.

Salary is not guaranteed and will vary depending on the location of the job, the amount of education you have acquired, the years of experience you have accumulated, and your employer.

In the medical field, demand can play a big role in salaries. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected demand increase for all medical jobs through the year 2026.


Different Day, Different Experiences

Working in the medical field is not like working in other fields where you repeat the same routine day after day. Most jobs in the medical field will offer new experiences each day. This can mean your job duties may change each day also.

Having a variety each day can make working in the medical field attractive. Not many people like to go to work and feel bored. This boredom can lead to someone searching for a more exciting job. Medical field jobs are anything but boring.

Even those working on the administrative side of the medical field will face new and different issues each day. Some days they may be working with insurance companies, and other days they may need to work with physicians, staff members or policies.

If you enjoy not knowing what to expect each day at work, and appreciate variety, the medical field may be a good fit for you.


Jobs for Every Educational Level

The medical field has a career opportunity for everyone, no matter what your educational status. If you have an associate degree, you can work as a medical assistant, vocational nurse, lab technician, pharmacy technician, and as a medical administrator.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can work in the same jobs listed above, but at a higher level. You would likely be a registered nurse, and supervisor or manager of a department.

Those in the medical field can choose to go on and receive a master’s degree, doctoral degree, and medical degree. Each of these have their own job opportunity qualifications.

The quickest way to enter the medical field is with a fast-track training certificate from your local college. This certificate allows you to apply for entry-level positions in an area you desire. Examples include technicians, assistants, and support staff.


Continued Learning

The medical field is one of the best for offering continued learning opportunities for employees at all levels. Continued learning can take place through on-site training provided by your employer. Many times, these learning opportunities are offered to employees at no cost.

They may also grant you approval to attend conferences geared toward learning new trends and information in your area.

Other opportunities can include online webinars and courses. For those of you wanting to earn additional college credits, some medical agencies help with tuition.

By starting your college experience at your local college, it may be easy for you to advance to a higher degree program at that college. If you complete an associate degree, those credits may likely transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Those credits will then transfer to a master’s program, and so on. Check with your local college for options on advanced degrees.

Because it is so important that everyone in the medical field keep up with new technology and other advancements, continued learning is considered a must.


Flexibility in Shift Work

Your personal life should not have to suffer because of your work hours. In the medical field, there are many jobs that offer flexibility in scheduling. If you need to be home in the evening to take care of your family, you can apply for daytime shifts.

If you need to work at night, there are evening and overnight shifts available. Some agencies allow you to work longer hours for fewer days a week.

These details are what you and your agency will work on together.

In conclusion, the medical field is worth getting into. You can grow within the company, work with a diverse group of staff, and be given career benefit packages. But most importantly, working in the medical field can help you feel satisfied and rewarded because you truly are helping people each day.

The Best Internships for Someone Pursuing a Medical Degree

Why Internships Are Important in the Medical Field

If you are pursuing a medical degree, then you already know there are numerous careers to choose from within the industry. You may have an interest in more than one medical path. You may find the administrative side of medicine interesting but also desire a career working with patients in a clinical setting.

Trying to make a final decision on which avenue to take can be confusing. One day you see yourself as a surgeon and the next day you want to work in pharmaceuticals. Because you can’t do it all, because no one can do it all, it’s important you consider everything about the roles in which you are interested.

Internships are a great way to help you narrow down your career choices and gain the necessary skills you need post-graduation, when you become an employee.


What is An Internship?

Internships are opportunities for college students to work in the medical field and gain hands-on experience in a specific area. Internships can vary in length, depending on how many hours are required by the college.

Internships offer students exceptional learning opportunities to implement what they have learned in the classroom into real world experiences. You get to work directly with professionals, you improve your interpersonal skills by working closely with other staff, and it can build your confidence to help you do a good job.

Internships can give you practice in paying attention to details, problem-solving, quick decision-making, and adapting to changing work environments. You will learn to work with a team and improve your communication skills with doctors, nurses, staff, patients and even family members of patients.

Most importantly, internships help you figure out which career path you want to enter.

Below are some of the best internships for someone pursuing a medical degree.


Nursing Internship

As a nursing intern, you will be working with other nurses, likely a registered nurse who oversees staff and can help you get involved in patient treatment. They can further your education by applying what you learned in class to treating patients.

The nursing field is varied, and you can choose an internship based on your likes and dislikes. If you prefer working with children, you can intern with a pediatric nursing unit. If you prefer research, you can work in a laboratory with other clinical workers collecting data.

Other areas for nursing internships include bilingual, community health, administration, emergency rooms, and even in the school setting.


Clinical Lab Intern

Working as an intern in a clinical lab allows you to analyze chemicals and fluids collected from patients. You will be assisting medical personnel by preparing samples needed for examination. You may be taking blood, collecting urine samples, or running an ultrasound machine. Each day may bring a different set of tasks.

You will improve your documentation and recording skills, as well as help prepare reports, assist patients with paperwork, and following safety procedures.

Opportunities for internships can take place in a hospital, physicians office, or stand-alone laboratories, to name a few.


Policy Intern

You may enjoy making changes within the healthcare industry. You may be able to see a problem, discover a solution, and fight for change that benefits all within the industry. If this sounds like you, the working as a policy intern can help you gain more insight about this field.

Policies within the medical field are established to protect patients, doctors and everyone else within the industry. However, some policies are found to be faulty, or need to be adapted based on changes going on in the world.

This is where you can shine if you like researching, identifying and making reforms to policies that need adjusting. As an intern, you can gain experience drafting news alerts, memos, and attending meetings with other policy makers.


Healthcare Administration Intern

Administration in any career typically deals with human resources, finances, rules and regulations for the organization, management of staff and keeping the company in compliance. This is no different for the healthcare administrator.

As an intern, you will work directly with an administrator of a healthcare agency, completing tasks they assign. You can choose to intern under pharmacists, community health center directors, consultants and in any type of medical institution.

Whether it is an inpatient treatment facility or an outpatient family practice, there are opportunities for you to expand your knowledge through an internship.


Pharmaceutical Intern

Working as an intern in a pharmaceutical setting may be harder to get if you are not studying pharmacy in some form. For instance, pharmacy technician students may have a higher chance of landing an internship in a pharmacy.

Landing an internship in a pharmacy prepares you for working with the public and teaches you how to be organized, keep detailed records, and what it would be like working in a high paced environment.

The skills you can learn interning in a pharmacy can carry over to any other medical career.


How to Get an Internship

Getting an internship in the medical field can be just as competitive as when applying for a full-time position. There are specific skills the employer will want you to have before they hire you. And the application process is a time where you can showcase the talents you have already acquired.

Communication skills, time management, teamwork, and your ability to analyze a situation and make good decisions based on what you know. Employers want interns who can work independently but also receive direction. You should also be able to handle constructive criticism with professionalism. After all, you are still in the learning phase of your career.

Being able to quickly learn the software used in the medical facility is a must. Resistance to change, especially when it comes to technology, will not help you when trying to land an internship. Show them you can adapt and that you are eager to improve your skills.

The internship period is a brief period, but it offers experience that will last you a lifetime.

How to Choose Between a Fast-Track Training Program and an Associate Degree

Choosing Between Fast Track Training and Associate's Degree

You may be at a point in your life where you are thinking about furthering your education. You may not be interested in going to college for a four-year degree, so you are considering other options.

You need a program that can get you working in your desired field as soon as possible. You want lower costs, convenience, and flexibility. You also want many of the same benefits you can receive from a bachelor’s degree program, such as networking, student support services, and hands-on training opportunities.

Both a fast-track training and associate degree programs can offer you all of these and more.

The next step is to choose between the two. Answering the questions below can help you determine which program is best.


Why Are You Getting More Education?

The reasons behind why you want to obtain additional education is a key factor in deciding between fast-track and associate degree programs. Are you looking to get a job that requires specific training? Or do you simply want to learn a new skill? Is your employer requiring you to acquire a certificate or license?

Your answers to questions like these can guide you. For instance, if you need to gain education to obtain a promotion at work, your employer can give you a specific amount of education required. If you need a certificate, you may consider a fast-track training program. If the promotion requires getting a diploma, an associate degree will be needed.

The more questions you ask about why you want to attend college, the more answers you will have to help you decide.


What Are Your Future Educational Plans?

When you think of yourself getting an education, how many years do you envision yourself attending classes?

If you love to learn, you may have a goal to obtain as much education as you can throughout your lifetime. You may get excited just thinking about taking classes for years to come. If so, choose an associate degree program.

In two years or less you can obtain a degree that can help you enter the field in which you are interested. And, an associate degree program can provide a foundation of courses that can transfer into a bachelor level program.

You may want to get only the required amount of education needed to advance your career and never sit in another class. In this case, choose a fast-track training program, which can help you reach this goal in less than a year, depending on the program.

Understanding your future educational plans can help you choose between fast-track training and an associate degree program.


What Are Your Future Career Plans?

Most people start their careers in entry-level positions and work their way up to more desirable positions. Working your way up can mean acquiring additional education and training to prepare you for the upper level job duties.

If your goal is to rise to management or executive level status within a company, begin your educational path with an associate degree. You will be able to obtain the prerequisite courses needed for the future education you will need to earn.

Your goal may not be to climb the corporate ladder. You may find satisfaction in one job and want to stay in that job for as long as you can. If so, you may want to complete a fast-track training program to get you into that job as soon as possible.

Think about all your career goals and compare the two programs to see which one can help you reach them.


How Much Do You Want to Earn?

Both fast-track training program certificates and associate degrees have the potential to raise your income. However, an associate degree will typically bring in more money than a certificate.

For instance, in the nursing field, someone working as a vocation nurse, which requires a certificate, will make less than someone working as an associate degree level nurse.

Reports show that some associate degree level nurses can earn as much as registered nurses.

If you are looking for an increase in pay with no additional job duties, obtaining a fast-track certificate may be best. If you are looking for a significant increase in pay that also comes with more challenging duties, choose an associate degree program.


Do You Like to Be Bossed or Be the Boss?

It is some people’s goals to be a leader within a company. They want to supervise other employees, motivate staff, improve productivity and resolve problems within a program. Some even enjoy the responsibilities of hiring and firing staff, training new employees, and evaluating staff performances.

All these duties, in addition to the regular duties of their jobs.

If this sounds great to you, focus on getting an associate degree. Your diploma could help you apply and possibly obtain leadership type roles.

If this does not sound good to you, then maybe a certificate program is ideal. With a fast-track training certificate, you can enjoy your job responsibilities and it is doubtful you will have to supervise anyone. Most certificate holders are supervised by someone with a higher degree.

Consider how you handle authority. If you do well working under the authority of someone else, great. Go for the certificate.

Attending college can affect all aspects of your life, from your current working situation to your spouse to your children. Paying attention and giving thought to the needs of your lifestyle can help you decide if you want to pursue fast-track training or an associate degree.

While both offer online classes, an associate degree may also require additional in-class education and hands-on training activities. Many fast-track training programs can be completed online. However, local colleges offering certificate programs also provide opportunities for practice as well, just not as much as an associate degree program.

Assess your short and long-term personal goals, desires for future education and career, current your finances and lifestyle needs. Doing so will make it easier to choose between these two great programs.

What is Vocational Nursing?


Vocational Nurse Needed! A Rundown of the Rising Position - SBB College

The healthcare industry is growing.

The need for elderly care is on the rise, as well as the need for long-term care staff. The industry is growing so fast it seems the assistants to doctors and Nurse Practitioners are needing assistants. A licensed vocational nurse is the perfect assistant because they can work in a variety of medical facilities.


Where Can Vocational Nurses Work?

Vocational nurses are seeking employment in more than one industry. The healthcare industry offers employment at hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care units, and health clinics.

Vocational nurses can also find work in intermediate care facilities where they can help care for persons with disabilities. Their disability may be developmental or due to an injury of some kind.  Home health agencies offer a work environment for vocational nurses who prefer to care for someone in their own home.

Other places of employment can include private practices of physicians, addiction treatment centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care centers. You may even find work in school districts, military bases, universities and for professional sports teams, all of which benefit from nursing assistance.


What Do Vocational Nurses Do?

The job duties involved in vocational nursing include checking the vital signs of patients. Vital signs can include blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiration.

A vocational nurse monitors the patient closely. They do so to report any abnormalities or complications they see to the doctor. A complication, for example, could be an allergic reaction or medication interaction.

Vocational nurses may also be responsible for injections, enemas, and catheters. In addition, they may need to change bedding, clean bedsores, help patients use the bathroom and bathe, start IVs, and administer medication upon doctor requests.

Vocational nurses who work in labor and delivery can assist in feeding infants and tending to their needs. Some can even assist during delivery. They also work on keeping documentation of patient progress, including how much they eat and drink. These duties can change day to day, depending on the needs of the patient and doctor’s orders.


What Level of Education is Required to Be a Vocational Nurse?

Your local college offers a fast-track training program to get you working in the healthcare industry quickly. They typically provide 60 weeks of course instruction to prepare you for entry level vocational nursing jobs.

Course focus is on learning the basics of the practice of nursing, this includes lab work where you can gain hands-on experience. Your courses will also focus on specific areas of nursing such as working with the elderly, working with orthopedics, working in a clinic and even respiratory nursing.

Further courses focus on all the major internal functions of the body, from cardiology to the endocrine system, the nerves and the brain. There are even administrative courses to teach you how to be a leader or manager, and how to work with or supervise other staff.


Are Vocational Nurses Licensed?

Yes, most vocational nurses are licensed. Completing a fast-track program at your local college prepares you to take the licensure exam for vocational nursing. You will need to take the licensure exam in the state in which you plan to work. The test is called the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. It is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Having a license can benefit you, especially during the hiring process. If an employer is struggling to make a choice between you and another vocational nurse without a license, the fact that you are licensed may give you an edge over your competitor.


How is Vocational Nursing Different Than Other Types of Nursing?

If you are not familiar with the nursing career, it may seem confusing when trying to distinguish between a licensed vocational nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistant, and registered nurse.

A licensed vocational nurse and a licensed practical nurse are the same. If you live in Texas and California, the title of vocational nursing is used. Other states use the title of licensed practical nursing. They are supervised by doctors and registered nurses and complete tasks as requested.

Certified nursing assistants require minimal training, usually four to six weeks in which they learn the very basics of caring for patients. Duties they can perform include taking vital signs, feeding patients, cleaning rooms, and helping patients get dressed or use the bathroom.

Certified nursing assistants must pass the certification exam offered by the state in which they work. Many certified nursing assistants later enroll in a local college to gain the education needed to become a vocational nurse.

Registered nurses supervise vocational nurses and nursing assistants. They have obtained a minimum of an associate degree from a local college. However, many agencies to are looking to hire registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree.

The reason for needing more education is because registered nurses perform more critical job duties. Some examples include performing diagnostic testing, analyzing results, educate patients and their family members on prevention and recovery. Registered nurses also develop and carry out nursing care plans.

They are also responsible for keeping the environment of the facility safe and harmonious, as well as performing lab work, assisting surgeons, and recommending treatments. And this is just a few of their responsibilities. Therefore, you can see why more education would be needed.


What is the Salary of a Vocational Nurse?

The salary of a vocational nurse can vary depending on the state in which you work, the facility in which you work, and the demand for vocational nursing in your area. The good news is that demand is rising, making nurses more valuable. The average hourly rate of a vocational nurse in the United States is close to $22 an hour. This is an exceptional rate of pay considering less than two years of education is required.

Vocational nursing is many things:  a great career; a stepping stone to higher level nursing careers; and the quickest way to begin working in the medical field. It is also a way to fulfill your need to help others.

What Kind of Careers Will Medical Office Administration Training Help With?

Medical Office Administration Career

There is plenty of research showing the healthcare industry is growing and expanding quickly. That means jobs within the industry are in high demand. This is great news for those of you looking to start working in a medical setting as soon as possible.

All you must do is obtain the right amount of education that will allow you to apply for jobs. One of the quickest career paths is through the medical office administration training program at your local college.

Medical office administration certificates and degrees make you available for numerous career options in a variety of medical settings. Whether you choose the fast-track training certificate program or an associate level degree program, you will be qualified to work in urgent care centers, hospitals, physician practices, nursing homes and many more facilities.

Just as varied are the career options you will have upon completion of your studies in medical office administration. Below you can learn more about these career options.


Medical Records

Working in the medical records career means you will deal with health information daily. You will analyze, coordinate, compile, and organize patient medical records. You will open files on new patients and close files of those who are being discharged.

Other duties include updating and maintain patient treatment and medical histories. Preparing files and reviewing them to keep them in compliance is another major requirement.

Working in the medical records field you can expect to make over $13 an hour, depending on your area and the agency in which you work.


Medical Office Receptionist

As a medical office receptionist, you are one of the first persons the patient will encounter. You can expect a lot of patient interaction in this career.

This is one of the most important roles within an agency. You will greet the patients, provide answers to their questions, and make sure they are comfortable while waiting to see the doctor or for other services.

Other duties can include scheduling patients, bookkeeping, answering calls, and maintain a positive environment within the office.

The average pay for this position in around $13 an hour. This can be higher in some geographic locations and lower in others.


Medical Assistant

If you prefer working on the clinical side rather than the administrative side, you can choose a career in medical assisting. This career allows you to assist doctors and nurses with certain tasks. You can take medical histories and check vital signs.

You can also give good explanations to patients about what they can expect during their visit and help them prepare for their exam. You can also assist the doctor during the exam.

In some states, you will be allowed to draw blood, remove sutures, change dressings, and administer medications. However, this can be done only under the supervision of a doctor or nurse.

Medical assistants can expect to earn close to $15 an hour on average.


Billing and Coding

If you like working strictly with data and are organized and detail-oriented, billing and coding may be the career for you. Those with two-year degrees and certifications can earn around $17 an hour, on average. The more certifications and experience you have, the higher your pay.

The tasks related to coding can include reviewing patient information and serve as a liaison between your office and the billing office in order to secure payment for services provided. You must know the coding guidelines

As a biller, you will need to understand the different types of insurance companies, as well as their billing practices. You must be able to submit claims successfully, following all policies correctly. And when a claim doesn’t go through, you will need to know how to properly follow-up on denied claims.

Both billing and coding staff will need to understand the rules and regulations of the healthcare industry, like HIPAA and The False Claims Act.



This career allows you to work directly with patients, one on one, in their homes. The average wage for a caregiver is around $12 an hour.

Caregivers have many responsibilities that include helping patients get dressed for the day. Depending on your hours, you may be helping them prepare for bed also. You will also help them with some of their personal care routines, such as brushing their hair, taking their medications or keeping good hygiene.

Because you are the connection between family members, patients, and their doctors, it is key you keep great records of progress or lack of progress on the patient. You need to record patient improvements, as well as any health issues or changes.


Lab Assistant

This career path allows you to perform duties required to medical testing. You will have little interaction with doctors or patients. You will have a great deal of interaction with several types of samples from patients.

Samples refer to the blood, urine or other fluids taken from a patient for testing. Your duties as a lab assistant is to prepare these samples for testing. You will need to know the right lab equipment to use for testing each sample.

You need to ensure the labels match the correct sample. This prevents patients from receiving the wrong test results.

You are also responsible for the properly labeled samples and results get returned to the correct physician for review.

Other duties include performing quality control checks, keeping the lab clean and organized, and excellent record-keeping.

Completing all these duties helps you earn an hourly wage of $13, on average.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the careers you can strive for upon graduating with a certificate or associate degree.

Other areas include working for chiropractors as an assistant, in school districts as an assistant to the school nurse or assisting military medical teams.

Reports show this industry is expected to grow by 29 percent over the next decade. If this is true, you will have many options when seeking a career. Until then, reach out to your local college for information on both the fast-track and associate degree programs in medical administration.

**Average wages and salary information were found at Payscale. This article in no way guarantees wages or employment.

Why a Local College is Great for Your Medical Training and Degrees

Medical Training at a Local College

Getting into the medical field is exciting. No matter what area interests you, it is sure to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges each day. And because jobs in the medical industry are on the rise, many people are choosing this field as a career.

There are few medical jobs today that do not require some form of certificate, training or higher education degree. From medical assisting to registered nurses to brain surgeons, specialized skills are needed to perform the functions of the job.

While choosing your medical career, you will need to prioritize the actions needed to reach your goal. Finding the right college to acquire the right skills is one of the biggest actions you will need to take.

In researching colleges, it is likely you will find your local college offers you the best options. Below are some of the reasons local colleges are great for those of you seeking medical training or a degree.


Program Variety

There are many necessary jobs within every medical facility. Someone is needed to admit patients, process insurance claims, enter data, care for patients, assist physicians, and manage office duties. In addition, leaders are needed to oversee the staff completing the tasks that make the agency successful.

Each of these require a higher level of training.

Some schools offer just a few medical programs that lead to a certificate or degree. Local colleges, on the other hand, offer a wide selection of training options in multiple medical fields.

Examples of programs offered at a local college typically include clinical or administrative medical assisting, vocational nursing, healthcare administration, pharmacy technology and medical office administration.

Just as there is a variety in programs, local colleges also offer you a variety in the type of medical training or degree you can receive.


Training and Degree Options

Whether it is job training, a certificate, or a degree, local colleges provide these opportunities.

Job training usually takes less than two years. Some programs last 60 months, others less. Once your complete the required courses, you can be prepared to take a certification exam to receive necessary credentials.

Associate degree programs are structured for a two-year period. You are given the education and hands-on training you will need to compete in the medical field. Completion of the program means you will receive a diploma in your area of study, as well as be prepared for certification exams.

Bachelor’s degree programs are also available for those who wish to receive additional training in medical careers such as administration. These programs teach you how to properly run a medical facility, from billing to supervision and leadership.


Quick Entry into the Medical Field

The sooner you can start working in the medical field, the better. Attending a local college for your medical training or degree allows you to seek a medical job in less than a year with some programs.

For example, local colleges have fast-tracked programs that teach you the required skills needed to start working in less than a year. Medical assisting, office administration and even vocational nursing are common programs under the fast-track system.

You may choose a medical career that requires more training than a fast-track program. Local colleges offer associate degree programs, as well as bachelor level programs. With associate degrees, you can begin working in the medical field in two years or less. Bachelor level programs are usually completed in four years are mostly focused on the administrative side of the medical industry.


Prepares You for Higher Degree Programs

You may already know you want to be a doctor or nurse practitioner. Or, maybe you want to specialize in a medical field that will require many more years of education. You may want to become a surgeon, you may want to deliver babies, you may even want to be a family practitioner.

All of these will require a bachelor’s degree and a degree from medical school. Some programs will require additional learning through residencies and specialized training.

Beginning your medical career journey at the local college level is a smart decision. You can complete the basic, general education courses quickly and according to many reports, for less money. You can even complete your basic medical courses online, giving you more freedom than a traditional university.


Prepares You to Work in a Variety of Medical Positions and Agencies

Your first thoughts of someone working in the medical field may be of a doctor, or front office staff, or even of someone taking your blood for lab work. These are just a few of the numerous medical positions.

Other examples include patient services, medical records, billing, coding, nursing, and caregiver. You may choose to be a pharmacy technician in which you assist pharmacists in filling prescriptions for patients.

Programs offered through local colleges prepare you for these differing positions. They also prepare you for adapting to different work environments, and the job you seek can vary just as much as the facility in which you work.

You are not limited to a hospital or local physicians office when you have medical training or a degree. You can choose environments such as a chiropractor’s office, dental office or urgent cares. You may choose to work for an imaging specialist or with a doctor who provides weight loss services.

Nursing homes, home health care, drug and alcohol centers and school systems are a few other examples.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the reasons attending a local college is great for your medical training or degree.

And you can start today getting enrolled in the medical training program that meets your career desires. Local colleges allow you to get this training through either online or on-campus classes. They allow you to be flexible in how you take the courses, and each program gives you access to industry leaders who can offer valuable advice.

Local college advisers are available to help you through every step of your training process.


What the Medical Field Can Provide You

What Can The Medical Field Provides You Careeer Wise

Anyone trying to figure out which career field to pursue will ask themselves “how will that help me?”  This is a great question to ask. You want to know how you can benefit from your career choice. This can be especially true if you are thinking about entering the field of medicine or healthcare.

One of your first steps in beginning any career search is to evaluate your personal needs and desires. What are you short and long-term goals? Do you want an entry level job or to be a top executive? How much education do you want to obtain? How will your family be affected by your career choice?

These are just a few questions to help you assess your personal goals. You can also assess your existing strengths and weaknesses and compare those to the medical field to see if they align.

Once you have evaluated yourself, you can begin to evaluate the industry itself. Look at all aspects of the medical field. Below is information to help you get started.


Variety of Career Choices

The medical field is one of the largest regarding the career options available. Many of these areas require certification or minimal higher education. Meaning, you can get into the field quickly.

Career choices in the allied health sector include medical assisting, pharmacy technology, medical office administration, healthcare administration and vocational nursing.

Specific careers in these areas may include phlebotomy, medical billing and coding, nursing assistants, medical transcriptionists, medical records technicians, medical secretaries, clinical laboratory technicians, home health aides, and diagnostic medical sonographers.

Other careers are radiologic technicians, social service assistants, occupational and physical therapy assistants.

By obtaining education in these fields, you will have the foundation to pursue other careers in healthcare that may require additional education. Careers such as healthcare technology support, healthcare management, physicians, registered nurses, supervisory and executive leadership positions.

You will also find variety when it comes to choosing which side of the medical field you want to work the  clinical or administrative.


You Can Work on the Clinical or Administrative Side

Unlike many other careers, in the medical field you can choose to work directly with patients or to not work with them at all. The medical field has opportunities for administrative positions in which staff focus on duties that help the business of a facility run successfully.

Processing insurance claims, billing, coding, and maintaining patient databases are a few examples. Common careers include health information clerk, coder, medical records clerk and front-office staff.

Other healthcare administrative careers can include management in the areas of billing, records and overall office functions. It would be your job to make sure the clinic, hospital or other agency is operating at full potential.

On the clinical side of the medical field, you may choose to work in a laboratory setting, as a caregiver, or as an assistant to a physician or other medical provider. You will work directly with the patients and provide clinical services to patients.

Clinical staff provide a wide range of services, including taking blood from patients, administering medication, taking vital signs, and any other procedure ordered by the doctor.

The amount of time you want to spend with a patient directly can you decide whether you want to work on the clinical or administrative side of the medical field.

On either side, there are opportunities to begin working in the medical field within a short period.


Quick Entry into Your Career

The certification, fast-track, and degree programs provided at the local college level can have you working within the medical field in less than two years. And in many cases, less than one year.

Fast-track training is typically provided for medical assistants, office administration, and even vocational nursing. This means whether you want to work in clinical or administrative jobs, you can.

Associate degree programs allow you to begin working in the medical field in under two years.

If at a later point you want to seek a higher position in the medical field, having obtained a certificate or associate degree will prepare you for what will be expected in a bachelor program. Local colleges often provide the pre-requisites needed to obtain further education.

And because local colleges provide online courses, you can continue to work in the medical field while obtaining your education.


Job Security

The medical industry is growing and is expected to continue to grow at high rates through 2024. Currently, there is a shortage of staff in most areas of the medical industry. This means you will likely have more job security when pursuing a career in healthcare.

Of course, this does not guarantee security. But it does mean that if you are providing great services and fulfilling your job duties, the likelihood of keeping your job is high.

You can also expect a salary and benefits that are very desirable.


Attractive Salaries

Salaries at all levels of in the medical field are considered attractive and are expected to grow as the industry grows.

Many salaries are accompanied by a benefits package and perks that only add to the advantages of working in the medical field.

Examples of salaries in the medical field, as reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, include the following: medical billers and coders make an average of $34,000 a year or $16 a year; Phlebotomists average $33,000 annually; pharmacy technicians average $15 an hour or $31,000 a year; medical records technicians make higher salaries, averaging close to $40,000 annually; and medical assistants average around $31,000.

Other positions in the medical field include laboratory technicians who can make over $50,000 a year, like occupational therapy assistants, as well as sonographers who can earn closer to $55,000. Radiologic technicians average near $70,000 a year, which compares closely to nurses.

In conclusion, the medical field can offer you all these things and more. It can even offer you the one thing most people desire but are not able to obtain, the ability to make a difference.

Nursing vs. Medical Assisting

Nursing vs. Medical Assisting

You want to go into the medical field. It has been a dream of yours to work with patients and doctors. You have made the decision to pursue your dream. However, you are not sure if you should pursue nursing or medical assisting.

Each has a long list of advantages, and both are great careers. So, how do you decide on which path to choose?

You can start by learning some of the differences between the two, which are listed below.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Areas of Focus

Medical assistants are assets on the administrative side of healthcare. This means they will focus on learning the software used to enter patient data, as well as knowing how to communicate with insurance agencies and submit patient claims.

Medical assistants will complete billing procedures, accounting, scheduling and maintain compliance. They must have good interpersonal skills, pay close attention to details and be able to learn the medical vocabulary used in daily practices.

Medical assistants are cross trained on the clinical side of healthcare, as well as the administrative side. When obtaining education for this career, students attending a local college will learn all the valuable clinical skills to help them assist doctors before, during and after patient visits.

Clinical skills include drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, preparing and administering medications, and collecting and preparing specimens. Furthermore, they will learn to take medical histories, prepare patients for their exam, and complete laboratory testing as assigned by the doctor.

Nurses work directly with patients and provide services to the patients. Therefore, they will need to know the human body, physiology, anatomy, human development and diseases or disorders. They need to know symptoms common to illnesses.

By attending a local college, nurses will take courses that teach them all necessary information vital to their job.

Nurses also need to know how to report information to practitioners. They need to know how to provide accurate assessments and take quality patient notes. Furthermore, nurses need to know pharmacology and stay up to date with community health issues that can affect the patients they see.

Both nursing and medical assisting require education that can be easily obtained at your local college.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Education Needed

Both medical assistants and nurses must obtain their education through an accredited college program.

Medical assistants can achieve the required education much quicker than nurses. Local colleges often offer fast-track training for medical assisting that can be completed in 12 months or less.

And many programs prepare you for taking medical assisting exams for certification that can help you when seeking employment.

Nursing certificate programs, either as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), can be completed in 14 months or less at your local college.

Both medical assistant and nurses can specialize in their field. Medical assistants have the choice of specializing in clinical or administrative duties.

Nurses have many more options when it comes to specialization. Some of the areas available include: Endocrinology, Orthopedics, Cardiac Nursing, Critical Care, Drug and Alcohol, Psychiatric, Emergency, Trauma, Genetics, and Forensics.

Some companies require their medical assistants and nurses to be licensed, which can mean passing licensure exams. This extra work pays off, however, when it comes to salaries.


Nursing Vs. Medical Assisting: Salaries

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics report there is a sixteen percent increase in the need for nurses in the next few years. Registered nurses earn close to $70,000 depending on geographic location, type of company and amount of education and experience.

Medical assistants also have a very positive job growth outlook and are expected to continue to grow through 2024. Annual salaries for medical assistants are lower than that of nurses, with the average around $30,000.


Nursing Vs. Medical Assisting: Places of Employment

The agencies in which nurses and medical assistants are very similar. Both can find employment working for a private practice physician, urgent care centers, hospitals and laboratories. Other employment opportunities can be found working for specialists, surgeons, nursing homes and physical therapy centers.

Nurses can also seek employment with schools, from elementary and high school to colleges. Medical assistants can also seek employment with public health agencies in their administrative departments.

While the job locations are similar, the duties of a nurse and a medical assistant are different.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Job Duties

When you enter a medical facility, the person you are likely to see is a medical assistant. Medical assistants check patients in and prepare them for their visit, whether at a hospital or a family practice. They collect insurance information, check identification, process fees and any other important administrative duties that help the visit be successful.

Nurses work directly with the patients. They check the blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. They also administer medications; take blood work and many other duties that require specific nursing training.

Nurses do have some administrative duties, like writing patient notes, documenting progress and vital information and any other records to help in the treatment of the patient.

Nurses are assistants to the doctors and in many cases perform duties on behalf of the doctor.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting: Certification and Licensure

Nurses can get certified through many agencies. The employer they wish to work for may have a preference so checking with them is a good first start.

Some of the agencies that provide certification exams include the National Council State Boards Nursing- PN or NCLEX-PN.

Each state will have different processes for licensing LVNs and LPNs.

Medical assistants focusing on the clinical side of the industry can get licensed too. Each state varies on their requirements. However, it is likely the certification will be a pre-requisite to taking a licensing exam.


Nursing vs. Medical Assisting:  Where to Start

The good news is that both nursing and medical assisting programs begin at your local college. Whether you have questions about the differences in the two program or you are ready to enroll, contact your local college for help.

The Administration Side of Healthcare

Medical Administration

When most people think of healthcare, the first people who come to mind are the doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses, radiologists, and other medical staff. This is normal since the people you interact with the most when you visit a healthcare facility are the service providers.

These are also the employees you and your insurance companies pay for you to see and be treated.

However, some of the most important staff in the healthcare industry are the administrators. Without healthcare administration, medical staff would not be able to complete their jobs effectively. They are the staff behind the scenes that make the healthcare facility run efficiently.

Currently, there are over 300,000 healthcare administration positions being run from middle management to top level executives. Many more are working in lower level administration positions in areas such as admissions, discharge, billing and front-office.

Lower level jobs do not mean lower importance. Just the opposite is true. Without these staff members, functionality of each office would decline.

Below are specific details about the administration side of healthcare.


What Is Healthcare Administration?

Almost every successful business has a team of professionals making the business work. While some agencies are independently owned and run, the majority have help. They need help because it can be difficult to provide good services and schedule appointments and market the business and collect payments and document notes and keep up with supply inventories and on and on.

Services providers in the healthcare industry need help with the business side of things so they can stay focused on being a great provider. This is true in many industries. Musicians, pro athletes and actors have agents and representatives and financial managers.

They have social media marketers, schedulers and even people who do their shopping. These are people we don’t see in the spotlight. They are working behind the scenes to continue the success of the star and give the public what they want. This is like those working in healthcare administration.

The administrators in healthcare are less seen by patients. They are not recognized as much but should be due to their importance in helping systems, policies, human resources, budgets, customer satisfaction and much more run smoothly.


Academic Requirements

The level of job you wish to have within the healthcare industry will determine how much education is required. The higher you want to rise, the more education you will need. There are great jobs at every level, however.

With a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain entry-level management positions, giving you the basics of accounting, human resources, computer applications, and leadership. A degree will also prepare you for what will be expected by different companies.

This can include coding and billing, electronic databases, drug classifications, marketing, budgeting, and creating and implementing policies.

If you plan to seek jobs higher in the industry, you may be required to obtain master level degrees that can further train you on management and supervision of staff, development and how to seek funding opportunities, and expansion.


Where You Can Work

A degree in healthcare administration allows you to apply for jobs in many industry agencies. Just think about the many places you visit in which you receive some type of healthcare service. This may be your local urgent care. It could be your family physician’s office. It could even be the hospital in your area.

Other areas you can work include nursing homes, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, inpatient and outpatient centers, mental health facilities, and specialty clinics. Specialty clinics can range from dental, orthopedic, and even optometry.

Additional healthcare environments include universities and research institutions, research laboratories, government departments that focus on healthcare, major health associations or clubs, pharmaceutical companies, medical supplies and equipment companies, and even writing or consulting as an independent contractor.

With this many work settings, you can imagine just how many jobs may be available.


Jobs You Can Seek

Having a degree in healthcare administration sets you up for a wide range of job opportunities. You can investigate the different areas and seek employment in a job that best meets your needs and desires.

Many healthcare administrators become managers in fields ranging from billing and medical records. Others become the manager of staff within a facility, and some run the entire agency on their own.

Other jobs deal with promotion of healthcare services in the marketing department, overseeing the hiring and firing of staff, implementing office policies, or collecting and analyzing data for your organization.

Some healthcare jobs combine multiple duties into one job description. Meaning, you may be asked to run the human resources department, do cost accounting, serve as a patient advocate and serve as a liaison between your organization and the community.

With a business degree like the one you can obtain at your local college; you can be prepared for all these duties.


Positive Job Outlook

Because the healthcare industry is growing, administration jobs are also growing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, healthcare administration positions are expected to grow at least 17% in the next five years.

They further state there is an increase in salaries in healthcare administration too. It is reported the annual average salary of medical administrators and managers is close to $100,000. Of course, this will vary based on geographic location and the type of facility in which you work.


Where to Start

If you are seeking employment as a healthcare administrator, the first place to start is at your local college. You do not need to attend a large four-year university to get a degree in healthcare administration.

You would spend more money and more time only to compete with students chose to attend their local college.

Choosing a local college allows you to complete online courses, work at the same time you attend school, meet industry professionals, and for typically less money.

You can even begin your journey today by reaching out to your local college that offers a degree program in healthcare administration.




Tips for Planning a Career Path

Planning A Career Path

Times have changed. When staying with one company, one career, and retiring with a nice pension were the way to live a few decades ago, that is not the case today. One reason is that pensions and retirement plans are not what they used to be.

Another reason is that more people like change and want to pursue careers that are more fitting to their lifestyle. People realize that today, you can truly become anything you want to become. You can open your own business, have multiple part-time jobs instead of one full-time job, and you can easily and quickly get any type of education you want.

Some reports suggest people will change careers 12 or more times in their lifetime today. This may give anxiety to those who were raised to stick with one employer. But it gives excitement and hope to those who are constantly seeking something better.

The ability to change careers means you will need to create a plan for your career path. You may even plan multiple career paths, depending on how many times you seek change.

Below are some tips to get you started. Whether you are seeking promotion within a company, entrepreneurship, or a radical employment switch, these tips can help.


Assess Why You Want a Career Path

Before you can do something, you must know why it is you want to do it. You want to make sure you are not making decisions based on passing whims and that there are legitimate reasons for seeking a career.

Questions to help you determine why include:  Am I in a career now? If not, do I need a career and why? If so, is my current career satisfying? What are the pros and cons of leaving my current job? How will another career affect my family and lifestyle?

Expand on your answers and develop new questions to help you figure out why you are seeking a career.


Assess Yourself

The more you discover about yourself, the more you can determine which career path is right. If you enjoy working in a hospital, it would not be ideal for you to apply for a job in the air-conditioning and heating business.

What are your likes and dislikes? What hobbies and interests do you have? What do you do in your spare time? What transferable skills do you have? What skills do people compliment you on the most? What types of awards or recognition have you received in the past?

These are questions to get you started in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. You can apply this information when deciding which career field to enter.

Make sure you assess your needs versus your wants. You may want to work as a clerk at the local bookstore, but your expenses, debts and lifestyle may need you to be a director of a library.


Research Careers

It would not be wise to assume you will like working in a career field based on an observation you made. You may have only gotten a brief snapshot of that career, on a good day, a Friday when everyone may have just been excited about the weekend.

It’s important you research, in detail, the careers in which you are interested. Do not go by information you learn online only. Information such as salaries and job duties can vary depending on employer, geographic location, education and experience. It can also vary based on how well you can negotiate.

Instead, take what you have learned online and verify it with people already working in the industry. If you want to be a nurse, set up a meeting with a local nurse and ask a lot of questions. If you want to be an accountant, job shadow an accountant during tax season.

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics site to gain information about trending and popular career fields. Here you can find accurate information on which careers are paying the most, which careers will be around for a while, and which ones are in high demand for workers.

Get the most information you can before making your decision. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be.


Assess What it Will Take to Get a Career

You have already assessed yourself, your skills, likes and dislikes and more. Now it is time to determine what you need to reach the goal of a career.

Do you need a college degree? If so, what level do you need? Do you have a college degree but need more education? If so, how much? Do you need certificate training or an associate degree? Do you need higher than an associate degree?

You will also need to assess where you can obtain further education if needed.

A great step would be to visit your local college. They have advisors who can help you plan the educational journey of getting the career you desire. They can also help you enroll, either online or on-campus or both, to complete the education you need.

Local college advisors can help you obtain the education needed, in the quickest time possible, and in a format that fits your lifestyle. They can even help you discover funding resources to help you pay for your education.


Set Short and Long-Term Goals

Without goals, you have no direction. And while goals can be easily changed, it is still good to have both short and long-term when beginning your career plan. Short-term goals focus on what you want to happen in the next year or less. Long-term goals focus on what you want to happen after a year, even five or ten years into the future.

Each goal should have a sub-goal, or smaller steps mapped out to help you reach the larger goal. With each sub-goal accomplished, mark it off and feel rewarded for getting closer to the finish line.

In conclusion, if you want a career that is different from what you are doing now, you can have it. All you need is a good plan to help you get started.