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.
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.
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.