Not all healthcare occupations require you to earn a degree. In fact, there are a handful of jobs out there that you can start within 2 years (if not sooner)! So, what are they? The ones we'll be talking about today includes certified nursing assistants, dental assistants, medical assistants, medical secretaries, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, and surgical technologists.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Job Description: Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are responsible for helping the elderly and patients who need help with daily tasks, often working under the supervision of the nursing staff (LPNs and RNs). Tasks can often include moving patients, preparing medications, cleaning, dressing, toileting, and bathing. Most CNAs work in hospitals and nursing facilities, although they can also find work from employment agencies, assisted living homes, and other healthcare settings.
Training Required: Completion of a CNA course (6 weeks to 6 months) and a state certification exam
Job Description: Dental assistants are in charge of creating a more efficient workplace in the dental office. This means that a dental assistant's job consists of clinical as well as administrative tasks. Responsibilities can include sterilizing tools, preparing equipment, taking x-rays, assisting dentists with chair-side duties, answering phones, billing, record keeping, welcoming patients, appointment scheduling, and ordering supplies. Of course, dental assistants are exclusively found in dental offices.
Training Required: On-the-job training or completion of a dental assistant program (less than 1 year)
Job Description: Medical assistants are tasked with running offices and clinics more efficiently, often performing jobs such as answering phones, welcoming visitors, record keeping, scheduling appointments, taking blood pressure, sterilizing tools, preparing equipment, and responding to any physician's request. Medical assistants work in a variety of places, including hospitals, physician offices, and general healthcare facilities.
Training Required: On-the-job training or completion of a formal medical assisting program (less than 1 year)
Job Description: Many medical secretaries can be found on physicians' offices, where they are responsible for completing such tasks like recording medical histories, completing insurance paperwork, arranging appointments, billing, or ordering medical supplies. Although most can be found in physician offices, there are some who work in hospitals and outpatient care centers.
Training Required: High school or AAS degree
Job Description: Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals that are in charge of safely drawing blood from patients. Blood is often used for tests, donations, collection, research, or transfusion, and you can find phlebotomists working in medical labs, blood donor center, doctors' office, and hospitals.
Training Required: Diploma or certificate from a phlebotomy training program (less than 1 year)
Job Description: Pharmacy technicians can be found working in pharmacies, whether they are general pharmacies or ones located in drug stores and hospitals. Pharmacy technicians can be considered as a pharmacy assistant, where they help assist with jobs such as prescription filling, customer orders, and making sure customers' medication is accurate.
Training Required: On-the-job training or completion of a pharmacy technician program (less than 1 year)
Job Description: Surgical technologists are also known as operating room technicians, and they are tasked with assisting doctors performing surgeries. Typical responsibilities include preparing operating rooms, arranging equipment, and helping with any requests made by the performing doctor. Most surgical technologists work in hospitals.
Training Required: Certificate or diploma from a surgical technologist program (1-2 years)