The medical field is one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s economy and has one of the widest variety of career paths. Whether you’re looking to become a doctor, nurse, or medical technician, there’s a role in the medical field for you.
If you’re just starting out in your career and are interested in getting into the medical field, don’t worry – you have a lot of options that won’t land you in school for ten years. Jobs like medical assistants, paramedics, and multiple types of nurses can be on the job in a matter of months rather than years.
If you’re looking to become a doctor or registered nurse, however, you will need to get at minimum an associate’s degree, and medical school to become a doctor. But don’t let that deter you – with hard work and determination, you can achieve your dreams of becoming a healthcare professional.
The medical field is a great choice for those who want to help others and make a difference in their lives. So if you’re interested in getting into the medical field, start by doing some research on the different careers available to you. With so many options available, there’s sure to be a career in the medical field that’s perfect for you.
Here are a few ways you can start a career in healthcare regardless of the budget you’ve got for school.
Get a Medical Certification
If you’re looking for the fastest way to get into the medical field, look into getting a certification. Not only can you get trained to start a career in months, but you’ll also typically pay a fraction of the price of more advanced degrees.
You’ll sacrifice a little in earnings potential, but it’s a great way to get started in a healthcare career with minimal investment. If you find yourself loving the job, you have many options for getting more advanced degrees.
Here are just a couple of popular medical certifications to consider.
Medical assistants are responsible for helping doctors and nurses with their day-to-day tasks in the office. They may take patients’ vitals, prepare them for appointments, and help with other administrative tasks.
Medical assistants do not need to have a lot of education – many employers will accept an associate’s degree or certification from a vocational school. This makes medical assisting a great choice for those who want to get into the medical field but don’t want to go through four years of medical school or even two years to become a registered nurse.
Paramedics are responsible for administering emergency medical care to patients who are injured or ill. They often work in ambulances and are first on the scene in emergencies.
Paramedics typically need an associate’s degree or certification from a career school. But they can also receive a lot of their training on the job, making this another great option for someone who wants to quickly get into the medical field.
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Medical technicians are responsible for performing diagnostic tests that doctors use when diagnosing patients. They typically work with doctors and nurses under the supervision of trained clinical professionals. Because they’re often working in hospitals, medical technicians often must complete an associate’s degree program before becoming an employee at a hospital or clinic.
A career as a medical technician is a great choice because you won’t have to go through years of schooling before being able to put your skills into practice. You can start doing diagnostic testing right away after completing your education and certification process.
Go to Nursing School
There are many different types of nurses giving you a lot of flexibility in length of schooling required.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are nursing assistants who have completed a 12- to 18-month nursing program. After becoming an LPN or LVN, you can work in a number of different healthcare settings.
RNs are registered nurses who have completed an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Nurse practitioners are RNs who have also completed a graduate-level program in nurse practitioner studies.
All three of these types of nurses can provide direct patient care and often work independently in clinics and doctor’s offices. Nurses are always in high demand – the United States is expected to have a shortfall of registered nurses by 2030 – so this may be a great career choice if you’re looking for stability and job security.
Attend Medical School
The biggest leap is deciding to go to medical school to become a doctor. MDs are the most common type of doctor and typically have a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school. After completing medical school, they must complete a residency program, which can last anywhere from three to eight years.
While this option may require the most schooling, it also comes with the benefit of having the widest variety of career options available to you. With an MD, you can become a physician, a surgeon, a pediatrician – the list goes on and on. And with the increasing demand for doctors in the United States, this may be a great choice if you’re looking for a stable and lucrative career.
The Bottom Line
So if you’re interested in getting into the medical field, start by doing some research on your options. No matter what type of medical career you’re interested in, there are countless opportunities that will provide the training and education you need to start helping patients right away.
Remember that there are many different paths that can help start a career in healthcare, so choose something that appeals to you based on length of schooling required, career flexibility, pay, location availability, etc. With options like LPN and paramedic, you can start working as soon as you complete your education and certification process.
Attending medical school is definitely the most expensive option, but it also has some of the best job security and maybe a great choice if you’re interested in being able to practice medicine in many different ways.
And though certain professions have longer training requirements than others, you can always continue your education and move to a higher level of practitioner after entering the industry.