If you dream of starting a new career in healthcare but don’t know where to begin, then the first thing to do is become familiar with healthcare jobs and their descriptions. Healthcare careers run the gamut from dental assistants to massage therapists and pharmacy aides. What’s the right career path for you?
Let’s look at some of the top healthcare careers.
o Dental assistants work under the supervision of, and closely with, professional dentists. They perform a variety of duties including patient care, office management, and laboratory work.
o Home health aides help convalescent, elderly, or disabled persons live in their own homes, rather than in health care facilities. They provide health-related services, such as administering oral medications, under the direction of licensed nursing or medical staff.
o Massage therapists help people feel better by reducing stress, relaxing tired and overworked muscles, rehabilitating sports injuries, and promoting general health.
o Medical assistants perform selected clinical and administrative tasks to keep the offices of physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and other healthcare practitioners running smoothly.
o Medical transcriptionists create medical reports, correspondence, and other administrative material. They do this by transcribing dictated recordings made by physicians and other health care professionals.
o Nursing aides perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff, and may provide some hands-on patient care.
o Occupational therapist assistants and aides provide rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. They work under the direction of occupational therapists.
o Pharmacy aides work in pharmacies, and may prepare insurance claim forms, establish and maintain patient profiles. They may handle over-the-counter and prescription medications.
o Psychiatric aides provide personal care to mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals. Their work is performed under a team that may include psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists.
o Physical therapist assistants and aides help physical therapists to provide patients with treatment that relieves pain, improves mobility, and prevents or diminishes patients’ physical disabilities.
What kind of training do I need? While some healthcare occupations require only a high school diploma or GED and on-the-job training, people who have completed a career training program may get ahead faster. State certification is often a requirement even for entry-level jobs. As the U.S. Department of Labor says about medical assisting, “Employers prefer to hire experienced workers or those who are certified. Although not required, certification indicates that a medical assistant meets certain standards of competence.”
It’s the old familiar cycle: To get hired you need experience. To get experience you need to get hired. One way to break out of this cycle is to get quality career training.
How much can healthcare workers earn? According to the U.S. Government Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages can be very generous. During the past few years median hourly earnings of dental assistants have been $14.53. Wage-and-salary medical transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $14.40, while median hourly earnings of psychiatric aides were $11.49. Remember, these are median wages. Wages for the highest ten percent of psychiatric aides were more than $17.32 an hour.
If you like to help people feel better and live healthier lives, then a career in healthcare may be for you. Take a few minutes and check out the healthcare career training programs offered by a career college or training school near you. With the right career training, you could be on your way to a new career in less time than you think.