Medical careers With so many conversations about the economy and the job market, the panic revolving around what educational goals are really worth it is understandable.  People are earning degrees with the understanding that they can quickly pay back their loans, only to find that they are incapable of paying them back while still saving for their future.  The science field, and therefore medicine, is thought to be indestructible.  Medical careers from entry level pharmacy technicians to occupational therapists with master’s and doctorate degrees to physicians who have medical doctorates.  Some people choose to focus on imaging in humans, while others help them to learn to walk while some choose to focus on small and large animal health.  Either way, while the pay is appropriate to the education level, jobs in medicine tend to continue growing even as other fields fall away.

Pharmacy technology is an entry level position in a pharmacy.  High school diplomas are required to start the training process, which is normally all on the job.  Pharmacy techs assist pharmacists in grocery stores, drug stores, or hospitals.  They work performing day to day functions like checking out customers and ensuring they have received the correct packages and are getting the correct insurance coverage.  They can answer simple questions and double check difficult information with pharmacists to ensure each customer receives the best patient care possible.  The median salary is about $30,000 a year for a full time tech.  The field, along with most in healthcare, is growing quickly.

Physical therapy requires a doctorate or professional degree to perform.  The three to four year program, depending on the school requirements, takes place after a bachelor’s degree is earned with multiple science and math prerequisites being met.  Physical therapists work with patients who are ill or have been injured in some sort of accident. They tend to focus on the major strengths of the body.  Physical therapists assist patients in sitting up, walking, and gaining strength to return daily life safely and comfortably.  They give patients appropriate exercises and stretches, while offering pain care to ensure they heal healthy and strong.  They use new technologies like electrophoresis and old stand-bys like ultrasound to facilitate the healing process.  Some physical therapists run their own private practices, while others work in hospitals.  Some work for sports teams, from high school to professional, to ensure that the athletes bodies are performing at their peak performance all the time.  Others work in schools with special needs children.  The average pay is around $80,000 a year and job growth is close to 35%.

Occupational therapy, while commonly lumped with physical therapy, is a very particular field that deals with smaller muscles movements and activities.  There are entry level positions with a Master’s degree earned in a two year program after a four year bachelor’s degree.  The profession is trending toward accepting only those who have earned a doctorate degree after a three year program.  While a physical therapist might help a patient get up of the bed, an OT helps them learn to dress themselves again and regain some independence.  An occupational therapist might help a patient learn to get themselves ready for the day after they have lost half of their functioning a stroke.  They may teach an amputee to golf with their new body or a child with a traumatic brain injury to ride a bike down the street again.  They, like physical therapists, may run a private practice or work for a hospital.  An occupational therapist might be found working in a school as well.  The average pay is around $80,000 and job growth is close to 29%.

Respiratory therapists, who work with those who have respiratory issues or disease, tend to be found in hospitals.  Occasionally they travel to patients homes or nursing homes to administer breathing treatments and therapy.  While many people assume all their patients are elderly, they treat everyone from premature babies with underdeveloped lungs to adults with asthma to the elderly with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Respiratory therapists most commonly have two year associates degrees, although there are some four year bachelor’s programs gaining popularity.  They work under the supervisor of an attending physician who orders all treatments and monitors the patients care.  Average salaries are around $56,000 and like all health care sectors, job growth is higher than average, around 19%. Check out –

Surgical technicians, or scrub techs, are associate degree holding members of a surgical team.  They ensure that operating rooms are set up properly for each procedure with the correct tools and equipment.  A great scrub tech will even eventually learn the preferences of a particular surgeon and will know which items to keep closer and in large quantities.  They work on teams, as a large entity that ensures the best possible outcome for the patient on the table.  Being a surgical technician requires a sharp and unwavering attention span during long surgeries were the technician is standing in the operating room.  Aseptic and sterile procedures are an absolute must to ensure the safety of the patients.  Surgical technicians work wearing gloves and scrub masks, caps, and gowns.  These protective garments keep the patient clean but also protect the technician from any blood or bodily fluids.  Exposure risk is minimal with today’s protects but technicians do have to deal with the sights, sounds, and smells of the operating room.  If the sight of blood, the sound of breaking bones, and the smell of cauterized vessels are turn offs, then this $42,000/year job is not a great position to strive for.

An ultrasound technician earns an associate degree during a two year program after obtaining a high school diploma.  After obtaining so many clinical practice hours, ultrasound technicians sit for a two part licensing exam. One section of the exam covers everything a technician needs to know from general ultrasound work.  The second portion is more specific to the chosen field focus of the human body.  Once certified technicians earn accreditation they work in hospitals or doctor’s offices in their chosen field of specialty, like obstetrics.  They maintain and prepare their instruments for procedures, take patient histories, gather the necessary images for the diagnostician, and prepare appropriate summaries of patient findings to give to the attending physician or radiologist.  For their efforts, the average technician makes around $52,000/year when they find a full time position.
Radiology technicians provide glimpses into the human body like ultrasound technicians but they use x-rays or MRIs rather than ultrasound machines.  They obtain associate or bachelor’s degrees in two and four year degree programs, respectively.  It is their responsibility to take diagnostic pictures as requested by the attending physician.  It is important that they shield unnecessary organs and skin while positioning affected bones in appropriate positions to get clear pictures.  For those who are certified in MRI technology, they can also perform specialized MRIs to help diagnose patients.

Radiology technicians find positions at both hospitals and private practices.  Those who work in hospitals often work odd shifts due to emergency room visits that occur at night and on weekends.  Full time technicians earn about $55,000/year.  Those will fill in for this odd shifts usually earn special differential pay rates.

For those who love science but would rather work with animals rather than people, veterinary technology is also a great career choice.  After earning a veterinary technology associates degree, vet techs assist veterinarians by performing blood draws, running tests, and getting appropriate imaging of sick animals, including ultrasounds and x-rays.  Vet techs get to work with all animals that might walk themselves into a vets office, from cats to birds and bunnies to puppies.  They must become familiar with the anatomies of these different animals, although they are not responsible for the diagnostic process they must be able to understand orders from veterinarians.  Performing a blood draw on a bird is a very different process than obtaining a sample from a sick guinea pig.  For those who work for large animal vets, they have to be comfortable around large animals like horses and cows.  Their variety of patients keeps them on their toes and active in the work place.  They earn about $35,000 a year.  Popularity in the recent years has decreased job prospects, although there are still openings available to new graduates.  Against common assumptions, the jobs are more available in the country with large animal vets and clinics in smaller towns.

Careers in healthcare tend to grown positively each and every year as the population of the planet grows.  It can only be assumed that as the population ages, healthcare careers will continue to increase in number.  Hospital groups are looking for ways to make healthcare more cost effective by using trained individuals other than expensive surgeons to best serve their patients.  As they train more people to serve within their walls, jobs expand even further.  Getting in on the ground level now and absorbing all the knowledge schools and other professionals have to offer can only make each healthcare worker even better at their job.

Students looking to embark on their medical careers have several options to choose from. Medical careers are not necessarily limited to professional degrees in medicine or surgery. There are several other specializations that are equally important and are quite essential in delivering quality health care services to those in need. Students may pursue their careers in any of the following disciplines, depending on their personal interests.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant is usually a part of a dental health team, assisting with chair side dental procedures, laboratory tasks, paper work, sterilizing and maintaining tools and equipment, as well as performing preventative dental procedures, and educating patients on dental care under the supervision of a qualified dentist. Dental Assistant Certification (CDA) is mandatory to work in select states. Other states permit assistants with a certificate or diploma in dental assisting, or associate degree to assist qualified dentists.

Dental Hygiene

A career in dental hygiene requires students to attend a dental hygiene program from an ADA-accredited school. Students may opt for a certificate course, an associate degree, a bachelors or a master’s degree in dental hygiene, before getting a dental hygienist license. Two years of formal schooling and a license from the state in which the student wishes to practice is a must for a career in dental hygiene.

Dialysis Technology

Dialysis technology careers pave the path for students to help with dialysis in the capacity of a dialysis technician or a haemo-dialysis nurse. There are several levels of study being offered in dialysis technology, including a diploma program or an associate’s degree. A valid license and a certification is a must for dialysis technicians across all states.

EMT, Paramedic & Fire Technology

EMT basic, intermediate and paramedic careers involve emergency care in times of dire need, handling all first aid and premedical diagnostics and care before the patients are shifted to the nearest medical facility. Fire technology careers opens up opportunities in the public fire service department, as well as emergency teams of all major industrial, commercial, business, hospitality and healthcare structures.

Healthcare Administration

Degrees in healthcare administration open up several opportunities in this industry, with career paths starting from that of healthcare secretary to top management positions in leading healthcare institutions. The two-year associate degree programs trains students in basic administration techniques, healthcare coding practices and terminology, computer usage as well as human anatomy and physiology.

A bachelor’s degree prepares the trainee to address ethical, legal aspects of healthcare, while offering insights into management and administration fields, making the student fit to manage healthcare center operations.

Those wishing to enhance career options may take up the masters’ or doctoral programs that cover nuances of managing large scale healthcare operations, including handling infectious diseases as well as managing policy framework, financial workings as well as IT systems in large organizations in the healthcare Industry.

Massage Therapy

A diploma or an associate’s degree with a license in massage therapy from the state in which the student wishes to practice, are the basic requirements for a career in this field. Psychology, physiology, anatomy, specific massage techniques to address symptoms as well as business techniques, form a part of the curriculum. A career in massage therapy will eventually open up opportunities in spas and health resorts, sports teams, or even an entrepreneurial venture. Specializations include neuromuscular, Swedish, deep tissue and other types of massage.

Medical Assistant

This career option helps the aspirant handle in-patient registration and care, first aid service, assistance in patient examination, as well as routine checkups and paper work, apart from lab procedures, and legal aspects of the job. Accredited programs with internships offer an excellent opportunity to learn the nuances of this career. Certified medical assistants are welcome across all states as they are qualified to handle complex procedures. There are several certifications offered by AAMA, NHA as well as the AMT.

Medical Billing & Coding

Medical billing and coding is slowly gaining prominence as healthcare records are increasingly getting electronic. Maintaining electronic records in standard formats, and retrieving information as needed to address insurance claims, call for familiarity with computer operations and software usage.  Specializations and certifications, though not mandatory, are recommended as they help battle stiff competition in this field and yield better returns. This career, however, does not include direct interactions with patients. Diploma, associate’s and bachelor’s degree courses are available in this field.

Medical Transcription

Medical transcription career deals with accurately transcribing medical reports as dictated by a physician. Exceptional listening and transcription skills, apart from the latest medical vocabulary are a must for this career.

Nursing Programs

With several nursing levels to specialize in, aspirants may aim for certification and license in a chosen field.

Nurses have learned that has the keto diet.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing (BSN)

A four-year course combining theory and hands-on training, enable trainees to handle an entry-level supervisory role with confidence.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

This program trains nursing assistants to help with activities of daily living (ADLS) under the supervision of registered or licensed nurses, or health care professionals. CNAs do not need a license to offer their services.

Practical & Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)

A two-year associate degree program focused on hands-on training, enables aspiring nurses to assist doctors in monitoring vital stats, handle lab work, as well as offer bedside care to patients.

Patient Care Technology

Patient care technology helps paramedics, nurses and attendants to keep pace with technological advancements, new medical equipment and devices, and learn how and where they fit into the healthcare environment.

Pharmacy Technology

Pharmacy technology careers and courses enable aspirants to handle patient prescriptions. Pharmacy technology courses lead to pharmacy technician or pharmacy aide positions in hospitals and private pharmacies.

Phlebotomy Technology

A career in phlebotomy involves mastery in techniques used to draw blood from veins or arteries of patients and preparing the sample for the lab test. Formal training and certifications improves career prospects.

Physical & Occupational Therapy

Careers in physical and occupational therapy deal with diagnosis and remedy of physical mobility and functional issues, social or mental disabilities in people across all age groups. A physiotherapist or an occupational therapist will have to be licensed in order to offer their services to the needy.

Respiratory Therapy

A career in respiratory therapy is focused on dealing with breathing problems, cardiopulmonary issues, lung infections and diseases, and emergency trauma cases that impair breathing in consultation with a qualified physician.

Surgical Technology

This discipline of study enables aspirants to pursue their careers as surgical technologists, first assistants or circulators assisting with different aspects of a surgery, based on their qualifications, specialization and certification. Someone that’s living in the San Diego area can take these skills and assist Dr. Daneshmand when conducting VASERlipo suction surgeries at his ageless & beautiful med spa.

Ultrasound Technology

A career in ultrasound technology provides the opportunity to work as a sonographer, who assists a physician in diagnosing ailments using sound waves. The ultrasound technician can specialize in monitoring different parts of the body. Certification, though not mandatory, offers an extra edge.

Veterinary Technology

Students aspiring to treat or research health issues faced by animals can opt for a career in veterinary technology to work with animals in farms, zoos, or even pets.

Radiology/ X-Ray Technology

A career in radiology spans several specializations, including X-rays, computed tomography or CT, MR or magnetic resonance, with the technician getting to work on X-rays and scans to help physicians get a close look at the bones, organs and tissues of the body that may be affected.