The world is aging
People currently live longer lives thanks to technological and medical breakthroughs. According to the New York Times, the current median age is 28, i.e. the world is evenly divided between those under 28 and those over 28. By the year 2050, however, the median age will have risen to 40. As the elderly population increases so will the need for health care professionals. Sensitive individuals will have more opportunities to find a rewarding career in health care.
1st Objective: Getting trained
The first step for high school graduates is to become a medical assistant. Schools offer 6 to 8 month programs as well as associate degrees where students can learn about the main tasks medical assistants are required to perform in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. Students who opt for the certificate will learn the basics about taking vital signs, how to setup appointments and talk to patients, and other essential tasks that are necessary to work in a medical facility.
2nd Objective: Acquiring experience
Training doesn’t end with school; at work medical assistants will learn more specific skills. Working at a doctor’s office is a good opportunity to understand not only the medical aspect of health care, but also the business side. For example, medical assistants will take the temperature of patients, sterilize instruments, give injections, and once certified, take X-rays and electrocardiograms. On the other hand, they will review medical records, take care of prescriptions, handle billing and collection issues, and also deal with insurance information.
3rd Objective: Moving up
After four or five years of experience, medical assistants should expect to reach the highest pay rate in the city or town they work in. They might be able to increase their earnings if they become certified in different areas. Medical assistants can become supervisors at clinics or hospitals if they prove to be responsible and good leaders. Those who decide to keep their job at a doctor’s office have a shot at becoming the office manager after about 10 years of working experience.
4th Objective: Getting a degree
Health Care professionals can learn new skills and techniques as well as meet people who share their interests. Students can enroll in different courses to study subjects that interest them, like psychiatry, or specialize in other areas related to health care, e.g. cna. Additionally, college is a great place to network, not only with class mates but also with professors who have many years of experience and contacts in the industry.
5th Objective: Looking for the next job
Most schools have a career center that helps students find work. College professors may recommend their best students to hospitals, clinics and or other health care centers, where they can get internships or other entry level jobs. Graduates interested in health care jobs should first develop a detailed and factual resume that clearly emphasizes their skills and experience. Certifications, diplomas, and other special training should be highlighted and placed on a separate section of the resume.
6th Objective: Further education
A bachelor’s degree not only opens doors to new job opportunities, but also is required to get into medical school. Four more years of specialized study followed by a couple of residencies are needed before doctors can legally take care of patients on their own. Medical education is expensive, yet scholarships are granted to outstanding and dedicated students, and financial aid is usually available for those who qualify. A master’s degree in health care management prepares professionals for a managerial position in the health care industry.