By Bill Long of HealthSchoolFinder.com, a resource for finding and getting into the right healthcare school for you.
Despite the recent wide-spread loss of jobs, there are some fields where there is still a need for employees. The medical field is one of these. Properly trained medical assistants, billing coders, dental assistants, massage therapists, and more are still in demand.
Things have been pretty scary lately with massive job layoffs all across the country. It seems that nearly every industry is being affected by the economic downturn. As more people find their jobs on the chopping block, it’s time to take stock of your own situation and learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family from becoming casualties of the economy.
One way to help avoid some of the difficulties that come along with losing a job is to get yourself educated in a field where you are indispensible. In this day and age, there is still a growing need for supporting personnel in the medical field. There are all types of educational programs available to help you get a start in a number of different roles in this exciting area.
For example, Medical Assistants are a vital part of the staff of any hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. They perform a wide variety of procedures like drawing blood and taking vital signs. Some Medical Assistants focus on the administrative side of running a medical practice and help with filing, scheduling, calls, and other office tasks. Dental Assistants provide the same type of support in dental clinics.
Some individuals choose to become more specialized in the support they lend to doctors and patients. Pharmacy Technicians work in pharmacies to help prepare patients’ medication and are trained in dosages, interactions, and record keeping. Phlebotomists learn about anatomy and physiology in order to draw blood samples and to prepare specimens to be examined in the laboratory.
For those who are more interested in the administrative end of medicine, there are jobs waiting for you, too. Medical and Dental Assistants are not the only ones who can utilize their office skills in a medical profession. Medical billing is an area that has continually grown over the last several years and is projected to keep doing so. Medical Billers and Coders can find jobs with both medical facilities and insurance companies. Another way to utilize administrative skills is to become a Health Information Specialist.
If you are considering changing careers as a result of the economy, then you are most likely concerned about three things: How long will it take? How much will it cost? How hard will it be? The answers to these questions are going to vary depending on the school you choose.
Choosing the right healthcare school should probably be the first item in the “effort” category. You can look online and find out what schools are in your area. Check out the programs they offer to determine what is going to be the best approach for you.
When it comes to the time factor, there are a few possibilities. Some schools offer a diploma that may only take about three months to earn. This can get you started faster than some other programs, but you have to be aware that you might not be as competitive for the jobs as someone who has earned a two-year Associate’s degree or gone on to earn a Bachelor’s degree.
Financially, the decision to go back to school can be a big one. Technical schools may not cost as much as larger universities, so you will definitely want to compare the price of tuition among different schools. Most accredited schools will have a financial aid department that is set up specifically to help prospective students find grants and loans, especially those offered by the federal government.
A little more work on your part might turn up scholarships that are awarded for a number of different reasons. Scholarships and grants are money that you don’t have to pay back, while federal loans are meant to be paid back, usually at a fairly low interest rate.
In order to address both the time and cost of returning to school, you may choose to take classes while remaining in your current job. This will increase the amount of effort required on your part, as working and going to school is a big commitment.
On the other hand, your paycheck can keep your bills paid while you devote yourself to an education that will get you into a better paying, more stable job. Many schools offer their medical programs both during the day and in the evening so that “adult” learners can participate while keeping their regular jobs.
Bill Long is the administrator of HealthSchoolFinder.com, a web site offering numerous resources for prospective healthcare programs.