So you want to move ahead in your career but don’t know where to start? Look into specialized healthcare training and certification. A certification shows employers that you’ve gained job-specific skills and knowledge. And, the right certification can raise your pay by 50% or more, and facilitate promotions and job security!
Why get training in healthcare? COVID-19 has astronomically accelerated growth in this field. The result has been a great expansion in job opportunities.
Here are just a few examples of education/training that can elevate your healthcare career to the next level.
First-Aid Training:No matter what industry or profession, knowing first-aid basics is a plus. If you work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or even outside of healthcare, your ability to confidently administer first aid, help in an emergency provides you an advantage over those without this qualification.
Medical Assistants: If you like variety in your day-to-day job, while also working to help others, a career as a medical assistant could be a great choice. Assuring the completion of both administrative and clinical tasks in a healthcare setting, medical assistants are an essential part of the healthcare team. Training builds competency in lab techniques, first aid, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and billing, among additional skills. Most medical assistants are employment-ready after completing a one-year certificate program.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialist: Medical billing experts are the liaison between healthcare providers, patients, and insurance companies. Coders translate healthcare diagnoses, procedures, and medical services, into universal medical codes. Some training programs combine billing and coding courses, while others may offer two separate tracks. Students learn medical terminology, how to manage health records, follow insurance procedures, navigate billing software, and code correctly. Upon completion of the specialist program, individuals generally are qualified for entry-level positions in doctor’s offices, medical billing services, hospitals, and health insurance companies. Learn how to become a medical billing and coding expert today!
Massage Therapist: Registered massage therapists (RMTs) may work in physician’s offices, clinics, spas, and other locations. Students may choose the level of training (e.g. diploma and certificate programs, associates degree, and advance degree) as well as types of specialization (e.g. Swedish massage, deep-tissue, etc.). Accreditation requirements vary by state. Programs provide hands-on training, as well as instruction in anatomy and kinesiology.
EMT & Paramedic:Imagine being able to help at the scene of an accident. EMTs and paramedics both provide emergency treatment before patients reach the hospital, but there are differences in their jobs and credentials. EMTs provide basic medical care, such as stopping bleeding or administering CPR. Paramedics have the training to provide more advanced medical care such as inserting IVs or providing breathing support (inserting tubes, etc.). EMTs complete 120–150 hours of training to become certified. Paramedics complete 1,200–1,800 hours of training. EMTs in the U.S. earn an average annual salary of $34,320; paramedics, $59,000.
Pharmacy Technician:These professionals help provide patients with the medication they need. Supervised by a licensed pharmacist, techs help prepare and dispense prescription meds and process insurance. Techs may also be responsible for administrative tasks like managing inventory, navigating billing, and handling payment. Depending on the state, it’s possible to gain credentials on the job, without formal education, but many employers do prefer candidates who have completed classroom training, such as a one-year certification, associate degree, or other diploma program. Pharmacy technicians earn an average annual salary of $32,700.
Phlebotomist:Working in clinical labs, hospitals, nursing homes, physician’s offices, even blood donation centers, phlebotomists are the essential healthcare providers who draw blood. Because they work with people who may be afraid, great phlebotomists not only have excellent fine motor skills, they can calm patients and make them feel at ease. The blood samples they draw may be used for testing or transfusions. Training focuses on a study of anatomy, plus practical skills in collecting, storing, and handling blood samples. The National Phlebotomy Association requires 200 hours of training, including clinical experience. Students also must pass the national certification exam. Some states require phlebotomists to be licensed. The average phlebotomist earns $25,177 to $30,470 a year.
Cardiovascular Technologists:Using a range of medical imaging equipment, cardiovascular techs take images of the heart and vascular system to help physicians make a diagnosis. They usually work in hospitals or clinics with surgeons and doctors, and are expert at figuring out the best tools and patient positions to obtain precisely the image needed. They may assist with catheterization and other treatments, as well. Cardiovascular technologist training includes both classroom and hands-on study. The most common training includes a diploma in cardiovascular technology, an undergraduate certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. Licensing varies by state. The average cardiovascular technologist annual salary is nearly $57,000.
Ultrasound Tech: Prepare patients for appointments, use sonography equipment, and review test results with physicians. Obtaining an ultrasound technician license requires completing a program from an accredited school recognized by the CHEA or USDE, and then passing the certification exam. Employers generally require a certificate and/or associate degree program (which takes around two to three years to complete). The average ultrasound tech salary is approximately $72,500 per year.
MRI Tech: Trained MRI techs operate MRI equipment, taking diagnostic images of patients. MRI technician certificates/degrees often are the next step for students who have already completed radiology programs and are looking to expand their skills and marketability. Students may choose a certificate program or bachelor’s degree in MRI. Training takes two to three years, including a clinical internship, and the average MRI tech annual salary is $71,600.
Surgical Technologist:It takes meticulous attention to detail to become a good surgical technologist. These professionals work side-by-side with a surgical team and patients to ensure safe and sterile procedures. Surgical techs are responsible for making sure everything is prepared properly prior to a procedure, and afterward, they restock medical supplies. Responsibilities may also include prepping patients for surgery, providing tools and materials to the surgeon, and helping patients in recovery. Candidates can complete a certificate or diploma program within one to two years. The average annual salary is around $47,000.