The healthcare industry aims to provide top-quality patient care experience to people who require medical assistance. It is a field for people passionate about providing care to people in need, are excellent communicators, and carry great empathy and compassion within them.
Providing care and health services to patients in need is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding jobs one can do. It gives incredible satisfaction and makes one feel like they are contributing to a purpose way beyond them.
If one is interested in stepping into the healthcare industry, one must possess the skills that the industry requires. Besides having good communication and passion, one should have excellent problem-solving skills, be a good multitasker and manage time well. In addition, it is vital for healthcare professionals to keep a positive mindset and exceptionally coordinate with their team members or colleagues.
If you possess the above skill set and have a great interest in building a career in patient care, then there are many degrees you can opt for that can help you flourish in this field, such as:
1. Degree In Healthcare Administration
There are many healthcare professional roles to choose from in the healthcare industry. Such as a healthcare administration degree is a fantastic option if one is interested in pursuing leadership roles in finance or technology.
Pursuing a degree in healthcare administration can open the door to many fantastic patient care roles. For example, Medical Health Services Manager is an excellent leadership career role in which one has to supervise a specific healthcare institution’s department or oversee the entire institute.
To become a medical and health service manager, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration for four years. After that, acquiring experience through internships and entry-level jobs is essential. Once that is finished, a master’s degree in healthcare from an excellent institute will open doors for you to become a medical and health service manager.
Furthermore, this role requires carrying out plans and coordinating daily operations with the rest of the healthcare professionals. Medical health service managers are leaders in their organization; hence this role demands staying updated about medical laws, advancements in technology, and changes in protocol and policies.
2. Associated Degree In Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapist assistants assist a variety of people, from elders to newborns. Their job is to help people of all ages through various therapeutic interventions, such as massages, exercise, balance training, and gait. They are a vital part of the healthcare industry and are also highly valuable to communities as they lead and encourage people to live fitter and healthier lives.
Currently, the physical therapy assistant role is becoming highly popular and was ranked 9th for the best healthcare support job in 2022. With an increasingly aging population, the demand for physical therapist assistants is growing, and studies suggest that by 2030 the employment rate for this role will rise to 35%.
Acquiring an associate degree from a physical therapist assistant program is mandatory to become a physical therapist assistant. These programs are twenty months long and teach the fundamentals and skills of physical therapy. In addition, the programs offer classes on subjects such as patient care, orthopedics, kinesiology, and anatomy. It aims to further enlighten on understanding and identifying how the human body works to provide efficient and safe treatment.
After finishing the diploma, it’s vital to gain experience through externships in which Physical therapist assistant students will practice patient care and get a taste of the real world. They can also gain experience through participating in laboratory and clinical procedures.
After graduating from a PTA program and gaining experience, one has to take the National Licensing Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants, which is mandatory for practicing as a physical therapy assistant.
3. Diploma In Dental Assisting
A dental assistant aids dentists and dental hygienists in a dental clinic or hospital. They are the first to interact with patients; hence, they must have good communication skills. Moreover, their job requires them to schedule appointments, arrange examination rooms, assist the dentist throughout the procedure and help prepare patients for their treatment. Besides that, they have to make tooth impressions, sterilize equipment, develop X-rays and guide patients on how to brush and floss their teeth.
For one to become a dental assistant, one doesn’t need to have a degree. Instead, they must enroll in a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Completing a high school diploma or a GED is essential to qualify for the program.
Dental assisting programs are one to two years long, depending on whether one receives a certificate or an associate degree by the end of the degree. The program includes laboratory exposure that teaches about gums, dental instruments, teeth, CPR, and other necessary instructions.
Furthermore, getting experience is also a must for dental assistants. Therefore, one can consider externships during their dental assistant program or after completing it. Externships will help one understand dental specialties such as restorative care and orthodontics.
4. Diploma Or Associate Degree In Medical Assisting
Medical assisting is one of the significant roles in the healthcare industry, where medical assistants help physicians. There are two kinds of medical assistants:
Clinical medical assistants are those whose work primarily centers on patient care. It involves drawing blood, running different tests, taking vital signs, arranging exam rooms for medical procedures, and communicating the patient’s health status to physicians.
While medical administrative assistants handle the administration work of patient care, including managing insurance claims, handling accounting and billing tasks, scheduling appointments, and managing and updating patients’ medical records.
There are two options To be a medical assistant. The first is enrolling in a diploma, which has many benefits, such as finishing studies earlier. For example, the diploma is of 8 months which allows one to enter the field within a year. It also saves money as it costs less than an associate degree program. Lastly, after graduating, it qualifies medical assistants to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Stepping into the patient care industry is an excellent choice. That is because the healthcare industry is one the largest and fastest-growing fields in the United States of America. In addition, its increasing demand and need for medical assistance have made the sector one of the best-paying.