Volunteer Work That You Can Do to Gain Experience in Healthcare Without a Diploma or GED

In the previous article, you learned about 10 careers in healthcare that you can pursue without a high school diploma or GED. Once you complete training for a healthcare career without a diploma or GED, you need to be able to sell yourself with some experience. This article provides specific steps that you can take to volunteer to gain experience in healthcare without a high school diploma or GED. Employers are more apt to hire people with experience, and volunteer work is a guaranteed way to get it. 

woman wearing grey volunteer shirt smiling while holding stethoscope and talking to person in yellow shirt

1. How to Volunteer as a Home Health Aide

Most home health or hospice organizations gladly accept volunteers in order to meet the needs of their patients. . 

2. How to Volunteer as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Check out local nursing homes and find out if they’ll accept volunteers. Often, they are more than happy to have more helping hands. This could be an opportunity to get hired in a paid CNA position later. 

3. How to Volunteer as a Phlebotomist

The American Red Cross is an excellent choice for those wanting volunteer work with phlebotomist training. Get involved in their blood drives and gain valuable experience you’ll use in your future career and on your resume. 

4. How to Volunteer as a Massage Therapist

Once you are trained, volunteering your massage therapy services is welcome at some community events, sports activities, and medical facilities. Not only will you get experience, but you can start building a reputation. 

5. How to Volunteer as a Medical Secretary

Because a medical secretary is often required to perform clerical or front desk tasks, volunteering at any type of community event shows an ability to organize. It also shows your interest in participating in community betterment. Talk with your local chamber of commerce or set up a team for a fundraiser such as Relay for Life. Your volunteer work acts like employment history when it comes to getting hired. 

6. How to Volunteer as a Dental Assistant

The volunteer opportunities for dental assisting are exciting. Dental assistants are always needed on international dental missions, and your dental care for people in developing countries will almost guarantee employment afterward. 

7. How to Volunteer as a Medical Coder

There is a lot of competition for medical coding jobs, and one way to up your chances of hire is to volunteer at the place where you want to work. Check out hospital websites for volunteer opportunities, and make your name recognizable so that your resume isn’t passed over. 

8. How to Volunteer as an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant

Volunteering for an ophthalmic mission may not be a possibility for the inexperienced ophthalmic medical assistant, but volunteering with the Lions Club certainly is an option. Volunteer for school vision screenings and show your interest in the world of vision. 

9. How to Volunteer as a Medical Transcriptionist

There aren’t really volunteer transcription activities because it is a solo profession, but any volunteer activities in the medical field will show that you have an understanding of how the field of medicine works, which will improve the quality of your transcription. Pay attention to local calls for volunteers. You will likely end up volunteering at fundraisers or healthcare facilities, but you’ll be gaining a working knowledge of the medical content that you will transcribe. 

10. How to Volunteer as an Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapy is required for many people with disabilities, so it stands to reason that volunteering for a disability-related organization would be beneficial for employment prospects. Volunteer ideas include the Special Olympics and The Wounded Warrior Project, and they show your compassion for helping people live normal lives. 

Volunteering gives potential employers a way to overlook your lack of high school diploma or GED. It shows that you have a true interest in your field and that you’ll be an asset to their organization. 

For more informative healthcare articles, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

10 Healthcare Careers You Can Pursue Without a High School Diploma or GED

If you haven’t finished getting your high school diploma or your GED (General Education Diploma), it is difficult to know where to turn for potential employment in healthcare careers. However, the healthcare field has multiple promising career options that don’t always require a diploma to get on-the-job or other training. Check your state’s requirements, and consider the following job opportunities to get your foot in the door of the healthcare field.  

woman using machine to take blood pressure of seated woman indoors

If you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, but you don’t have a high school diploma or your GED, then consider becoming:

1. A Home Health Aide

  • Description: Home health aides work in people’s homes or care facilities and help them with daily tasks. 
  • TrainingTraining requirements vary depending on the facility and may require certification, which typically takes 75 hours of training. 
  • Job Outlook and Salary: The job outlook in this career is also very promising at 36%. In 2018, the median pay for this career was $24,060/year. 

2. A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

  • Description: A CNA gives basic medical services to patients in nursing homes and hospitals. This may involve helping to lift and move patients with mobility problems. Nursing assistants often help patients who have difficulty with everyday tasks such as bathing or eating. 
  • Training: Generally, a CNA program takes 4 to 12 weeks. 
  • Job Outlook and SalaryThe outlook for this career is looking strong with 9% growth expected over the next decade. In 2018, the median pay for this career was $28,530/year. 

3. A Phlebotomist 

  • Description: A phlebotomist is a person who draws blood for multiple reasons in the healthcare field. They work in a variety of settings, including blood banks or research facilities.   
  • Training: A non-degree certification takes 4 to 8 months.  
  • Job Outlook and Salary: The outlook for this career is expected to expand faster than many other job opportunities at 23% over the next decade. In 2018, the median pay for this career was $34,480/year. 

4. A Massage Therapist

  • Description: Massage therapists massage muscles and soft tissue in order to relieve soreness or provide relaxation. 
  • TrainingTraining for massage therapy varies from just over 300 hours to about 1,000 hours depending on the program. 
  • Job Outlook and SalaryThe outlook for this occupation is 22% over the next decade. The median pay for this career in 2018 was $41,420/year. 
Cropped image of It specialist working on code

5. A Medical Secretary

  • Description: Medical secretaries handle the functioning of medical facilities from a paperwork and communication standpoint. They may be responsible for handling phones, insurance information, and front desk duties. 
  • Training: There is not always required training, but medical secretary programs generally take 1 to 2 years of formal and on-the-job training. 
  • Job Outlook and Salary: The outlook is weak for secretaries in general with a decline of 7% expected in the next decade. The median pay for this career in 2018 was $38,880/year. 

6. A Dental Assistant

  • DescriptionDental assistants perform a number of tasks in the dental office, which may include taking x-rays, providing care, and clerical tasks. 
  • TrainingOn the job training is the only requirement in some states, but formal dental assisting programs take 1 to 2 years. 
  • Job Outlook and Salary: The job outlook in this career is not bad at 11% predicted over the next decade, and the median pay for dental assistants in 2018 was $38,660/year. 

7. A Medical Coder

  • DescriptionMedical coders learn how to use diagnostic and procedural codes to quantify patient diagnoses and services rendered for billing and other purposes. 
  • TrainingCoding programs typically last a few months to 2 years.
  • Job Outlook and SalaryThe job outlook in this career is 11% over the next decade, and the 2018 median pay for this category of employment was $40,350/year. 

8. An Ophthalmic Medical Assistant

  • DescriptionOphthalmic medical assistants take patient histories and administer ophthalmic testing during exams. They also assist the optometrist or ophthalmologist in a variety of clinical tasks. 
  • TrainingCertificates are available to further one’s career, but on-the-job training is typically sufficient for employment. 
  • Job Outlook and SalarySimilar to medical assistants, the job outlook for this field of work is good at 23%, and median pay in 2018 was $33,610/year. 

9. A Medical Transcriptionist

  • DescriptionMedical transcriptionists listen to recorded documentation of patient encounters and convert them to a readable format via keyboarding/typing skills. 
  • TrainingTraining varies but typically includes medical terminology and electronic health record training. 
  • Job Outlook and SalaryDue to technology and voice recognition, the outlook for this career is not great and is expected to decrease by 3% over the next decade. The median pay  for transcriptionists in 2018 was $34,770/year. 

10. An Occupational Therapy Aide

  • DescriptionOccupational therapy aides help people recover and improve normal living and working skills that have diminished as a result of accident or health condition. They do not typically get involved in hands-on care, but rather provide supportive services to occupational therapists and assistants. 
  • TrainingTraining varies based on state and position and may require only on-the-job training. 
  • Job Outlook and SalaryThe Bureau of Labor and Statistics groups Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides together, and they report the outlook of both positions look good, predicting a 31% increase over the next decade. The median pay for aides was $28,160 in 2018. 

There are other healthcare careers available that may not require a high school degree or GED equivalent. Many healthcare employers will state on their job requirements that you need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Don’t let this discourage you. Look up your state’s requirements for the position for which you are applying, and let the employer know that you are the right person for the job. 

If you are interested in pursuing a healthcare education, check out “How to Learn in the Healthcare Classroom (and ANY Classroom) (in 10 EASY Steps!).” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Become a Registered Nurse (and Pass Your Board Exams Once You Do!)

The path to becoming a registered nurse is not an easy one, but it is worth the challenge because of the rewards of the job. Nurses are held in high esteem because they have compassion, altruism and high ethical standards. If you are considering a career in nursing, you probably already know this. How to become a nurse and pass your board exams is the next step. 

female registered nurse taking blood pressure with wrist cuff of senior woman

What is a Registered Nurse?

A Registered Nurse (RN) is a person who has a degree in nursing and has passed board exams required to obtain a nursing license. Registered nurses are healthcare professionals who work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities in varied positions. Nurses may be responsible for supportive tasks such as taking chief complaints and histories, or they may be more involved in patient care and even perform minor medical procedures. Some RNs are more involved in nurse management and administrative tasks.

As the physician shortage in the United States continues to grow, opportunities for nurses have expanded, and many nurses are elevating their education and job titles to mid-level healthcare providers such as Nurse Practitioners or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). In some states, APRNs are allowed to practice solo and without the supervision of a physician. One of the great benefits in the nursing profession is the possibility to further one’s career past the initial RN licensure.  

What are the Education Requirements?

The minimum education requirement to become an RN is an associate’s degree in nursing, but many healthcare facilities require a bachelor’s degree. Nurses are expected to be lifelong learners in order to provide the best care. As a result of this expectation, the Institute of Medicine urges all nurses to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with a goal of 80 percent of all nurses having their bachelor’s degree by 2020. This goal may not be met, but it has pushed more nurses to enroll in baccalaureate programs. 

How do You Pass Your Board Exams?

After receiving a nursing degree, a nursing graduate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to become licensed. There are two types of NCLEX exams: the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN. You will take the NCLEX-PN if you plan to become a vocational nurse or a practical nurse. You will take the NCLEX-RN if you plan to become a registered nurse. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements. The NCLEX is the national nursing board exam, and you must take this exam in order to become a nurse. The answers to the NCLEX test questions are evidence-based and proven to the satisfaction of the medical field. These questions are not based on nuances or individual techniques that you may have learned during clinical experience. As a result, your chances of passing the boards are greatly increased by practice exams and review courses that give you questions designed to help prepare you for the exam

Here are some additional things that you can do to pass your board exams the first time you take them:

  1. Understand how the NCLEX is formatted.
  2. Figure out ways to manage your stress.
  3. Determine the best way to study and the way that is most comfortable for you to study.
  4. Develop a plan to study.
  5. Don’t factor in past experience as a way to answer the questions and pass the test.
  6. Develop good test-taking skills, such as deductive reasoning.
  7. Believe in yourself, and believe you will pass the test.

What are the Employment Projections?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is expected to grow by 12% over the next decade. This is a very good outlook, and over 300,000 jobs are expected to be added. Most of the increase in demand for nursing is caused by the shift to placing emphasis on preventive care and on the growing population of elderly with chronic diseases. 

What are the Challenges of Becoming a Nurse?

Registered nurses face many challenges, including tough schedules and burnout, depending on the type of work done. Nurses also have to regularly deal with people who are scared, in pain, or upset. Tough days can be very tough, but the success stories make the dedicated nurse forge ahead. This is one of the many reasons nurses get so much respect as medical professionals. 

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

If you are interested in working from home in the field of healthcare, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!),” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

What to Know if You Want to Become a Medical Assistant in 2020 (Part II)

If you are a compassionate person looking for a career where you have the opportunity to help others, becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice in 2020.

In case you missed Part I of the Medical Assistant series, let’s recap the definition of a medical assistant, as well as the education requirements, before we discuss the job outlook for this field in 2020.

man and woman in scrubs looking at tablet while standing in hallway

Let’s Recap: What is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant helps with administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare settings. They may assist in a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare business. The job duties of a medical assistant may include taking patients’ histories and vitals, assisting with examinations, and handling medical records. In some cases, medical assistants will administer medication, remove sutures, and change dressings. The responsibilities vary per facility and per state law.  

Let’s Recap: What are the Education Requirements?

Depending on your location, you can become a medical assistant through on-the-job training or by getting certified. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) administers a certification exam, and certified medical assistants must be recertified every 60 months. This can be done by continuing education or by exam. In 2018, sixty percent of candidates passed the AAMA exam.

Now let’s look at the employment projections for 2020, as well as some of the challenges you might face if you choose to become a medical assistant in 2020.

Employment Projections in 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. In the next decade, the number of positions is predicted to increase by 23 percent. This is because of the growing elderly population and increased demand for preventive medical care. The average wage of medical assistants was $33,610 in 2018.

Challenges for Medical Assisting in 2020

The biggest challenge in the field of medical assisting is the difficult patient. This can cause the very passionate and caring medical assistant to suffer burnout and leave the profession. Burnout is common in many medical professions, including among physicians and nurses, and there’s no denying that this is a difficult part of any medical profession.

On the flip side, you get to help people when they are at their most vulnerable. The rewards of working in the medical profession are often as wonderful as the challenges are difficult. A good candidate for the career of medical assistant can handle the occasional grumpy patient in return for all the positive impact he or she has on other patients and members of the medical community.

Becoming a medical assistant requires a minimal education investment in return for a secure career that is increasing in demand. Many positions for medical assistants include full benefits such as healthcare, matching retirement plans, and paid vacation. It is a good way to enter the medical field with a stable position and room for advancement.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design blog.

If you are interested in working from home in the field of healthcare, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!),” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

woman getting shot at mobile flu clinic

How to Start a New Career as a Medical Assistant (Part I)

one man and three women wearing blue scrubs standing in a line with arms crossed and smiling

Medical assisting is a career that is in high demand. Physicians are busier than ever, and as a result, they require clear, concise, and accurate medical documentation for each patient, that allows them to maintain their productivity. In order to meet these demands, more physician practices and hospitals are hiring medical assistants. If you’ve ever been interested in becoming a medical assistant, there’s never been a better time to make the transition to a career in medical assisting. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that while jobs are already plentiful in this field, they will grow by 23% by 2028, which is much greater growth than average. This projection is largely due to the increasing need for preventative medical care among baby boomers. 

What Do Medical Assistants Do? 

Medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks to assist physicians, so that they can spend more time dealing with issues that concern patients. Medical assistants schedule patient appointments, and measure and record patient vital signs to help physicians during patient exams. Medical assistants may even give injections and medications under the direction of an overseeing physician. As a medical assistant, you can even work remotely, completing clinical paperwork and insurance forms to bill for physician services.

If you work within a particular specialty, such as orthopedics for example, you might perform more specialized tasks that pertain to bone conditions. Unlike a physician’s assistant, a medical assistant would not examine the patient or make treatment decisions about the patient.

How Do You Become a Medical Assistant? 

Many hospitals and medical clinics will hire medical assistants with simply a high school diploma and provide them with on-the-job training. There are also diploma-based certificates and degree options available that can usually be completed within anywhere from 8-18 months. This track is becoming slightly more popular as medical assisting jobs become more competitive, and any additional training will give you a competitive edge. The shift from paper to electronic records also increases the demand for skilled medical assistants. If you’d like to learn more about the content of the electronic medical record from the standpoint of the documentation that the patient sees when they request a copy of their medical record, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Read Your Own Medical Record (Learn What is in YOUR Medical Files!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

If you’re interested in starting your own business, working from home, as a medical assistant, you will need to know how to market yourself in order to gain new clients. Check out this article entitled, “5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Virtual Medical Assistant,” on the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

If you are not interested in medical assisting, but you are interested in working from home in other fields in healthcare, such as medical coding, medical transcription, medical writing, healthcare teaching, nursing (yes, nursing!) or medical claims processing, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog

Welcome to Star Trek: 10 New Medical Devices of the Future

screenless displays

Ever watch the newest Sci-Fi episodes (or the older ones) and wonder why your own medical treatment couldn’t be that easy? Here are a few newer medical devices that will bring the futuristic medical treatments straight to your door.

1. The Bionic Eye

Recently in development, but not perfect, is the 3D printing of light receptors onto a glass eye. The silver, which they use as ink, stays where it is put on the rounded glass and produces electric feedback. It is moving on to the next stage of development and designed to increase eye comfort for patients.

2. 3D Print Sockets for Artificial Limbs

girl with curly blonde hair wearing red hoodie against red background holding prosthetic hands and arms together

In the United States, it is not difficult to have a socket fitted to an amputated limb by a person trained in prosthesis in any major city. With the help of cell phone scanning and a 3D printer, patients who live in other countries are receiving low-cost sockets for their amputated limbs. 

3. Contact Lenses For Blood Glucose

smart contact lenses

As the saying goes, “Eyes are the windows to the soul.” They can tell your doctor a thing or two if you are a diabetic. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, these new “smart” contact lenses can detect and transmit your blood glucose level using your own tears.

4. Virtual Dissection Tables

If you are a student who is trying to learn about the human anatomy, watching a cadaver being dissected might be hard to handle. A new device, called a virtual dissection table, might make it easier. The virtual dissection table allows instructors to virtually dissect a human body, identify diseases, and teach surgical procedures without using a cadaver. 

5. Robotic Assistants

From training long-term residents to helping with physical therapy sessions, new medical devices in the form of robotic assistance have been used to move and assist patients with standing or transferring to wheelchairs. A robot is even being developed to draw blood or insert IVs with ultrasound enhanced vein targeting. 

6. Tattoos

Much like the continuous blood glucose sensors, these tattoos are placed on the body to transmit vital signs to medical devices for continuous monitoring. Biometric tattoos can transmit medical information discreetly, allowing for easier communication with physicians. 

7. Sensors in Teeth

You’re on a strict diet. You lie to your physician about how much you ate. With teeth sensors, those days are gone. These teeth sensors can be embedded in your teeth to determine what, how much, and when you ate. These sensors can even track when and how often you smoke. Your actions and intake are recorded and sent to a smart device, allowing your doctor to see real-time data. 

8. Printed Skin

photo of woman with dark skin wearing gold eyeshadow and lipstick looking down while against black background

If you are a burn victim, skin grafts have been made from the cells of burn victims using 3D printing, to give burn victims a better chance to recover without scars and skin graft rejections. The printed skin procedure also reduces the patient’s recovery time and the risk of infections. Printed skin grafts can be as small or as large as needed, without the skin being taken from other areas of the body.  

9. In Silico Clinical Trials

The medical community no longer recruits patients with certain diseases to try different medical treatments. Clinical trials are now taking place on silicon chips. These silicon chips are made to react like an organ, a drug, or a treatment, thereby reducing the need for human trials. 

10. The Medical ‘Tricorder’

young medical professional using clear tablet to study x-ray and other medical data

Still more futuristic than the present, the tricorder from the popular show Star Trek is in development. A contest is in place to see who can pull together the best functioning device that could scan a being and receive medical-grade information- more than just vital signs. 

The future is closer than we imagine, with only developers’ imaginations holding back their ingenuity. Many new medical devices are in development that will aid in our visits with physicians, treatments, and overall learning.  To keep up to date with medical advancements, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.