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.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Know What Doctors Add to Your Chart After Every Appointment

male doctor writing on medical chart

Your medical record is a vital document with details and personal information that is updated after every doctor’s appointment or contact with a medical professional.  While the mandatory use of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) by medical professionals allows for quick access by doctors, and nurses to your medical history, including diagnoses, surgeries, and prescriptions, there is also a greater risk to you as a patient if the data included in your medical record is incomplete or incorrect.

You can access your electronic medical record after every doctor’s appointment to see the information that was added by your physician. Accessing your medical record and interpreting it can be challenging for a non-medical professional. So for this reason, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Read Your Own Medical Record (Learn What is in Your Medical Files!)” to help you learn how to access and interpret your medical record for free.

There are three key reasons why reading and understanding your medical record is an important step in maintaining your health and maintaining the health of your loved ones. 

1. Accuracy

During or after your appointment, your physician or healthcare professional updates your medical record with notes, diagnoses, and procedures.  Your prescriptions will also be noted in your chart.  Checking your chart for accuracy and ensuring that there are no errors is critical to making sure you receive the correct care in the event that a healthcare emergency makes you unable to communicate with your healthcare team.

2. Employment Reasons

Many employers now ask for or require you to allow them to access parts of your medical record.  If your employer does require this, your job may be in jeopardy if your medical record is inaccurate or if confidential information is shared when it should not be.  You should check with your employer’s human resources department to find out if any or all your medical record is being accessed. You should also review your medical record on a regular basis.

3. Minor Children Under 18

As a parent or guardian, you have the right to access the healthcare records of your minor children under 18.  Not only should you check for errors or accuracy in these health records, but you should also read the diagnosis notes of the physicians to be sure that you have all of the information that you need to make important medical decisions about the health of your children.

Understanding your health care records is challenging but not impossible.  At Avidity Medical Design Academy, we offer a variety of healthcare courses designed to empower you as a healthcare consumer and future healthcare worker.

 Visit our website today to learn more about how to read and understand your medical record, so that you will know what is in your medical files and how to correct any information that is incorrect or inaccurate as soon as possible.

How to Fill in Gaps in Your Resume When You’re Starting a New Career in Healthcare

woman holding resume

The time has finally come: You’re ready to begin a new career in the healthcare industry. However, if you’ve recently been unemployed, you will have gaps in your resume. There are a lot of legitimate explanations for resume time gaps. Maybe you were taking care of a sick relative, or maybe you went back to school. You could have been laid off, or you could have had your own health-related problems. Potential employers will understand these gaps, but only if you handle them correctly.

Why You Need to Fill in Employment Gaps in Your Resume

Employment gaps in your resume can be detrimental to your job search, especially when you’re interviewing for a new job, so you must be able to explain any time gaps in employment in your resume. Many employers use applicant tracking systems to reduce the number of unqualified applicants. Resume gaps will lower your score on these automated systems, thereby decreasing the chance that your resume will fall into the hands of a human being.

Potential employers will want to know what you were doing while you were away from the workforce, even if you were away for personal or family reasons. This doesn’t mean you have to go into a lot of detail about the circumstances surrounding your unemployment, but you can use these gaps in your resume to highlight important skills you developed during your time off work. Doing this can make you a more attractive applicant, help you interview well, and can also help you be successful on your first day on the job.

Here are some things you can do to fill in the gaps on your resume, get hired, and start your first day on the job.

Different Ways You Can Fill in the Gaps

Never lie on your resume. The number one thing you should not do on your resume is lie. Employers will verify your work history, and if they see that you lied on your resume to fill in the gaps, they are less likely to trust you. This could cost you the job opportunity.

There are better ways to fill in the gaps on your resume, particularly when you’re entering the healthcare field. The key is to demonstrate to potential employers that you used your time away well. Use relevant experiences to boost your resume, such as:

  • Volunteer workDid you do any volunteering while unemployed? The skills you learned can be invaluable in your new career in the healthcare industry. Volunteer work for a healthcare organization is especially relevant.
  • Coursework/CertificationsIf you’re about to switch careers, it’s likely you spent some of your time away taking courses and earning certifications. Emphasize this on your resume.
  • Freelance workIf you spent some of your time off work picking up freelance jobs, explain how the skills you learned while you were freelancing will help you going forward. Feature work you did for clients in the healthcare field, if applicable.
  • Soft skills learnedYou’ve likely picked up skills during your time away from work. Determine what those are and explain how they make you an asset in your new career. For example, if you were taking care of a sick relative, share how that experience will make you a better worker in the healthcare field. If you were dealing with your own health issues, explain that it helped you develop empathy for patients.

Don’t be discouraged by the gaps in your resume. If you fill them in properly and leverage the skills you learned while you were unemployed, you will still be an attractive applicant to potential employers. If you want to learn more tips about entering the healthcare field, check out the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about the different healthcare careers that you can pursue, especially if you’re interested in working from home, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

To learn more about how to be a professional in healthcare, which is especially important if you get hired for your first job, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, so you can start out on the right foot on your first day on the job.

If you run into any personality conflicts with toxic co-workers on your new job, or you have toxic family members or friends who are stressing you out, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused by TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more course offerings, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy homepage.