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

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.

Tips For How to Get a Healthcare Internship in the Online Classroom

The normal course of events in college is that you go to class, get your degree, and get a job. Some fields are less likely to hire fresh graduates though, which is why it’s often a good idea to complete an internship. Since it’s now possible to take your classes and get your degree online, it’s also possible for you to get an online internship.

How to Get a Healthcare Internship in the Online Classroomhow to get a healthcare internship in the online classroom

Tip #1: Use Your Network

One of the biggest advantages of attending college is the network it provides. You have teachers, classmates, and even support staff at the school to help you find jobs as well as internships. If you’re looking for an online healthcare internship then you should touch base with all of these outlets and ask if they can help you find one. Sometimes your teacher will be able to recommend you to one right off the bat, ending your search almost as soon as it’s begun.

Tip #2: Check Your Email and Newsletters

Businesses offering online internships will often contact colleges who will try to relay the openings to students. That’s why it’s important to check the student announcements and to see if there are newsletters or email lists you can subscribe to through school. Often these will help you find leads.

Tips #3: Spruce Up Your Resume

It’s important to make yourself look good on paper since this will help you land an internship. Contact the student writing center, your professor, or even other classmates to get advice on how you should structure your resume. This is important for getting an online internship, so you need to start strong.

Tip #4: Ask About Online Options (Even if None Are Listed)

It is important to remember that you may find the perfect internship, but it may not necessarily not be an online one. Don’t be afraid to email the program and ask if the internship is an online internship, or to double-check with your academic advisor just to make sure.

Keep in mind that the goal of your internship is to help you gain experience and sharpen your skills in the field that you choose. An internship gives you the opportunity to prove that you are a hard worker and a self-starter, who is willing to learn. For more tips on how to get a good internship, contact us today!