Many people love helping others and dream of a career in the medical field but don’t have the money or resources to attend medical school. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that allows you to help others but doesn’t require nearly a decade of your life for education and training, check out these jobs. They’re less stressful than being a doctor but are valuable assets in healthcare.
Sometimes called medical sonographers, ultrasound technicians use high-frequency sound waves to take live images of patients’ internal organs and various body parts. It’s a non-invasive procedure that is most commonly used to monitor pregnancies and examines potential damage to organs such as the kidneys. One to two years of training for an associate degree or certificate is needed.
This is a relatively new field that’s growing quickly. A medical scribe works closely alongside a physician as a sort of personal assistant, documenting patient information, transcribing prescriptions and notes, and improving patient care. Medical scribes interact with patients daily while freeing up the doctor to see more patients by handling their paperwork. Most medical scribes have a bachelor’s degree and certification in medical-related areas, most often they will be EMTs, medical assistants, or have some experience in medical coding. Some companies, like Provider’s Choice Scribe Services, offer online programs.
Also called radiologic technologists, x-ray technicians take x-ray images to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses. After confirming the x-rays are clear and accurate, technicians update patient files and prepare a report on the findings, which are forwarded to the physician in charge. Maintaining and cleaning the equipment may be part of the job. An associate degree is required.
The first person many people meet at the doctor’s office is a medical assistant who takes and records their vital statistics such as weight, blood pressure, and temperature. The medical assistant may also perform simple lab tests, process medical claims, and work with the office manager to keep the office running smoothly. Certification is required, which can be obtained through a two-year associate degree program.
If you love food and enjoy cooking, you may want to consider being a nutritionist. Nutritionists assist individuals with creating diet and nutrition plans that are healthy, enjoyable, and realistic. They focus on long-term health and wellness rather than a quick fix. Educating clients on good nutrition is essential. Many nutritionists work with patients who suffer from chronic illnesses that respond well to improved diets. While certificate programs are available, a bachelor’s degree is often required.
If you’d like to work in a medical field that doesn’t require years of your life or years of student loan debt, talk to a career counselor about the above health care careers.