Starting a Career in Healthcare Without a Degree

Starting a Career in Healthcare Without a Degree | HealthSoul

You’ve decided that you want to start a career in healthcare. Maybe you’re looking for better job security, higher pay, or fringe benefits. Perhaps you’re driven by the desire to help those in need. You’ve given this some serious thought, but your only concern is the many years of schooling and training it will require you to get started. While becoming a doctor, a registered nurse, or surgeon, may require you to have a bachelor’s, doctorate, or extensive training and experience, you’ll be thrilled to learn that there are many available jobs that don’t require that much.

Medical Assistant

One of the most popular careers in the healthcare industry that don’t require a degree is a medical assistant. While your responsibilities may vary depending on where you plan to work, essentially you’ll be providing assistance to medical staff. This could include clerical and administrative tasks like answering phone calls and filing or medical support tasks like taking a patient’s vitals prior to their doctor’s visit.

While some medical practices will hire you with nothing more than a high school diploma, a good bedside manner, and a willingness to learn, other prerequisites for becoming a medical assistant include completing a certification course which could take anywhere from 9 months to two years.

Medical Interpreter

Do you live in a community where English isn’t the first language? If so, you might consider becoming a trained Spanish medical interpreter (or other popular languages). As an interpreter, your role would be essential. It would be your responsibility to help translate communications between the doctor and patient for effective treatment and care. From completing forms to learning about your treatment options, you’d be right by their side ensuring they can comprehend the information provided to them.

To become a medical interpreter, it will be necessary for you to take a brief training and certification course. Many of these courses can be completed within days or weeks depending on the institution you choose and your personal schedule.

Medical Scribe

As a medical scribe, you’d serve as the doctor’s right-hand man. It would be your responsibility to complete patient charts by inputting data into your electronic medical records software. As the doctor provides instruction, gives a diagnosis, or gives you other information during a patient visit, you simply input this information accurately and timely.

Most healthcare facilities don’t require medical scribes to have extensive education or medical training. It will be necessary for you to have efficient typing skills, effective listening skills, and a basic understanding of medical terminology.

Ultrasound Technician

As an ultrasound technician, your responsibility would be to utilize medical devices to perform an ultrasound on a patient. Once completed, you would then pass this information along to the doctor for further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Becoming an ultrasound technician will vary greatly on the provider you choose to work for. Some may require you to have nothing more than a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in science, math, or liberal arts (or at the very least, a degree with passing grades in biology, chemistry, anatomy, or physics). Others may only require that you take a certificate program.

Personal Care Assistant

Do you have the compassion and patience to care for those who can’t care for themselves? If so, you might be great as a personal care assistant. You would essentially help individuals with a physical or mental disability to carry out daily tasks like moving around, taking medications, getting dressed, bathing, and cooking.

Depending on where you live and what jobs you apply for, you may not need any formal education or training to become a personal care assistant. Some agencies, however, may require that you have completed medical certification courses like CPR training or a personal care assistant certification course.

Medical Secretary

Though it may seem like a low man on the totem pole position, medical secretaries are an essential part of the medical team. It is your job to keep the medical office in order and to provide clerical assistance to medical staff. This can include answering the phones, filing, scheduling appointments, sending out correspondence, managing inventory, and assisting patients with questions and forms.

The best part about becoming a medical secretary is that all you need is a high school diploma. An associate’s degree or clerical certification would be ideal as you also need to have basic clerical skills like typing, filing, document creation, and customer service. This, however, can be picked up over time with regular training.

Healthcare facilities are always in need of highly-skilled compassionate people to join their organization. As you can see, you don’t need to have a ton of experience to get your foot in the door. So, do the research to determine which position is best suited for you and begin making the transition to enter an industry where the possibilities are endless.