The healthcare industry is an established field that can offer a lifelong career with the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives and the promise of financial stability. You don’t have to be a doctor to enjoy the benefits of working in healthcare. There are many allied positions that allow you to work directly with patients and alongside physicians. Below we explore three healthcare jobs to look into if you’re interested in breaking into this field.
Also known as a CCP, or a certified clinical perfusionist, this career path allows you to work with what’s known as a heart-lung machine. This device takes the place of a patient’s heart and lungs during cardiac and organ transplant surgeries, circulating and oxygenating their blood. The cardiac perfusionist is solely responsible for the operation and condition of the heart-lung equipment and must assist the surgeon to ensure the well-being of the patient.
Salary.com reports that a starting salary for cardiac perfusionists can range anywhere from $60,000-$75,000, and the average salary is more than $130,000. According to the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion, a student interested in this career can enroll in an undergraduate perfusion science program. Alternately, prospective perfusionists who already have a bachelor’s degree must successfully complete a master’s degree in perfusion or a training program offered by an affiliated academic medical center, which includes a minimum of 150 training procedures. Afterward, he or she must pass the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion’s certification examination.
Perfusion.com explains that for an undergraduate student, becoming a perfusionist can take four years of study, while an individual pursuing a master’s or certification in perfusion science can expect to reach his or her goal in two years from commencing the program.
Laboratory technicians are skilled medical-field workers who perform mechanical or diagnostic tests on a variety of samples and report their data to physicians for further analysis. Depending on the specific field, they may perform lab tests on bodily fluids, teeth, biological specimens, or chemical compounds. Independence University explains that you may complete tests such as ultrasounds, analyze samples of specimens, or perform X-rays. They’ll work in a lab with complex equipment or computer software and may be self-directed or work under direct supervision of a scientist or doctor.
Lab technicians can expect to make anywhere from $46,000=$56,000 with a median average of $51,000 for the field. This can vary depending on if a technician works in a medical, dental, clinical, or ophthalmic laboratory.
If this is a field that interests you, then you’ll find that you will often need a specific degree or certificate for this position. According to The Balance Careers, becoming a lab technician requires either earning an associate’s degree as a medical laboratory technician or completing a certification program in the same field. Afterward, you may have to become licensed by your state, depending on the requirements of where you live. Even if your state doesn’t require licensing, it would benefit you to become certified by the American Medical Technologists professional association.
If you don’t mind working with blood and want a career in healthcare, then you may want to consider becoming a phlebotomist. This allied health profession specializes in collecting blood from patients for clinical laboratory testing. A phlebotomist is trained in the correct way to locate veins and draw blood and is also responsible for the proper labeling, storage, and preparation for transport of the collected blood.
Phlebotomists can expect to earn anywhere from $25,000-$30,000, depending on their education level and experience. ExploreHealthCareers.org describes how in order to become a phlebotomist, you must first complete high school and pass a training program from an accredited community college or vocational school. Many employers will only hire certified phlebotomists, so it’s important to pass the certification exam after graduation from the training program.
These three great allied health professions offer the opportunity to work alongside doctors and help patients, each in their own way and with different educational requirements. While this list is far from exhaustive, it shows how there are many opportunities to work in healthcare without having to be a doctor or nurse. This career field is growing rapidly, and it’s expected that the demand for allied healthcare workers will grow twice as fast as the national economy between now and 2020. If you’ve dreamed of working in healthcare, now is the time to begin your career path.
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