The healthcare sector offers a wide range of rewarding career opportunities. But some positions may seem out of reach due to educational or financial barriers. However, there are several healthcare positions that have a relatively lower bar for entry, making them accessible for those who are looking to start a career in healthcare.
In this article, we’ll explore six positions in the healthcare sector that offer opportunities for entry-level workers to gain valuable experience and contribute to the healthcare system.
Table Of Contents
Patient Care Technician
Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) are valuable healthcare team members who work under the supervision of nurses and doctors to provide direct patient care. PCTs assist with daily living activities, such as bathing and feeding, and also monitor patients’ vital signs and symptoms. They often work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings where patients require frequent monitoring and assistance.
If you’re interested in becoming a PCT, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as completion of a state-approved training program. This is a field traditionally dominated by women, with Zippia reporting 81% of all PCT are females. But as the stigma around gender roles disappear, more and more men are joining this field as well.
Medical Assistants (MAs) are an essential part of the healthcare team, providing support to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in clinical settings. They perform a range of tasks, such as taking patient histories, measuring vital signs, and preparing patients for examinations. MAs may also assist with office procedures, such as scheduling appointments and managing medical records.
To become an MA, you typically should have completed high school and a post-secondary certificate or diploma program in medical assisting. But this is not all. According to the National Healthcareer Association, critical thinking and verbal communication are two ‘soft skills’ that are becoming increasingly more valuable to healthcare employers.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are healthcare professionals who provide basic medical care and support to patients under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians. They perform a range of tasks, such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and providing basic wound care. LPNs often work in hospitals and other healthcare settings where patients require frequent monitoring.
To become an LPN, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent and complete an accredited practical nursing program, which usually lasts around a year. It is a great position for those who have a goal of becoming a nurse quickly.
Many nursing courses, like that of Wilkes University, take this varying educational requirement for different nursing positions into account and offer a plethora of courses for people to choose from based on their goals and qualification. However, after completing their program, LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to become licensed just like any other nurse.
Medical coders are essential members of the healthcare team who are responsible for managing and organizing healthcare data and ensuring accurate billing processes. They assign codes to medical procedures and diagnoses, translate medical terminology into codes, and ensure that medical records are complete and up-to-date.
To become a medical coder, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and completion of a certificate or diploma program in medical coding. These programs usually take one year to complete and may be offered online or in person. Medical Coders also need to have strong attention to detail, knowledge of medical terminology, and proficiency in coding systems such as ICD-10-CM and CPT.
Mental Health Technician
Mental Health Technicians (MHTs) are important members of the mental healthcare team, providing care and support to patients with mental illnesses or disorders. They work under the supervision of licensed healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists or social workers, and assist with daily living activities, administer medication, and monitor patient behavior and symptoms.
To become an MHT, you typically need to complete a training program in mental health technology or a related field. MHTs generally get paid pretty well. Indeed reports that the average national income of MHTs in the US is $59,518 a year, along with 401k benefits.
Personal Care Aid
Personal Care Aides (PCAs) are healthcare professionals who provide personal care and support to patients who need help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They may also provide light housekeeping, meal preparation, and medication reminders. PCAs often work in home healthcare settings, where they provide one-on-one care to patients in their homes.
To become a PCA, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a state-approved training program. PCAs should also have strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work independently and provide compassionate care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for PCAs is growing at 25% a year, much faster than usual.
The healthcare sector offers a variety of career opportunities, including positions with a lower bar for entry. Patient care technicians, medical assistants, licensed practical nurses, and the rest mentioned above are all accessible positions that can lead to a rewarding career. These positions allow individuals to gain valuable experience while also contributing to the vital work of the healthcare system.
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