The allied health professions is a field that is always in demand and can afford you the opportunity to have a rewarding experience each day. If you are on the fence about which career path to choose, there are three areas in the healthcare industry that will keep you on your toes.
Medical assistant positions combine elements of healthcare administration and clinical practice. In the administrative role, it is your responsibility to manage patients records, schedule appointments, and perform other essential office duties. Medical assistants often triage patients in the clinical setting, which includes taking a patient history, checking vitals, and preparing patients for exams or procedures. You may also assist physicians during exams, such as handling specimens and instruments. Depending on your locality, you might administer vaccinations and take blood to send to the lab. You can find medical assistants in any number of clinical settings, such as private practices, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Due to the variety of different job functions you can perform, it is often easy to find career opportunities in medical settings that suit your interests. Contact local medical assistant programs to learn more.
Radiology technicians bridge the gap between patients and the radiologist. Some technicians pursue general study, whereas others choose to specialize in certain types of imaging tests. Broadly, the technician will help prepare patients and perform testing, such as doing x-rays, EKGs, or CT scans. Specialized training can increase your options of clinical settings and types of imaging tests you can perform.
For example, you might be interested in working in an oncology setting where you could have the opportunity to help administer PET scans or assist in the administration of radiation therapy. Similarly, special training in the field of cardiology or neurology can open doors to working with interventional radiologists who use imaging for minimally invasive procedures.
The operating room is often filled with different health professionals who all work in unison to assist the patient. This makes being a surgical assistant appealing, especially when surgeons create a team of professionals who frequently work together. As a surgical assistant, you prepare the operating room by creating a sterile field, setting up instrumentation, and handing-off the instruments to the surgeon during the procedure. Being a surgical assistant requires significant stamina, since you may be on your feet for many hours, especially if you work with surgeons who may perform delicate operations, such as transplantation.
No matter which path you choose in the allied health professions, you are sure to find a long-term career. One of the main advantages of the healthcare industry is the atmosphere is always changing and you can have a direct impact on patient care.