Continuing Education for a Healthcare Career
Retraining at least once over the course of your working life is a reality for most people. Whether you were laid off or looking for a change of pace, healthcare is a booming field and it’s a perfect place for anyone to go back to school with a continuing education program. Healthcare also has the advantage of allowing you to feel like your work is valuable. More so than many industries, people employed in this field know they make a positive difference in patients’ lives every day they go to work. Finally, healthcare tends to be an understanding employer for parents. If you’re an older worker with an established family, or maybe a parent going back to work, a career switch may be the best way to achieve work life balance.
On the physically demanding side of things are jobs like personal support worker or medical assistant. You’ll be on your feet all the time, helping patients with daily tasks, in a clinic, hospital or private home setting. If hands on is for you and you have more time to devote to your studies you might also consider becoming a pharmacy technician, a dental hygienist or going to nursing school. These support roles are all lucrative and indispensable to your employer.
If you’re more interested in the sedate life at a desk, you have limited mobility, for example you want a second retirement career, or you have past administrative experience, there’s also lots of opportunities on the clerical side of things as well. From handling medical billing and booking appointments, to providing sensitivity with difficult diagnoses, a medical office assistant make be the sole employee at a private practice or part of a giant team of administrators at a hospital, and there are excellent prospects for advancement at larger institutions.
Your continuing education journey starts with figuring out where and what you want to study. A lot has changed in health and technology, so pick a school with up-to-date facilities and lots of practical experience. You’ll also want to be mindful of certification exam preparation. When lives hang in the balance, regulations require many healthcare workers to comply with strict certification and licensing practices.
Nursing school, for example, is a good example of this. Individual nursing courses will help you get a foot in the door, but you’re more likely to end up as a nursing assistant in places like rehabilitation and managed care facilities. The next tier, licenced nurses, have more formal education and more responsibility. A registered nurse is usually a university graduate. All these demand accredited programs and pay scales upwards with the education difficulty. You can certainly study any of these part-time, but for continuing education, you will want to be realistic about how much time you want to devote to your new career.