Finding Your Niche As A Health Care Worker

Posted on: 4 March 2015

When looking for a way to enter the health care profession, you'll find several paths that you can take. Some require years of schooling and thousands of dollars of commitment for the initial education. But there are other entry-level options to get into health care quickly and affordably. You'll get experience in the field, and then you can decide if you want to pursue more advanced training opportunities. Here are two different ways to start a career in the health care field.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

You will gain experience in direct patient contact with this role. This may be a good choice if considering going into nursing at a later date. It is also a good supplemental job where you want to help people. You'll work with a number of other professional health care providers as you perform such duties as

  • helping patients with their daily hygiene tasks
  • assisting people with their meals
  • changing linens for patients and cleaning their rooms
  • monitoring patient's vital signs, such as blood pressure and pulse
  • helping nursing staff with dressing changes and other medical procedures

The CNA schools will prepare you for this position using lectures, online courses, and hands-on demonstrations. You'll be able to work in many areas of health care, such as general surgery, obstetrics, and senior care. You can work in hospitals and clinics, or you can become a home health aide and help people as they recover in their own home from an illness or surgery. If you enjoy the idea of working closely with people, the CNA is a good way to experience this in multiple areas of health care.

Medical Administrative Assistant (MA)

If you're not sure you would like your focus to be giving care directly to people, this role gives you exposure to patients and many other experiences. This is a way to support other health care providers by using office skills you may already have. The MA programs teach you how to use administrative and clerical skills in a doctor's office, clinic, and hospital. While you won't be delivering care to patients, you'll still have exposure to people as you perform some of these functions:

  • helping patients make appointments
  • updating patient medical records
  • checking in patients for their appointments
  • working with insurance companies on patient billing issues

This is an important role because you may the first person a patient sees when they come in for an appointment. They may be anxious or in pain and a friendly face and comforting words may be needed to help them relax while waiting to see their doctor.

The CNA role gives you experience with direct patient contact. The MA role lets you see how a medical practice operates while giving you some exposure to patients. These are two paths into the health care field that will help you decide how far you wish to pursue a medical career, and in what direction. Talk to professionals like MedStar Academy for advice.