Finding Your Entry Point Into A Healthcare Career


You've heard about the growing demand for healthcare professionals but are unsure about what direction to take to step into that field. Are you interested in direct patient care or supporting those that do? There are a number of ways to approach a career in healthcare. The following three roles give you a range of experience with people who need the services of the healthcare system.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

In this role, you'll have direct contact with patients in various settings as well as support other healthcare professionals as they deliver care. You could work in a hospital, clinic, retirement home or anywhere where people need medical assistance. Your training covers a wide range of patient needs such as:

  • Taking vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature, to monitor a person's health status.
  • Making notes about a patient's condition in their medical records.
  • Helping people with their daily living activities, such as bathing, getting dressed and eating.
  • Assisting other healthcare providers with procedures such as changing bandages.

You can supplement your CNA training with skills to be able to work in specialty areas such as:

  • labor and delivery
  • oncology treatment
  • senior short-term rehabilitation

If you think you might be interested in a career of direct patient care, the CNA role is a good entry point into the healthcare profession for you.

Medical Assistant

If you like working with people, but don't see yourself doing direct patient care, the medical assistant role gives you contact with people that need medical attention without the hands-on care delivery. This role can also work in several settings, such as a doctor's office, medical clinic, hospital or rehabilitation center. In this role, you will be responsible for such tasks as:

  • Making appointments for patients.
  • Updating and filing medical records.
  • Assisting people with their insurance benefits questions.

Medical assistant schools will teach you special skills to help check in patients for their appointments. You may take their vital signs, ask initial screening questions, and you may even draw blood for laboratory tests. You may interact with professionals in different clinics and departments to arrange for diagnostic tests or treatment sessions for people. Often, you will be the first person that a patient has contact with when they arrive for help, so your assistance and kind smile will be much appreciated by them.

Medical Coding Specialist

This role is another step further from patient care, but you'll get exposure to much of what goes on when a patient receives care. Your role as a coding specialist is to make sure that the information recorded in the patient's medical records is complete and accurate. You'll receive information from various sources that must be included in the patient's records such as:

  • diagnostic test results from clinics and labs
  • doctor and nurses notes
  • treatment information
  • insurance benefit notes

Some of the information follows medical coding standards that must be properly recorded for effective reporting of the patient's condition. The ICD-10 coding standards (International Classification of Diseases, tenth version) is a sophisticated coding system that healthcare professionals are required to use. Your accuracy in using these codes is important to get the right data recorded for a patient.

As a coding specialist, you can work in a hospital or clinic. You can also work with companies as a contractor, doing the work from home. While you won't be delivering direct patient care, you'll learn about the ways that people come to rely on the healthcare system for the treatment of illness and injury. 


9 November 2015

getting inspired to go to trade school

Are you happy with your job? Do you have a career or just a job that you go to each day to earn a buck? I was working as a waiter at a local pub for about five years. I had no idea how much better things could be for me until I talked with a customer about how he went to a trade school, learned a trade, and began a real career. That was the beginning of my next journey in life. I created my blog to help others that feel trapped in their jobs and don't feel as if they have anywhere to go. It is my hope that I can inspire others the way that my customer inspired me.