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Like thousands of other people, you might have your heart set on a career in the healthcare sector, but be unwilling or unable to pursue a medical degree. This doesn’t have to stop your plans in their tracks! There are a range of jobs in the healthcare industry that don’t require a stint at medical school. While some of these require different certifications or degrees, they’re much more accessible than some of the higher-up positions in the healthcare industry.
As a physician’s assistant, you’ll be working closely with a team of physicians and surgeons, having become certified and licensed. While you won’t be a full practitioner, you’ll share many responsibilities with qualified doctors. You may need to check medical histories, conduct physical examinations, order tests and interpret the results that come back. You may even need to assist in surgery and administer basic treatments. To become a physician assistant, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, as well as some healthcare experience. Most accredited programs take around two years to complete. Once you’ve managed to get your foot in the door, you’ll also need to complete 100 hours of continuing education for every two years that you practice.
Being a healthcare administrator is another way to make a difference in a medical institution, without needing a lengthy medical degree. As more and more hospitals adopt complex record-keeping systems, opportunities for healthcare administrators are only going to grow. As a healthcare administrator, your responsibilities will help to manage the whole facility, dealing with staff schedules, medical billing, electronic health records, coding and other things. You will also need to keep your finger on the pulse of changing technology standards, along with new laws governing how healthcare institutions need to operate. This job generally requires a bachelor’s degree and some other admin experience, but you can make your career progression even more direct through healthcare administration degrees. While getting your foot in the door can lead to various other opportunities, you may need an additional graduate’s degree to pursue the career path you want. While this isn’t a hands-on role, it has great job security, and the work you’ll do will be essential to the smooth running of the whole operation.
A radiologic technologist, not to be confused with a radiologist, is in charge of taking x-rays, MRIs and CT scans of patients. In order to be considered for this job at any good hospital, you’ll need an associate’s degree at the very least, which is the most common degree amongst practicing radiologic technologists. During your training, you’ll take courses in pathology, anatomy, general patient care, and perhaps most importantly, image evaluation. Once you’ve obtained your degree, there are other licensing exams you’ll have to pass to be able to practice. The main thing separating radiologists from radiologic technologists is that radiologists require a medical degree, and typically follow a similar career path to other physicians. While radiologic technologists are primarily there to operate complex equipment, radiologists spend most of their working day diagnosing patients.