You may have heard about the tremendous need for workers in the healthcare profession, and the demand is only expected to increase over the next decade and beyond. If you’ve been considering a job in healthcare, you have probably asked yourself the most important question: “Which medical career is right for me?”
Examining the various pros and cons associated with some of the most popular and fastest-growing healthcare professions can help you make the right career decision.
A Licensed Vocational or Licensed Practical Nurse works under the direction of a Registered Nurse or physician. They provide basic care such as measuring vital signs, collecting fluid samples, and assisting with personal hygiene.
Pros: LVN/LPNs enjoy the satisfaction of providing personalized care to patients. Entry into the profession can be gained with less than a year of training.
Cons: The work can be physically and mentally demanding. Tending to the needs of seriously injured or ill patients can be extremely challenging. Workdays may stretch beyond a standard eight-hour shift.
Medical Assistants perform a variety of administrative tasks within a healthcare facility such as greeting patients, scheduling appointments, and assisting patients with insurance forms.
Pros: The work can be interesting and varied; workers can gain satisfaction from working as part of a team.
Cons: Medical Assistants may have limited responsibility and they are often paid less than other members of the administrative team. Additional training may be necessary for career advancement.
Medical Office Specialist
Medical Office Specialists are typically responsible for managing the administrative side of a healthcare facility.
Pros: The MOS is the most valued administrative role within a medical office and comes with a high level of responsibility.
Cons: The job can be stressful and long hours are often required. Handling complex tasks such as processing medical claims can be frustrating at times.
Dental Assistants typically help dentists in delivering patient care; some perform various administrative functions within a dental office.
Pros: A Dental Assistant can be a smart career choice for someone who enjoys helping others maintain good oral health.
Cons: Dental Assistants must often work with difficult patients who are apprehensive or in pain. Career growth may be limited without additional training.
Massage Therapists use their hands to manipulate muscles in an effort to relieve pain, reduce stress, and help patients recover from injuries.
Pros: Massage Therapists often derive great pleasure in helping people relax and feel better. They can work in varied environments such as chiropractor’s offices, cruise ships and spas.
Cons: Providing massage therapy can be physically and emotionally draining; some therapists experience “burn out” within a few years. Self-employed Massage Therapists may also bear the additional burdens that come with operating a business.
Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Medical Coders translate complex medical terminology found in patient records into the standardized codes that are used for billing and insurance claim processing.
Pros: Medical coding can be an excellent career choice for detail-oriented individuals who are not intimidated by the prospect of having to work with medical jargon. Some coders may have the opportunity to work from home.
Cons: Staring at a computer screen all day long can become tedious. Depending on the needs of the employer, evening and weekend work may be mandatory.
Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Technologists assist Veterinarians in providing healthcare to animals.
Pros: This career can be ideally suited for individuals who have a genuine love of animals and would enjoy helping people care for their cherished pets.
Cons: The job can be physically demanding and emotionally stressful. Animal behavior can be unpredictable, especially when they are hurt or frightened, which could place you in harm’s way. You’ll also be required to euthanize animals that are unable to be helped with veterinary care.
Pursuing an Education in Healthcare or Medical Care
Many colleges offer a wide range of educational programs in each of the listed medical specialties. Depending on the specialty and the program selected, your training can lead to a diploma, certification, or an Associate of Applied Science Degree.
By obtaining a degree, you’ll not only receive all the education you need in your chosen field, you’ll also have the chance to experience hands-on training in real hospitals, clinics, or medical offices. Your instructors will help you turn your passion into real skills and give you all the tools you need to successfully interview and land a job as a medical professional.
Get Started on a Medical Career Today!
Contact a Vista College Admissions Representative today to learn more about the pros and cons of each of these medical careers, and learn more about our various training opportunities. We can help you find which medical career is right for you.