So you want to help people, but being a doctor seems like a fairly large task. That’s because it is! If doing that seems daunting, that is perfectly okay. There are many different ways to help people through the different possible medicine jobs. The following jobs will vary from no experience to 8 years plus residency. In order from least experience to most:
Medicine Jobs #1: Patient Care Technician or Job Equivalent
Being a PCT consists mostly of helping patients get to the bathroom, helping them go to the bathroom, bathing them, taking out catheters, checking on a patients vital signs, and other basic medical tasks. Being a PCT takes little to no experience, and it is a great stepping stone for those who want to get introduced into medicine before deciding it is for them.
Medicine Jobs #2: Hospital Lab Technician or Job Equivalent
If you love looking under microscopes and running lab tests on substances, this is the simple job for you. Being a lab technician at a hospital consists of running tests on a patient’s blood, urine, saliva, and anything else that the doctors need results on. Like the PCT position, a Lab Tech spot requires little to no experience.
Medicine Jobs #3: Certified Nurse Assistant
A CNA is much like a PCT, but with slightly more experience. This job also consists mostly of helping patients get to the bathroom, helping them go to the bathroom, bathing them, taking out catheters, checking on a patients vital signs, and the other basic medical tasks that PCTs have. The only difference is the certification, through a 4 week class, which in some cases will result in a slight increase in pay.
Medicine Jobs #4: Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse
These two jobs mean virtually the exact same thing. LPNs have more experience than that of a CNA or a PCT. This job provides you with a lot of responsibilities. LPNs have responsibility over the care of the patient. They assign PCTs, talk to the patients, escort them to their rooms when they come, escort them out of the hospital when they go, and get their information where it needs to go.
Medicine Jobs #5: Registered Nurse
RNs have one of the most fulfilling jobs in healthcare. They get to know the patients really well, perform diagnostics and chart the results, administer medications, interview patients about their medical history, put in IVs, and many more things. This is probably have the most involved job in medicine. RNs go through 4 years of pretty vigorous training to become licensed. Some nurses will pursue a specialty.
Medicine Jobs #6: Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant is the closest thing to being a Physician without actually being one. In smaller towns, PAs do pretty much everything that a doctor can do without all of the training. Once you move into the city though, it will be hard to find a job like that as there is more competition. PAs can examine patients, give them treatment options, prescribe medications, order x-rays and other tests and analyze them, and more. PAs need a Bachelor’s with the same pre-requisites as medical school (for the most part), and then to move on to a PA school for 2 years or so.
Medicine Jobs 7: #Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioner is another career that can bring everything that being a doctor does without the licensure and residency requirements. NPs treat and diagnose patients, though in some states they can’t do everything that PAs and physicians can. In some cases, NPs aren’t allowed to prescribe medication. You are still allowed to treat patients, though you may need to refer them to a doctor for the higher operations. NPs go through the RN program, followed by 2-4 years of practitioner training.
Medicine Jobs #8: Medical Doctor Through M.D. or D.O.
There are two separate routes to take after achieving a Bachelor’s degree to become a licensed medical doctor. There is the allopathic route through attending an M.D. centered medical school; there is also the osteopathic route through attending a D.O. centered medical school. Each of these allow you to practice the exact same way, and do everything that the other does. The differences are subtle. D.O. schools are more focused on teaching primary care, whereas M.D. schools are more focused on doctors looking to specialize. It is a lot of schooling, plus a residency, but it is an amazing achievement if you are up for it.
No matter what you want to do in medicine, you will find a good option at any point in time. Medicine is about so much more than making money. Medicine is about helping those that are at their most vulnerable. So, whether you want to do a CNA class, be an RN, or go to medical school, you are doing something for the greater good. Thank you for choosing to pursue medicine, and I hope you find everything that you want out of a career in doing so!
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