In today’s time, tertiary education is not a practical endeavor, especially if it leaves you with a huge debt you’ll spend most of your adult life paying for. Some people would rather get their high school diploma or their GED and then find a job with a livable income.
If you’ve dreamed of practicing medicine since you were young but then realized as you grew older that it is costly to study medicine, you might have set that dream aside in exchange for a more practical one. But what if you found out that there’s a way to secure a job in the healthcare sector even if you don’t have a college degree?
You may have never thought of seeking a job in medicine because you didn’t go to college, but there are actually many positions that only require training or certifications in place of a degree. To get you started, here are a few healthcare jobs that you can apply to without a college degree. These positions can be found in different settings, but mainly in and out of hospitals:
Outside Hospitals or Clinics
There are many healthcare jobs that you can apply for that do not require a bachelor’s degree, but there are certain qualifications you have to meet. For instance, to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) that can work as a caregiver in assisted living facilities or a personal aide in a hospice, you’ll have to undergo a CNA program that teaches you whatever you’ll need to know to do your job accordingly.
Some aspects of the CNA certification include patient personal care, mental health, infection prevention, vital signs, communication, and other basic methods that you’ll need to know by heart. Being a nursing assistant would require you to know how to give your patients the best care possible without becoming a registered nurse.
After getting your certification, you can apply to jobs in nursing homes or long-term facilities, assisted living centers, or even as personal aides to patients in their own homes. Becoming a CNA can also give you the chance to pursue further studies if you ever want to do so in the future.
In the Hospital
If you want to work inside a hospital without a degree, you can apply to become a medical scribe or a medical assistant. Both positions will allow you to assist physicians inside a hospital facility but in completely different ways.
To be a medical scribe means that you’ll have to fill out the patient charts in place of your physician so that they could focus better on their patients and not on the files. The only thing you have to do to work as a medical scribe is to have an interest and an understanding of patient care and medicine.
To be a medical assistant, on the other hand, would mean that you get to be in charge of administrative tasks like appointment scheduling and updating medical records, as well as preparing patients for their exams. You would need to take a post-secondary program that takes roughly a year to qualify for this position.
In the Operating Room
You might not have even considered the possibility of getting into an operating room without a degree. Still, there is a job that you could do without it — being a surgical technologist. Most people with jobs in the operating room will have degrees on top of degrees. Still, if you’re a surgical technologist, the only qualification you’ll need is to study for a two-year associate’s degree and then complete a certification program.
To be a surgical technologist means that you’ll be preparing the surgical equipment depending on what kind of surgery is being done and assisting doctors in the operating rooms as needed. This can be the closest thing to a surgeon that you could be without a doctorate.
In the Laboratory
If you’re no stranger to needles and if you don’t get queasy at the sight and smell of blood, you could be a phlebotomist. You won’t need a college degree to work as one because you’ll only need a certification that takes six to twelve weeks at most.
Being a phlebotomist means that you regularly draw blood samples for tests and perform blood transfusions when needed. On some occasions, you can assist in blood donation drives and even conduct important blood analysis and diagnosis research.
While having a degree in medicine is both a privilege and a dream, there are other ways for you to reach it without drowning in debt. These jobs are only a few of the many positions that you can apply to in the healthcare sector because there will always be patients of all kinds that would require care. So you can either wallow in despair because you can’t afford to go to college, or you can take advantage of training and certifications and get yourself a healthcare job. It’s your choice.