Assisting Your Way to Your Dream Nursing Job

Trend watchers have said for several years now that medical careers, whether as a doctor or a nurse, will continue to grow during the next few decades.  Among other reasons, this is true because of the ever-aging population.  And as baby-boomers especially grow older, the need for treatment will increase.

Still, no career field is completely immune to a bad economy.  This includes the medical field.  With unemployment still at high levels, everybody is competing for the same few available jobs.

This means that you, as an aspiring nurse, might not be able to immediately get that dream job.  There’s good news, though:  Just because you can’t get a job right now as a nurse (or doctor) does not mean that you have to settle for a job in a restaurant or convenience store.  There are other medical options available for you. One of the best options for you:  that of the assistant.  Consider this: for every job opening as a nurse, there are several in healthcare assistant fields.  We’re talking specifically about:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Nurse Assistant
  • Nurse First Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Orthopedic Physicians Assistant
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Physician Assistant

Any of these jobs allows you to take an immediate step into the healthcare field.  Any is a great step up your career ladder, gives you a chance to experience the medical environment and then later you can decide what type of nursing certification appeals to you. And each of these is easier to get into during this recession than a job as a nurse will be.

If you’ve set a career goal to help people who have special needs, and to be recognized for your knowledge, skills, and dedication, then healthcare assisting is for you.  These positions have existed since the mid-20th century, and the career outlook for them remains excellent for both females and males.

There will always be a need for healthcare, for doctors and for nurses.  And where there are doctors and nurses, there will always be a need for their assistants.

So what kind of work would you be doing as a healthcare assistant?  Let’s go back to that list of positions we discussed earlier:

The Certified Medical Assistant’s job is largely administrative in scope. They’re frequently responsible for answering phones, maintaining and updating the patient’s medical records, greeting patients, filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, making hospital admission arrangements, and handling bookkeeping and billing.

The Certified Nurse  Assistant is needed to provide routine care for patients so that the nurse can offer only the care that she is equipped to handle.  Some of her duties might include formulating care plans, administering medication, and helping out in preparing the surgery room.

The Certified Nurse First Assistant is responsible to the surgical team and to the patient to educate and facilitate the best possible outcome for the patient.  Some duties will include  patient education, patient assessment, tissue handling, providing hemostatis, suturing, tissue handling, and performing basic followup care.

The occupational therapist assistant assists clients with exercises and rehabilitative activities detailed in his or her treatment plan.  They also keep a record of the client / patient’s progress for the occupational therapist’s reference.

The orthopedic physician’s assistant works under the physician’s supervision, providing many of the healthcare services performed by a physician.  He might give a physical, counsel patients and provide treatment.

The Physical Therapist Assistant’s job is to aid the physical therapist by providing treatment which improves the patient’s mobility, alleviates pain, and lessens or prevents physical disabilities.  As an example, she might help the patient learn the proper use of crutches or assist him with exercises.

The Physician Assistant practices medicine under a physician’s supervision, and is himself a licensed healthcare professional.  His duties include a wide variety of tasks traditionally done by a doctor.

Of these, the positions which somewhat correspond to nursing, and which therefore serve as a good run on the ladder to a nursing career, include the certified medical assistant, the certified nurse assistant, the certified nurse first certificate, the occupational therapist assistant, the and the physical therapist assistant.  The orthopedic physician assistant and the physical assistant, because they do many of the same tasks as the physician himself, is a path for those who plan to become doctors.

If getting on one of these job tracks fast is a prime concern, you should know that the certified medical assistant job is probably the easiest to get into.  That’s because the education requirements can often be fulfilled with an associate’s degree or at community or technical colleges.

Before you start searching for a job in any of these areas, you should first research information about the educational and certification requirements that your state and local area has for the job.  It’s also smart to keep an eye on current job market trends, and expended trends for the near future.  Find out the employer’s expectations and the learning potential for each job.  Also make sure that you’re aware of any possible challenges and pitfalls before you dive in.

 



About the Author

Brian has a BA in Economics, and an MA in Psychology. He lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has traveled widely and has written extensively on education, testing and tests.

Comments (2)

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  1. thanks says:

    thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    nice blog ………

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