Healthcare Professions

Medical Assistant: 

A medical assistant's main focus is to support the work of other physicians as well as other healthcare professions and is one of the fastest-growing jobs in America. Medical Assistants are crossed-trained to play a hand in both administrative and clinical duties. Some administrative duties include computer applications, appointment scheduling, filling out insurance forms, as well as handling correspondence, billing and bookkeeping. Clinical duties include: taking medical histories, explaining procedures and treatments to patients, drawing blood, assist during physicals, and collect/prepare lab specimens. Being a Medical Assistant allows you to work in a variety of different settings but are mainly in outpatient care facilities. The minimum level of education required for a Medical Assistant Program is a high school diploma or GED and the program itself takes about a year to complete. 

  • Annual Salary: $33,610 

Registered Nurse (RN): 

RN’s play a variety of roles in the healthcare field. Duties depend on where you work but you can also specialize in specific areas such as pediatric nursing, neonatal nursing, cardiac nursing, etc. For the most part, an RN’s main job duties include assisting physicians while providing treatment, administering medications, monitoring patient recovery, as well as overseeing LPNs and CNAs. They also take a huge part in promoting public health and taking part in community work such as running health screenings or blood work. There are two paths are most commonly taken to become an RN and that is by either obtaining your Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

  • Annual Salary: $71,730 

Dental Assistant: 

Dental assistants are responsible for basic patient care and can do anything from preparing a patient for oral cleaning to administrative work. Other job duties include taking patient x-rays, providing instructions to patients, taking a medical history, taking impressions and more. This career offers flexibility with full and part-time available positions. Formal education is not necessarily required but varies by state. If so, the minimum education required is a high school diploma with the completion of a post-secondary program. 

  • Annual Salary: $38.660

Pharmacist: 

A pharmacist is responsible for dispensing medications to patients and medical facilities. Other job responsibilities also include compounding medications, preparing special solutions, overseeing orders/refills as well as collaborating with other healthcare professions to adequately plan, monitor, and review patient effectiveness. It is essential to have extensive knowledge of chemistry and anatomy/physiology in order to review drug prescription and examine drug interactions. To become a dental assistant, you must earn your Doctor of Pharmacy Degree and if desired to pursue a more advanced career such as clinical or research you would need to complete a 1-2 year residency. 

Family Practitioner:

A family practitioner is the general level of patient care, meaning they see patients from a variety of ages. They are usually the first doctor a patient will call. Family practitioners treat and diagnose common diseases and injuries. Many tend to practice more in smaller, rural communities. Their workplace varies from hospitals, clinics, and even private practices. Some family practitioners continue to pursue careers as professors for universities or non-profits. To become a family practitioner, you must complete your bachelor's degree, medical school and about 3-4 years of residency. 

  • Annual salary: $201k 

Nurse Practitioner: 

A nurse practitioner is in charge of completing tasks that physicians are given such as diagnosing illnesses, examine patients, and provide treatment. All tasks are completed under supervision and must obtain a doctor's signature for certain decisions. To become a nurse practitioner, you must first become an RN and enroll in an MSN program which can take a minimum of 2 years. You then earn your advanced practice nursing licensure.

  • Annual salary: $107,030

Physicians Assistant:

A physician assistant practices medicine but under the supervision of a physician or a surgeon. Their job consists of taking medical histories, performing physicals, assisting in surgery as well as diagnosing and treating.  PAs can also work in subspecialties aside from primary care. In order to become a PA, you must complete your bachelor's degree, graduate from an accredited PA program and pass the national certification exam. The training is very much similar to a nurse practitioner. 

  • Annual salary: $94,348 

Sources 

“A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Levels of Nursing.” Rasmussen.edu, www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/different-levels-of-nursing/.

CareerExplorer, Former family practitioners on. “Careers.” ‐ CareerExplorer, www.careerexplorer.com/careers/family-practitioner/.

Dental Assistant, www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-team-careers/dental-assistant.

Jacksonvilleu.com, www.jacksonvilleu.com/blog/nursing/how-to-become-a-registered-nurse/.

“Nurse Practitioner Career Guide.” Nurse.org, nurse.org/resources/nurse-practitioner/.

“Optometrists : Occupational Outlook Handbook:” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/optometrists.htm#tab-4.

“Pharmacists : Occupational Outlook Handbook:” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm.

“Physician Assistant.” ExploreHealthCareers.org, explorehealthcareers.org/career/medicine/physician-assistant/.

“Top 50 Health Care Jobs.” Online Medical Assistant Schools, www.topmedicalassistantschools.com/top-50-health-care-jobs/.

“What Does a Medical Assistant Do? A Closer Look at This Caring Career.” Rasmussen College, www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/what-does-a-medical-assistant-do/.

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