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I want to do something in the medical field but don't want to be a surgeon or a nurse or spend all of my 20’s in school, but also want to be paid well what do i do??

Idk what i should do!

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Subject: Career question for you

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Nicole’s Answer

Have you looked into radiology / x-ray? It’s a 2- year associate’s degree and jobs pay decently. Once you have your x-ray license, you can go to school for a bit longer to get registered in CT or MRI. Both pay more than x-ray. And ultrasound and nuclear medicine pay even more. I have been an imaging tech for some time and am paid on par with nurses.

Nicole recommends the following next steps:

Learn more about what it takes to become an imaging tech by visiting arrt.org - this is the accrediting body most employers require you to be registered through.
Check out local colleges that offer degrees in radiologic technology to see academic requirements. It’s possible you can set up a meeting with someone in the program to discuss what to expect an x-ray job to be like.
Check with local hospitals and ask if they allow any type of job-shadowing that lets you speak with x-ray techs and possibly follow them through part of the day.
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Briana’s Answer

Hi, Addy,

There is a wealth of jobs in the medical field that don't require an MD. To name a few:

-rehab and habiliatative therapy (physical, occupational, and speech/cognitive therapies) typically require a 4-year Bachelors degree and 2-3 Masters program for clinical training
-rehab and habilitative therapy assistants (physical, occupational, and speech therapy assistants) typically require either a 4-year Bachelors degree OR an Associates or clinical certification which take ~2 years
-Technical certifications (CNA, lab tech, sonogram tech, xray tech, etc) typically require 1-2 years technical training
-medical social worker, typically requires a 4-year Bachelors and a 2-3 year masters degree
-counselor or therapist (typically needs a 4-year Bachelors, with other clinical certifications available)

There are also the jobs on the administration side if things like being a healthcare administrator, billing specialist, medical coder, medical scribe, or patient advocate.
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Brandy’s Answer

There are so many options in the medical field to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help narrow it down.
1. Do you want to be hands on helping patients or do you prefer to be behind the scenes?
2. What makes you want to go into the medical field? Why are you choosing healthcare?
3. How many years do you want to be in college? 4 yrs? 8 yrs? More?
4. Are you ok working with human body fluid like blood, vomit, urine, feces? If not, direct patient care may not be for you
5. Are you ok working nights, weekends and holidays? What about being on call?
6. What does making good money mean to you? Is it $50k? $75k? $100k? Or more?
Here are some various jobs you can research some more once you answer the questions and get a better idea of what is important to you.
Medical Doctors require the most schooling but there are many specialties to choose from, not just being a surgeon. A few examples are Family Practice, Pediatrician, OB/GYN, Cardiologist, Anesthesiologist, Radiologist, etc.
Other options include: X-Ray Tech (Radiology tech), Ultrasound tech, Lab technician, Respiratory Therapist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Audiologist (hearing), Eye Doctor, Pharmacist, social worker, therapist, Nurse or Nurse Practitioner, Microbiologist, Orthodontist, Dentist, Dental Hygienist, massage therapist, Chiropractor…..I could go on and on!
You have to figure out what is important to you. For example, I chose nursing because there will always be jobs for nurses, I can live anywhere and there will be jobs, there are so many specialties to choose from, I can work whatever hours I want, I was ok working some holidays and weekends, the pay is decent, I enjoy helping people and I like the flexibility.
I hope this helps a little bit! Good luck!
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Cheri’s Answer

Hi, Addy! I did a quick search using "fast track medical programs" (See links below). Does your priority truly lie in the least school for the most salary? If so, a local vocational/technical schools/colleges website search will show program availability on these fast-track/ combined study/accelerated learning programs. Some even boast a 6-month LPN fast-track.

You can cross reference the listed locations with salaries on a job website like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Zippia, GlassDoor, etc. Some locations pay higher salaries for the same job than others. If a school in your area does not have the program you want and you'd consider relocating, search instead by the program to obtain a list of schools & their locations.

To summarize, simply identify the schools with programs that interest you on a timeline & location agreeable to you. Many medical fast-track jobs have advancement opportunities. For example, EMTs, especially EMT-As (if your state has EMT-A's), can prime you to fast-track to RN then even upgrade further to flight nurse. Flight nurses average $75-125k per year depending on location. An accelerated learning program for Medical Coding & Billing could allow you to work from home AND open a future door to a Billing Documentation Auditor promotion for an average of annual salary $60-100k.

Those large salaries mean you'll have to put in the research, work hours, & networking to get there in record time. Keep in mind, additional certifications to enable such promotions can always be achieved in spurts versus all in one long leap. Usually, though, a challenging year or so getting EVERYthing done may be better in the long run. Why? Well first, you're done! You can reap that higher salary faster while and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Second, simultaneously working & going to school is incredibly challenging without fast-tracking! Trying to fast-track & maintain your job you worked so fast & furious to get may prove too difficult.

Which direction you take depends on your interests & time you're willing to buckle down & dedicate to the required training but fair warning: these programs are fast and furious. Be certain you get well-informed of both the required program hours AND out-of-school hours required such as homework, clinicals, and so on BEFORE you commit. This is the only way to ensure that your expectations are more closely aligned with the reality of such an intense program of study without participating in a shadowing program or internship prior. Also, since excellent time management will be a must, I included a link below of the Top 10 Best Time Management apps for college students. Some have free plans &/or trials and others are just a few, well-spent dollars per month.

I hope this helps you narrow your job search. Best of luck!

Cheri recommends the following next steps:

Fast Medical Certificate Programs That Pay Well https://topnursing.school/3-to-6-month-and-1-year-medical-training-programs/ (This lists salaries with each position named.)
3-yr MD (Fast track your post-grad) https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/articles/a-guide-to-accelerated-3-year-medical-schools
Accelerated/Combined Programs https://blog.prepscholar.com/ba-md-bs-md-programs-list
Top Time Management apps https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/best-time-management-apps/
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James’s Answer

hi Addy. i would recommend phlebotomy training. you don't need a college degree, training can take as little as a year to get started, you can work in numerous settings, and the pay's reasonable. here's a link to begin that journey. good luck!

James recommends the following next steps:

https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-to-become-a-phlebotomist/
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Julie’s Answer

Hello Addy. I just have to respond to your question, because this was exactly how I felt when I was your age too!
It was very hard for me to think about spending 10-15 years in college, it sounds like a FOREVER long amount of time. I just couldn't imagine life in school forever, it seemed like an awful future. And I just wanted to get started in the real world, doing real world things.
But here is the thing... you are going to live those years, no matter what, you are doing SOMETHING. Right? So, why NOT spend those years doing something that enriches your mind, connects you with other students who are pursuing advanced degrees, and setting you up for long term success. Going to a longer program in college does not mean that you are going to miss out on anything, in fact I would argue that you would be gaining something that others are not getting.
You can get some schooling done quickly, pick a shorter degree, and get to work making some money more quickly. OR . You can pick a degree with longer schooling, and in doing so you are in a program that not only teaches you that profession, but it also figures out for you all of the details you need to know to help you get a better job that pays you even more money later.
I did the first option, and I look back now and realize I was being impatient because I did not know very much about higher education. I went to junior college, got a quick degree. Then I started a family and realized I needed a better degree so I went back to school for that. Then, when I wanted a promotion, I realized I had to go back to school AGAIN for another degree. I spent just as much time (maybe more) going back in spurts over 15 years. And, I don't make nearly as much money as I would have if I had followed my original path and become a veterinarian.
Now, I do know more, and I have learned that if I had applied to a 4-year college and then graduate school, I would have received financial assistance and scholarships to make that possible. And I now know that one of the advantages to graduate school is that they help you get placed with a job.
Long story short: I still spent 15 years going to school, and I did it the hard way. I had to work and live, without anyone teaching me how to do it. If I had to do it all again, I would have followed my heart, gone right into undergrad and graduate schools, and been lucky enough to have all those resources and assistance getting me the career that I really wanted.
So let your dreams guide you, not your fears. :)
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