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Would it be smart to take a medical admin trade to work in a mental institution?

I want to work in a mental institution/ hospital so I just want to know if it's good to take medical admin or medical assistant as a trade for that.

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Subject: Career question for you


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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Marina !

There are very few actual whole hospitals for inpatient mentally ill patients left and most of the inpatient care is being done within a regular community hospital in a different section usually called the behavioral health unit or psychiatric unit. So most likely, you would be working within a general hospital but in the behavioral health unit. San Jose does actually have the San Jose Behavioral Health facility and it is a stand-alone facility with 80 beds.

I have also left a link for you below of some other possible places that you might be interested in looking into for possible volunteer work, internships or paid employment if you want to stay in your town.

You've mentioned Medical Assistant and Medical Administration, and those would be awesome if you wanted to work in the medical field, but for behavior health you would take more of a psychology course of study, not a medical field like medical assistant or administration. You should major in Psychology and take it as far as required for your desired field of work. Some careers you can consider would be Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Social Worker or Psychiatric Technician. Think about how long you would like to attend college, what degree you'd want to obtain, a Masters or PhD, and look into college programs that explain each career.

It's very rare that one can actually just visit a psychiatric unit to observe how they are, so that's why I suggest the volunteer work or an internship which ever would be easier and quicker for you to obtain. You really need to get the feel for the place and the patients even if you just do reception, data entry, answer phones or any other non-patient contact. The experience will affirm your choice one way or the other.

Becoming a Medical Administrator or a Medical Assistant would be awesome if you want to focus on patient's physical health. I would suggest speaking with any academic counselor about the careers and doing some research online for an informed choice. It's never helpful to choose a career based on the venue or building you may want to work in because especially with a mental or physical health related career, you never know where the work is going to be and where the best opportunities for you are.

A wealth of information is on the internet through searches about the careers you've mentioned as well as the careers I've mentioned here. The more information you obtain the better well informed you will be and choices will be easier to make. Best wishes to you !

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