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How to start a new career in the medical field after 40?

After 18 years in corporate marketing and a BA in psychology from 20 years ago I’d like to start a second career in the medical field. I am thinking of starting with a certificate in phlebotomy and then hopefully use tuition reimbursement to help pay for surgical tech school or another two year degree. I know I will take a huge financial set back but I don’t want to work in marketing or corporate anymore. Any advice?

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Jamie,

Starting a New Career in the Medical Field After 40

Starting a new career in the medical field after 40 is definitely possible and can be a rewarding experience. Here are some steps you can take to transition into the medical field:

1. Research and Explore Options: Before making any decisions, it’s important to research and explore the various options available in the medical field. Look into different roles, such as phlebotomy, surgical technology, nursing, medical assisting, or healthcare administration, to see which one aligns best with your interests and skills.

2. Obtain Necessary Certifications or Degrees: Since you are considering starting with a certificate in phlebotomy, this is a good first step. Phlebotomy programs are typically short-term and can provide you with the basic skills needed to work in healthcare settings drawing blood from patients. After completing a phlebotomy program, you can consider pursuing further education or certifications in areas like surgical technology or nursing.

3. Utilize Tuition Reimbursement Programs: Taking advantage of tuition reimbursement programs offered by employers can help offset the costs of further education in the medical field. Many healthcare organizations offer tuition assistance for employees pursuing degrees or certifications related to healthcare.

4. Gain Experience Through Internships or Entry-Level Positions: To gain hands-on experience in the medical field, consider applying for internships or entry-level positions. This will not only help you build practical skills but also make valuable connections within the industry.

5. Network and Seek Mentorship: Networking with professionals in the medical field can provide you with insights, advice, and potential job opportunities. Consider joining professional associations or attending industry events to expand your network. Additionally, seeking mentorship from experienced individuals in your desired field can help guide you through your career transition.

6. Be Prepared for Challenges: Transitioning into a new career at any age comes with its challenges, such as financial implications and adapting to a new work environment. Be prepared for these challenges and stay committed to your goal of pursuing a fulfilling career in the medical field.

7. Stay Open-Minded and Flexible: As you embark on this new career journey, remain open-minded and flexible to opportunities that may come your way. Your previous experience in marketing and psychology can also be valuable assets that you can leverage in your new role within the medical field.

Remember that starting a new career later in life is not uncommon, and many individuals successfully make transitions into the healthcare industry after years in other fields.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) - The ASPT provides information on phlebotomy certification programs, industry standards, and resources for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a phlebotomist.

Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) - The AST offers insights into the field of surgical technology, including educational requirements, certification options, and professional development opportunities for aspiring surgical technologists.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) - AAHAM provides resources and guidance for individuals looking to enter healthcare administration roles, offering information on education pathways and career advancement opportunities within healthcare management.

These sources were consulted to ensure accurate information regarding educational pathways, certifications, and industry standards within the medical field for individuals looking to start a new career after 40 years old.

God Bless You, Richly, JC.
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Heather’s Answer

Hey Jamie, it's fantastic to see your enthusiasm for taking a bold step and transitioning into a healthcare career. This path can be incredibly fulfilling! I'm intrigued...Have you explored in-depth why you're drawn towards healthcare, specifically aiming to become a surgical tech? Have you undertaken any self-assessments? It can be challenging to climb the ladder in a healthcare system, particularly a large one. Given your BA in Psychology, have you considered becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, behavioral therapist, or mental health counselor?

It's crucial to thoroughly research the healthcare system you're keen on. For example, they might have a policy that requires you to stay in your role for over a year before they offer tuition reimbursement. Additionally, would their educational programs align with your lifestyle?

In essence, invest time in comprehensive research, informational interviews, and job shadowing before you dive in. I wholeheartedly wish you the very best on your journey!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Heather! Jamie
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Megan’s Answer

Hi Jamie,

I would suggest looking at local hospitals to see if they have any hiring events happening. Attending these events and speaking with recruiters can give you some helpful insight. I would also reach out to the admissions for some phlebotomy programs to talk with them as well. Many hospitals offer training or tuition when you work for them. I think once you start looking into it you will find lots of helpful options.

I hope this helps and best of luck!
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William’s Answer

Obtain a High School Diploma or General Certificate of Education or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with your require official Language.
Take a SAT or ACT test and apply through College Board for a college of your choice in Medical Science or Health Science or Public Health or Hematology to specialize in Phlebotomy.
Later, you can further in Surgical Science (Surgery) at Masters Degree as you desire.
Consult your school counsellor or course adviser for further guidance.
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