Finding Your Entry Point Into The Health Care Field

You've decided to make a career change and have read about the growing demand for health care workers. You're now considering what the best approach would be for you to take that first step into the health care field. One factor is the amount of direct patient contact you want to have. There are a variety of roles in health care with differing levels of patient involvement. Here is an outline of three positions with varying levels of patient contact to give you an idea of the choices you have.

Certified Nursing Assistant

As a certified nursing assistant (CNA), you help other health care providers take care of patients. You also have some independent responsibilities as you help patients with their daily tasks. You'll be able to work in hospitals, doctor's offices, outpatient clinics and senior care facilities. Some of your duties will include:

  • helping patients with their daily hygiene routines
  • monitoring the patient's vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure
  • recording your care and observations of the patient in their medical record

The majority of your time will be delivering health care to patients in need. Your initial CNA training will allow you to give basic patient care. With additional training, you'll be able to work in specialty areas such as obstetrics, pediatrics and mental health.

Medical Assistant

If you want some patient contact, but not as much as with the CNA role, consider being a medical assistant. You'll still have some involvement with patients, but not be delivering care directly to them. You can also work in a variety of locations and specialties. Your duties may include:

  • checking patients in for appointments
  • helping patients make new appointments
  • answering questions about the patient's medical insurance
  • taking vital signs in preparation for the patient seeing their doctor

With some additional training, you may also get a blood sample from the patient for tests or run diagnostic tests on the patient, such as an electrocardiogram.

Medical Coding Specialist

If you like the idea of being in the health care field, but want no direct patient contact, the medical coding specialist role may be for you. You'll be responsible for recording notes from health care providers and diagnostic test results in the patient's medical records. This is an important role because you'll be updating the patient's medical records in a standard fashion so doctors and other health care specialists will have the same understanding of the patient's condition. You have no direct patient contact, but you do have access to all of the information required to give a patient the care that they need.

To learn more, contact a company like Prepared 4 Care-Nurse Aide Training