Making That First Step Into The Healthcare Field
You're considering a career in healthcare and you're ready to take that next step to get training for your first job. There are a number of entry-level roles you can look at. It's important to decide what level of direct patient care you are comfortable with performing so you can match the job to that. Here are two healthcare jobs to consider that have different levels of patient care and contact. Either of them would be a good next step into the healthcare field.
Certified Nursing Assistant
This entry-level job is focused on patient contact. Your role is to help the patient through their daily activities or assist other healthcare providers in delivering direct patient care. You could work in a hospital, doctor's office, outpatient clinic, senior care facility or anywhere else that offers medical care and support.
The certified nursing assistant (CNA) training focuses on the needs of patients who require help with routine tasks. It also teaches you how to observe the patient for changes in their health that you will report to the other healthcare professionals. Your training will include learning how to:
- Monitor and collect a patient's vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature.
- Assist patients with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks.
- Help patients eat while you monitor and track the food and water they consume.
- Assist other healthcare providers with patient care tasks such as changing bandages.
- Record your observations of patient health changes in their medical record.
If you think you would enjoy spending most of your time giving direct patient care, this could be the role for you to consider as your entry point into the healthcare field.
If you think you would like to work with patients, but not as a full-time care provider, the medical assistant is an option. This role gives you contact with patients where little care deliver is required. You can work at the same facilities as a nursing assistant, helping patients and other healthcare providers at the front desk and in the exam rooms. Some of your responsibilities may include:
- Checking patients in when they arrive for their appointments.
- Helping patients make new appointments after they have seen their doctor.
- Keeping patient medical records updated.
- Answering questions about billing and health insurance.
When working in the clinical area of a hospital or doctor's office, some additional responsibilities may include:
- Taking vital signs and preparing the patient to see their doctor.
- Drawing blood for diagnostic tests.
- Performing electrocardiograms to give the doctor data about a patient's heart.
As a medical assistant, you'll meet patients and help them through the healthcare process without being responsible for delivering direct medical care.
For more information, contact SOS Healthcare Staffing or a similar company.