Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Medical and Health Professions
Degrees or certificates for aspiring medical professionals can provide them the opportunity to work in medical facilities, such as a hospital, nursing facility or physician's office, where their spend most of their time caring for their patients' health and well-being. Medical degree and certificate programs vary dramatically, and graduates might work in positions as diverse as registered nurse, physician assistant or clinical laboratory technologist.
Degree and Certification Overview
Degree or certificate programs in the medical and health professions prepare people to work in the health care community in a wide variety of capacities. Some programs lead to associate degrees in such disciplines as ultrasound technology or other technical fields, while other programs lead to bachelor's or master's degrees. The subjects vary by concentration and program, but most students will be expected to acquire a basic knowledge of physiology, pathology, patient care, medical ethics, medical terminology and other core subjects. Specialized education might include the use of complex medical instruments or advanced medical training.
Nurses work in a support capacity in virtually all health care settings. They are responsible for much of the routine patient care carried out in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. Nursing activity may include reading and recording a patient's vitals signs, explaining medicines and procedures to patients and families and administering emergency care. Registered nurses (RNs) can train for their occupation by pursuing a diploma, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. In order to practice as nurses, they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Many nurses specialize in such areas as geriatric care, cardiac care or anesthetics and may go back to school for Master of Science degrees in nursing in order to advance in their careers.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Clinical laboratory technologists, or medical technologists, work in medical laboratories testing, analyzing and interpreting fluid and tissue samples given to them by physicians in order to assist in making diagnoses. They use a variety of equipment, including cell counters, centrifuges and computer programs, to analyze samples for disease, bacteria, cancer, chemical imbalances and other irregularities that may signal illness. Many important diagnostic and treatment decisions made by doctors are informed by the laboratory work of medical technologists. Like nurses, clinical laboratory technologists, generally hold bachelor's degrees.
Physician assistants are trained medical personnel who are certified to practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor. They perform diagnostic services, meet with patients, interpret lab results and make some treatment decisions. Although some physician assistants may only hold bachelor's or associate degrees, many institutions require physician assistants to hold a master's degree. Many physician assistants specialize in certain areas, such as primary care, surgery or neonatal care.
Related to Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Medical and Health Professions
- Recently Updated
Medical records and health information technicians organize patient health files and information, including medical...
If you're a college student who enjoys drinking alcohol every now and again (and again), you're probably aware that...
Most people have a perception of med school that includes countless hours of lectures, lab work and studying without...
It may no longer be so difficult to get into medical school in the U.S. - almost two dozen new med schools have just...
- Medical Biochemistry Careers: Job Options and Requirements
- Careers in Medical Esthetics: Options and Requirements
- 5 Universities Offering Free Health Courses Online
- List of Free Online Public Health Courses and Classes
- Scholarship Watch: 10 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall
- Become a Financial Aid Advisor: Education and Career Roadmap
- Top Ranked Business School for a Business Administration Degree - New York, NY