If you’ve always wanted to work in the medical field, but have been discouraged by the years of expensive formal education you imagine all related jobs require, think again. There are many in-demand healthcare jobs that you can qualify for with a high school diploma or GED and a relatively short specialized training program. Examples of such roles include medical technicians (who work in health information, pharmacies, and with specialized technological equipment) as well as various kinds of healthcare assistants.

Some of the most versatile and exciting healthcare industry jobs exist in roles related to providing nursing and medical support. Here are some worthwhile healthcare careers you can begin as a nursing or medical assistant.

Nursing Assistant Jobs

Nursing assistants may provide administrative support as well as direct patient care that enhances patient comfort and keeps medical staff up to date on patient progress. They help with basic hospitality and personal care tasks, like preparing rooms and helping patients dress, eat, and bathe. Additionally, they may test and record vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure, and observe patients for changes in their condition.

To qualify for this position, all you will need is a high school diploma or GED. Some states require these professionals to be certified, but many employers have training programs that pay for this training to take place concurrently with regular employee job duties.

A nursing assistant position is an entry-level role, but with additional experience and training, these professionals can work in a variety of specialized fields. Spending time in this capacity can help you decide which medical fields and environments interest you most. A common career path involves beginning as an non-certified nursing assistant, progressing to a certified nursing assistant (CNA), becoming a licensed vocational nurse, and then qualifying as a registered nurse (RN). Nursing assistants, CNAs, and RNs can work in the following places:

  • Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing or personal care)
  • Hospitals
  • Residential care facilities (such as for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities)
  • Community health clinics
  • Reproductive health offices
  • Psychiatry offices

Medical Assistant Jobs

Medical assistants work closely with physicians in both administrative and clinical capacities. Administrative tasks may include greeting patients, completing medical records and insurance forms, and scheduling appointments. Clinical duties include things like recording patient histories, performing basic lab tests, and administering medication. These professionals can perform some minor medical procedures that nursing assistants do not, such as collecting blood or tissue samples, administering injections, and removing sutures.

To become a medical assistant, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED and a 1-2 year formal training program. Some employers prefer that you have previous work experience in this field, but many don’t require it.

Medical assistants who want to increase their job opportunities and pay may choose to become certified medical assistants (CMAs). However, spending some time in an entry-level role can help you decide whether you want to advance in this career and what capacity you’d prefer to work in. Most medical assistants work in physician’s offices, but they may also work in many of the same environments as nursing assistants:

  • Nursing care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Community health clinics
  • Schools
  • Reproductive health offices
  • Specialty practices with optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and more

To get started on your career as a nursing assistant, medical assistant, or comparable healthcare role, seek out career centers and training programs tailored to your professional goals.

Get Valuable Healthcare Training With JobTrain

You can get the training you need to qualify for many healthcare careers. If you live near Silicon Valley in northern California, you can visit one of JobTrain’s four affiliated centers.

JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help the Valley’s most in need reclaim their lives from poverty and unemployment by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields. Check out our Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program as well as our Medical Assistant Training Program to get started on the path to a high-quality job in this field.

Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around—from unemployment and poverty to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!