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Allied health programs are as diverse as they are popular. They may range from highly-skilled occupations like nursing, veterinary science, pharmacy technician and phlebotomists. Also, for every method of treatment or every type of medical equipment, it is likely that there exists a specialized allied healthcare occupation associated with the specialization. According to recent estimates, there are about 200 allied health careers today, consisting of dozens of therapist, medical technologist, and medical technician jobs, all with educational training, certification, and expertise requirements. Healthcare professions are generally well paid. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare practitioners in the US earned a median annual wage of $60,200 – $30,870 as of May 2012. With the ever-increasing US population and the continuing growth of the healthcare industry, the demand for new allied healthcare workers in the coming years should be on the rise. This in turn should mean plenty of employment opportunities especially for those soon-to-be graduates of allied health educational programs.

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Dental Assistant

What is a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistants are valuable members of the dental care team. Dental Assistants help assist dentists in different functions providing efficient dental treatment for patients. Dental Assistants enjoy working with their hands, have strong communication skills, and want a job with responsibility.

What does a Dental Assistant do?

  • Assist Dentist with treatment procedures.
  • Dental x-rays.
  • Ask patient about medical history, help patients feel comfortable.
  • Teach patients oral hygiene care.

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • People choose to become Dental Assistants for many reasons.
  • People enjoy the variety, challenge, and reward for taking responsibility for many tasks.
  • People also enjoy the flexibility to work full time or part time and work environments are typically very pleasant.

Cons:

  • Because you are working with your hands and many tools, there is a higher chance of personal injury.
  • Dental assistants are also prone to backaches, headaches, and numbness in their wrists.
  • Dental Assistants also have to deal with a lot of bodily fluids, so if you don’t have a strong stomach this maybe isn’t a job for you.

Dental Assistant School

The Dental Assistant program takes on average one to two years to complete. Students earn a dental assisting certificate or an Associate degree in Dental Assisting. Students pursuing a dental assistant degree will typically receive some training in dental science and dental office skills.

Medical Assistant

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and most healthcare professionals. Their responsibilities may differ depending on the type or specialty of the healthcare office they’re working in. Medical assistants are not to be confused with physician assistants, who are licensed and trained to do medical procedures with supervision from a physician.

What does a Medical Assistant do?

  • Assist Dentist with treatment procedures.
  • Perform nursing procedures under supervision of physician or physician assistant.
  • Assist the physician in exam rooms, interview patients, measure vital signs, and document in patient’s chart.
  • Make sure all information and reports are in the patient’s medical records before they arrive for their appointment.
  • Prepare sterilization of medical instruments and supplies.

The Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Medical Assistants have the opportunity to specialize in different areas and in a wide variety of settings.
  • Medical Assistants also have more time to do assessment techniques than direct patient care.
Cons:
  • For working in the medical field, the salary of a Medical Assistant is much lower than an LPN Nurse.
  • Another con is that being a Medical Assistant can be very stressful at times because you are dealing with many patients and their families.

Medical Assistant School

Medical Assistants receive a Certificate or Diploma after one completed year and/or an Associate’s Degree, which takes two years to complete.

Pharmacy Technician

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians, or pharmaceutical technicians, work closely with licensed pharmacists in the proper dispensing of prescription medicine. These healthcare professionals are routinely found in hospitals and retail pharmacies or drugstores.

What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

  • Coordinating with other healthcare professionals and customers in filling a prescription.
  • Making sure the correct amount and form of prescription medicine is dispensed.
  • Proper labeling and packaging of prescriptions.
  • Mixing medications, especially when preparing ointments.
  • Facilitating payment for prescriptions and processing insurance claims.
  • Handling pharmaceutical-related inquiries from customers.

In some cases, hospital-based pharmacy technicians may directly assist in preparing special medications like intravenous medications, and as needed, may do rounds in the hospital to ensure that the right medication is given to patients and to check if the dosage is accurate.The most critical characteristic of a pharmacy technician is the absolute need for accuracy and precision to ensure patient health and safety.

The Pros & Cons of Being a Pharmacy Technician

Pros:
  • For people aspiring to develop a pharmacy-based career, a pharmacy technician job often serves as a starting point.
  • You have the time and ability to learn the ins-and-outs and decide if you want to move on and earn a bachelor degree.
  • Job growth in this industry is very high as well.
Cons:
  • Stress can be a major con as a Pharmacy Technician since you have to be incredibly accurate when dealing with medication.
  • The work can also be very repetitive since you are filling prescriptions all day, every day.

Pharmacy Technician School

Schooling is required to become a Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy Technician school involves either a Postsecondary certificate or Associate Degree, ranging from six months to two years of schooling.

Veterinary

What is a Veterinary?

If you have a passion for caring for animals, then look for a career in veterinary care during your college search. There are many opportunities for trained professionals. Careers range from clerical, healthcare, maintenance or even scientific research. You may also consider the route of being an animal caretaker, trainer or pet groomer. There are plenty of opportunities in the veterinary field. You can become a general practitioner and work on common household pets, or you can become a specialist and perform orthopedic surgery, treat cancer patients, or even limit your practice to perhaps lizards or birds or even race horses. There’s something for everyone in Veterinary Care.

What does a Veterinary do?

  • Treat animals with injuries or sickness.
  • Surgical operations, operate medical equipment.
  • Vaccinate animals against infections.
  • Treat animals with fractures.
  • Educate animal owners on animal behavior, feeding needs, the effect of weather on animals, etc.

Pros & Cons of being a Veterinary

Pros:
  • Veterinarians have been known to be some of the most trusted professionals.
  • Also, you spend a lot of time with pet owners and dealing with some personalities can be difficult,If you love animals.
Cons:
  • Becoming a Veterinarian takes more schooling than other programs.
  • Also, as much as you love animals, most of your time spent with them is because they are sick or hurting and might die.

Veterinary School

In order to become a veterinary, you will need to attend college and obtain a bachelor’s degree in either biology, zoology, physiology, or chemistry. From there, you need four additional years of schooling in Med school. You can also become a Veterinary Assistant with special certification or a Veterinary Technician with an Associates degree.

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