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Old 07-16-2012, 11:53 AM
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AussieAshley AussieAshley is offline
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Default Health Care Jobs

Well I am pretty much done with retail, I am feeling burned out from it and am looking to go back to school. I want to be a rockstar cake decorator and that is something I plan on doing on the side but I want a stable career. I am looking into health care pretty seriously. I want a stable job and a decent enough wage for a single gal to live off of and preferably day time hours at least for the most part. There are a few health care career schools near me and I am looking into

-Physiotherapy Assistant- This one interests me the most, helping people still but less, well gross. I have people in my family with mobility issues and it is something I care about and am interested in. I worry about the employment opportunities though, I can't seem to find reliable info on it. The last thing I want is student debt and still be in retail.

-Personal Support Worker (psw) I know three people who have graduated and got jobs right away at their school placement. I can also take a one year bridging placement down the road to be a nurse if I decide I want to. Seems reliable and better than retail but no strong pull to it.

-Medical Lab Assistant/tech is also a possibility but not one I have strongly looked into

So my question is, what should I do with my life? If there are any chazzers out there with some knowledge of good solid health care jobs I would love to hear some input, I am going to look at a school and talk to a councilor next week.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:17 PM
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I'm going back to school in September for Medical Office Administration. The course is pretty multifaceted and there are many different positions that you could potentially move into from a medical secretary, unit clerk, admin assistant in a health care setting, medical transcriptionist, etc. The course itself is only a year, but accelerated so you don't get the summer off.

I see that you're in Ontario as well so I'll speak in terms of what I know based on what I've seen in my area (GTA).

If you get into a major hospital in Ontario (especially Toronto) as an entry level medical secretary (most require a min of 1-2 years experience in a health care setting) you can start out anywhere from $18.00 - $22.00/hr., but you can also use the diploma to work for pharmaceutical companies, labs, clinics, etc. There are also a lot of different options for work hours (casual, part time, full time, Mon - Fri, days, weekends, evenings).

Working for a doctor's office as a medical secretary you would make considerably less, usually a little more than minimum wage in most places.

My cousin took the same course I am going to take and she is currently working as an executive assistant for a major Toronto hospital. I also have a friend who took the same course (but at a different school and the 2 year option - summmer's off) and she is currently working at a large Toronto hospital as a Physiotherapy Assistant.

Most PSW's that I know are making anywhere from minimum wage to about $15.00/hr. If you can get a gov't job as a PSW then you're looking at $20+/hr.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:26 PM
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I did the nursing attendant program and got hired right away, if you have a certificate the demand is usually pretty high. It is a physical job and can be mentally hard too. Depends on where you work and that sort of thing. With a lot of medical jobs you don't get a monday to friday 9-5 sort of placement, it's usually more weekends and sometimes nights or evenings, when you start you sometimes have to take what you can get.

If you can handle working with the elderly and doing a lot of personal care (bathing etc) it's not a bad job overall and if you have the right setting it's very rewarding. I didn't go back in part because the one old bat that I thought would retire when I started was still there when I went on mat leave five years later, and almost seven years later is STILL there and I know she'd drive me crazy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:51 PM
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Just make sure you go to an accredited school so if you need to go back you can. It really becomes an issue with all these diploma mill type places.

I am an RN and I am not sure how it is where you are but here we are laying people off left and right and its scary right now. But then again every career is. You can go anywhere really and get work if you know the right people. Get involved on committees and make friends while in school,you never know when it will do you some good.

I wish I would have went into something like surgery that can be mon-fri no weekends. I'm ok with a little less pay for better hours!
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joce View Post
Just make sure you go to an accredited school so if you need to go back you can. It really becomes an issue with all these diploma mill type places.

I am an RN and I am not sure how it is where you are but here we are laying people off left and right and its scary right now. But then again every career is. You can go anywhere really and get work if you know the right people. Get involved on committees and make friends while in school,you never know when it will do you some good.

I wish I would have went into something like surgery that can be mon-fri no weekends. I'm ok with a little less pay for better hours!
That is scary, one of the largest employment sectors where I live is healthcare. There are a lot of jobs BUT also tones of qualified students as the community college and university are very health care oriented. I just want a stable job, and it seems almost impossible to get into one anymore I'm not really even that picky about what it is, I used to want to be a graphic designer but the competition is pretty high for designers so I am trying to look into other options.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:30 PM
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I am a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist. I don't know if that's something you are interested in but I love my job and can give you more info if you want.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:50 PM
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I began schooling to be an Ultrasound Tech, wasn't for me, but they make decent money and there is a need for them. My aunt works as one, and for a while, she was working at three different hospitals, and now she even teaches a few classes at a local college.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:18 PM
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FG, I'd love to hear more about it, even if the OP doesn't
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:09 AM
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Thank you for the info everyone
Quote:
Originally Posted by FG167 View Post
I am a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist. I don't know if that's something you are interested in but I love my job and can give you more info if you want.
I definitely would love to hear more about it! It sounds like there is less/little patient interaction and more hands on analysis which I would enjoy. Again a lot of conflicting info on how stable the job market is for them (especially those fresh out of school) so it would be great to hear from someone working in the field
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
FG, I'd love to hear more about it, even if the OP doesn't
Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieAshley View Post
I definitely would love to hear more about it! It sounds like there is less/little patient interaction and more hands on analysis which I would enjoy. Again a lot of conflicting info on how stable the job market is for them (especially those fresh out of school) so it would be great to hear from someone working in the field
Ok

Well, it's a four year Bachelor's degree. They keep changing the name, when I went to school it was Clinical Laboratory Sciences but my ASCP certification (needed to work) says Medical Laboratory Scientist. It used to just be Medical Technologist and that is usually what you see on job listings.

The program I went through and the others I've heard about are very, very difficult. But, I enjoyed the classes quite a lot. Loads of things you actually apply to the job, which is what makes the difference in my interest for studying something LOL Bad, but true. My program had clinicals set up for us (vs older programs where you have to seek out someone willing to take you on for clinical practice) and those were really neat. I went to three different hospitals and worked in the different departments. There is basically no patient interaction if you don't want it. Some smaller labs/hospitals will also have their MTs draw blood but it isn't necessarily the norm. You do have to pull a phlebotomy rotation during the course, however. I was dreading it as I don't care for needles but it was actually pretty neat. All the courses were matched with "real" labs so you actually practiced what you were learning - that's where I learned the most!

There are numerous different options for working. You can continue school (I would recommend getting a job where they will pay for your continued education) and specialize or you can generalize. I voted to generalize because I figured it would help me the most. The areas I worked in were Chemistry (three different - regular testing, special Chem and urinalysis), Hematology (my fave!), Coagulation and Microbiology. There are also Immunology and Blood Bank.

When I graduated, there were 13 that made it to the end of my program (it was very hard) and 8 of us applied for 4 open jobs in my area. I was one of the ones that got a job, I actually got offered two from two different hospitals and that was 2 solid months before I officially graduated. I was hired on as a 0.2 employee, that basically means I worked 2 days a pay period. Well, I would have, but it was upped to 0.5 by the time I started and I easily was able to "pick up" days I wanted to work and work full time. This was on third shift however. I worked full time third shift for two years (every other weekend, 3 holidays a year) and then landed the gravy, first shift job I have now.

On third shift I generalized and I learned SO MUCH and felt very, very confident in my abilities. I'm sure that carried over into my interview for my first shift job. Now, I am a specialist. I don't have a degree stating such but I have been working for a year as an allergy/autoimmune tech (that would be considered "immunology" at the hospital) in a reference lab. I love, love my job. It's both automated and manual, I know I am helping people with their test results, there are "office-type" procedures I have to do and overall, I just really enjoy it.

But, now we're moving so I'm on the lookout for yet another job. Praying for another first shift, no holidays, no weekends gig - but not sure that will happen. The two I am most excited about that I've applied for are specialty positions. The number one is with the state and it's a crime scene tech - I would process different substances etc from crime scenes = SO FREAKING COOL! I am psyched about my app being in there and praying I will get it - it's a pay cut from what I'm doing now (it's entry level and I'm currently the acting supervisor of my lab) but it would be SO NEAT! Anyway LOL, I also applied at a couple of other reference labs (testing semen - gross but very interesting) and 1-2 hospital positions.

Hope that helps and any specific questions, let me know
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