A lot of people out there want to work in healthcare. It’s not always about the big paychecks – not everyone in the industry is paid as well as you think, after all! It’s often a humanist pursuit. We want to be able to help other people. Sometimes, it can be frustrating that the barrier to entry in this arena is often so high. From one point of view, it’s completely understandable. We want to be able to trust healthcare professionals like doctors and surgeons with our well-being and even our lives, after all.

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But from another point of view, it can seem a little strange. Can’t someone who really wants to help ailing people get into the healthcare profession? Without needing to spend close to a decade working towards a PhD? Isn’t there something I can do?

Well, of course these is! Remember, the healthcare profession isn’t just doctors and surgeons with expensive educations behind them. There are several things you can do to start helping people in the healthcare industry, even if you don’t have the time or funds to pour into a PhD. (Understand, though, that this article provides no shortcuts to becoming a doctor or surgeon with a PhD. If you want to become one of those, you definitely need a PhD. Sorry!)

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Medical assistant

Doctors need assistants. A lot of people may turn up their nose at any careers carrying the title ‘assistant’ on it. But what job isn’t some form of assistance, at least in the medical profession? Put aside any judgments you have and consider the importance of a medical assistant. They track and record a patient’s vital signs. They administer injections and other medications. They draw blood, prepare X-rays, facilitate communication between the patient and the doctor. It’s a hands-on and vital job in the industry. Consider looking into medical assistant programs if you want to get your head around it all.

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Nutritionist / dietitian

Do not underestimate the importance of a nutritionist! You’re not just going to be sitting there and telling obese people to eat less. Remember how important food and nutrition is to every part of your body. It’s not always about losing weight. The wrong diet can affect your sleep, increase stress, cause organ failure and a whole manner of other nasty problems. If you have a bachelor’s degree and have received on-the-job training from a nutritionist or dietician, you can start this career. Most states will require you to get a license, but that goes for pretty much any healthcare profession!

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Home health and personal care

As you know, a medical condition or simple age can take away someone’s ability to take care of themselves properly. A lot of people in this condition feel helpless and are at risk of endangering themselves even further. They need the right person to take care of them, to help them stay healthy and enjoy life as much as possible. You can begin as an assistant at a group care home and work your way up from there by displaying the right heart and talent. There may also be programs available there to help you advance.