How to Advance in Your Medical Career Without Schooling

How to Advance in Your Medical Career Without Schooling

Have you been working in the medical field for a few years, and you’re ready to advance your career, but you’re not sure where to start? Maybe you have considered going back to school but just don’t have the time? We’ve compiled a list on how to advance your medical career without schooling.

Home Health / Assisted Living Aid

Working as a Home Health Aid or Assisted Living Aid is reasonably equivalent to a CNA without requiring a state certification. In many states, and at many home health and assisted living businesses, they do not require a Nurse’s Assistant certification. Many locations will also pay for and provide free CPR and first-aid training if necessary. Working as a Home Health Aid or Assisted Living Aid can be a great way to get your feet wet in the medical field. It could lead to a higher paying medical-related role in the future, such as a medical assistant, patient care technician, or a medical billing and coding role.

Medical Scribe

Although not as commonly used as they once were, medical scribes are also a common medical-related role that does not require advanced certificates or additional schooling. However, most businesses will not hire you if you don’t have a previous medical background, the ability to type fast, and vast knowledge of medical terminology.

Nursing Assistant

In most states, Nursing Assistants are required to hold a certificate that is obtained through training, clinicals, and by passing the state test. However, most certified nursing programs only take 4-12 weeks and typically have after-hours and weekend options for people who currently have a full-time job or children at home. Due to COVID-19, many classes are also offered online, and clinical training has been halted until restrictions are lifted.

Medical Billing and Coding

If you’ve been working in the medical field, or you’re thinking of getting into it and happen to be an introvert, medical billing and coding might be the career for you. An additional perk is that you’ll have the stability of a medical career, yet most jobs allow you to work from home. Some roles will require you to past a test to get hired for the role without a certificate, but those opportunities are few and far between. You can take an online course that typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete.

Front Office Medical Assistant

Much like a home health aid or home care aid, you do not have to have a certification to become a front office medical assistant. However, you will not have the hands-on patient care you would experience as a certified back-office medical assistant. Many medical assistants get their feet wet and experience by working as a home health or assisted living aid before applying to work as a front office medical assistant at a physician’s office.

OR Technician

If you’re currently working as a Patient Care Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, or equivalent, you might be eligible to work as an OR technician. Many hospitals are known for pulling in their Patient Care Technicians into the OR to assist with surgeries. Granted, you won’t gain experience as an OR technician that has the proper training. Still, they may call you in to assist before and after surgeries as well as to aid in restraining the patient or helping run and monitor their vitals.

Telemetry Technician

Another great way to advance your medical career is to become telemetry certified. This additional certification can open many additional doors, including securing a role as a Telemetry Tech, ER Technician, if you have your EMT, First Responder, or Nurse Assistant Certification, or you could also increase your chances of being hired onto a telemetry unit. Granted, there is additional schooling like a few of the above, but it’s not much. Most telemetry technician certification courses are 4-6 weeks after hours and on the weekends. Additionally, the additional training could increase your salary at your current role. Commonly by $1-5 more per hour.

Advanced Specialties

Another great way to advance your career in the medical field without additional training is to request a unit change. This can be done by visiting your hiring manager or Director of Nursing office and strictly share that you’re ready to take on more responsibilities and that you would like to transfer units to get additional training and experience. Usually, this will require you to be on-call for when someone calls in sick while still maintaining your current role. However, once a new spot opens up for a full-time position, this is typically the time your manager will transfer you into the role full time if you’ve proven yourself.

If you’ve been thinking about how to advance your medical career without schooling, hopefully, we were able to give you a few ideas. Have you done it yourself another way? Let us know in the comments below. 



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About the author

Ashley Carty

Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.

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