The medical field is a prestigious line of work that requires many hours of school and restless nights. The following are just three of the thousands of careers in the medical field. Nursing, biomedical engineering, and medical receptionist, are three very different careers with three very different roles.
Nursing deals with directly communicating with patients and doctors above the position. Nurses oversee patient care, without being in charge of patient care, meaning nurses do all the work doctors need them to, in order to care for the patient properly (American Nurses Association).
Nurses must have certain employability skills specific to the profession. A nurse must have an ethical point of view to help guide their professional conduct. A nurse must also have compassion, so they may have empathy for patients and provide them with a comfortable environment. Physical and emotional stamina is also important because nurses are always on their feet, and the job can have a toll on emotions. Communication is needed to make sure the message gets across from patient to nurse and from nurse to patient (2U). Along with employability skills, a nurse must have certain medical skills such as drawing blood or giving vaccination shots.
To become a registered nurse, one must earn a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or an AND (Associate Degree in Nursing). A Bachelor of Science takes a four-year program to complete, whereas an Associate Degree in Nursing takes two years to accomplish. Registered nurses can also achieve their master’s degree to specialize in an area of nursing (Study.com).
When looking at colleges to attend for nursing school, there are many to consider. In the United States, the University of Pennsylvania is the best college for nursing, according to Niche, a popular site used for students to find the proper school they’d like to attend. With an acceptance rate of 9%, University of Pennsylvania is highly competitive. Second on the list is Columbia University, listed as “Extremely bright and motivated” and “Challenging” (Niche).
Locally, while there are fewer options, one may wish to stay in-state for a multitude of reasons including the price drop. University of Texas in Austin surprisingly has an acceptance rate of 40% and is the number one nursing school in Texas. Texas Christian University, while asking for a big buck to attend, has an acceptance rate of 38% at the second-best college for nursing in Texas. Ranking number three on Niche’s list is Texas A University, with a 67% acceptance rate and many students describe the school as “Traditional” (Niche).
As an individual attending L D Bell High School, on course to graduate in 2020, I plan on enrolling at University of Texas in Arlington so that I may stay in state, and commute instead of dorm. University of Texas in Arlington is ranked at number five on Niche’s “Best Colleges for Nursing in Texas” list, underneath University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M, and Baylor University. University of Texas in Arlington has an acceptance rate of 70% and Nursing is their most popular major, five times more popular than there second most popular major of Liberal Arts and Humanities. University of Texas in Arlington is reported by students that attend school there to be “Diverse” and an “Amazing opportunity” (Niche).
Obtaining a master’s degree, while adding two more years to total amount of schooling, can be very beneficial, especially to nurses. Nurses can gain specialization such as neonatal nursing, dialysis nursing, forensic nursing, and oncology nursing (Bisk). Each of these provide different types of health care while also earning a higher measure of pay.
Most registered nurses work 12-hour shifts 3 days a week. While having 4 days off each week sounds great, many nurses say that having 12-hour shifts are not safe and are detrimental to their mental health. Though exhausting, nurses have very flexible schedules and more time to spend with family and away from work.
All hospitals need nurses, so this career is in rather high demand. The job outlook is actually growing much faster than the average job. In the ten years from 2016 to 2026, it is projected to increase by 15% (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This growth is largely due to the need to provide healthcare to the baby-boom population as they age and lead active lives.
Nurses’ clothing varies depending on where they may work, however most are required to wear scrubs. As far as shoes go, nurses wear comfortable shoes with good traction to prevent slipping. Jewelry is rarely permitted, though some employers may allow wedding rings. Gloves and face mask are required depending on the task being performed.
On average, a registered nurse’s salary is $65,976 per year in the United States (glassdoor). In Texas, a registered nurse makes $68,680 on average. The highest paying state for RNs is California, with an average salary of $100,460 (nurse.org). With higher education or more experience, more money is offered in salary.
Benefits of becoming a nurse include high pay, flexibility, job security, and a job that is rarely boring. All jobs have their downfalls and nursing is no exception. Some cons include 12-hour days, constant exhaustion, and stress.
I chose to research the nursing career because I want to be a nurse in the future and plan on going to school to become one.
Biomedical engineers work towards engineering new ways to improve function and health to people. This branch of engineering applies knowledge and skill to developing solutions to biological problems (The Catholic University of America).
Biomedical engineering employability skills include attention to detail, teamwork skills, and creativity (TARGET jobs). Some medical skills required are knowledge of medicine and anatomy. Along with skills, biomedical engineer’s clothing changes depending on role and equipment used during the day (Selby).
To be a biomedical engineer, a bachelor’s degree is minimum requirement, and it is much more likely for someone with a master’s degree to be successful and make more money (Study.com).
With many colleges to consider, the top school for biomedical engineering in the United States is Georgia Institute of Technology followed closely by Rice University and University of California in Irvine (Best Value Schools). On the local scale, Rice University is the best college for biomedical engineering in Texas, with University of Texas and University of Texas in Dallas following close (Universities.com).
The average salary in the United States for a biomedical engineer is $85 thousand with a job increase of 23.1% in the next ten years. On average entry-level jobs make $51,050 in salary and the best of the best biomedical engineers make up to $134,620 each year. Texas ranks at number 12 in highest paying for biomedical engineering jobs. In Texas, the average salary is $90,400, 6% higher than the country’s average (Sokanu).
Most biomedical engineers work typical hours and typical days, meaning 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. This 40-hour a week schedule is the most common in the United States for biomedical engineers (myfuture).
Some benefits of being a biomedical engineer are high pay and high job growth, meaning job security. However, a con is needing a graduate degree, meaning more school and more student loans (LearningPath).
Being a medical receptionist is very similar to being any office receptionist, however they may deal with paperwork that is unique to the medical field. A medical receptionist is in charge of greeting patients and guests as they enter the building. Medical receptionists also do paperwork regarding inventory and insurance, and make sure everything runs smoothly in the medical office.
Good employability skills to have as a medical receptionist include active listening, time management, and clear speech. These are all important because a medical receptionist interacts with patients and needs to be able to convey concise messages across to them. As far as medical related skills go, a medical receptionist needs to know about medical terminology and health insurance (Learn.org).
Becoming a medical receptionist only needs a high school diploma, however they would go a lot further in their career with an Associate’s in Applied Science. An associate degree only takes a 2-year program (Learn.org).
The most popular colleges to obtain an Associate in Applied Science in the United States are American National University and Stanford University (Learn.org).