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Killer of Chains
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Always interested in learning, and even more interested in a diverse employment ability, I've often thought about getting a 2-year degree in something in the health care field. I've already got a Associates in Business, and will soon be getting a Bachelors of Geography, but with the economy in the whole, jobs aren't not the easiest to find in my intended career.

So what kind of jobs are in the health care industry and limit how much I get my hands dirty but are still in demand?
 

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Look into EMR/EHR software vendors. There is stimulous $ for this. If anyone is in the New England area and has further interest, PM me.
 

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Are you opposed to any blood? You might consider being a Lab Technician. You'll still work with blood and other specimens, but you won't see the trauma or the people puking like I deal with.

You could also look into physical or occupational therapy. In these fields you could be rehabbing people immediately after surgery, so you could come across some fluid drainage and healing surgical wounds.

Any reason for the switch to healthcare besides job availability?
 

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Killer of Chains
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pop_martian said:
I guess you didn't do too well in your English classes.;)
I actually have done really well in all of my English courses, including several 300 level English courses. I just don't really care bout what peeps on the interwebs thinks bout my skeelz.
 

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The other thing I didn't mention, is if you became an RN and only applied for jobs outside of the ER, OR, and some of the ICUs, you wouldn't have to deal with a whole lot of blood on most days. You might have to draw blood for tests and take the little sticks for a glucose test, but I don't think it is that bad.

Even as a paramedic, I don't deal with a ton of blood and guts on the average day. But the potential is there.
 

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I went through some Physical Therapy recently, and had to think to myself "This is a pretty cool job with good pay". What I saw was a pretty laid back work environment where you really get a chance to help people, and most likely make pretty good money.
 

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ssinglesspeed said:
I went through some Physical Therapy recently, and had to think to myself "This is a pretty cool job with good pay". What I saw was a pretty laid back work environment where you really get a chance to help people, and most likely make pretty good money.
I have a job right now but i'm looking to go back and study/train for a second career.
i've thought about physical therapy, but also nursing, and home aids. there are people out there that really need help and i feel all 3 are a great way to really help people out.
 

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Lots of opportunity repairing the medical equipment used in hospitals, if you don't mind dealing with spoiled, whining semi educated women who expect to be treated like they are water walking PHD's. See the best part is they have no idea how to manage the equipment so everything is an emergency when it goes down and you can charge just about anything you want for the rush repairs...my charge out is $185/hr for 9-5 work, double time for rush stuff after hours and weekends.

You have to be good with your hands and know how to deal with women on the verge of mental breakdowns, psychology experience is a big plus in this profession. God help me if they ever figure out how to carry excess inventory to cover unforeseen outages and do regular maintenance on their equipment...I won't be able to buy another DH bike or another boat next year.:thumbsup:

If you can imagine being a mechanic at a Ferrari car dealership with only female clientele who don't check the fluids and always drive in first gear even on the highway 24-7 you can get an idea of what it is like to keep everything running. The hard part is having enough parts on hand to fix anything on short notice and travelling across country next day to be on-site...kinda like being a Nascar mechanic without the pit crew on hand to bail you out.

If your getting dirty, your not doing it right.

However if your not an excellent mechanic/electrician and can't work from poor schematics and have it figured out in 8 hours or less you can forget it, these women will eat you alive...they expect above and beyond the call of duty all the time...forget lunch hours there is no time for that.

Pay is good though, the hard part is finding time to spend it...I put in 53 hour weeks for the last 6 months and two days of every week are spent travelling to and from the work site. You can do the math on how long my days are.
 

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4JawChuck said:
Lots of opportunity repairing the medical equipment used in hospitals, if you don't mind dealing with spoiled, whining semi educated women who expect to be treated like they are water walking PHD's.
How do you get certifications for the repairs? Need insurance in case something goes bad? Do you have to deal with biohazard materials? Do you deal with the nurses or admin. staff? Someone mentioned cleaning dialysis machines for side money, I've been sort of interested in the field.
 

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rallyraid said:
How do you get certifications for the repairs? Need insurance in case something goes bad? Do you have to deal with biohazard materials? Do you deal with the nurses or admin. staff? Someone mentioned cleaning dialysis machines for side money, I've been sort of interested in the field.
Need insurance: yes, if someone dies as a result of an equipment failure, you'll be in court.

Dealing with biohazard materials: I've seen some and used this type of equipment, i'm going to say it is always a possibility. Although it is probably supposed to be cleaned before being repaired.

Dealing with nurses: See the first sentence.

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I take some (not a lot) of offense at the semi-educated part. Most of us are highly educated but highly specialized in what we do. When you're a caregiver, the education never stops.

However, you better be more worried when they start staffing more medics and less nurses. We rely on our equipment for anything, and can manage a crisis just fine without it. ;)
 

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I think there's some misconceptions about many jobs in health care. First off, jobs that were a dime a dozen 5 years ago are now hard to come by. In many parts of the country, nursing jobs are becoming very difficult to get. My fiance is a nurse, she has some of the best nursing experience you can get (CICU at one of the top 3 ranked hospitals in the country) and she's having a hell of a time finding a new job closer to our new apartment, there's just nothing available. This is in southeastern MA and northern RI. Also, my aunt is a nurse manager at a major hospital in greater Boston. She was telling me that halfway through 2009, she had less than 10% as many resignations as she usually does, people are just scared to leave their jobs. So what I'm trying to say is, don't go into the health care field because it might be an easy job to get.

My second point, which I think can be a major problem. Now I'm not saying this is you, but just keep it in mind. A lot of jobs in health care are VERY hard. Nurses have very difficult jobs. A lot of people went to school for nursing thinking they could make $50-$60k right out of school, easily find a job, and they'd just be handing out meds. That's far from the truth. It's a VERY hard job. A lot of nurses burn out quickly when they realize what the jobs actually entail. Want a few examples of things that my fiance has done in the past few months:

-Changed sheets that were 100% saturated with blood 3x per night for one patient
-Cared for a patient with the top of his skull removed, brain exposed, changed dressing several times per shift
-Had a phone thrown at her head by a patient
-Was threatened by a family that was later forcefully removed from the hospital
-Had her face spit in by a murderer (in 4 point restraints with 2 police officers bed-side 24/7)

So don't go into the field thinking it will be easy. Also, getting into physical therapy will require 3 years of additional school minimum, could be up to 4 or 5 full time, depending what classes you have already completed. One thing to look into is being a radiology tech. This is actually something I am considering. But again, jobs are not easy to come by right now. My mother's boyfriend is a radiologist at the same hospital my fiance works at, and he was telling me a couple weeks ago, the jobs for radiology techs are getting much more difficult to find.

If you were already aware of all of the above, I wish you luck and hope you find what you are looking for. I hate to be preachy, but many people don't realize any of this and waste 2-4 years in school and end up looking for a new career.
 

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rallyraid said:
How do you get certifications for the repairs? Need insurance in case something goes bad? Do you have to deal with biohazard materials? Do you deal with the nurses or admin. staff? Someone mentioned cleaning dialysis machines for side money, I've been sort of interested in the field.
I have four trade tickets plus a college engineering technologist cert, the company I work for carries the insurance. Biohazards are a daily thing, you think those nurses clean the inside of the equipment?:p I deal with all levels of nurses and admins not to mention directors and maintenance trades including subcontractors when doing multimillion dollar installs. You would have to be in Biomed or a Clinical Engineering tech to work with the dialysis equipment, that stuff is nasty though unless all your doing is taking care of the reverse osmosis equipment.

I take some (not a lot) of offense at the semi-educated part. Most of us are highly educated but highly specialized in what we do. When you're a caregiver, the education never stops. However, you better be more worried when they start staffing more medics and less nurses. We rely on our equipment for anything, and can manage a crisis just fine without it.
The problem isn't the patient education its the RTFM part, I can count on the finger of one hand how many nurses I have met that admitted spending five minutes reading the manual of the equipment they are operating. 95% of the phone calls I receive are for simple problems that could have been resolved by reading the manual before calling for service. Its not my money and if they fly me out to "repair" a device and I get there and the only problem was they couldn't figure out how to open the door or the device wasn't plugged in (those are my favorite! Chi-Ching!) or my other favorite...they need to press start...I don't really care.:thumbsup:

Throw in the less educated staff they are hiring to replace actual nurses, zero overhead in spare equipment due to capital cost reductions and you have a recipe for disaster and I get paid more money. I have equipment that has been repaired so many times they could have bought three replacements for the same cost, but to the bean counters that make the purchasing decisions the money comes out of a different basket. You want to know what is wrong with healthcare, I'll tell ya...they make money decisions based on capital replacement costs not repair costs. The repair dollars are easy to get because it gets charged per patient or comes out of a monthly budget, capital has to be amortized and comes out of gov funding or in the US - yearly capital purchases.

Guess how those in charge get bonuses paid...capital cost reduction...that includes personnel...equipment etc. Repairs they don't get a bonus on so the equipment is run into the ground instead of getting replaced...even if it costs 10 times more. I have some equipment installed in 1967...40 years old. NUTZ! The parts for these old machines cost 10 times the equivalent new equipment part because the mfg's know the score...they will make the money off ya one way or another.

I should mention the other dirty secret of healthcare, purposeful destruction of equipment by the staff so they either don't have to perform that duty that day or just want a new one, thats easily 10-15% of my repairs.

I think its laughable though when they call me up and give me the angry retoric that the equipment is garbage or it only lasted 3 months since the last repair...somehow its always my fault haha! Imagine calling up your local car dealership and yelling at the guy in the service bay complaining that the car is a piece of junk because you ran it into a tree, haven't changed the oil ever and don't know how to open the trunk or operate the Sirius radio and put on 100K miles since it was last serviced. Its hilarious!

The hard part is appeasing the whiners and fixing it up again knowing full well they will treat it like crap again and it will die three months later even after you take 30 minutes to train the staff again and again and again on how to take care of it and what to do to maintain it. I have one account that calls me every three days because one of the staff in the department keeps hitting the emergency stop switch which kills the power to the unit at the end of every shift. At another account one of the staff hates her job so much she slams the lid on one of their processors so hard she breaks a lid every three months at $2000 each plus travel costs and lodging...thats a $4000 touch every time she has a bad day. I have a steak dinner at The Keg everytime she does it to celebrate.:cool:

It can be stressful if you let it get to you because their problem is your problem and you have to fix it ASAP no matter if your in Tuktuyuktuk or downtown Chicago, the constant whining gets to some people I have worked with and they couldn't take it and either lose it on the customer or just quit out of frustration. Its a tough industry and no one is going to thank you or give you a pat on the back for doing a great job or call your boss and thank you for working 24 hrs straight to get them back up and running so the docs don't have to miss out on their perdiem when surgerys get cancelled....those Porche payments and million dollar cottage mortgages don't pay themselves ya know.

I should mention the perks, I get a new vehicle every 100K (about every two-three years)...my next one will be a 2010 Ford Flex (trying to wangle the eco-boost 355HP version this time:D ), free gas...as much as I can burn, company credit card with a $30K line of credit and I work out of my office at home. My laptop and company cellphone is how I communicate with my customers and the corporation, if you can't handle working hard without a boss over your shoulder you won't last. You need to be able to handle multiple tasks concurrently and know basic accounting practices and be an expert in common office programs like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint plus basic computer languages and know how to work in hexadecimal code. Knowledge of hospital practices and laws pertaining to equipment certification goes without saying. Basic machine shop practices are very handy and contractor management is a huge plus, its always easier to hire a guy to do what you want rather than go out and buy the tools and do it yourself...usually cheaper too.

Doesn't hurt to know how to compliment a lady and speak to a large crowd, being fit and having a nice butt doesn't hurt either...the nurses call you more often just to stand over you and watch you bend down...easily 5% of my service calls are what we call "lonely nurse" calls.:D It also helps to have to have a good sense of humor and be able to roll with the punches in the face of extreme lack of common sense...a lot like being married actually.:p

The best part of my work is the pharma/scientific/research accounts, these folks take long lunches and are just happy you are there to take care of their needs. The pockets are deep and selling them new equipment is a breeze since they know how to spend their investment dollars...uptime is something they understand. The equipment is triple complex and much more challenging to repair, some of the work they do involves million dollar loads so the equipment has to work perfectly...everytime. Their maintenance staff are highly educated and hard working and know their stuff, the admins are pleasant and skilled and appreciate talent and hard work. There seems to be a big difference in peoples attitudes that get their PHD and go into research rather than patient care...they seem much happier to be honest. I love my Life Science accounts...all of them.

Its never the same thing every day, I never know where I will be going next and sometimes the challenges of personality conflicts at the accounts can be the hardest part to overcome...but I wouldn't have it any other way. I used to work in an office job with a south facing 5th floor window and wear a white lab coat and work 8 hours every day...BORING! This job challenges me every day and when the weekends come I enjoy my life to its fullest, lifes too short to spend it rotting in an office job or punching a clock if you ask me...I love adventure and challenge.

Last month I was in Quebec and next month I will be in Finland, had to brush up on my french and looks like I better learn some basic Finnish if I want to get by next month...if that sounds like too much work for ya...this job ain't for you. One of our techs works the Hawaiian islands and has his own plane and flys from island to island taking care of equipment, the company pays for his aircraft fueling and its maintenance...if that ain't sweet I don't know what is.

Its not the blood and guts you should be afraid of...its having enough of it to do this job you should be worried about.;)
 

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About being a Radiology Tech - at our hospitals they see plenty of blood and guts. They're in the trauma bays trying to take pictures while we're all wearing lead stabilizing the patient and doing everything else we need to do.
 

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Killer of Chains
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
JawChuck, tell me more about these technician jobs. Where to trade schooling, that kind of thing.

I'm excellent with my hands, excellent mechanically. Good with math as long as it's applied to something, but not good with numbers. Work on my own cars, bikes, motorcycles, electronics, worked in an automotive shop for a few years.

What I'm saying is, "Sign me up!"
 
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