How to be a clinical tech without Associates? AKA wtf am i doing with my life

Lost In Transcription

reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated
2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
2,515
2,271
Probably still at work
Hoping SDN can put me on the right direction...been unfruitful in my internet scouring and some pre-med advisor conversations.

Long story short: I decided to wait to apply to medical school until next year. This puts me at 3 gap years (I didn't decide until last year to do medicine instead of basic research). I am trying to figure out what I can do that is really clinically relevant next year.

Problem: Most of the jobs (besides scribing) require some sort of academic degree (scrub tech, medical assistant, etc) before they allow you to take a certification exam.

Is there any way around this? I wouldn't mind scribing (I will have 300+ hr hospital volunteering next year, at the minimum 100 hr in ED), but I was really hoping to do something more clinical.

I ask this because I was pretty far up the chain in research (was in a position to attend an Ivy for PhD), so it kind of sucks to be at the bottom and barely qualified for minimum wage jobs and maybe being lucky enough to get into a mid-tier state school...

I am totally willing and happy to work min wage scribe job, but I feel like there is something more I can do. Sometimes **** happens and you just simply have to start over from square 1 with your career.

Other ideas:
1) MPH. I am 100% I want to get one, just whether or not I can do it next year is tricky. I will need to move to where fiance's job is, so unless I do it online, I won't have access to university.
2) Apply for Fulbright research. I have been encouraged to do this (and the deadline is creeping up...) because I could hold my own project fairly easily and would be a good candidate with good references. HOWEVER, I have been WARNED by the pre-med advisor that this will be suicide for schools if I do (that will be 6 years of research for me...) because they will wonder why I am not doing a damn PhD. This requires me to leave (and not move with fiance), but this seems more okay to me than living a few hours away in the same state. Basically, if I have to not live in the same town, I'd prefer it's because I'm internationally gone.

TLDR: how to get a tech job without an associates, and is it totally inappropriate for me to do ANOTHER year of research, especially as a Fulbright? I could do non-basic research (I am pretty interested in epidemiological research).

Thanks, everyone. You rock!
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,497
31,233
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
perhaps my information is very dated but things like IV tech or Hematology tech are short term courses. or at least the certifications in NYS were
 
OP
Lost In Transcription

Lost In Transcription

reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated
2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
2,515
2,271
Probably still at work
perhaps my information is very dated but things like IV tech or Hematology tech are short term courses. or at least the certifications in NYS were
From what I have seen in my area, all require at least 6 months- year of full time school, which I can't manage to do right now while working 50+ hrs.
 

To be MD

Med School Or Bust
7+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2011
913
936
Status
Medical Student
Hoping SDN can put me on the right direction...been unfruitful in my internet scouring and some pre-med advisor conversations.

Long story short: I decided to wait to apply to medical school until next year. This puts me at 3 gap years (I didn't decide until last year to do medicine instead of basic research). I am trying to figure out what I can do that is really clinically relevant next year.

Problem: Most of the jobs (besides scribing) require some sort of academic degree (scrub tech, medical assistant, etc) before they allow you to take a certification exam.

Is there any way around this? I wouldn't mind scribing (I will have 300+ hr hospital volunteering next year, at the minimum 100 hr in ED), but I was really hoping to do something more clinical.

I ask this because I was pretty far up the chain in research (was in a position to attend an Ivy for PhD), so it kind of sucks to be at the bottom and barely qualified for minimum wage jobs and maybe being lucky enough to get into a mid-tier state school...

I am totally willing and happy to work min wage scribe job, but I feel like there is something more I can do. Sometimes **** happens and you just simply have to start over from square 1 with your career.

Other ideas:
1) MPH. I am 100% I want to get one, just whether or not I can do it next year is tricky. I will need to move to where fiance's job is, so unless I do it online, I won't have access to university.
2) Apply for Fulbright research. I have been encouraged to do this (and the deadline is creeping up...) because I could hold my own project fairly easily and would be a good candidate with good references. HOWEVER, I have been WARNED by the pre-med advisor that this will be suicide for schools if I do (that will be 6 years of research for me...) because they will wonder why I am not doing a damn PhD. This requires me to leave (and not move with fiance), but this seems more okay to me than living a few hours away in the same state. Basically, if I have to not live in the same town, I'd prefer it's because I'm internationally gone.

TLDR: how to get a tech job without an associates, and is it totally inappropriate for me to do ANOTHER year of research, especially as a Fulbright? I could do non-basic research (I am pretty interested in epidemiological research).

Thanks, everyone. You rock!
Getting paid work in medicine, outside of scribing, is next to impossible without 2 years of extra, useless schooling and pays next to nothing.

I'd apply for fulbright and get a real job, between now and medical school.
 
OP
Lost In Transcription

Lost In Transcription

reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated
2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
2,515
2,271
Probably still at work
Getting paid work in medicine, outside of scribing, is next to impossible without 2 years of extra, useless schooling and pays next to nothing.

I'd apply for fulbright and get a real job, between now and medical school.
Damn, that's what I have found as well. I was hoping someone would have secret knowledge.

I have a real job now- have for a year (and will until next year). I'm currently an NIH research fellow. That's part of the issue- I have been working so much that I can't take time to do extra training..

Also what's your opinion on the Fulbright in the light of so much research? I have been told it is pretty stupid to do such a thing when I want to be a clinician. But TBH, I wanted to get more experience with epidemiology and go abroad and do stuff I can't do while in/after med school. And all that I am qualified for is research...
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,942
17,768
All of Time & Space
I did elderly in home care with a company from Craigslist, they tell you it's strictly "not medical, liability, you have no license for anything, blah blah blah"

but you drive folks to/from med appts, encourage them to take their meds, deal with their incontinence, help with transfers, redirect/supervise some with Alzheimer's/Dementia/other behavior issues

mostly it was a lot of regular housework, but every person you're there for is basically too old and decrepit to be doing these things without help

I listed it as medical because it's as close to nursing as you can get without giving them meds, it definitely fits LizzyM's criteria for clinical experience, and you use/learn a lot of skills valuable for a physician

It was crap pay, but it was cool for being part time, by the hour, and you could schedule for only weekend/nights, and you could take or decline jobs based on the client's profile.

I agree I thought it was worthless for my gap year to waste time/money on a cert and then barely have time to use it. And frankly, I got more out of it than what I think you get scribing, and I think that leads to having more to say and impress med schools with. I think I got more out of it than doing phlebotomy of EMT or a lot of things really. A CNA would be close but why do that just so you can give meds and work in an old folks home? This was way better than that for so many reasons.

Scribing = fly on the wall
Elderly care = we all know it's draining work that requires patience and elbow grease, direct interaction

Just what I did for those clinical hours for my gap year. You could theoretically do research and pack these hours in if you can burn the candle at both ends.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gurby

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,942
17,768
All of Time & Space
Look online too into working at an adult foster care facility. That can pay really well if you're willing to do 72 hour shifts sleeping there on call and then day shift.

There's other similar gigs too. Craigslist is what I recommend to anyone looking for clinical and no cert. Butt-wiping isn't glamorous but you can eke an existence out on it.
 

To be MD

Med School Or Bust
7+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2011
913
936
Status
Medical Student
Look online too into working at an adult foster care facility. That can pay really well if you're willing to do 72 hour shifts sleeping there on call and then day shift.

There's other similar gigs too. Craigslist is what I recommend to anyone looking for clinical and no cert. Butt-wiping isn't glamorous but you can eke an existence out on it.
Proctology 101
 

To be MD

Med School Or Bust
7+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2011
913
936
Status
Medical Student
Damn, that's what I have found as well. I was hoping someone would have secret knowledge.

I have a real job now- have for a year (and will until next year). I'm currently an NIH research fellow. That's part of the issue- I have been working so much that I can't take time to do extra training..

Also what's your opinion on the Fulbright in the light of so much research? I have been told it is pretty stupid to do such a thing when I want to be a clinician. But TBH, I wanted to get more experience with epidemiology and go abroad and do stuff I can't do while in/after med school. And all that I am qualified for is research...
Lost, Fullbright is an incredible program and it lets you go abroad for a while. Why the heck wouldn't you!? :horns::horns:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crayola227

FutureOncologist

I support cancer... research
5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2014
652
721
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I knew a guy that took 12 gap years before going into medical school (did not attend my school.) He became a damn-fine doctor and scored super high on his Step I. Passed CK/CS and he got into a competitive residency. You know what he did? Nothing related to medicine other than volunteer on weekends when he wasn't at work or tended to his kids. He still got in.

Fullbright is an amazing opportunity and if I didn't go into medical school, I'd be getting my Ph.D and *maybe* hope to earn that scholarship. Take that OP if it's what you want. DON'T do it just to impress adcoms.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crayola227

Moose A Moose

7+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2009
1,379
1,491
Philadelphia, PA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Only way around is connections. If you have connections with people that work in the doctor's office you're interested in, whoever is hiring will tend to "overlook" your lack of associates degree, etc. I've seen it happen plenty of times.

You're **** out of luck otherwise, OP.
 
Apr 3, 2015
26
32
Status
Pre-Medical
I've been in a similar position. If it appeals to you, working as a CNA might be a good option. Skilled nursing facilities, boarding homes, and other assisted living centers are always, always understaffed and looking to hire. Even if a job listing doesn't say anything about a CNA class or training, ask! Both nursing homes I've worked for (in different states) provided free (and even paid) training and paid for my state certification so that I could work for them. Working as a CNA is, in my opinion, excellent clinical experience, and the pay is relatively high for a low skill job. If you get your nursing assistant certification and have practical clinical experience in your background, you may even be able to get a job in a hospital. Those jobs are competitive, and usually require a year of practice as a CNA, but hospital work is easier and much more exciting for a premed student interested in things other than elder care, hospice care, or pursuing further education in nursing. Good luck!
Edit: Depending on your location, CNA training only takes 80-120 hours, which is compacted into 2-3 weeks of 8.5 hour days. It doesn't take nearly as long or cost as much as, say, EMT or MA training.
Also! You can often get a job as an ED or other hospital tech with your NA cert. A BLS for healthcare providers and/or HIV training, etc, may be required as well, but those may be provided during your CNA training. If not, the BLS/HIV
courses can usually be found for free or for less than $100. Hope this helps!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Crayola227