I know i want to be in the medical field, but I don't know which field.

Brownie5592

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    Hello everyone, this is my first post and it's a long one. I am currently 19 years old and am having some serious doubts about my career path and I would really just love some input.
    I have wanted to be a small animal (dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, ect...) vet all of my life, so I thought I already had life figured out when all of my friends were deciding what they wanted to do. I knew it was expensive but I did not let that stop me. Now that I am a couple of years away from applying to vet school, the cost of tuition is really starting to hit me and now I am having some serious doubts if veterinary is right for me because I would not want anything to do with farm animals because that has never been my interest and from what I have been told, a majority of vet school is lectures about horses and that puts me off a little for the profession. The salary of a veterinarian is so all over the board that I just am not sure if the years and money of education would be worth it. I have shadowed a vet for about 3 years now and the work interests me, but even she warns me about getting into veterinary because it just isn't what is once was. She is an honest vet that gives people discounts and makes everything super affordable, but this means a loss for her and she told me that at her own clinic she is profiting around $30,000. She also told me that she knows a vet that charges people through the roof and does not really care whether the owner can afford the treatment or not and he makes over $120,000. I know that I would be more like her because I am the type of person that would much rather have the animal well even at a loss to me. This is ridiculous because I do not want to spend big bucks on my education when my ultimate salary is not going to reflect it.

    I have been looking into pharmacy because it requires a similar amount of education but a greater salary. I understand that the pharmacy job market is so extremely saturated that I just do not know if that would be a wise choice because I love to study but if I am going to have a difficult time to get a job outside of college then I really would rather pursue something else. I am worried that the pharmaceutical business is getting more and more automated that in the long-term it may not be the best career path. I called every single pharmacy in my area and only one of them allowed me to shadow them for about 2 hours. It was a local very tiny pharmacy so I did not see much because of legal reasons and it seemed rather boring. I was thinking that maybe if I get HIPPA certified and take the PTCB just by studying and not getting an actual degree for it, then maybe some pharmacies would allow me to shadow a pharmacist (I do not care if I get paid, I just really need to see what this field is like) so that I could make a decision.

    I want to make it clear that I do not want to be a doctor of human medicine because I do not want to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans (I do not come from money) even if it is very rewarding and a great salary.

    I have been looking into PA because they are basically doctors and get to have the patient interaction and it to is a rewarding profession. I like the fact that you are working under the supervision of a doctor so you would not have to make decisions completely on your own, which I have a problem with second guessing myself.

    Currently I am pursuing a bachelor of science with a major in biomedical science. I chose this because no matter which career path I choose, it is a degree that works for many health professions.

    Now this is a bit of an oddball, but someone told me about actuaries. I love math and love to problem solve, and not going to lie, but the salary is really appealing. Although some sources say they make more than $100,000 and others say that they average is $60,000 so I do not want to base my decision off of salary. I was thinking that while pursuing my biomedical science degree I could study for the actuarial exams and maybe take them because I know that some places you do not have to have a specific degree in math, econ, ect.... Again, perhaps this would allow me to shadow an actuary because I do not have any connections that would allow me to just ask.
    Some people have suggested computer science to me, this does interest me but not to the extent of healthcare. I am learning python right now in CodeAcademy and it is interesting but very frustrating. Both my dad and brother are into computer science and watching how stressed they are kind of worries me. Actuaries now are needing more and more computer coding skills with C++ and SQL, so again I am not sure if that is right for me.

    Basically what I am trying to say is, ideally I want a job in the healthcare field with preferably a decent salary (at least around $80,000) so that I do not have to worry about myself and my family financially, as my parents had to. I want to be able to provide for my future family so that my kids can really study what they want without having to worry about money constraints, and if that means that I have to just suck it up and work a job that I moderately like because of less time time and money spent on an education and it also offers a great salary, then so be it. I have good grades and am an extremely motivated person so I want a career that can somehow impact another person's (or animal's) life. I have great study skills and anatomy was one of my favorite subjects I have taken so far along with Calc 2. I hope that taking the various science and health classes in the biomedical science major will point me in the direction of which career path to choose based on what interests me.
    Please let me know your input about this, such as what made you decide you wanted to be any of these professions and if you had to do it over, would you choose something else?
    Again sorry how long this post is and than you so much for your input :)
     

    QofQuimica

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      I just skimmed your post, but it sounds like what you want is to maximize your income in a health-related field for minimum training time and cost. All of your suggested paths will be expensive (requiring significant loans) and take a long time (BS and probably a graduate degree). I suggest that you look into becoming a sonography tech. Those jobs only require an AA degree, and they would also meet or exceed your requirements in terms of income. You could hit a low six figure income as a sonography tech if you were willing to take call/work overtime. Here in FL, this kind of training can also be done very cheaply at a community college, and when you are done, you have a very marketable, highly desired skill that is not exportable to India. Ultrasound is also the imaging modality of the future: no radiation, cheap, versatile. Seriously, check it out.
       
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      Matthew9Thirtyfive

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        Agree with Q. Forget PA or basically any other mid-level career. PA is an expensive and difficult road that requires you to practice human medicine under the supervision of a human doctor. Given your aversion to practicing human medicine and accumulating debt, MD/DO/PA will not be the answer.

        As for being an actuary. Even a hearh care actuary is only peripherally related to the delivery of health care, at best. Think number crunching.

        If you really want to be in health care, aren't a prestige *****, and want a good salary for minimal training, something like sonographer is the way to go.
         
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        Promethean

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          Another shout out for doing a 2 year technical program. I became an RN through a 2 year program. That gave me an income range of $45-60k as a new grad, depending on how much I wanted to work, and if I were willing to do travel nursing, I could easily push that over 100k.

          I don't recommend becoming a nurse for the money alone. You have to really want to do the dirty, hard, often thankless work of it.

          But ultrasound/xray... that is another story. I don't think that it is realistic to anticipate the kind of income you want long term with only the minimum education for certification. But it could be a spring board for your next step. Spending a couple of years in your early 20s making a moderate amount of money while gaining experience and exposure to various healthcare related fields is a much better place to be than paying university level tuition while trying to figure out how you want to use a degree that may not be taking you where you want to go.

          You can always go back to school. I was in my late 30s when I decided to go to medical school. The credits I'd taken before were still out there, and able to be pulled together in to a 4 year degree. You don't have to make up your mind about what you want to do for the rest of your life. You can pick something to do until you figure that out... and it may as well be something that pays well.
           

          jl lin

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            I just skimmed your post, but it sounds like what you want is to maximize your income in a health-related field for minimum training time and cost. All of your suggested paths will be expensive (requiring significant loans) and take a long time (BS and probably a graduate degree). I suggest that you look into becoming a sonography tech. Those jobs only require an AA degree, and they would also meet or exceed your requirements in terms of income. You could hit a low six figure income as a sonography tech if you were willing to take call/work overtime. Here in FL, this kind of training can also be done very cheaply at a community college, and when you are done, you have a very marketable, highly desired skill that is not exportable to India. Ultrasound is also the imaging modality of the future: no radiation, cheap, versatile. Seriously, check it out.


            If that's the case, doing RN BSN to CRNA, though not cheap, would give OP a bang of no <$140,000 per year and up. Personally, I am sick of seeing these nursing students and RNs-to CRNA, b/c I am finding more and more that their primary motivation is for the money. Also, they end up w/ crap for clinical experience (enough of it and the right kind in experiences-busy, teaching university medical center vs. community hospital) before applying to CRNA programs, It shows in their work, but the schools keep taking people w/ essentially crap for experience and churning them out.

            It's not like the old days any more, where people worked full-time as ICU RNs in busy, teaching-center-ICUs and then applied to CRNA programs. It's sort of embarrassing, really. But hey; you could make some bucks w/ much less investment than medical school.
             

            Promethean

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              If that's the case, doing RN BSN to CRNA, though not cheap, would give OP a bang of no <$140,000 per year and up. Personally, I am sick of seeing these nursing students and RNs-to CRNA, b/c I am finding more and more that their primary motivation is for the money. Also, they end up w/ crap for clinical experience (enough of it and the right kind in experiences-busy, teaching university medical center vs. community hospital) before applying to CRNA programs, It shows in their work, but the schools keep taking people w/ essentially crap for experience and churning them out.

              It's not like the old days any more, where people worked full-time as ICU RNs in busy, teaching-center-ICUs and then applied to CRNA programs. It's sort of embarrassing, really. But hey; you could make some bucks w/ much less investment than medical school.

              The more the schools churn them out, and the lower the education/experience bar falls, the lower their salary range is going to be. I doubt it will drop below 6 figures, but the "and up" part is not going to be a thing much longer. I wouldn't count on the market being there by the time the OP had completed the 6-7 years of undergrad, ICU, and graduate education needed for entry into that field.

              Also, the vast majority of those "RN to CRNA" track nursing students are going to change their minds long before they get there, if they even finish their RN. Saying that they are in nursing school because they want to make the big bucks as a CRNA during first semester or so of nursing school is like undergrads declaring their major is pre-med. It is easy to talk about, but when they see what they have to go through to get there, most of them drop out or find the competition to be more than they'd anticipated.
               
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              Brownie5592

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                I do not have a problem with the loans if they lead to a career that pays a good enough salary that the loans would be worth it. In my state of Michigan, vet school costs about $120,000 for four years (and this will most likely increase by the time I apply) and the mean salary of a vet is around $80K, which is fine if I would be able to get a job in an existing hospital as part of a team because I would not want to open my own clinic. I am really interested in going on past a bachelors degree because I love to learn and if school was free I would enjoy taking every possible class. Thank you for the sonography suggestion, I will look into it, but I think I may have to rethink the whole " I'll work any job as long as it provides my family a good income" in my original post because as great as money is, I want a job that I genuinely enjoy going to and do not have to force myself out of bed for it day in and day out. Honestly I think I have a skewed vision of how much is a good income because my family of 4 for most of my childhood lived on a combined salary from both of my parents of $30K (they were going back to school at the time and working random jobs) and I was pretty happy. I will look into all of the suggestions but I am greatly interested in going onto past a four-year degree.

                Do NOT invest yourself in a long path until you have a much better idea.
                That is the exact problem I am struggling with right now, I know that I would really enjoy any of the careers (maybe not actuarial science as much) but I know that if I just choose a single path that I am not 100% on then it would be a waste of money and time if I later grow to hate it.

                Ideally I am looking for a career that is not saturated and that I would enjoy. I know that pharmacy and veterinary are becoming saturated which breaks my heart since those are my top two.
                I have not taken a pharmacy class yet because I am not there yet, but hopefully when I do it will help me to see if pharmacy is interesting to me and help me narrow down my choices. The think that interests me about vet is that you learn many aspects of the field: surgery, dental, pharmacy,ect...

                I have honestly not had an interest in becoming a nurse because animals have always been my passion, but if veterinary is truly a bad idea then I think I would go with some sort of human medicine since I would still be practicing medicine and I would still have to take science classes that interest me and there is a greater demand for it.
                 

                QofQuimica

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                  Ah. Well, if you what you want is to be an eternal student of animal science with minimal cost, then I change my suggestion: you should go to grad school in biology. You'll need a BS (four years, can be done fairly cheaply at a state school or via CC to 4 year school transfer), followed by 6-7 years of grad school in a PhD program (not well-paid, but you get free tuition and a stipend to cover your living expenses), followed by 2-5 years of post-doc (also not well-paid, but reasonable middle class pay). Then you may or may not be able to find a tenured faculty job, but worst case scenario, you can work as an adjunct prof or instructor and hit your goal income. It's not going to pay you a six figure income, but it's a decent gig with lots of free time, lots of opportunities for learning, and a very flexible schedule. You would also have the possibility of being a staff scientist in someone's lab or working for a government agency if you cared to go for a more research-oriented or public health kind of career.
                   
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                  jl lin

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                    The more the schools churn them out, and the lower the education/experience bar falls, the lower their salary range is going to be. I doubt it will drop below 6 figures, but the "and up" part is not going to be a thing much longer. I wouldn't count on the market being there by the time the OP had completed the 6-7 years of undergrad, ICU, and graduate education needed for entry into that field.

                    Also, the vast majority of those "RN to CRNA" track nursing students are going to change their minds long before they get there, if they even finish their RN. Saying that they are in nursing school because they want to make the big bucks as a CRNA during first semester or so of nursing school is like undergrads declaring their major is pre-med. It is easy to talk about, but when they see what they have to go through to get there, most of them drop out or find the competition to be more than they'd anticipated.

                    I hear ya, but still seeing A LOT of them. And I know quite a number that make $160-190. Geography and other factors matter too. Anesthesiologist can still make 2X the low end of that or more, depending on variables.

                    What really bugs me are those that go through the undergrad, get licensed as RNs, and work PT or even FT for <3 years--many, it's like they get their 1 year done, and then they off to CRNA. This is a terrible mistake IMHO. Same thing NPs doing this. They are not even near to being over the arrogance of not knowing what they don't know. They they just to go CRNA programs. SMH. The stories I could tell; but I won't for fear of outing people and places.
                     
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                    Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                      I hear ya, but still seeing A LOT of them. And I know quite a number that make $160-190. Geography and other factors matter too. Anesthesiologist can still make 2X the low end of that or more, depending on variables.

                      What really bugs me are those that go through the undergrad, get licensed as RNs, and work PT or even FT for <3 years--many, it's like they get their 1 year done, and then they off to CRNA. This is a terrible mistake IMHO. Same thing NPs doing this. They are not even near to being over the arrogance of not knowing what they don't know. They they just to go CRNA programs. SMH. The stories I could tell; but I won't for fear of outing people and places.

                      Great field with great earning potential. It is NOT cheap, NOT quick, and NOT easy, particularly for someone just looking to make money. Much easier ways to do that.
                       

                      jl lin

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                        Great field with great earning potential. It is NOT cheap, NOT quick, and NOT easy, particularly for someone just looking to make money. Much easier ways to do that.
                        Much, much easier than the medical school path w/ residency, etc. Plenty of them thinking as if they are more like docs, earning as much as some docs, and it was no where near as challenging as med school path.

                        Also sonography techs have to take more physics than any CRNA would have to take, and they don't get as much supposed "clout" while working in their field. (I call this the pseudo-clout phenomenon of CRNAs.) Some USTs make close to 6 figures, but that's usually in busy hospital w/ OT or off-shift + more weekends, etc. In hospital is a lot of pushing that machine around too. Also, in certain areas, it can be competitive for ultrasound tech seats in programs. They try to keep classes small. Many students can be waitlisted.
                         

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                          honestly, I think younshould stick to what you're passionate about. Talk to and shadow more vets. I suspect the whole focus on horses thing might just be someone's perception or just something goofy with one school. So check out lots of them and talk to lots of people. Then decide.
                           
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                          Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                            Much, much easier than the medical school path w/ residency, etc. Plenty of them thinking as if they are more like docs, earning as much as some docs, and it was no where near as challenging as med school path.

                            Maybe they went to an easy program or something. The hospital I worked at had a CRNA program attached to it, and those guys and gals worked hard. They essentially had a year of didactics that I'm sure weren't as crazy as med school (the pharmacology and physiology were definitely extensive though, which makes sense) followed by a year of clinicals where they worked under a practicing CRNA and the MDAs. They took frequent call and still had exams to take. That's after nursing school (not too difficult says my wife) and a year or two in the ICU.

                            So yes, not as difficult as med school, but I didn't claim it was. That's a straw man. I simply pointed out that the op seems to be looking for an easy way to make some money in health care, and RN->BSN->ICU->CRNA is not that.

                            Also sonography techs have to take more physics than any CRNA would have to take, and they don't get as much supposed "clout" while working in their field. (I call this the pseudo-clout phenomenon of CRNAs.) Some USTs make close to 6 figures, but that's usually in busy hospital w/ OT or off-shift + more weekends, etc. In hospital is a lot of pushing that machine around too. Also, in certain areas, it can be competitive for ultrasound tech seats in programs. They try to keep classes small. Many students can be waitlisted.

                            Agree with most of this. Have you actually worked with CRNAs in the OR?
                             

                            Brownie5592

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                              Ah. Well, if you what you want is to be an eternal student of animal science with minimal cost, then I change my suggestion: you should go to grad school in biology. You'll need a BS (four years, can be done fairly cheaply at a state school or via CC to 4 year school transfer), followed by 6-7 years of grad school in a PhD program (not well-paid, but you get free tuition and a stipend to cover your living expenses), followed by 2-5 years of post-doc (also not well-paid, but reasonable middle class pay). Then you may or may not be able to find a tenured faculty job, but worst case scenario, you can work as an adjunct prof or instructor and hit your goal income. It's not going to pay you a six figure income, but it's a decent gig with lots of free time, lots of opportunities for learning, and a very flexible schedule. You would also have the possibility of being a staff scientist in someone's lab or working for a government agency if you cared to go for a more research-oriented or public health kind of career.

                              I appreciate the suggestion but that is a whole lot of schooling and it wouldn't entirely be in the medical field. I am greatly interested in any of the careers in my original post and I just wanted people's input on which of the one's I have listed would be worth-while following seeing as so many fields are becoming saturated and the demand is continually decreasing.

                              I really appreciate any and all suggestions about alternate careers and I will surely look into it all. Currently I am doing a biomedical science major as a bachelor of science, so hopefully taking the variety of classes will help me narrow down which field interests me more.

                              honestly, I think younshould stick to what you're passionate about. Talk to and shadow more vets. I suspect the whole focus on horses thing might just be someone's perception or just something goofy with one school. So check out lots of them and talk to lots of people. Then decide.

                              I am trying to shadow more vets since I have only shadowed the same one for a very long time and hopefully I could also shadow some human medicine professionals; radiology techs, PA, actual doctors, ect... I haven't had much luck with people agreeing to let me shadow if they are not a family friend, which is so frustrating because how am I supposed to learn about these professions and whether or not I want to go into them if I can't see what its all about?!

                              Also, I was going to a local community college for half of my Bachelor's degree and worked in a part of the college and now that I am transferirng to a University I need to get a different job (I would be commuting). Would there be anyway a vet clinic or hospital would pay me to do something for them? Or should I just find any part-time job just so that I have a small income?
                               

                              Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                                I appreciate the suggestion but that is a whole lot of schooling and it wouldn't entirely be in the medical field. I am greatly interested in any of the careers in my original post and I just wanted people's input on which of the one's I have listed would be worth-while following seeing as so many fields are becoming saturated and the demand is continually decreasing.

                                I really appreciate any and all suggestions about alternate careers and I will surely look into it all. Currently I am doing a biomedical science major as a bachelor of science, so hopefully taking the variety of classes will help me narrow down which field interests me more.



                                I am trying to shadow more vets since I have only shadowed the same one for a very long time and hopefully I could also shadow some human medicine professionals; radiology techs, PA, actual doctors, ect... I haven't had much luck with people agreeing to let me shadow if they are not a family friend, which is so frustrating because how am I supposed to learn about these professions and whether or not I want to go into them if I can't see what its all about?!

                                Also, I was going to a local community college for half of my Bachelor's degree and worked in a part of the college and now that I am transferirng to a University I need to get a different job (I would be commuting). Would there be anyway a vet clinic or hospital would pay me to do something for them? Or should I just find any part-time job just so that I have a small income?

                                All the DOs and PAs I am friends with or have worked for would gladly let an interested undergrad shadow. If you aren't having good luck, just keep asking people. Or it may be that you aren't coming across in the right way. They generally want people interested in their careers, not just looking for a backup or something to settle for.
                                 

                                Ho0v-man

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                                  Experienced US techs with every certification (especially echo) in big cities that are whoring themselves out like a resident physician are making bank. It's not sustainable for an entire career. Also, most of them have two years of pre reqs and depending on the area have to have an RT(R) to get hired. What a lot of people don't realize is that it's a job with HUGE liability. Other imaging modalities just follow protocol most of the time and move on. US has to make the diagnosis for the radiologist. I do know a couple echo techs that make like 30/hour at cardiologists offices, but turnover for those jobs is pretty low.

                                  If you want "bang for your buck" at the CC level, consider nursing. Between all the different certifications, shift differentials, extra pay for charging, etc you can make bank like a year out of school. Also, the glass ceiling doesn't end in middle management like it does for rad tech/respiratory, etc. You can run the freaking hospital! It's also a good springboard to NP/PA/CRNA (and to a lesser extent MD/DO).

                                  If you want "bang for your buck" and lifestyle, look into PTA.

                                  Sincerely,

                                  An RT(R)(CT) with 8 years of experience that makes slightly more than new grandson all of those fields, but still doesn't make new grad PTA pay.


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                                  Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                                    Experienced US techs with every certification (especially echo) in big cities that are whoring themselves out like a resident physician are making bank. It's not sustainable for an entire career. Also, most of them have two years of pre reqs and depending on the area have to have an RT(R) to get hired. What a lot of people don't realize is that it's a job with HUGE liability. Other imaging modalities just follow protocol most of the time and move on. US has to make the diagnosis for the radiologist. I do know a couple echo techs that make like 30/hour at cardiologists offices, but turnover for those jobs is pretty low.

                                    If you want "bang for your buck" at the CC level, consider nursing. Between all the different certifications, shift differentials, extra pay for charging, etc you can make bank like a year out of school. Also, the glass ceiling doesn't end in middle management like it does for rad tech/respiratory, etc. You can run the freaking hospital! It's also a good springboard to NP/PA/CRNA (and to a lesser extent MD/DO).

                                    If you want "bang for your buck" and lifestyle, look into PTA.

                                    Sincerely,

                                    An RT(R)(CT) with 8 years of experience that makes slightly more than new grandson all of those fields, but still doesn't make new grad PTA pay.


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                                    My wife had a BS in psychology, then did a BS to BSN program at UT. She makes very good money as a nurse.
                                     

                                    jl lin

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                                      . Have you actually worked with CRNAs in the OR?

                                      God yes...and was colleagues w/ a number in the ICU before they went on. I was encouraged to do the same b/c of all my ICU. A lot of them truly don't bust their butts...at all...and choose to forget that they are still nurses, which is always a joke to me.

                                      Depends upon what you call easy way to make "some" money.
                                       

                                      jl lin

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                                        PS. Never do nursing "just for the money." In that respect, it's a lot like where one shouldn't go into medicine "just for the money."

                                        US Tech, eh. You can get away w/ just going into it for the money--though in general and depending on experience and other factors, income is more like that for professional nursing non-AP.
                                         

                                        Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                                          God yes...and was colleagues w/ a number in the ICU before they went on. I was encouraged to do the same b/c of all my ICU. A lot of them truly don't bust their butts...at all...and choose to forget that they are still nurses, which is always a joke to me.

                                          Depends upon what you call easy way to make "some" money.

                                          Never had that experience. All the ones I've worked with (about 20) were hard workers who had no delusions of being MDs and had no desire to be one. Honestly, and I know this is just anecdotal, but I would take the majority of those CRNAs over the majority of the MDAs any day (that said, I worked with two anesthesiologists who were incredible--always calm under pressure and very smart).

                                          ETA: I think you'd have a hard time finding someone who would call 4 years for a BSN + 1-2 years in the ICU + 2 years of CRNA school "easy."
                                           

                                          jl lin

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                                            Never had that experience. All the ones I've worked with (about 20) were hard workers who had no delusions of being MDs and had no desire to be one. Honestly, and I know this is just anecdotal, but I would take the majority of those CRNAs over the majority of the MDAs any day (that said, I worked with two anesthesiologists who were incredible--always calm under pressure and very smart).

                                            ETA: I think you'd have a hard time finding someone who would call 4 years for a BSN + 1-2 years in the ICU + 2 years of CRNA school "easy."

                                            After all this time, I am more passed titles and about the individual and where they are w/ experience, sound application of knowledge, etc. My experience has been (all-total) busy, teaching, university-based medical centers--most of them busy urban. Sure there are some great CRNAs. But what is being cranked out nowadays is so often a far sight from those from a bit of an earlier era. My opinion: No decent program should accept any professional nurse w/o at least 3 years of FT hours in intensive care units--and of that, mostly non-community hospital settings. The schools wouldn't like that though, b/c they like their money.
                                             
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                                            Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                                              After all this time, I am more passed titles and about the individual and where they are w/ experience, sound application of knowledge, etc. My experience has been (all-total) busy, teaching, university-based medical centers--most of them busy urban. Sure there are some great CRNAs. But what is being cranked out nowadays is so often a far sight from those from a bit of an earlier era. My opinion: No decent program should accept any professional nurse w/o at least 3 years of FT hours in intensive care units--and of that, mostly non-community hospital settings. The schools wouldn't like that though, b/c they like their money.

                                              I haven't worked at a hospital in 5 years, so it's been a little while. It's possible the quality of CRNA graduates has gone down recently.
                                               
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                                              Brownie5592

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                                                Get out and live life a little. Join the military or just work as a vet tech for a while. Then figure out what you want for a career. You have many years and guess what, if you choose a career and don't like it you can always go back.

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                                                I appreciate the advice and I really wish it were that simple, but I have no intention of being a vet tech since that requires an entirely different set of classes, and have been told by several counselors that being a vet tech first then working while going to school to be a vet is a bad idea (This was my original plan) since there are completely different prereqs and I don't want to get tons and tons of loans out. The reason I am stressing about this is because if I chose to be a vet and decide it wasn't right for me then I wasted $200,00+ and going back to school to get more loans out is basically my worst nightmare. So I honestly can't "just go back" if I don't like the career path I initially chose.
                                                 

                                                Ho0v-man

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                                                  I appreciate the advice and I really wish it were that simple, but I have no intention of being a vet tech since that requires an entirely different set of classes, and have been told by several counselors that being a vet tech first then working while going to school to be a vet is a bad idea (This was my original plan) since there are completely different prereqs and I don't want to get tons and tons of loans out. The reason I am stressing about this is because if I chose to be a vet and decide it wasn't right for me then I wasted $200,00+ and going back to school to get more loans out is basically my worst nightmare. So I honestly can't "just go back" if I don't like the career path I initially chose.

                                                  That's why military is awesome for people on the fence about...life. You'll be getting your school paid for while you figure it out. Worth considering.


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                                                  Matthew9Thirtyfive

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                                                    That's why military is awesome for people on the fence about...life. You'll be getting your school paid for while you figure it out. Worth considering.


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                                                    While I think the military has its benefits, it is definitely not for everyone. That said, if you can put up with it for 4 years and are okay with essentially putting off school for most of those 4 years (depending on your rate/MOS, of course), it is a great way to get school paid for. I just submitted my last assignment for my bachelors, and the Navy paid for almost all of it. And, since I used TA exclusively, I still have my entire GI Bill.
                                                     

                                                    Josnnaf219

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                                                      Hello everyone, this is my first post and it's a long one. I am currently 19 years old and am having some serious doubts about my career path and I would really just love some input.
                                                      I have wanted to be a small animal (dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, ect...) vet all of my life, so I thought I already had life figured out when all of my friends were deciding what they wanted to do. I knew it was expensive but I did not let that stop me. Now that I am a couple of years away from applying to vet school, the cost of tuition is really starting to hit me and now I am having some serious doubts if veterinary is right for me because I would not want anything to do with farm animals because that has never been my interest and from what I have been told, a majority of vet school is lectures about horses and that puts me off a little for the profession. The salary of a veterinarian is so all over the board that I just am not sure if the years and money of education would be worth it. I have shadowed a vet for about 3 years now and the work interests me, but even she warns me about getting into veterinary because it just isn't what is once was. She is an honest vet that gives people discounts and makes everything super affordable, but this means a loss for her and she told me that at her own clinic she is profiting around $30,000. She also told me that she knows a vet that charges people through the roof and does not really care whether the owner can afford the treatment or not and he makes over $120,000. I know that I would be more like her because I am the type of person that would much rather have the animal well even at a loss to me. This is ridiculous because I do not want to spend big bucks on my education when my ultimate salary is not going to reflect it.

                                                      I have been looking into pharmacy because it requires a similar amount of education but a greater salary. I understand that the pharmacy job market is so extremely saturated that I just do not know if that would be a wise choice because I love to study but if I am going to have a difficult time to get a job outside of college then I really would rather pursue something else. I am worried that the pharmaceutical business is getting more and more automated that in the long-term it may not be the best career path. I called every single pharmacy in my area and only one of them allowed me to shadow them for about 2 hours. It was a local very tiny pharmacy so I did not see much because of legal reasons and it seemed rather boring. I was thinking that maybe if I get HIPPA certified and take the PTCB just by studying and not getting an actual degree for it, then maybe some pharmacies would allow me to shadow a pharmacist (I do not care if I get paid, I just really need to see what this field is like) so that I could make a decision.

                                                      I want to make it clear that I do not want to be a doctor of human medicine because I do not want to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans (I do not come from money) even if it is very rewarding and a great salary.

                                                      I have been looking into PA because they are basically doctors and get to have the patient interaction and it to is a rewarding profession. I like the fact that you are working under the supervision of a doctor so you would not have to make decisions completely on your own, which I have a problem with second guessing myself.

                                                      Currently I am pursuing a bachelor of science with a major in biomedical science. I chose this because no matter which career path I choose, it is a degree that works for many health professions.

                                                      Now this is a bit of an oddball, but someone told me about actuaries. I love math and love to problem solve, and not going to lie, but the salary is really appealing. Although some sources say they make more than $100,000 and others say that they average is $60,000 so I do not want to base my decision off of salary. I was thinking that while pursuing my biomedical science degree I could study for the actuarial exams and maybe take them because I know that some places you do not have to have a specific degree in math, econ, ect.... Again, perhaps this would allow me to shadow an actuary because I do not have any connections that would allow me to just ask.
                                                      Some people have suggested computer science to me, this does interest me but not to the extent of healthcare. I am learning python right now in CodeAcademy and it is interesting but very frustrating. Both my dad and brother are into computer science and watching how stressed they are kind of worries me. Actuaries now are needing more and more computer coding skills with C++ and SQL, so again I am not sure if that is right for me.

                                                      Basically what I am trying to say is, ideally I want a job in the healthcare field with preferably a decent salary (at least around $80,000) so that I do not have to worry about myself and my family financially, as my parents had to. I want to be able to provide for my future family so that my kids can really study what they want without having to worry about money constraints, and if that means that I have to just suck it up and work a job that I moderately like because of less time time and money spent on an education and it also offers a great salary, then so be it. I have good grades and am an extremely motivated person so I want a career that can somehow impact another person's (or animal's) life. I have great study skills and anatomy was one of my favorite subjects I have taken so far along with Calc 2. I hope that taking the various science and health classes in the biomedical science major will point me in the direction of which career path to choose based on what interests me.
                                                      Please let me know your input about this, such as what made you decide you wanted to be any of these professions and if you had to do it over, would you choose something else?
                                                      Again sorry how long this post is and than you so much for your input :)

                                                      I was originally going to go the PA route but then switched to PT and now OT. Have you looked into pursing a career in the rehabilitation sciences? Maybe you would enjoy a career as a PT. I believe they can earn a pretty good salary, depending on their setting.
                                                       
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