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What can I do with a Health Science degree?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by add23, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. add23

    add23 New Member

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    Hi everyone, I hope I can get some help here. Bear with me, it's kinda long. I graduated last year with a BS in Health Science, with a concentration in Pre-Professional studies, and have no idea how I can use it unless I go to med school. I had started college as a Pre-Pharmacy major, but I decided to switch to Health Science after a year and a half because my advisor told me it would offer me more job options (the 2 year Pre-Pharm. curriculum was almost done, and I wasn't sure I was ready to head off to Pharmacy school).

    What I'm interested in is either something with technology (like radiologist) or physical therapy, or maybe back to pharmacy. The Health Science curriculum was basically just all hard (but sometimes interesting) science courses and a TON of dull health-related courses that quickly started becoming very repetitive. I did tons of papers, projects, research, powerpoints, etc. but got no clinical experience. There was only one course even offered at my school that taught clinical skills (outside of the nursing program), but I was never able to fit it in. Plus it wasn't listed as a requirement so I didn't think I had to take it. But when I went to do my internship (required to get the degree) my advisor had a hard time finding something for me because I hadn't taken that one little course. I ended up having to waste three months doing office work at the Red Cross, not horrible but definitely non-clinical type of healthcare work and not what I want to do.

    So I finished the internship and graduated, but now I'm stuck. I have no clue what I can do with this Health Science degree unless I go to med school, but I'd like to be able to use it now somehow. Even getting into med school will be hard because I have no healthcare related work experience, just tons of boring/hard courses that seem very useless to me right now. I almost wish I would have went to a tech school and got some type of 2-year degree, because then I would at least been able to get a job at a hospital or something to give me some hands-on clinical experience.

    I know I don't want to even attempt to apply to med school until I pay off my student loans from these past 4 years, so right now I'm just doing crap jobs that I could've done out of high school. I think I should be earning more, and the fact I've got this degree and am not being using it is really frustrating. I'm definitely interested in applying to med school a few years from now, but only after I pay off my current loans and actually do some work in the health field to make sure it's what I want to do. What do you all suggest I do? What type of work could I get with this BS degree right now, without any clinical skills? Should I try and use the college credits I have at a tech school and take some clinical skills courses there?

    Phew....hope you're all still awake. :D Any advice would be really appreciated.
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    In case you weren't clear, a radiologist needs to be an MD(/DO).
     
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    Without any kind of certification, you are not going to be able to do anything clinical in a hospital. You can do things like unit secretary, clerk etc. Even phlebotomy takes a certification (takes about six weeks). You might be able to get a job as a research assistant in a research laboratory where you can pick up some skills.

    You might try to get a job as a unit secretary and then go for something like EMT where you could pick up some solid clinical skills that you could use later. Radiography, respiratory therapy, pharmacy technician will all require going to school (community college level) which you might do while working in a non-clinical position. Unfortunately, your health science degree is not going to translate into anything clinical unless you take the time to get a certification.

    A radiologist has an MD or DO degree which means that you have to attend medical school first.

    njbmd :)
     
  5. sleepy_dwarf

    sleepy_dwarf Narcoleptic Midget
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    Add meant radiologic technologist.

    Regardless, your choices in securing a job that makes use of your education while securing a bachelor's level paycheck and gaining patient care experience may be hard to come by. I'd recommend setting your priorities. You seem to have three, and can probably find a job that meets two of them. An anatomic pathologist's assistant comes to mind. Not glamorous, and not much demand, but it will make use of your microbiology lab skills and will pay better than McD's. And while you've got your foot in the door at the hospital, volunteer some. Bada-bing bada-boom, patient care experience.

    Also, there ARE non-certified allied health fields, such as EEG tech, EKG tech, and polysomnography (sleep) tech (i'm this and admissions committees are intruiged by the uniqueness of it), all of which generally recruit HS grads and train them OTJ, so you're more than qualified, and pay can be competitive with associates level allied health professionals.

    Good luck to you, and let me know if you want to know more about EEG/polysomnography.
     

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