Five Healthcare Jobs You Can Get With Short-Term Training

There are five rewarding healthcare jobs you can get with just a few weeks or months of training. The demand for these services is high, the pay is moderately good, and most places you would work for offer excellent benefits as well.   

Certified Nursing Assistant

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) works under the direction of the nurses and other medical staff in hospitals, nursing homes, or in home-health care. To become a state-certified CNA you need to take an intensive course that usually lasts 6-9 weeks. Some hospitals or nursing homes offer this training in-house if you become employed there, but you may not receive official certification that would enable you to work anywhere else.

CNA training includes:

  • First aid, CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), and AED (automated external defibrillator) trainings.
  • Learning how to take someone's vital signs which are blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiration, and pain level self report.
  • Learning how to chart or record medical information in the patient's health record.
  • Learning how to lift and assist patients to get out of bed and ambulate.
  • Helping patients with personal care and activities of daily living.

Qualified Medication Aide

Many CNAs also take the QMA (qualified medication aide) training. This course is usually offered by community colleges and may last 6-9 weeks or be a full semester long. You will be trained to administer medications in a hospital or nursing home setting. State laws differ on a QMA's scope of practice but you may be trained to:

  • Measure and prepare medications for patients.
  • Assist patients in taking the medications.
  • Follow the directions that the doctors have given.
  • Assist diabetics to test their blood sugar.
  • Apply creams and gels.

Emergency Medical Technician -- Basic

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) often work with ambulance crews or work with medical staff in the emergency departments of hospitals. There are three levels of EMTs including basic, advanced, and paramedic. To become an EMT-Basic, you will need to take a course that includes classroom instruction and a lab where you will practice practical skills. This training may be a concentrated 2-week program or up to a semester-long course, and it is taught in universities and community colleges. After finishing the program, you will receive certification to work as an EMT.

You would be trained to do these procedures or use these skills:

  • First Aid, CPR, and AED.
  • Bleeding control.
  • Splinting.
  • Using various types of equipment for airway ventilation.
  • Administering medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors, albuterol inhalers, nitroglycerin, and oral glucose.

CPR/First Aid Instructor

To become a CPR/First Aid Instructor you will need to take a "first responder" level course at a university or take training through various agencies. It can be 9 weeks or up to a semester long. It will involve classroom instruction and a lab to practice your skills. It is similar to EMT-Basic training but doesn't include the medication assistance section. You will then be certified to work as an instructor and may find employment at an agency or teach classes in a self-employed capacity for businesses and other groups.

Psychiatric Attendant

A psychiatric attendant has duties and training that is similar to a CNA's, and you would work in mental health hospitals or in substance rehabilitation facilities. Your training may be offered in-house. Along with CNA type duties, you would also be trained in behavior modification techniques, to prepare and offer educational or entertainment programs/activities, and to escort patients to doctor appointments off-grounds.

To Sum Up

These jobs usually involve instruction on various aspects of the job, have a practice lab, and tend to be no longer than a semester. Some of these types of jobs offer paid in-house training. It is not uncommon for people to work in these occupations for a period of time and then to return to school for advanced training to become nurses, paramedics, or therapists. Contact a local outlet that offers healthcare jobs, such as SOS Healthcare Staffing, for further assistance.