Options for Healthcare Training

If you are between jobs, or having to work several jobs on the side to make ends meet, consider a career in the healthcare field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is a growing field with a positive employment outlook. Healthcare providers in all fields have a need for qualified staff.

Most healthcare jobs require specialized training. Even if you already work in one area you will need special training to switch to another. For example, if you are currently working as a paramedic and want to switch to nursing, you would need to enroll in a paramedic to online program.

Thanks to the number of colleges, universities, and career schools that offer healthcare coursework, you have several options for getting that addition training. You can study online, on-site, or do a combination of the two, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Online Training:

The biggest advantage to online training is that it gives you the flexibility to attend classes anytime, and anywhere. In most cases, you are required to log on to the online classroom, download the lecture materials, and review them within a certain timeframe. You might also be required to participate in a class message board, and most tests and quizzes are administered online with specific deadlines for completion.

The flexibility of the online class is especially useful if you are already employed full-time, or if you have multiple jobs and other scheduling conflicts.

The biggest disadvantage to online healthcare training is that you might not have access to the labs, hands-on training, and clinical training that you need to complete your degree and qualify for certification or licensure.

Some online colleges have physical locations where you can do labs on campus. Others have agreements with area colleges and healthcare providers to provide hands-on training, but you may have difficulty arranging training time.

Online schools also require you to have excellent organizational skills and to be highly self-motivated to make sure you review your materials, participate in discussions, and take your tests by the deadline.

On-Site Training

The biggest advantage to on-site, or traditional classroom, training is that you have access to the labs, and hands-on resources you need to complete your degree. Traditional classrooms also allow face-to-face interaction with your professors and fellow students.

Many traditional schools also have well-established relationships with healthcare providers, so it’s easier to secure a clinical rotation, if necessary.

The biggest disadvantage to the traditional classroom is that the timing is much less flexible. Classes are scheduled during specific times of day, and you are required to be there to complete the coursework. If you have a job, or even another class that conflicts, this can make scheduling difficult. You also have to worry about transportation and parking, and navigating to campus during inclement weather conditions.

Combination Training

The advantage to combination training is that it gives you slightly more flexibility than the on-site option. The disadvantage is that you might have a limited choice of online courses.

In the best case scenario, you can take all of your core courses, and labs, on-site so that you have access to school resources. And you can take all of your non-core, and electives, online to reduce the chance of scheduling conflicts.

Whether you select online, on-site, or the combination approach, healthcare training will improve your marketability, and increase your job prospects.

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