The Top 5 Stress-Free Healthcare Jobs
Anyone joining the allied health sector knows how unhealthy stress can be (surgical techs, we’re looking at you!), and yet it’s often viewed as “a way of life.” It doesn’t have to be that way!
Before you enroll in an allied health school, take the time to consider how stressful working life might be when you get certified. There’s a whole world of careers to choose from, so it pays to consider your choice carefully – your friends, family, and health will thank you.
1. Medical Billers and Coders
Surgical techs and other operating room staff experience high-stakes situations every day, but medical billers and coders are crucial behind-the-scenes professionals.
These allied health workers are responsible for liaising between patients, insurance companies, and physicians. Coders scan documents to determine procedures and diagnoses, then turn this data into codes that insurance companies need to accurately bill, pay, or authorize. Billers then take these codes and submit them into a medical billing software program. While these are two different sets of duties, many professionals can switch between these roles effortlessly.
You’ll typically find medical coders and billers in a centralized location. In hospitals or clinics, there’s a dedicated room or area for them to work, but a growing number work from home. While they may occasionally have a stressful experience clearing up issues with an insurance company – or interactions with emotional patients – these are straightforward positions.
How to Become a Medical Biller and/or Coder
Obtaining certification as a medical biller and coder can be done in as few as 4 months. Classroom instruction covers insurance forms, HIPAA laws, and the current ICD-10 code set. Mandatory clinical internships are excellent ways to apply everything you’ve learned – and with the right attitude, you may even find a job position before you get your certification.
2. Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical laboratory technicians also work behind the scenes, insulating these professionals from otherwise hectic environments. These professionals perform standard medical tests on body tissue, blood, and other fluids, providing the insight that physicians need to make their diagnoses.
Due to ever-evolving technology, there’s more reliance on medical tests than ever before. That means a solid job market, ample room for upward mobility, a climate-controlled environment, and great pay rates – all without a university degree!
How to Become a Medical Lab Tech
Lab technicians need to complete a two-year associate degree, which can be obtained at hundreds of technical schools across the country. If you already earned your associate degree in an unrelated medical field, a one-year certificate program may be a suitable option.
3. Sterile Processing Technician
If you like the idea of a low-stress job that appreciates your compulsive cleaning and organizing (while making a serious difference in the lives of patients), why not check out the field of sterile processing?
Also known as a medical equipment preparer or sterilization technician, these allied health professionals ensure that all surgical equipment and tools are sterilized, in perfect working order, and delivered to medical offices and operating rooms.
It’s largely an autonomous role, which is ideal for someone who’s self-motivated. Successful SPTs often move up the ladder into supervisor roles (gain a healthy average salary) or head back to school if they decide that becoming a member of the surgical team is a great fit.
How to Become a Sterile Processing Tech
Most SPTs gain their certification via an SPT training course. In under one year, you’ll learn about decontamination, sterilization, the proper use of tools, and infection control. After your clinical internship, you’ll be ready to work in any hospital or clinic sterilization lab.
4. Dental Hygienist
Think back to your last visit to the dentist: You likely interacted with a dental hygienist. Working closely with dentists and oral surgeons, hygienists are responsible for routine check-ups, office management, and assisting during surgical procedures. With all of their job responsibilities, this is a great career for people who love multi-tasking.
By combining excellent job fulfillment rates and a low-stress work environment, dental hygiene is a great choice for anyone searching for a meaningful career in healthcare. Best of all, in 2017 the average income for dental hygienists was just under $75,000 – not too shabby for a position that doesn’t require a medical degree!
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists typically get their associate degree in dental hygiene (though a BS or Master’s degree programs are also possibilities). Regardless, by the time you complete your studies, you’ll have all of the knowledge regarding dental software, instruments, pain management, pathology, and pharmacology.