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8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

University of Exeter / Flickr / CC BY

If you want to get into healthcare, you can do it fast or super fast: the choice is yours. Depending on the level of certification required and your school choice, some healthcare certificates can take 2 years or longer to complete. There are, however, some programs that can be completed in 12 months or less. This means your whole life could be changed by this time next year.

Quicker routes to healthcare certification are ideal when you prefer on-the-job learning and want to start work as soon as possible. If you already work in healthcare but want to change lanes and switch career paths, a shorter training program can help get you there. If your healthcare job search has led you to a role that doesn’t require a degree, read on.

Here are some of your best options for fast access to jobs in healthcare that best suit your own interests.

1. Phlebotomy Technician

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 1 – 2 months

Some people can’t stand the sight of blood. Others are fascinated by it and can’t get enough crazy facts about the red liquid that runs through our veins. Phlebotomy technicians, also known as phlebotomists, draw blood from patients and send it to labs for processing.

Phlebotomy certification can be obtained in a matter of weeks. Once a patient’s blood has been taken, it’s the phlebotomist’s responsibility to prepare it for testing in a lab. Training for this role is mostly hands-on, and certified professionals can often use this job as a stepping stone to other careers.

2. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

Direct_Relief / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 3 – 4 months

One of the fastest routes into health professions that involve dealing with the general public is to become a certified pharmacy technician. Training takes around three months. However, handling prescriptions comes with a great responsibility, so there’s a lot to cover in this time.

Students learn about proper drug classifications and administration, as well as pharmaceutical terminology and management. Pharmacy technicians go on to help patients face-to-face and over the phone, while also assisting licensed pharmacists in their practice.

3. Certified Cardiographic Technician

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 2 – 3 months

If you want a defined role in cardiology, there’s a very quick route into this area. Cardiographic technicians work alongside doctors and analyze results from electrocardiogram (EKG) machines, which check for problems in the heart.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation states that coronary disease is the leading cause of premature death worldwide, but also that “efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases appear to be working.” This means that work in this field is unlikely to disappear any time soon.

4. Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

Anoto AB / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Fast
Approx. 4 – 12 months

It’s the job of a medical billing and coding specialist to make sure healthcare bills and insurance are processed properly. It doesn’t take long at all to become a certified healthcare professional in billing and coding, but the job requires diligence.

Why? Mistakes in billing and insurance can cost the healthcare industry huge sums of money, especially if an error results in a fine. These specialists make sure filing and billing systems are efficient and robust enough to withstand any form of disruption.

5. Surgical Technologist

Certification: Fast
Approx. 9 – 15 months

There are many hospital careers to choose from, but surgery is a popular ambition. Surgical technologists spend their time in surgery supporting both the patient and healthcare workers. It’s possible to become a certified surgical tech in less than 12 months.

They prep the equipment and ensure a sanitary environment ready for surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses to perform surgical procedures. A vital contributor before, during and after surgery, this role can be carried out in emergency departments, in hospital operating rooms, or in ambulatory care centers.

6. Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

University of the Fraser Valley / Flickr / CC BY

Certification: Fast
Approx. 9 – 12 months

For anyone looking for jobs that offer variety in the workplace, certification to be a medical assistant (MA) is the way to go. MAs are responsible for both clinical and administrative tasks, so training covers lab techniques and diagnostic procedure, as well as office practices and patient relations. They’re also responsible for keeping patient records in order.

Certified MAs find they’re able to work in a number of different settings, depending on their preferences: from a busy hospital to a small podiatrist’s office.

7. Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist

Certification: Fast
Approx. 1 year

If the idea of learning to recognize normal and abnormal electrical activity in the body fires you up, healthcare jobs in neurophysiology are right up your alley. Students learn about electrical activity in the brain and nervous system and then are trained to record and analyze the results.

Certified electroneurodiagnostic technologists go on to record electrical potentials and calculate test results. Specifically, those who enjoy performing procedures like EEGs (electroencephalography), can go on to be an EEG technologist. EEG programs take around 1 year go completely.

8. Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant

US Army Garrison Red Cloud – Casey / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Fast
Approx. 1 year

Dental assistants work under the direction of a qualified dentist. They can perform administrative tasks, as well as some laboratory tasks. Scheduling appointments with patients is a big part of this role, as is managing billing and payments.

Since many people dislike going to the dentist, putting them at ease and educating patients about oral healthcare becomes an important part of the job. Whenever the dentist performs a procedure, dental assistants are on hand to pass equipment and devices to them while they work.

Are healthcare careers in demand?

Healthcare training programs offer a wide range of options for anyone eager to pursue a career in this area. If you want to enroll and graduate quickly from an accredited course, but also want a job that’s hot on prospects and salary, we’ve got you covered.

Find out which of these careers that don’t require a degree offer you the most in return for your study.

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