How many non-doctors work currently in the healthcare field?

Hey guys,

There have been quite a few threads/topics about shadowing and getting experience. I am curious to find out how many of our members currently or will be assuming some role in the healthcare field.

Meaning, are you an EMT/Medic? Cardiac Tech(ME), or some other various position in some capacity in the health care field?

For those of you who are not, I would really…really…recommend, if interested in looking into becoming a nursing assistant. Most of your hospitals will hire you with no experience, and will provide a roughly one month training course for this position.

I was recently talking with another member who has and is trying to gain shadowing experience. I can tell you that this would be an amazing experience. Though, if possible try to get a position on a critical care ward of some nature. This is a great way to network and meet healthcare professionals.

Also, if it is a teaching hospital the interns/residents are very friendly (though there is always an exception) and they will let you watch them do bedside procedures and other valuable procedures. This is based off of my own experiences. It is really something to look at. Not to mention, while doing this, along with your job, your getting paid. The best of both worlds.

I hope this may interest others, and/or be helpful. Like I said, really a great chance to get paid to help others and learn, meet healthcare professionals.

I’m just finishing a phlebotomy certificate. Hospital exposure with less a**-wiping.

The local hospital uses them for hourly work and there are volunteer opportunities available around the community as well. It looked like the best ratio of exposure to investment of time, but the barrier to entry is low enough that I would guess the market might be glutted with phlebotomists in larger cities.

Good for you Bill!

I’m volunteering with our EMS unit. They are paying for all my EMT training starting with a first responder class. I just had CPR and AED training, so I can now officially shock you back to life if you need me maddux.

I’ve also been doing pro bono breast feeding education in various capacities, specializing in adoptive breast feeding. They are my favorite.

AWESOME Susan! Way to go!

BTW- If you do shock anyone, make sure your not standing in a puddle…:wink: J/K

They told me that!

And then they regalled me with a tale of a medic who was touching the patient when his partner forgot to yell “clear!” and suddenly they had 2 patients on their hands b/c the medic was shocked unconsious.

So, I will ensure I yell “CLEAR!” real loud if needed.

Then another said she just knows when someone is going to die and starts singing while doing chest compressions. She sings whatever comes to mind, which apparently was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” the last one.

Non health care field right here!

Maddux that is a great idea. I had kicked around phlebotomy. I will admit I am not much interested in nursing. I wouldn’t mind wandering around taking blood. Seems like a good thing to get good at. I know at my favorite Seattle hospital they were always short staffed in that department. My requirement would be…

I can only work so many hours a week. I have to be able to go to school still. Oh, yeah, the cap on work is due to me having kids and homework.

Why can’t they credit me all the times that I have assisted in an inflight medical emergency? LOL. I just recently assisted a doctor while he started IV fluids in my galley. I have his card. Ha!

I thought about being a nurse, but, after being on bedrest for 2 weeks, I saw what it was, “modern day slavery” ruled by psychotic charge nurses. Not for me. I want to be the doctor and more so doing my own thing.

PS. Doing a job shadow on the 22nd in a small ER. That same doctor is trying to get me in touch with a UW ER attending. Wouldn’t that be the best? One of the hospitals UW serves is Harborview. All the exciting injuries go there.


You rock! Good for you! I think that though the pay would not equal your current job with the airline, the experience and networking you would gain by even just part-time as an nursing assistant would be invaluable! Just the experience alone is priceless, as long as you don’t mind some of the other unsavory things you may have to do.

Keep me posted!


I work in Healthcare IT (clinical side) and respiratory therapy PRN.

That’s great lpressley!! Do you find that being in the industry, that you have made some good contacts, not to mention besides your normal atmostphere and responsibilities, that you have obtained some great experiences through your position?

I’m a Nurse Practitioner and have been a RN for 10 years and an NP for two and a half years now. Lots of great clinical experience and decent salary as an RN and a NP. FYI, not all nurses do “*** wiping”. It’s a good idea to get some hospital experience first and then you can work in a variety of fields: office, school, insurance company, hospital, etc. Many opportunities to work either full-time, part-time, or per diem to accommodate a school schedule (although I have to work full-time presently due to kids and financial constraints). Also, you can get some great networking opportunities with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Hope this helps!

I’m as far removed from the healthcare industry as you can get…although our law firm has represented a few doctors that have filed Chapter 7’s. I too have thought about the phlebotomy thing (I know I just completely spelled that wrong), and once my other half gets finished with his radiology program then I will do that and work part time at a hospital or lab just running around sucking blood from folks and go to school full time. I can NOT wait to be out of this law firm.

An NP? Wow, that is great! What was the deciding factor in going to medical school?

I’ve always been interested in science and extremely intellectiously curious and looking to learn. I feel somewhat limited by my nursing background in that we are minimally educated in the science behind disease, health, wellness, pharmacology, etc. When I obtained my Masters and became a NP, my two favorite classes were Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology and, since my undergraduate background has a great deal of biology and some chemistry in it, I find that I still want to know and understand more. I think by furthering my education and clinical experiences in medical school, it will benefit my patients immensely. I think a combination of nursing and medicine education and clinical experience will make for a very well-rounded clinician!

Also, I have to say, I’m quite surprised at the number of my fellow nurses and NPs out there who are contemplating medical school or actually going there already (or have already become physicians!). I thought I was crazy for looking into changing my career at this late stage of my life, but this website has made me realize that I’m not alone in this pursuit.

Thanks for all of your great advice and input and I hope to meet all of you someday at the conference (unfortunately I won’t be able to go to the one this year!)

It’s been my experience that the more I learn about health and medicine, the more I want to know. I’m only surprised by the number of advanced-care nurses pursuing medicine because of the differences in eductional philosophy and approach to patients.

I have worked as a critical care/neonatal intensive care paramedic since 1995. By the time I got my BS in EMS management, I was motivated to make the transition to medical school.

I am also a nurse practitioner. I am a certified nurse midwife.

My deciding fact to wanting to go to med school is that I hate being the middle man. I hate not fully understanding the patho behind certain disease process. I hate having to transfer care to my doc with my high risk patients. I want to do surgery.

In obstetrics, at time of delivery a shoulder dystocia is considered the worst medical emergency. I would almost rather have a shoulder dystocia than fetal bradycardia. Because as a NP i can do the first several manuevers as the physician to get that kid out and if they dont work my doc would have gotten there to take over. However in the 20-30 minutes it may take my doc to get to the hospital with severe fetal bradycardia could cause major brain damage and there is nothing i can do to get that kid out but wait.

I hate being in the situation. I love what I do as a NP/CNM but I hate knowing there are situations where I can not/do not have the skills to resolve it.

I know I will make it to med school. Yes I will be 42 at time of matriculation ( if God’s plan is the same as mine) and I will be out of residency at 50. but as i look at I will be 50 weither I do this or not


a midwife who wants more

I am an RN working on a cardiothoracic step down unit. I’ve always know that I wanted to attend med school, but when I started college, my mom kept telling me that I should be a nurse, so to please her (like I always did when I was younger) I became a nurse instead.

I like nursing, but I want to know more. I want to learn more. I want to be able to completely understand what is going on with my patients.

I am currently doing a fast track BSN program that I should (hopefully) finish in Dec of this year and I can start my pre-med pre-reqs in the Spring. I pretty much need all of them, so I am going back and forth with the idea of doing a post-bacc program or just doing it myself. We’ll see.

Good luck to you all and hope to see you at the conference. I live in Richmond, VA, so I definitely plan on making my way up there!

I’m a NICU (neonatal) RN right now. I’m still very young (23), but I’ve considered waiting until I got married and the 2-3 kids are at least 5-6 years old before starting medical school…so late 30s.

I’m not entirely sure that I’ll do it, but I would love the autonomy and I haven’t been very satisfied with the NP programs that I’ve seen. I love learning about all the science behind everything.

And it seems like a win-win situation for me (beyond missing my family during med school/residency) because I’d be in direct patient care for multiple years and then transition into a more authoritative role. I love my current job-who couldn’t like feeding babies one night and busting your ass the next trying to keep the 24 weeker alive? But I know that 10 years down the line I’d want more challenge and to push my knowledge further.


I am new to this site. I am a 38 year old nurse practitioner now going premed. I have had lots of healthcare experience as a nurse working with patients etc for almost 10 years with another 3 years as a nurse practitioner. I am so glad I found this website site. Hello to all!


We seem to have a lot in common! I’m a 43 year-old NP, mother of two. I’ve been a NP for 2 1/2 years and an RN for 10 years. When are you planning on entering medical school? I’m not planning on entering until 2014, when my youngest child graduates HS. I’m currently taking the prereqs (a lot different from graduate nursing courses, that’s for sure!).

Welcome to the website!