Careers

Going into Healthcare - Two Year Options

Jr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
192 posts
61 upvotes
DT Calgary
Why not just leverage your current role into something you'd like more. Whether that's at your current company or somewhere else. I wouldn't advise going back to school for something completely different.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 11, 2017
28 posts
25 upvotes
FreshCo wrote:
May 14th, 2017 8:49 pm
Why not just leverage your current role into something you'd like more. Whether that's at your current company or somewhere else. I wouldn't advise going back to school for something completely different.
I know I'd have to start from 0 again but I don't know what I'd enjoy doing with my current qualifications; my degree isn't prestigious by any means. It may take me an extremely long time for me to find out what I enjoy doing in the financial services industry, and then getting the certifications to follow that path. If I'm going to switch career paths, I want to do it while I'm still young. I'm an impatient person, but I think I should just give up when things aren't working out.
Member
Oct 3, 2013
235 posts
136 upvotes
BC
Just a word of advice, if you are seriously considering being an RT, definitely try to get in touch with someone in the profession since there isn't much out there about them. If you know of any doctors, nurses, or other health professionals that work in the hospital, that should be an easy way to get some contact information. I cannot speak to what the prospects of a shadow day would be in ON, but at least in BC, it'd probably be quite difficult to arrange without any affiliation to healthcare.

RT is a very specialized position that deals with the sickest of individuals, so you have to be able to tolerate seeing some pretty gruesome things. Depending on where you are, you'll also be under immense pressure to perform life-saving maneuvers in front of several colleagues. It's definitely not a profession for the light-hearted, so keep that in mind when considering your choices. That said, RTs are one of the few professions that can truly make a difference in life/death in a matter of seconds, so it can be a very rewarding career path.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pay. IMO, RTs are quite underpaid for what they do, commonly netting only $60k/yr. That said, there is a lot of overtime work available to them, so that figure can easily be bumped up. Hours are all over the map depending on where you work (up to 12 hours). Days are likely to be quite irregular as well (i.e. 4 days on, 4 days off; alternating days/nights every 2 days)

Just some more food for thought, I have heard musings that respiratory therapy is currently on its way to becoming a regulated profession in the next 3-5 years. With that, I expect the educational requirements WILL change, and the program will likely become either longer, or pre-requisites will become mandatory prior to enrollment. I cannot say for sure what those will be, but I'd think it would be wise to get your foot in the door before then if you are seriously considering a change.

I cannot speak as much regarding occupational health/safety aside from it being much, much slower-paced career path. Your "typical" occupational health worker would be involved in the inspection of workplaces for hazards, and dealing with enforcement/change of policy. With that, I'd imagine it'd be a pretty paperwork heavy job.


Disclaimer: I am not an RT, just have worked around a few before.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 11, 2017
28 posts
25 upvotes
Phonophoresis wrote:
May 15th, 2017 2:46 am
Just a word of advice, if you are seriously considering being an RT, definitely try to get in touch with someone in the profession since there isn't much out there about them. If you know of any doctors, nurses, or other health professionals that work in the hospital, that should be an easy way to get some contact information. I cannot speak to what the prospects of a shadow day would be in ON, but at least in BC, it'd probably be quite difficult to arrange without any affiliation to healthcare.

RT is a very specialized position that deals with the sickest of individuals, so you have to be able to tolerate seeing some pretty gruesome things. Depending on where you are, you'll also be under immense pressure to perform life-saving maneuvers in front of several colleagues. It's definitely not a profession for the light-hearted, so keep that in mind when considering your choices. That said, RTs are one of the few professions that can truly make a difference in life/death in a matter of seconds, so it can be a very rewarding career path.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pay. IMO, RTs are quite underpaid for what they do, commonly netting only $60k/yr. That said, there is a lot of overtime work available to them, so that figure can easily be bumped up. Hours are all over the map depending on where you work (up to 12 hours). Days are likely to be quite irregular as well (i.e. 4 days on, 4 days off; alternating days/nights every 2 days)

Just some more food for thought, I have heard musings that respiratory therapy is currently on its way to becoming a regulated profession in the next 3-5 years. With that, I expect the educational requirements WILL change, and the program will likely become either longer, or pre-requisites will become mandatory prior to enrollment. I cannot say for sure what those will be, but I'd think it would be wise to get your foot in the door before then if you are seriously considering a change.

I cannot speak as much regarding occupational health/safety aside from it being much, much slower-paced career path. Your "typical" occupational health worker would be involved in the inspection of workplaces for hazards, and dealing with enforcement/change of policy. With that, I'd imagine it'd be a pretty paperwork heavy job.


Disclaimer: I am not an RT, just have worked around a few before.
Thank you for the advice. I actually don't think being an RT will suit me, since I talked to one in a networking event. I don't think I'm tough enough...

You seem to work in the healthcare field. What profession do you think would take the shortest amount of time to get into or requires a short amount of education to get in?
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User avatar
May 10, 2017
33 posts
9 upvotes
spiritedaway wrote:
May 15th, 2017 2:50 pm
Thank you for the advice. I actually don't think being an RT will suit me, since I talked to one in a networking event. I don't think I'm tough enough...

You seem to work in the healthcare field. What profession do you think would take the shortest amount of time to get into or requires a short amount of education to get in?
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Member
Oct 3, 2013
235 posts
136 upvotes
BC
I wouldn't discount the career just because you don't think you're tough enough. While there certainly are people that are suited better for that line of work, I've known some absolute wussies going into similar fields and making excellent clinicians. As horrible as it sounds, you truly do become desensitized to the things you see, hear, or even smell on a daily basis. In fact, you pretty much learn to talk about the grossest of things you've seen at the dinner table. That said, if you're one who cannot even deal with the sight of a needle, blood or a tube going down someone's throat (which effectively is one of the most important duties of an RT's job), then you might want to stay away. An RT's scope, as previously mentioned, is highly specialized, so unfortunately there aren't many areas you can work in to "get away" from seriously ill patients, which is unlike most other health disciplines (i.e. nursing, doctors, other allied health).

Before answering your question, what is motivating you to choose healthcare of all things? You already have a degree, a job, etc. What is it about healthcare that is so appealing to you? Are you truly interested in the field? Are you looking for something faster paced than your bank job? Are you just drawn to it since there are several programs that only require <=2 years of education? Also, did you have any particular expectations for income? I ask you all this not to judge you, but I feel I'd be able to give a better answer to your questions knowing the answer.

As an aside, I personally think taking the approach of targeting the shortest path in terms of education is a big mistake. I, like you, am quite impatient, and have made career decisions primarily on wanting to get from point A to B as quickly as possible so I could live a life, have security, start a family, etc. sooner rather than later, and I must admit, there are many days I regret doing that. Generally speaking, if you choose something based upon the duration of the program rather than your interests, things will end up taking longer since you'll waste another 5-6 years of your life at a job you hate, only to end up back at school to get a change of scenery. In fact, it sounds like you're in that position right now with regards to your decision to enter the field of finance, no?
Newbie
Apr 22, 2017
17 posts
1 upvote
I'm in same dilemma as the OP.

Reading and learning.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 11, 2017
28 posts
25 upvotes
Atlast wrote:
May 17th, 2017 6:00 am
I'm in same dilemma as the OP.

Reading and learning.
Good to know there are others like me.
Member
Feb 7, 2004
403 posts
92 upvotes
Haldimand
A healthcare professional is called a professional because they are highly trained in what they do. There is no fast easy way to become a professional. PSW is probably one of the easiest and quickest healthcare fields to get into, imo, because of high turnover as the job is not very exciting to do. RT and Paramedic are shorter college programs that offer excellent careers but by no means are easy and are highly competitive. To add to what Phonophoresis was saying, these fields are also expanding in terms of scope of practice every year. I know for a fact the paramedic program is well underway to being developed into a 4-year Bachelors degree. I'm sure you also realize that the daily work of an RT compared to Occupational H&S is completely different. Do you want a physical job or do you want to sit behind a desk and do paperwork?
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 11, 2017
28 posts
25 upvotes
Labrie wrote:
May 19th, 2017 10:12 am
A healthcare professional is called a professional because they are highly trained in what they do. There is no fast easy way to become a professional. PSW is probably one of the easiest and quickest healthcare fields to get into, imo, because of high turnover as the job is not very exciting to do. RT and Paramedic are shorter college programs that offer excellent careers but by no means are easy and are highly competitive. To add to what Phonophoresis was saying, these fields are also expanding in terms of scope of practice every year. I know for a fact the paramedic program is well underway to being developed into a 4-year Bachelors degree. I'm sure you also realize that the daily work of an RT compared to Occupational H&S is completely different. Do you want a physical job or do you want to sit behind a desk and do paperwork?
Is Occupational H&S all about office work? I read that it may involve physical inspections. I've already ruled out being an RT and leaning towards Occupational H&S.
Member
Feb 7, 2004
403 posts
92 upvotes
Haldimand
You're right it does involve inspections, investigations and audits which basically involve walking around and looking at things maybe going up a ladder on occasion. Not exactly what I would describe as physically intense. It is also a lot of writing of reports, designing safety talks for the staff, possibly training and orientating new staff etc. It's not a field that is healthcare specific though so when you say you want to work in health care, people usually assume you mean more along the lines of nursing, physician, RT, paramedic etc.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
May 11, 2017
28 posts
25 upvotes
Labrie wrote:
May 19th, 2017 7:13 pm
You're right it does involve inspections, investigations and audits which basically involve walking around and looking at things maybe going up a ladder on occasion. Not exactly what I would describe as physically intense. It is also a lot of writing of reports, designing safety talks for the staff, possibly training and orientating new staff etc. It's not a field that is healthcare specific though so when you say you want to work in health care, people usually assume you mean more along the lines of nursing, physician, RT, paramedic etc.
Thanks for the information :)
I guess I was misleading without realizing it. Would public health or health and safety promotion/engagement be a better term? Maybe I should change the title of this thread....

Can I ask if you work in health care or the OH&S field?

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