We start going to school at the age of 3 or 4. We graduate from secondary school at the age of 17 or 19. Those who want to pursue a career being a doctor will have to endure 3 or 4 years of pre-clinical training, 3 years of Clinical training in a Teaching Hospital, 2 years as a House Officer and then a couple of more years as a Resident to move into a more specialized field. This means that you will have only established yourself as a doctor after you have reached the age of 28!
Do you really have to wait that long to undergo medical training and make a career for yourself? The answer is no. This is because aside from being a doctor, you can do something else that is in the health field. To give you an idea, here are some of them.
For those who don’t want to work in a hospital, they can try to get a job as a Drug Counter Assistant. This person is the one that dispenses drugs at the store. They can also recommend a drug similar to what was prescribed if this is not available or way beyond your budget. Sometimes, they also help doctors determine the proper dosage to be given to the patient as they are well aware of the side effects of giving too much to a patient.
Another job that you may apply for is that of a lab technician. These individuals depending on their training are the ones who test samples or man the X-ray or mammogram when a patient has to be examined.
One job that is not high in demand right now in Ghana is that of a nurse. This is because a lot of those who have finished training are not working right now and the graduates these days are no excited about sitting home unemployed which is why nurses are being forced to migrate to other countries for greener pastures.
Training for each of the jobs mentioned varies. For Drug Counter Assistants, lab technicians and nurses, they don’t have to study for 8 years or more when they already qualify for their position after a couple of years in Training school.
Here, they will learn subjects such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, infection control, medical terminology, physiology, and several others before undergoing hands-on training. There will be exams to test their knowledge with regards to each subject so there won’t be any problems when it is time to do the real thing.
You can also be successful working outside the hospital with a little medical training. You can get into medical transcription since all you have to do is transcribe what the doctor has said using a tape recorder. The work can be done at home and then the document is sent back to the doctor. This is however not available in Ghana.
Another alternative will be to get into sales as pharmaceutical companies need sales agent to sell their drugs to doctors and hospitals.
Anyone can make a career once he or she has undergone medical training. You just have to decide what you want to specialize in and then go for it. For those that don’t have the money to study full time, look for a school that offers this part-time or distant education.
Remember, this is only temporary because once you earn your degree, you can already make your career out of it.