The Best 2 Year Degree Programs for Medical Careers
While some medical careers in healthcare require extensive schooling and additional training, others can be obtained after completing a two-year degree program. Two-year medical degree programs can often be pursued at community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges and universities.
Regardless of the program, learners can expect to receive a mix of lecture-style instruction and field training. After the completion of a two-year degree program for healthcare careers, and potentially the earning of a certificate or license, learners can enter their desired healthcare career and begin making a difference in the lives of others. Here are some of the best careers in healthcare that require a two year degree:
An Ultrasound Technician (or Sonographer) uses ultrasound technology to view images of internal organs, tissues, blood vessels and musculature. Using these images, Imaging Workers are able to help Physicians and other providers come to medical diagnoses. For example, by examining imaging technology, providers may be able to identify high-risk pregnancies, arterial blockages, heart defects, cancers, women’s health concerns and other health issues.
To become a sonographer, learners must pursue a program through which one or more certification can be obtained. These programs are typically 24 months long and involve 12 months of didactic schooling and 12 months of participation in a clinical rotation.
After this schooling is complete, a sonography exam will be administered. When a passing score is received the professional becomes certified. This certification will be in a specialty area which may include abdominal cavity, OB-GYN, etc. The organization (otherwise known as a “registry”) that certified the individual will ensure that they have met the scope of practice and can complete all necessary clinical tasks.
“The school was difficult, yes. Having to understand an all-encompassing module was tough, but it pays off in every way possible,” Ovi Cioloca, RVS, who was a Sonographer at the highest volume vein clinic in the state of Georgia for seven years, said. “Nothing is too difficult if you put your mind to it.”
An X-Ray Technologist’s career includes specializing in X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging in order to produce clear and accurate images of the body. In order to obtain these images, some Radiologic Technologists must prepare a mixture for a patient to drink, allowing the soft tissue to be seen.
To become a Radiologic Tech, a learner must first pursue their associate’s degree and earn accreditation. This process usually takes 21 to 24 months and the coursework will include classes in anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation, physicals, protection and image evaluation, as well as working clinical experience. From there, the next step is to obtain a state license or certification.* Although not every state requires a Radiologic Technologist to be certified, most employers typically prefer it.
“An associate’s degree is required to be able to sit for your registry boards. It took me four years to complete because I decided I wanted to obtain my bachelor’s degree as well,” Rhiannon Domalewski, RT(R), a Rad Tech practicing in Pennsylvania, said. “It was slightly difficult — managing school work on top of going to clinical was tough and definitely took some getting used to.”
A Medical Assistant is responsible for completing administrative and clinical tasks for healthcare facilities and providers. Additionally, these professionals take and record confidential patient information using electronic health records, only discussing this information with other professionals who are helping to treat a patient.
To become a Medical Assistant, a professional is typically required to graduate from a post-secondary education program at a community college, vocational school, technical school or university to obtain a certificate. This usually takes about one year to complete, but some students choose to complete a two-year program at a college that will result in an associate’s degree. In some states, there are no formal educational requirements, but many employers prefer to hire Medical Assistants who have obtained certification. Learn about other careers achievable in under two years!
“Usually education requirements depend on the state, but most require at least a technical diploma,” Erika Spalty, CMA, a Certified Medical Assistant in South Carolina, said. “Then, depending on the school you can take a test to become a Certified Medical Assistant, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant or Registered Medical Assistant. I myself did not take a test.”
A Veterinary Technician works under the supervision of a licensed Veterinarian and typically helps to conduct a variety of diagnostic tests and perform laboratory tests. These laboratory tests can include a urinalysis, dental prophylaxis, electrocardiograph and more. Vet Techs are also trained to observe animal behavior and conditions, bathe animals, clip their nails, brush or cut animal’s hair, prepare animals for surgery and take X-rays.
becoming a Veterinary Technician requires a two-year vet tech program or associate’s degree and the passing of a credentialing exam to become registered, licensed or certified (depending on state requirements). Those interested in pursuing this career in healthcare can best prepare themselves for these programs by taking classes in biology, chemistry, physiology and math.
“After graduation, you will sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and, depending on the state where you live, a state exam as well,” Liz Hughston, RVT, VTS, a practicing Vet Tech in California, said. “There are traditional brick-and-mortar schools that offer veterinary technology programs and a number of online schools as well. I attended a program at my local community college and graduated in two years, then took and passed both the VTNE and the California vet tech exam.”
Hughston explained that during her schooling, the coursework was rigorous and involved a lot of math and science. As an older student who already had a college degree, she believes that she had an advantage in school as she found it interesting and fun.
“The most challenging course for me was lab animal science, as I had little experience with the research side of veterinary medicine and it’s really hard to keep all the different species of rats straight,” Hughston noted.
Thus, those looking for a career in healthcare — but who don’t want to spend years completing educational requirements and undergoing specialized training — they should consider these healthcare careers. With a two-year degree on their resume, learners can prepare themselves to begin the firsthand experience in the field of medicine.