Schools Training

Health Sciences College for Career Changers

17 OCT 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

Are you already in the workforce, but looking for a change? Perhaps what you need is a new job, ideally with flexible working hours, a good hourly wage, and the possibility of advancement, both in terms of salary and status? A job where you can help others? For many mature students, a health sciences college becomes a launch pad to a rewarding second career.

In fact, it could even be argued that, for some of the professions that a health sciences program can lead to, such as X-ray technician or ultrasound technician, that maturity and life experience can be a major asset. After all, patients seeking diagnostic imaging tests can sometimes feel vulnerable, and worried about their health, their futures and, not to mention, their families. A steady, guiding hand – a good “test-side manner”– can be reassuring, even therapeutic, and a welcome presence in any clinic or emergency room.

X-ray tech as a second career choice

Graduates of health sciences college who go on to work as an X-ray technician (or radiologic technologist, as it is sometimes called) are equipped to perform certain diagnostic imaging tests on patients.

Graduates of this kind of  program can expect to make anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 a year (or an hourly wage of $14 to $32).

In health sciences college, aspiring X-ray technicians learn how to perform X-rays, but that is not all. The diagnostic imaging tests taught in health sciences program can include:

– CT scans: a test to detect, amongst other problems, tumors and hemorrhaging

– MRI scans: a test often used to image cancer in the body

– mammograms

Judging by the sensitive, stressful and intimate nature of some of these diagnostic imaging tests, it is not surprising that many schools of health science are eager to open their doors to mature students, who will have the people skills as well as the technical skills to shepherd understandably anxious patients through the diagnostic process.

Ultrasound technician

Many people associate the words “ultrasound” or “sonogram” with pregnancy. We’ve all seen ultrasound printouts of a family’s first glimpse of their infant-to-be, with a charming outline of a foot, or of a silhouette that recalls Mommy or Daddy. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the mature students enrolled in ultrasound studies at health sciences college actually spawned an interest in the profession by using the services of an ultrasound technician themselves. But, as schools of health science quickly make clear, ultrasound technology has many uses, including:

– emergency uses: some graduates go on to perform ultrasounds on patients in emergency

– veterinary uses: some graduates of health sciences program may go on to practice their trade with animals rather than humans. Ultrasound is used, for example, to assess injuries in horses and cattle.

Health sciences college can be an attractive option for mature students with experience in another field.

Visit Mohawk College for more information on a health sciences program.