By Felicia Campbell
Healthcare is probably not the first profession that comes to mind when you are looking to work remotely. Still, according to the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor global survey, more than a quarter of healthcare professionals already have the flexibility to work from home. Over 40% report that employers are making even more of an effort to enable telehealth and other remote support options. In terms of job prospects, healthcare has always been a great field for jobseekers, with both patient care and support roles in consistent demand. Even as unemployment surged this year, LinkedIn's Workforce Report showed that the number of healthcare-related job postings actually increased by 35%.
Linda Weygandt already worked in healthcare, but earning an additional healthcare certification at UC San Diego Extension helped land her an even better position at a San Diego-area hospital. "I would recommend this class to anyone and everyone," she said. Whether you are already in healthcare and seek work-from-home options or looking to transition into a totally new career, these healthcare certificate programs are a great place to start.
Provide Medical Administrative Support from Anywhere
Although traditionally medical transcriptionists, hospital coding specialists, and outpatient coders have worked in hospitals and doctor's offices, many are now working remotely, either for a single full-time employer or for themselves offering services to many different doctors and clinics. There are plenty of jobs, but to make yourself competitive for these highly desirable positions, specialized certifications can set you apart.
UC San Diego Extension offers a healthcare information technology certificate to bring students up to date on the latest implemented technology in healthcare record keeping and coding, as well as the hospital coding specialist certificate and the outpatient coding program.
Translate Your Medical Expertise into a Writing Career
"I liked that the UCSD Medical Writing program is specifically designed for someone like me: a physician or scientist who wants to transition into medical writing and would like to specialize in writing for professional audiences," said Dr. Haifa Kassis, MD, who found that her true passion was medical writing, not a traditional practice. After earning her medical writing certificate in 2018, she was able to turn her writing skills into a rewarding and lucrative career as President & Principal Medical Writer at Crisp Writing, LLC and as an editor-at-large for the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Journal.
If you're a nurse or doctor hoping to become a professional health writer, the first step is getting the training to translate your expertise into layman's terms for a wider audience. Leslie Bruce, program founder and former Extension director, said the program helps prepare participants for regulatory writing, peer-reviewed journals, scientific grants, and medical education for practicing physicians, all of which provide lucrative salaries. "These are six-figure jobs," Bruce shared.
Learn more about the 18-month medical writing certificate at UC San Diego Extension, which is offered 100 percent online.
Provide a Lifeline for Those in Drug & Alcohol Recovery
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the current pandemic poses unique challenges to those struggling with substance abuse, both in terms of an increased risk of infection for many active users and new challenges to accessing support services for those in recovery. This makes the need for telehealth Substance Abuse Counselors and recovery coaches who can provide support and care remotely more vital than ever. (The demand for mental health and substance abuse counselor roles is predicted to rise by 22% by 2028.)
Many find that working in drug and alcohol recovery support can be as rewarding as it is challenging.
"After I got sober and into recovery, I decided that I wanted to make a career change," said Zana Kerr, a former County parks ranger in Balboa Park, who earned her UC San Diego Extension Professional Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling in 2012. "It turned out to be life-changing for me," she said. "I learned I made the right decision to get sober and that I had an aptitude for counseling."
The UC San Diego Extension certificate program is designed for counselors working in a variety of settings with chemically-dependent individuals and is approved to meet the educational requirement to become a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).
Learn more about the 18-month Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling program.
Offer Culinary Prescriptions Via Telehealth
Proper nutrition can be life-changing, and more and more doctors and nurses are turning to holistic, nutrition-based approaches for preventative wellness. According to a 2019 Harvard study, evidence suggests that healthy diets may be effective in helping control and reduce chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The UC San Diego Extension integrative nutrition program focuses on incorporating nutrition throughout different life stages to prevent or manage an illness.
"As a health care practitioner, if your ultimate goal is to reduce pain, death and dying from chronic disease, which is what kills most Americans, you have to acknowledge there is a food component," said Katie Ferraro, adjunct nutrition instructor at UC San Diego Extension. "Most doctors haven't taken a dedicated nutrition class, and Extension is working to change that."
Nutrition counseling and coaching can be provided through remote telehealth appointments, making it a great way to stay connected to patients and encourage healthy habits despite pandemic-related lifestyle changes. UC San Diego Extension offers a one-year integrative nutrition certification which provides 60 continuing education units to fulfill the Foundational Nutrition coursework eligibility requirements for the MD/DO pathway to the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), and are eligible for 10 continuing education units per course unit for current Certified Nutrition Specialists.
Learn more about the integrative nutrition program at UC San Diego Extension.
Support New Moms Through Lactation Coaching
Being a new mom is hard enough, but the isolation of quarantine and social distancing has made it even more challenging. One of the biggest challenges remains learning to breastfeed, and UC San Diego Extension provides specialized training in Lactation Coaching to help healthcare professionals address this issue.
Lactation consultants work for hospitals, for the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program and establish their own private practices to provide support and training to individual clients. Even during the pandemic, lactation specialists can help new moms via remote appointments and coaching sessions. For registered nurses, focusing on lactation coaching can be a great career move, with salaries averaging over $80k per year, according to Salary.com.
UC San Diego Extension prepares students for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) as the credential and certification board for practicing Lactation Consultants. The IBLCE Exam is given twice a year in September and April, and all UC San Diego Extension students who successfully complete the training program and its requirements are eligible to sit for the IBLCE exam.
Learn more about the lactation and perinatal programs at UC San Diego Extension.
Start a Career in Medicine, Even if You Didn't Major in Medicine or Science
There's no doubt that healthcare is a great industry in terms of job security, flexibility, and opportunities to give back. If you dream of working in medicine but don't know where to begin, UCSD Extension has a great option to help you get on the right track, no matter what you studied as an undergrad.
The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health or Pre-Medical programs help you jumpstart a career change by ensuring you have all the prerequisites required to apply to medical or dental school or programs like pharmacy, veterinary, optometry, and physician's assistant school. The pre-med program is perfect for those applying to medical school who want to strengthen their applications.
Learn more about the Pre-Health and Pre-Medical programs at UC San Diego Extension.