Vocational medical careers include professions like veterinary technician, dental or medical assistant. Vocational medical schools provide hands-on training and prepare professionals for career-oriented jobs. Most vocational medical careers require a diploma or associate degree training. In addition to completing their professional training, vocational medical practitioners are also required to fulfill state-mandated licensing requirements.
Veterinary technicians work in animal hospitals, private clinics or in zoos. They work alongside veterinary physicians, and perform laboratory tests or x-rays as well as office administrative duties. In addition to completing a two-year associate degree, the requirement for an entry-level position as a veterinary technician includes licensure and credentialing, which varies by state. Most states require that graduates pass the National Veterinary Technician (NVT) qualifying exam. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits technician programs. In addition to successfully completing their academic training, veterinary technicians must also possess strong communication and organizational skills.
Dental assistants perform general patient care by assisting dentists and during routine dental procedures. Their main duties include office administration and laboratory services such as sterilizing equipment, taking x-rays and preparing equipment used for dentistry. Most dental assistants work in hospitals or private practice. Dental assistant training is available at community colleges and private institutions, and generally runs for one year. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits dental assistant programs. In addition to completing their coursework, dental assistants also receive on-the-job training, and are required to be certified. Certification by organizations like the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is widely accepted in more than 35 states nationwide.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assistant profession is one of the fastest growing fields in the nation. Most medical assistants work in a doctor’s office, and perform clinical and administrative duties. In addition to working alongside physicians, medical assistants also provide their services in chiropractor and podiatrists' offices. They are responsible for record keeping, scheduling appointments and taking care of patient billing. In addition to their office duties, they also record vital signs, take a patient’s medical history and collect laboratory specimens. A medical assistant program runs for one to two years. Although it is not mandatory, students attending an accredited program are required to complete an internship. Most medical assistant positions do not require certification; however, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) certify qualified medical assistants.