OT: School/Career Advice

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
OT: School/Career Advice
10
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 9:00pm

I am taking an accelerated phlebotomy course.  They also offer an MA course and I have been milling around the idea of taking it as well.  Yesterday, I found out that I might be eligible for a grant.  I applied today and the guy said that we should hear something by this time next week.  This will go toward the MA course only. The issue I'm having is, this money will not cover all of it.  I will be getting anywhere from a quarter of the tuition, to half.  Well, the pay difference between phlebotomy and MA's is not much at all.  It's more specialized though, and I have heard that there are more MA positions availabe than there are in phlebotomy.  Where I live, there seem to be plenty of each so I'm not sure.  My instructor has told us that she has had phlebotomists get hired as MA's after obtaining their certification(phlebotomy).  I guess what I am kind of wondering is, is this MA course a waste of time and money?  The course is over twice as long and class time is an additional three hours per day.  I would not be eligible to take my certification until sometime in August.  It's been hard, I've been getting up at four every morning for extra study time and am only pulling in a B average(if that).  Plus, I'm on the road for a total of 2.5 hours per day(lot$ of ga$).  I won't get a break in between and will actually miss the first week of instruction.  I was a horrible HS/college student (dropped out of college) so the work actually feels quite rewarding.  I mean, it's going to be hard, that's a given . . . I just don't want to waste my time or money.

What would you guys do?  I'm torn!  Gleanfia, I can't remember if you're an MA or a PA or maybe I am even further off the mark . . . 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2011
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 3:56pm

"that concerns me is, changes which may occur when Obama Care kicks in"

Lol ! To those who think universal healthcare awaits us all, I am reminded of the saying "If you think healthcare is expensive now, hah, just wait till it's 'free'. "

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2011
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 3:47pm

"Heck, it's not as if I have a spouse or children at home ;)"

Awwwwwww......

You know cfk, for someone as cute as you, that is completely your choosing.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sat, 04-13-2013 - 7:36am

Thanks for all of the kind words and encouragement everyone.  Free, all I ever wanted to do when I was a teen was move to NYC.  Now all I want to do is move deeper into the country(doubt it will happen).  I'm lucky in that when I do online searches, there are plenty of these jobs to choose from.  The only thing that concerns me is, changes which may occur when Obama Care kicks in . . . there are rumors that physicians will not pull in as much so that may be bad news for me.  Misslynn, I don't think you are quite as old as I but think it's great you are furthering your education.  I'm the second to oldest in my class and while I'm comfortable now, it was scary at first so again, kudos to you.  I'm going to move forward.  I wish I'd realized that I could do this 20 years ago ;)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 7:33pm

I agree that having both skills will make you more marketable.  There may even be shift differentials if you pick up weekend/holiday work at a hospital, which could help.  I would go for it - and start networking within your program.  Since you have work experience already, I think that will really give you an advantage in the market.

I do hear you on the retirement savings - I need to plan enough funds to live until I am 93, according to some of those online calculators.  I have kept a second job specifically targeted toward retirement $.

Hang in there!  It sounds like a lot of work, but you are handling it all very well-

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2002
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 5:26pm

Hi,

I would definitely go for the MA - it sounds like what you really want and you are obviously very resourceful at finding ways to bring in some extra money.

I was in the same situation as you when I finished my Bachelors Degree - ultimately I decided that I had enough in student loans and chose to go into the work world when I was done.  Had I continued on, however, I could be in a totally different line of work right now.  It's too hard to go back now......from what I've learned it's best once in you're in school, to stay in school.

Congratulations on your progress so far! It's nice that you're proud of your accomplishments :)

Mel

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 4:39pm
I am currently working and doing a course part - time since last September. I am on my third course now. I say, go for it. I agreed that further education is never a waste of time. I went to lunch with some co-workers today. I found out that another co-worker in a different department is also taking courses. This guy is in his mid 50s.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 4:04pm

Ha.. If you are no spring chicken then I am ancient. (just kidding) NY Humor

anyway;; yes do it do it do it..... all is possible and your ideas are great..... I think today in 2013 the pay is good if you get certified .. Not sure about Tennessee but I have seen ads here in NY for medical assistant making 17.00 an hour but that is New York.. Hey; you could always move?? (lol)....work in Manhattan and live a fun life.. and meet a rich man and have a country house in Hamptons. Ooops sorry I went off on tangent..

Anyway; CFK do it.. do it.. do it.. do it.....life is filled with choices and you might not get chance later down the road..

I went back to college when I was 32 and then 37 and finally finished and got through it and I was working part time and raising a child alone.. of course I was younger but heck you know what I mean........................

GO FOR IT CFK.. WE WILL CHEER YOU ON.................

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 2:36pm

School mode, exactly what I was thinking.  It may be a good thing that I'll have no break.  Sorry, Free, yes, MA is Medical Assistant and you are right, they do not make a lot of money and neither do phlebotomists.  However, I have lived on less.  The only thing that concerns me is, I'm no spring chicken so, I need to start thinking about my retirement.  I can live comfortably on these salaries but I don't know how much will be left over for savings.  I can always pick up some extra shifts or even a part-time job, though.  I was even thinking that could take an afternoon position at a Dr's office, and take an evening position at a local hospital since I'll be certified in both.  Heck, it's not as if I have a spouse or children at home ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 9:43am

More skills and education are never a waste of time - it makes you more marketable in the workforce whether looking for jobs now, or if there are future layoffs or some reason the job you obtain is discontinued. There are going to be more phlebotomists floating around since the training takes less time. In my opinion, you're already in school mode which often is the biggest step to make, so it's a huge benefit to finish both trainings now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 8:02am

Hi CFK

I think going to school is great but with the economy how is the job market for that where you live??

I am assuming MA means medical assistant... and that is a great course. I actually took that thirty years ago but the pay was low working for doctors and it was stressful.. Doctors can be tough ones to work for assuming MA is medical assistant. Although I loved that sort of work . These days with certification the pay is much higher .. Now I also know that there are doctors offices that will train so that  might be a good idea.. Go to school part time or see how you can fit the working into your schedule with part time school.. It can be done if you really want to do it.

I would say go for it because it sounds like it makes you happy . Around here there is a school called Boces where they have these course and it doesnt cost too much.. Well its relative compared to college costs and other thi ngs...

Just look into the field and see if there are jobs and the pay.. I would think with people living longer and all and baby boomers there will be a need for medical assistants..just fill out the financial aid stuff and see what happens..

Life is short and dont regret if you didnt do it...

JMHO