Regardless of its complexity, the health care industry is a must for the well-being of all citizens. However, meeting the needs of individuals and communities requires a significant number of health care professionals. Although many positions require years of schooling, some roles accept an associate degree. If you are interested in becoming an essential part of this necessary and ever-growing industry, a Health Studies degree online can help get you there sooner rather than later. Not sure if Health Studies is for you? Learn more about this online degree and how it may be the right path to advancing your health care education and career.
What Can I Do With a Health Studies Associate Degree?
A Health Studies Associate Degree can open the door to many opportunities to take your career to the next level. A Health Studies degree is designed for students who have already completed a certificate of achievement in a healthcare-related program, who want to potentially further their career.
Whether you want to work with people or data, a Health Studies Associate Degree may help move your career in the right direction.
Learn more about potential careers that could benefit from a Health Studies degree.
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
The primary responsibilities of professionals in medical records and health information technician jobs include the organization and management of health information data by maintaining its accuracy, quality, security, and accessibility in both paper and electronic formats. In addition, medical records and health information technicians duties include:2
- Monitoring patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Learning and using the correct clinical codes in software packages designed for data analysis or insurance reimbursement
- Entering medical records into a database for storage, retrieval, analysis, and reporting purposes
The tasks of a health information technician vary by employer and size of the facility in which they work. However, health information technicians are in charge of documenting patients’ health information, including medical history, examination, symptoms, and test results.3
Although some positions may only ask for previous experience in health care, some may require these professionals to possess a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree.
What is a medical assistant? A health care professional responsible for the administrative and clinical tasks in various settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and assisted living facilities. Medical assisting responsibilities vary with specialty, location, and size of the facility or practice.
Typical medical assistant duties include:5
- Document patient histories and personal information
- Measure a patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure
- Assist doctors with patient examinations
- Give patients medications or injections as directed by physicians and as permitted by state law
- Schedule appointments for patients
- Prepare blood work samples for testing
- Enter patient information into medical records
Most medical assistant jobs require a postsecondary education certificate or degree, while others may only expect you to have a high school diploma and train you on-the-job.
Medical assistant training is available through community colleges, vocational and technical schools, and universities. Program completion typically takes about one year.
As a medical assistant who has completed a certificate program, going back to school to complete a Health Studies degree could prove advantageous.
While most states do not require certification for medical assistants, a certificate and experience may lead to advancements in other health care roles such as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.6 Having an associate degree can be an asset if a medical assistant would like to move into a supervisory role while staying in an allied health setting.
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
What is a medical administrative assistant or medical secretary? These professionals perform routine clerical and administrative duties such as organize files, schedule appointments, prepare documents, and support other medical staff. Additional tasks that fall under medical administrative assistant jobs include:7
- Answer telephones, take messages and transfer calls
- Schedule staff meetings
- Take dictation, prepare invoices, or generate reports
- Edit documents for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other formatting issues
- Maintain electronic databases and paper filing systems
- Perform basic bookkeeping functions for client billing and insurance reimbursements
Specific job responsibilities vary by job title, experience, and specialty. However, in general, medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.7
Health Information Specialist
Health Education Specialists provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles.9
As a professional, health information specialists may do the following tasks:9
- Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.
- Document activities and record information, such as the numbers of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted
- Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs
- Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care
Although some positions require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree, ONET OnLine reports that more than half in this field entered with an associate degree.9
Start Your Career as a Community Health Worker
Carrington College focuses on small class sizes and hands-on training. Take the first step on your way to a new career as a Community Health Worker.
Why Earn a Health Studies Online Degree
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as workers’ educational attainment rises, their unemployment rates decrease and earnings increase. Postsecondary education, such as earning an online health studies degree, may help you develop skills, show prospective employers you follow through with tasks, and provide you access to a greater number of higher-paying occupations.10
What to Look for in a Health Studies Online Program
Choosing the right Health Studies online program for you can be difficult. A good education can open up career and earning opportunities. Although institutions across the country offer Health Studies programs online, it is important you select one that meets your educational and lifestyle needs. A few factors you need to take a close look at when choosing a school include:
- Cost — Although continuing education is an investment in your future, it can be costly. As with other institutions, Carrington College participates in federal and state financial assistance programs and private financing. Scholarships, grants, and student loans are available to qualified students. For more information on current tuition costs at Carrington College, please see the academic catalog.
- Accreditation — Accreditation can often make a difference to employers as it helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. This recognition shows the institution meets their standards and is qualified to teach students the programs they are offering.
- Instructor quality — Students may not think that the quality of their instructors is important. However, it is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a school. To help ensure your success, it is essential you learn from faculty that has real-world experience, one that can relate to your goals, and takes the opportunity to get to know you as a person, not just another student.
How Long is a Health Studies Program?
Depending on the institution, a Health Studies program can take anywhere from two years for an associate degree to four years for a bachelor’s degree. The Health Studies program at Carrington College is an online degree-completion option that builds on your prior education. Students can finish in as few as 42 weeks.
Can I Earn a Health Studies Degree Online?
Yes, you can earn a Health Studies degree online. Today’s busy students demand the flexibility and convenience of online classwork. Taking classes online brings many benefits. Of course, you can take your classes anytime, anywhere, which allows you to keep working and caring for your family. Online programs are often cheaper than traditional on-campus programs. Plus, online classes can teach you valuable work skills such as the self-discipline and responsibility needed to stay on top of your coursework and the computer skills required to communicate and participate in remote discussions with professors and peers alike.
So, if you are ready to advance your education, Carrington College offers various certificate and degree programs entirely online, including Health Studies. Whether you need to take online classes full-time or part-time, the option is yours.
Here at Carrington College, we believe your success is our success. We offer everything a small college experience brings, like making sure that online students receive the same personal attention as traditional on-campus students. As an online student, you will work in small class sizes and have the support of first-class faculty to help ensure your success. Other services available to online students include advising, tutorial assistance, and resume building.
What Will I Learn in Carrington College’s Health Studies Online Courses?
As a student earning an Associate of Science Degree through Carrington College’s online Health Studies program, you will take a variety of general education courses providing you an opportunity to build on prior education to earn the educational credential that is often needed for advancement.
Health Studies Classes
Carrington College’s Health Studies online degree program includes 36 semester credit hours. Offered completely online, the Health Studies program provides students the flexibility and convenience of taking courses without attending traditional on-campus sessions. In addition, this format helps students maintain their work and personal lives. Each course requires 45 lecture hours. The Health Studies curriculum includes:
- Computer Literacy
- English Writing and Composition
- Principles of Mathematics
- College Algebra
- US Government
- Environmental Science
- Principles of Nutrition
- Introduction to Humanities
- Introduction to Psychology
- Interpersonal Communication
- Introduction to Sociology
- Critical Thinking
Find Your Career as a Community Health Worker
Carrington College’s Health Studies Program offers you the hands-on training you need for a job in the medical field. Take the first step on your way to a new career.
Should I Choose a More Targeted Degree?
Before you begin your educational journey, it is time to ask yourself if a Health Studies degree is right for you? Should you choose a more targeted degree? If you know the career path you want to take, it may be beneficial to consider a more targeted degree or certificate than Health Studies.
Carrington College offers a variety of options, including online and on-campus degrees. We offer our Health Information Technology program online and Massage Therapy and Medical Assisting on-campus. In addition, Medical Billing and Coding and Medical Administrative Assistant are available in both formats allowing you to choose which is best for your lifestyle and needs.
A certificate program can be completed in as a few as nine months, getting you into the job market quickly. While earning a targeted Associate Degree (16 months) takes longer to complete, some employers prefer candidates with a degree. In addition to helping you enter a field in which you are passionate, a specialized degree can bring greater future career advancement and higher earnings over those of non-degreed candidates.
Prepare for a Career in Health Care With Carrington College
Education is an investment. However, it is an investment that can advance your career, increase your earning potential, and allow you to work in a field you enjoy. Preparing for a healthcare career with Carrington College can get you ready to enter the job market quickly. Whether you want to earn a Health Studies Associate or a career-oriented certificate, Carrington College offers both options, online or on-campus, at one of our 16 locations in Arizona, California, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, the choice is yours. Learn more about a certificate or Associate Degree program.
How Long to Get a Health Studies Degree?
The Carrington College Associate of Science degree can be completed in about 42 weeks.
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-2
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-4
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-4
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/medical-assistants.htm#tab-2
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/medical-assistants.htm#tab-4