There are medical school programs available at almost every institution of higher learning, as well as high schools, vocational schools, and junior colleges. The list of health care related professions is appears to be exhaustive and continues to grow with rapid speed. The professions that are undergoing the greatest rise in demand are CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistant), RNs (Registered Nurse), LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse), and NAs (Nursing Assistant). People who obtain any of these licenses are able to work in a broad field of medicine, including dentistry, psychiatry, pediatrics, rehabilitation, and end-of-life care.
Students may begin training for a career in nursing or other health profession while still attending high school; some schools offer psychiatric aide and nurse training. While most of these classes are taught in vocational high school or at local community colleges, they are not strictly aimed at h.s. students. Anyone who wishes to apply for a tuition waiver must first consult their local or state board of education. For example, Cape Cod Regional Technical H.S. in Harwich, Massachusetts offers the following courses for adults:
- Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program
- Advanced Medical Coding for Physician Services
- EKG / Cardiovascular Technician
- Home Health Aide
- Medical Billing
- Medical Terminology
- Dental Assistant Program
Courses at Cape Cod Tech range in price from $199 to $3,800 and do not include licensing fees. Some courses, such as the Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program include the cost of the required uniform shirt, text book, and CPR Training, while the most expensive – the Dental Assistant Program does not. Applicants must pay an additional $300 to cover the cost of the textbook, school supplies, and uniforms. On the other hand, if you are interested in taking courses online, courses in health care are just $89 each. Courses include Veterinary Assistant nutrition, medical coding and more. If you are interested in a career in medicine, this high school offers a terrific selection of medical school programs – on and off line.
Other private schools or adult education programs offer a free High School Diploma for those students who wish to concentrate in the Health Care programs, albeit their all other courses are fee based. For those high school students who are lucky enough to live in a district where public funding is set aside, students can earn a healthcare aide certificate, along with high school credits, for free. For example, courses that would normally cost $3,000 are free to students who attend St. Joseph H.S. in Alberta, Canada; courses are taken at Norquest College. Similarly, BOCES in Albany, New York also offers high school students free access to college medical school programs at Schenectady County Community College. It offers a free one year Nurse Assistant program, preparing high school juniors and seniors (grades 11 and 12) for the New York State Certified Nurse Assistant examination. Students must be in good standing and meet academic standards, which require that students attain a minimum competency level of 8th grade reading and 8th grade math. This medical school program prepares h.s. students to be hired in numerous health care related positions including:
- Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
- Personal care attendant
- Rehabilitation aide
- Nursing home/adult home assistant
- Hospital nurse assistant
- Transportation aide
- Central supply aide
Whether you are an adult returning to school, with or without a h.s. diploma, or a high school student interested in entering the medical field, there are many opportunities for you to enroll in medical school programs. It is advised to take advantage early of any scholarships or free programs, as government funding is limited.