Health Careers: How You Should Prepare!

How do I prepare for a career in Health Care?

You can start preparing today for your future career. If you are in high school, look through the following suggestions for which classes to take and what skills and experience are recommended for applying to a healthcare program.

If you are planning on applying for a healthcare program get a head start on science classes and start developing your written and oral skills.

If you are interested in a degree in:

~Dental Hygiene

~Applied Health Studies

~Health Arts


~Nursing (Associates Degree & BSN levels leading to RN licensure)

~Occupational Therapy Assistant

~Paramedic (EMT-Paramedic)

~Physician Assistant

While in High School, you should:

~prepare extensively for oral and written communications skills (take at least 4 units of English; Speech is strongly recommended)

~take 4 units of Math including Algebra II

~take 4 units of Science including 1 year of Biology with lab, 1 year of Chemistry with lab (required for Nursing & Dental Hygiene), Anatomy & Physiology preferred, and Physics depending on program of interest (very important for Radiography & Physician Assistant, helpful in Paramedic & Dental Hygiene)

~take 4 units of Social Studies with Psychology recommended


If you are interested in a degree in:

~Physical Fitness Specialist

Or a certificate in...

~Practical Nursing (leading to PN licensure)

While in High School, you should:

~take at least three units of Science (at least one unit should be Biology with a lab)

~take at least three units of Math with Algebra I or Applied Math II (Algebra II recommended)

~take at least four units of English

~take at least four units of Social Studies

~develop good oral and written communication skills

Many colleges will also look at the following when considering you for admission to undergraduate and professional school:

Academic Honors

Involvement in High School/Campus Clubs and Organizations (Co-curricular Activities which complement your academics)

Knowledge of, and Experience in, Your Selected Career Field (Shadowing, Internship - documented hours, Job and/or Volunteer Experience)

Community Service/Volunteer Work (Long Term Commitment/Leadership)

Knowledge of Current Health Care Issues (Managed Care, Technological Advances)

SAT and MCAT, GPA and Class Rank

Communication Skills (Oral, Written, Listening/Empathy)

Interviews: Presentation and Impact (Interpersonal Skills, Relaxed, Friendly, Interactive, Asks questions!)

Hobbies and Interests

Unique Experiences/Characteristics (Overseas travel, Special Volunteer Programs, Participation in Research Project)

Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation (Teachers, Counselors, Principals, Coaches & Individuals who have known you Personally and Academically over an Extended Time)

The U.S. Department of Education web site includes a Publications for Parents page, which is helpful with early preparation for college and financial aid issues.

Eastcentral and Northeast PA Area Health Education Centers
5662 Interchange Road, Lehighton, PA 18235
610.379.2001 ...

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