A dental assistant degree will educate students in patient care, lab practices, and office procedures in order to ensure success in the dental industry. Students will also become educated in taking x-rays, impressions, and surgery assistance. Most dental assistant programs take one year to complete, allowing students looking to change careers or start a career in a new industry to get the training and experience they need in a short amount of time. Licensing differs by state.
Radiologists, surgical technologists and medical laboratory technicians all support nurses and doctors in healthcare settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all three professions require a high school degree, and previous classes in math, biology and chemistry. Hopeful radiologists can earn a certificate, associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in radiography through a formal training program. The BLS notes that the associate's degree program in radiography is the most common path to becoming a radiologic technician. These students learn about patient care procedures, pathology, radiobiology, radiation physics and the principles of imaging. They become intimate with medical terminology and, of course, human anatomy and physiology. They will also receive clinical training. Surgical technologists also train through formal certification programs, earning a certificate, diploma or associate’s degree, according to the BLS. They train in many of the same courses as radiology students, with the addition of classes in microbiology, pharmacology and professional ethics. They also learn sterilization techniques for proper handling of medical supplies and instruments. Finally, medical laboratory technicians generally need a bachelor's degree in medical technology. Through clinical training and coursework, these students train in topics from chemistry, microbiology and biological sciences, the BLS notes. Technologists who perform complex tests are required to have an associate's degree.