Explore this overview to learn more about certified nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, medical assistants, and patient care technician training.

What types of organizations provide training?

Allied health positions are a great way to gain clinical experience for premed students and alumni. You can find them in most cities across the country. Generally speaking, these programs are offered at community colleges, trade/technical schools that provide healthcare oriented training, and at EMT training organizations for a fee.

Community colleges are two-year public educational institutions that offer two-year associate degrees, certificate programs, short-term continuing education opportunities, and more. Often tuition payments are cheaper than a four-year university because these colleges are subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

Trade/technical schools are often private entities that offer a combination of two-year associate degrees, certificate program and/or some form of on the job training. Some might also offer four-year degrees. They tend to be more expensive than community colleges.

There are also some academies or career programs that only focus on EMT and paramedic training.

How do I find specific training programs in my geographic target area?

You can search for these types of training programs in your geographic target area(s). For example, if you are searching for programs in Atlanta, you might conduct a Google search using these types of keywords:

  • Community Colleges in Atlanta
  • Technical Schools in Atlanta
  • EMT Training in Atlanta

It’s important for you to do your due diligence to ensure the program is reputable and will provide you with the training required to qualify for the type of position(s) you are seeking. Usually state sponsored community colleges offer credible programs.

Are there universal certifications available that will be applicable to all states?

Often certificate and certification requirements differ from state-to-state, which means if you participate in CNA training in New Jersey, it may or may not be transferrable to Missouri, for instance. If you are hoping to train in one state and work in another one, you must learn the rules and regulations for each state. Usually you can find this information on state government websites.  To avoid possible hassles, it may be easier to train in the state where you want work.

If I get certified can I find a summer or winter break only job?

Sometimes students wish to gain allied health training so they can work at an organization for a time limited period that suits their personal schedules – summer, spring and/or winter break only. In most cases, employers who are hiring for these positions are not interested in short-term workers. If they train a new hire for a position, they want a return on their investment. Short-term worker often do not provide that benefit to them. Also, they need stability and consistency in their staff as they are engaged in patient care. Current students who are seeking these type of positions will likely need to consider working part-time at the organization during the academic year. Alumni who no longer have academic constraints would be very suitable for these roles as they may be able to work consistently over the course of a gap year.

Is free training available?

While the majority of these positions will likely require prior training, certifications and licenses, some employers may offer on-the-job training in lieu of prior course-based training. Often job seekers just happen upon these types of opportunities in job databases or on company websites, or happen to know someone who worked for the organization; there really aren’t many great insider tips about how to uncover them.

It’s likely that most clinical positions listed in the university’s internship and job database (Handshake) are probably more likely to include on-the-job training since the database targets college students or recent grads who are less likely to have prior certifications and licenses.

In some cities, a few nonprofit/state agencies offer paid training programs. More often than not, these programs target specific populations to help individuals with lower incomes to enter the workforce or become more upwardly mobile.

Are there any training programs in the St. Louis area?

Below are some training options in the St. Louis Metro area. By providing this sampling of programs, Washington University in not necessarily endorsing them. You must perform your own personal due diligence. The information on some sites may be quite detailed, whereas on other it might be vague. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or email someone associated with the program to get more information.