If your teen is considering a career in a health or medical field, I have some interesting electives you can add to your high school curriculum to give them a head start.
These aren’t worth college credit (you’ll award high school credit) but some, like those offered through the American Red Cross, result in certification or licensure! Since many health occupations look for volunteer or work experience, this is a great way to receive training as a first step toward a career.
A “must” for every health occupation, from nursing to medicine to pharmacy. DesMoines University has this totally free and totally online course open to anyone (registration isn’t even required or necessary for high school credit). If you’d like a certificate, they do require registration, and it carries a cost of $99.
What do you learn? Here’s an example of how an understanding of medical terminology gives you an amazing ability to decipher anatomy, physiology, and diseases.
|myo = muscle||card = heart||itis = inflammation|
Histology is the study of the microanatomy of cells, tissues, and organs as seen through a
This free online histology course teaches the visual art of recognizing the structure of cells and tissues and understanding how this is determined by their function.
21 Chapters of amazing microanatomy – includes quizzes!
Medical Science w/ Lab
DIY your own Introduction to Medical Science with Lab. In addition to the resources above, there are elaborate lab science kits available through most homeschool supply companies. Though Home Science Tools is my “go to” when I need labs, your favorite supplier probably has many too. (I’m not associated with this company in any way – I just picked these because I thought they looked great)
Suggested High School Science Courses for prospective medical or nursing students:
- Biology with Lab
- Chemistry with Lab (MEL Science labs work with any curriculum)
Other courses that may be helpful:
- Anatomy & Physiology
Suggested Classes Resulting in Certification
American Red Cross
Online CPR Classes: Learn CPR online, on your schedule. Classes from the American Red Cross take only a few short hours but can help you save a life when every second counts. Designed for coaches, parents, adults, and teenagers, our online CPR classes make it easy to gain the skills needed to respond during cardiac or breathing emergencies. Taken entirely online, these courses do not include the opportunity for you to demonstrate skill proficiency to a certified instructor and therefore may not meet requirements for workplace safety certification. If you must complete a CPR class that allows you to do so, check out our blended Simulation Learning and classroom-based courses.
In-person CPR Classes: American Red Cross CPR classes take just a few short hours, but the skills you’ll learn during the process can make all the difference to someone in need. Whether you’re a medical professional who needs recertification, or you simply want to learn how to respond in the event of an emergency, our in-person, online, and best-in-class blended Simulation Learning courses make it easy to get CPR certified.
Basic Life Support Certification: Earn your BLS certification from the American Red Cross. Whether you are a healthcare provider, are in school to become a nurse or physician, police officer, or firefighter, when you get BLS certified you can show your employer that you have the training you need to improve patient outcomes.
Certified Nursing Assistant: Our CNA class curriculum is developed nationally and designed to meet or exceed state standards. As you progress through the program, just a few of the things you’ll learn include:
CPR/First Aid/AED (2-year certification upon successful completion)
How to take vital signs
Range of motion exercises
Communication and teamwork
The art of caregiving
Note that holding a CNA is often a prerequisite for admission to nursing programs. It also qualified the holder to work as a paid CNA in a health care setting.
(enrollment requirements vary)
BABYSITTING & CHILD CARE
SWIMMING + WATER SAFETY