I don’t know where you are in your schooling so this is a lot of general information.
You may be able to find some of your answers here
You need to take a realistic look at your life’s situation first.
-Do you have a decent financial setup where you aren’t struggling to pay bills? You can get financial aid, but you need to have the option available to you to not work. If you already have the stress of struggling to pay utility etc bills, that should ideally be solved first.
-Do you have a strong family/friend support network? Do you live alone or with someone right now? Are you able to call on someone to help you do laundry/cooking/cleaning/food shopping/errands/feed and walk the dog if needed? Are you OK with having 0 social life at some point? You’ll be doing 80+ hours a week at certain points. You will be living and breathing the medical field for a while. This means you WILL miss out on some important family events. You also will need someone close to vent to.
-Are you willing to move if needed? People often move to go to school/move to get to different hospitals. If you live near a big city with many hospitals, the chances you will have to move may be reduced.
-Are you willing to do continuing education hours every year to keep up your credentials?
-When are you planning on getting married and having kids?
-Are you willing to be on call? Are you willing to work some holidays?
There’s a lot of options in health care, as there is a critical shortage of many health care professions. Enormous shortage of pharmacists and nurses for example. There’s always the option too of becoming a nurse, and then going on to get a masters and becoming an advanced practice nurse working in maternal child health.
If you have time and are looking for a job, I’d suggest taking a certified nursing assistant course (I’ve seen some that are 6 weeks long). With that, you can easily get a job at a nearby hospital (CNAs are also in HUGE demand) working part time, full time or PRN (as needed) in a maternal-child area (or another floor). You’ll get direct patient care and will get a feel for how things go in a hospital setting (or a clinic setting). CNA work is very physical, so make sure you have a healthy back before going to this route. I plug being a CNA because you can really get to know more about the basics of healthcare and will feel a lot more comfortable with patients and interacting with them about personal issues. Plus it will pay you slightly above minimum wage. I think its a good starter job. But I work as a nurse in a hospital IMCU so I am biased towards the experiences nursing can give you.
Its hard, but if the circumstances make this a possibility for you, then that is wonderful! Working in healthcare you get to be a part of a team that makes a real impact on people’s lives. You get to be there in the best of times and worst of times. You get a real appreciation for what others go through, and are lucky enough to be a part of people’s recovery, or to be there when people need you the most to lean on. I know I have stories about people that I will never forget. I learn as much from my patients as they do from me. Its very difficult work, but I come home and I feel like I’ve made a real difference for someone. That’s a nice feeling.
Good luck to you in whatever you decide.