When deciding on a career, you might consider what your passions are, the type of environment you’d like to work in, how much travel you want to do, salary potential for certain positions, and more. Another factor to think about is your learning style.
What do learning styles have to do with finding a career? When your natural learning tendencies align with your profession, it can feel like a good fit. Your skills and job duties are positioned to complement each other, providing the best chance possible of succeeding in that role.
Here, we outline three different learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) and potential career options that match each within the healthcare industry.
Healthcare Careers for Visual Learners
Visual learners are people who learn best by seeing. Images, colors, and other aspects of graphic design can help visual learners take in, understand, and retain important information. Research indicates that this is the most common learning style, impacting 65% of the population.1
How do you know if you are a visual learner? If you like to look at graphs, pictures, or videos to help you better understand a theory, process, idea, or story, you may be a visual learner.
There are four healthcare careers that can be a fit for visual learners: pharmacy technician, medical biller and coder, health information technician, and healthcare accounting.
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, assisting them with the dispensing of prescription medications. Pharmacy techs also perform other duties, such as organizing inventory and assisting patients or pharmacy customers with their insurance claims or other purchases.
Visual learners might enjoy working as a pharmacy technician since this healthcare career relies on identifying different medications based on their color, markings, pill size, and other visual appearances. Being a pharmacy tech also involves understanding human pathophysiology, which is the study of abnormalities or dysfunctions that exist as a result of a particular condition or disease. Some of these abnormal states are visual, such as having skin that is red and swollen.
Visit Ultimate Medical Academy’s online Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician program to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Pharmacy Technician Training as a Visual Learner
If you are interested in a career as a pharmacy technician, it can help to study pictures of the various medications you need to learn to help you retain what they look like. Match those pictures with images of potential side effects or drug interactions so your brain can “see” the connection.
When studying anatomy and physiology, use images or models of the various muscles, bones, and organs. Match them to their proper locations within the body by placing pictures in the appropriate place on an outline of a human body. Alternatively, find where they are on your body and look at their location while repeating their names.
During the pharmaceutical calculations portion of your pharmacy tech training program, close your eyes and visualize yourself making these calculations in a real-world setting. In your mind, walk through each step of the process, from the beginning to the end.
While visualization may feel silly or seem like a waste of time, some of the top Olympians use this technique to perform their best in their sport of choice.2 Using the same method or approach can help you do the same in your pharmacy tech classes as you work to learn the tasks and functions you will be performing in this position.
Medical Biller and Coder
Medical billers help healthcare providers obtain payment for products and services rendered. This involves submitting a claim to a patient’s health insurance company as a request for reimbursement. It also sometimes requires billing the patient directly for their portion of the expenses.
Medical coders are responsible for transforming a patient’s medical information into codes as set forth by standard medical coding systems. These codes are assigned to their diagnoses, testing procedures, and various forms of treatment. The codes allow for the storage and transfer of information without having to use technical healthcare terminology or complex medical terms.
Some healthcare organizations hire each of these positions separately, bringing on a medical biller and a medical coder. Others have staff that performs both functions, working as a medical biller and coder.
Medical billing and coding is a highly visual position, meaning that it relies heavily on your ability to search for and find the proper codes when updating patients’ health records. Knowing medical terminology is also important, with many of these terms correlating to various body parts or locations within the human body – which, again, is a visual medium.
Visit UMA’s online Medical Billing and Coding diploma and associate degree programs to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Medical Billing and Coding Training as a Visual Learner
Should you decide to pursue a career in medical billing and coding and you are a visual learner, it may be beneficial to create a flow chart outlining the steps that need to be taken during the billing and coding processes. This gives you something to follow visually when learning what you must do next.
During your medical terminology course, create flashcards and write the terms on the front of the card and what they are on the back. Or use digital flashcards if you have access to them. To help better remember certain terms or ideas, you may also want to use pictures versus words.
Health Information Technician
Health information technology – also sometimes referred to as health information management – refers to the collection, organization, and storage of patients’ private health information. This often involves the use of electronic health records or EHRs. EHRs are digital recordkeeping systems that house patients’ personal information and medical history, the latter of which includes their diagnoses, medical tests (and their results), and their treatment protocol.
What makes this healthcare career path good for those interested in visual learning style jobs is that it requires good attention to detail. Being detailed helps ensure that patients’ records are accurate, which is important for healthcare providers tasked with tracking their health status. Correct medical records are also important when submitting reimbursement claims to the patient’s health insurance company so it knows (and pays) the correct portion of the expense.
Visit UMA’s online Health Information Management associate degree program to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Health Information Technician Training as a Visual Learner
When training to work in a health information technician or health information management role, you will likely learn about health information records, how they’re kept, and how they’re accessed. To capitalize on your visual learning style, it may be helpful to get a copy of your own medical records so you can see some of the things you are learning in your course.
An estimated 60% of people have access to their medical records online via a patient portal.3 If you haven’t already accessed your information through your healthcare provider, contact their office to ask whether they provide this ability. If they do, ask whether your information is available on a website or if they have an app. Follow their instructions to create your account and look around to see what medical health records look like from a patient’s point of view.
Another way to in health tech training as a visual learner is to highlight important terms, processes, or facts in the course materials. Use different colors for each so you can go back and find the information easily when getting ready for quizzes and tests. If you use digital textbooks, some allow you to do this right online, making this a super simple option.
It’s often said that in business, it’s important to know your numbers. The “numbers” referred to in this statement include certain data that can help identify the financial health of a business, such as its cash flow, net income, profit and loss, and gross margins.4 A healthcare accounting professional helps businesses in this industry keep track of this type of financial information.
If you are a visual learner who likes to work with numbers, healthcare accounting may be a good career for you. By providing medical facilities and organizations the ability to know where they stand financially, they’re better able to make decisions that can help them continue to serve patients for years to come. This also benefits the patients that rely on these providers for preventative health services, the management of chronic diseases, or when trying to get to the bottom of their symptoms or other medical concerns.
Visit UMA’s online Healthcare Accounting associate degree program to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Healthcare Accounting Training as a Visual Learner
Because healthcare accounting is all about collecting and recording financials, visual learners may benefit from going through similar exercises using their personal financial information. For instance, if during the course of your training you learn about cash flows, create a cash flow sheet for you or your family.
This helps not only recognize where certain data is drawn from but also helps you better understand what type of information these documents can provide. The data is right there in front of you, in black and white, providing a visual reference that you can relate to personally.
Another tip for visual learners during healthcare accounting training is to use graphics whenever possible to aid in the studying process. When learning about the reimbursement cycle, draw a circle on a piece of paper and write the steps around it. When learning anatomy, draw an outline of the human body and label the necessary parts. Use images whenever possible to help you retain this information.
Healthcare Careers for Auditory Learners
Auditory learners are people who learn best by listening. Individuals in this category would typically enjoy listening to an instructor speak, for instance, over reading in a textbook. If given the choice, they would also likely choose an audio textbook over a textbook that is available in print.
If this sounds like you, two healthcare career paths could be a fit for auditory learners. They are health services specialists and healthcare management.
Health and Human Services
Health and human services is a broad field. Though, the individuals working in this field have one common goal: to improve the lives of people as individuals and communities as a whole. Performing this type of service in the health sector might involve connecting clients with allied health services that can improve their quality of life.
One reason health services specialist is good for auditory learners is that this type of position often requires a lot of listening. You can’t fully help clients or communities until you know what the issues are. And you don’t know what the issues are if you don’t listen to their concerns. Auditory learners are naturally skilled at collecting this important information with their ears.
Another reason auditory learners may enjoy working in health and human services is that this field involves working with a variety of people. People from different backgrounds often use different terminology or slang, or they might have different tones or dialects. Someone good at picking up on these differences can gain more insight into where a person comes from, even if they don’t say, which also provides insight into what services may help them best.
Visit UMA’s online Health and Human Services associate degree program to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Health Services Training as an Auditory Learner
Auditory learners can benefit from receiving health services training at an educational institution that offers the option of converting their print textbooks into audio form. This allows you to take in the information you need in a way that suits you best. It also enables you to listen to your course materials while doing other somewhat mindless activities, such as running for exercise or while doing housework.
When studying for quizzes and tests as an auditory learner, it may help to institute the help of a friend. Have them ask you questions that may appear on the exam versus studying your notes in writing. Alternatively, record various questions and answers yourself, then play them back to help you better retain the information.
Maybe you’re interested in a healthcare role that consists of working with healthcare staff instead of the patients they treat. In this case, you might enjoy a position in healthcare management. Healthcare management includes a wide variety of functions that can help hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other health-based organizations operate more efficiently. Among them are creating budgets, developing forms, and implementing important processes.
Why is healthcare management good for auditory learners? Managing healthcare organizations is all about establishing positive relationships. This can be accomplished by listening to each partner’s concerns and ideas. The better you can understand where each one is coming from, the easier it becomes to create workplace solutions that are designed to meet everyone’s needs.
Visit UMA’s online Healthcare Management associate degree program to learn more about this healthcare career and the education it involves.
How to Advance in Health Management Training as an Auditory Learner
If you want to make the most of your auditory learning style while taking health management courses, find a place to study that is free from distractions. The more you can limit outside noise while learning about professional communications, accounting systems, and office operations, the easier it will be to focus on this information. Finding a place in your house where you can shut a door, such as a bedroom or an office, might help.
Also, if your courses include lectures or tutorials within the materials, these mediums are perfect for auditory learners. For materials that are in writing, read them out loud so you can hear them too. When you get to pictures or illustrations, talk them out. This is another reason to find a quiet environment. You may be doing a lot of talking to make your materials more memorable. A quiet space makes this type of studying possible.
Healthcare Careers for Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners are people who learn by touching or doing. They take in and retain information best by using a hands-on approach. An example of kinesthetic learning is taking piano lessons. You can read a book to learn the keys and in what order to play them, but true learning occurs by actually sitting down in front of the piano and playing it.
What are good careers for hands-on learners? The medical assistant and nursing assistant fields are two that could be a fit for learners who enjoy being hands on.
Medical assistants serve a valuable function in healthcare as they help doctors and other health professionals with the collection and management of patients’ vital information. Depending on where you work, this could include taking patients’ blood pressure, drawing their blood for testing, and recording their health history in the office’s recordkeeping system. You may also help medical practitioners when they are performing their exams.
Kinesthetic learners might find a medical assistant position rewarding because each of these functions involves the use of your hands. You spend your days doing different tasks that require working with patients in a more active way than some of the other healthcare positions we’ve previously discussed.
Visit UMA’s Medical Assistant diploma and Health Sciences – Medical Assistant associate degree programs to learn more about this healthcare career and the training it involves.
How to Advance in Medical Assistant Training as a Kinesthetic Learner
Should you decide that medical assistant is a good role for you, you might find it helpful to act out each of the procedures you learn. For example, when learning how to take a patient’s blood pressure, go through these same steps with a learning partner or friend. Even if you don’t have a cuff or stethoscope, you can still walk through the process to help store it in your memory.
The same goes for any other tests, labs, or procedures that you need to learn. Get up and walk through them as if you are with an actual patient. Even if you don’t have someone to practice with, you can envision that someone is there. Or grab one of your children’s teddy bears and practice on them. No one says that your patients have to be human during your medical assistant training.
Sometimes people confuse a medical assistant and a nursing assistant. What’s the difference? A nursing assistant can also take a patient’s vital signs, but they provide additional care as well.
This care is sometimes referred to as compassionate care and includes doing things such as helping the patient tend to their hygiene, getting them dressed, or helping them eat. Individuals working in these healthcare roles can be found in hospitals, but also in nursing homes, assisted livings, and other long-term care facilities.
Like with medical assistants, kinesthetic learners might enjoy a nursing assistant position because it is so hands-on with patient care. You get to work with patients one-on-one, assisting them with basic duties that they may not be able to perform themselves.
Visit UMA’s Nursing Assistant diploma program to learn more about this healthcare career and the training it involves.
How to Advance in Nursing Assistant Training as a Kinesthetic Learner
What can you do to make the most of your nursing assistant training if you are a kinesthetic learner? One option is to practice what you’re learning as much as possible. Ask family members and friends to be your patients and assist them with the duties that you’re learning in your studies.
It’s also helpful to choose a nursing assistant training program that offers a clinical externship. During this externship, you will have the opportunity to work with patients in an actual healthcare setting. This is a perfect setup for a kinesthetic learner as you can practice your skills in a real-world healthcare environment.
Choosing the Healthcare Career for You
There’s a healthcare job for people with each of the different learning methods. The first step is identifying which learning style you have, then looking for a career that best matches that style. These are just a few ideas to consider. (Or you can pick a career that you’re passionate about, even if it doesn’t fit your learning style as this is by no means a requirement!)
If you’re still unsure which healthcare career might be best for you, UMA has a variety of healthcare programs and degrees from which to choose.
Take the quiz now and see what it says. You may be surprised or be presented with an option you hadn’t previously considered. Either way, that’s a win!
1 Jawed, S et al. Classification of Visual and Non-Visual Learners Using Electroencephalographic Alpha and Gamma Activities. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513874/
2 Olympic Channel. Visualization. https://mind.olympicchannel.com/visualisation/
3 Healthcare IT News. ONC: More Patients are Downloading Their Medical Records and Using Portals. https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/onc-more-patients-are-downloading-their-medical-records-using-portals
4 American Express. The 7 Financial Numbers Every Business Owner Should Know. https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/the-7-financial-numbers-every-business-owner-should-know/