Health care is a noble career to dedicate your life to, and there are so many options to consider when making your decision as to which job is the best fit for you. Though being a doctor is the first job that most people think of immediately when they think of the health care profession, there are many more types out there. And for those of you who are scared of needles and cringe at the thought of blood, many health care careers don’t require you to go near either one. Here are six jobs to consider if you’re interested in health care.
Okay, so obviously nursing is on this list. But, before you jump headfirst into nursing school, you should probably learn what nurses do first. After all, getting into and finishing nursing school is no easy feat. A registered nurse (RN) is generally who you see first before your doctor shows up. They go over the reasons for your visit, take your vitals, and coordinate your visit with the doctor. They will educate patients on the current health conditions, give advice and emotional support, and administer injections and various medications in the office. Oftentimes, you don’t even need to see an actual doctor, especially if the nurse you’re dealing with is a nurse practitioner – they can actually prescribe medication and administer health care without the signature of a doctor. Learn more about what nurses do here and decide if this profession is the right fit.
Have you ever seen those emotional videos on YouTube where someone who has suffered from hearing loss is able to hear for the first time thanks to technological advances? Well, becoming an audiologist will put you in a field that helps instances like those happen. Audiology is the science of hearing, balance and other related disorders, meaning that as an audiologist you will be caring for patients by preventing, identifying, diagnosing and offering treatment related to auditory disorders. Pretty cool, huh?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
Magnetic resonance imaging technologists are usually just referred to as MRI techs. Always in front of the pack in terms of technology, MRI techs use high-tech machines to take 3-D images of the body and its organs. The resulting images are used for a number of diagnostic purposes, from studying the brain to the heart to the muscles. With the unique way in which an MRI is given, MRI techs need to interact with patients on a more understanding and patient level than a lot of others in the health care industry. This is because getting an MRI requires a patient to lie in a very narrow tube for 40 minutes and sometimes longer. MRI techs needs to be able to work with patients who deal with anxiety and claustrophobia, providing them with advice and understanding. Once the test is complete, the tech discusses the results with a radiologist and together they plan any additional tests that should be done.
Speaking of radiologists, they are doctors of osteopathic medicine, which means that they specialize in diagnosing and treating health issues through the use of various imaging techniques, like x-rays, MRIs, computed tomography (CT) scans, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and positron emission tomography (PER). With such a long list of knowledge, a radiologist has to go through a lot of school and complete at least four years of a residency.
If you love helping people, becoming a physical therapist may be more rewarding for you than becoming a doctor. You will be diagnosing and treating patients of all ages – even newborns – who have medical issues and/or conditions that hinder their ability to move freely as needed. Since physical therapists generally stay with a single patient throughout their rehabilitation journey, which can be difficult and stressful, they get to see a patient start at zero and slowly improve to the point (hopefully) that they no longer need your assistance. It can be pretty amazing to see ones work directly improve and enhance someone else’s life.
A dietitian is an expert in nutrition as it relates to regulating one’s diet to maintain or attain optimal health. They are licensed to diagnose and treat nutritional issues. As a dietitian, you will be working with patients to help them gain a greater understanding of how various foods interact with their bodies and how to manipulate their diet to attain their goals, whether that means losing weight, lowering cholesterol or simply becoming healthier. There are various fields you can choose from too, from sports nutrition to pediatrics to food-allergy.