We all want a career that’s rewarding and provides the right financial compensation. The healthcare industry can provide both of those things. You can make a living caring for others and making sure they have the support they deserve to get and stay well. There are very few industries that can offer such a balance, and there are so many options from which to choose. No matter what your interests and talents might be, there is almost definitely a healthcare career for you. Here are some of the most popular opportunities in healthcare that you can pursue.
A speech-language pathologist works with patients who have difficulty speaking, communicating language, or swallowing. These patients can have any number of reasons for their issues, such as stroke, injury, or people born with stutters. Much like physical therapists, they help patients rehabilitate their speaking skills so that they can communicate effectively again. Having trouble speaking or swallowing can severely affect a patient’s quality of life, and speech-language pathologists serve an important function in helping them heal and recover those skills. To pursue this career, you will need a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
A physician assistant is as close as you can get to being a doctor without actually being one. However, they collaborate and support a practising physician in a variety of ways. They may be called upon to diagnose and treat certain patients, and provide counselling and advice to help them achieve their health goals. They are a crucial part of the healthcare system because they can be trained much faster than doctors can, and perform many of the same functions. This allows them to fill gaps and provide much needed services. To be a physician assistant, you must have at least a Master’s degree and have a love of working with patients.
Medical billing and coding
While it might not seem like a front line career at first glance, medical billing and coding professionals are necessary for a healthcare facility to run properly. They make sure that everything sent to insurance companies is correct, and advise patients as to their billing and payment options. A medical and billing specialist must be well-organized and have an extensive knowledge of both the healthcare and insurance industries. Coding involves entering the correct treatment types to bill patients, and must be accurate every time. Mistakes could mean insurance and other issues, which could delay treatment and put patients at risk. Your best option for education might be to take online medical billing and coding training in a timeframe that works for you.
An occupational therapist helps patients regain the abilities they need in their day-to-day lives. They may have suffered an injury, have a chronic condition, or have a mental or emotional developmental issue. The OT develops plans based on the patient’s goals, and provides them with guidance and support to help them meet those goals. Since they are dealing with everyday life skills, goals can range from something simple like getting up from a couch without assistance, or more difficult such as lifting furniture. They can also help with non-physical life skills, like budgeting, typing, or operating simple appliances. OTs must be patient, understanding, and caring to do their jobs correctly. If this sounds like a career for you, then you should be prepared to earn a master’s degree first to get a foot in the door.
A physical therapist has a similar job to an occupational therapist, however they serve clients in a different capacity. A physical therapist focuses on helping people who have mobility, strength, and pain issues. Their patients can be high-level athletes looking to regain their strength and mobility, or they can be seniors hoping to be able to go for walks in the evening again. In many cases, a physical therapist helps those who are healing and recovering from injury or debilitating illness. They help patients with exercises and movements that help the body recover and get to its previous state.
Becoming a physical therapist requires an excellent understanding of how the body functions. Many years of schooling and earning a master’s degree will put you in position to start this exciting career.
Registered nurses may be the backbone of any healthcare facility. They operate in many capacities, from administering medication, to assisting physicians, to providing healthcare guidance, and everything in between. They must be caring, compassionate, both physically and mentally strong, and be able to balance a large caseload. Nurses work overnights on long shifts, and have an extensive knowledge of illnesses, injuries, treatments, and preventative measures. The nature of the work requires nurses to be multi-talented and able to handle anything that comes their way.
While becoming an RN requires a bachelor’s degree, there is a heavier workload than other bachelor’s degrees. Along with a comprehensive classroom course load, nurses must also complete many hours of placements in a variety of healthcare settings. If you are looking to work on the front lines of patient care, then nursing could be the career for you.
There may be no industry where you can affect the lives of so many people positively. The healthcare industry touches everyone, and there is a wide variety of career paths and choices to pursue. While the ones listed above are among the most popular, if they don’t strike your fancy there is no doubt a career in the industry that is perfect for you.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.