Health care occupations provide the services and support needed to maintain and improve people’s wellbeing. Workers in these occupations may use various techniques to help their clients.
Physician assistants, for example, work under the supervision of physicians and treat illnesses and injuries. Physical therapists help patients recover from injuries or illnesses by performing exercises and massages.
Administrative Medical Jobs
People in administrative medical jobs keep the business side of health care running smoothly. These are the positions, typically found in hospitals, doctor’s offices and private practice settings, that perform important but non-clinical work such as recording patient data, scheduling appointments, arranging budgets and ensuring adequate supplies. Many of these positions only require a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
In the hospital setting, these administrative jobs might include medical receptionists and admissions clerks who act as friendly intermediaries between patients and health care providers, helping to ensure that each person who walks in the door is greeted warmly and that all relevant information is collected and entered into records for quick access by doctors and nurses. Other administrative medical jobs, such as hospital administrators, can require a college degree in health administration.
Those in the field of health education may help patients understand their conditions and how to care for themselves, as well as educating families and community members on the benefits of organ donation. Other responsibilities might involve explaining the science behind medication and treatments, or researching various aspects of human health.
Radiation therapists are healthcare professionals who use radiation equipment to treat patients with cancer and other diseases. Besides administering radiation therapy, they might also explain the treatment to patients and their families, document each session in the medical record and monitor the effects of radiation therapy on the patient’s body. In some cases, these responsibilities might require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the area of radiology. Program managers manage healthcare programs, such as community allied health and mental health, in order to achieve the most efficient provision of services.
Diagnostic and Treatment Medical Jobs
Some medical jobs require a hands on patient care component. Others are more research oriented and support medical facilities. For instance, a medical scientist can find work in an area of health care that focuses on researching and testing new treatments for specific diseases. Other health care jobs may be focused on educating patients about specific aspects of their health and helping them to make better decisions regarding their own wellness and health. These professionals are often found in schools, hospitals, government agencies, clinics and business firms. Examples include health educators, counselors, dietary managers and community outreach coordinators.
Diagnostic and treatment medical jobs can also include those that deal with providing rehabilitation therapy for patients who have been injured or who have chronic diseases. This type of medical professional helps patients to overcome the physical and mental hurdles that they will face throughout their recovery process. Examples of these types of healthcare professionals include physical therapists, occupational therapists and recreational therapists.
Lastly, diagnostic and treatment medical jobs may also be those that involve performing tests on patients such as X-rays, ultrasound and MRI to identify and diagnose problems early in the patient’s course of illness. This type of medical worker is known as an imaging and diagnostic technologist and can be found in a variety of locations including hospitals, clinics and medical laboratories.
Another example of a diagnostic and treatment medical job is that of a sonographer, who specializes in the use of ultrasound to identify abnormalities in internal organs such as the heart and blood vessels. This is a rapidly growing field that requires the use of high-tech equipment. This job also involves developing close relationships with the patients and other healthcare professionals that you will interact with on a daily basis.
Mental Health Technicians
A mental health technician works with psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses to provide hands-on care for people who are mentally disabled or diagnosed with a brain disease like dementia. These professionals often work in psychiatric hospitals, outpatient units and emergency departments. They monitor patients and help them follow doctors’ orders for medication and other treatments. They also take patients’ vital signs and report any unusual behavior.
Most of these health care jobs require at least a high school diploma and on-the-job training. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. In addition, a mental health technician must have compassion and empathy for his or her patients. This is because they spend a lot of time with them and must treat them with dignity and respect.
While many of these health care jobs are not physically strenuous, they can be emotionally taxing. For example, they often deal with individuals who are angry, withdrawn or even violent. These workers are exposed to a lot of danger and must be prepared for the possibility that they could be attacked or even killed by their patients.
Some mental health technicians are certified as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). These certifications can increase the chances of finding a job and improving career opportunities. Some employers also prefer these professionals to be certified in order to improve patient care and safety.
Nursing assistants (also known as nurse aides or patient care technicians) help patients with daily activities. They work under the supervision of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in hospitals, clinics and long-term nursing care facilities.
Nursing aides take and record a patient’s vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure; help patients bathe, dress and eat; observe and report changes in a patient’s condition to the medical staff; and assist in medical procedures. They may also help patients move around or change positions, and they often wash, clean and tidy rooms.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for certified nursing assistants will continue to grow, as the baby boomer generation continues to age and requires more long-term care. Nursing assistants often develop ongoing relationships with their patients and are a valuable resource in helping them cope with the effects of illness or injury.
A high school diploma is usually the minimum requirement for becoming a nursing assistant. Nursing assistant training programs are offered at many community colleges, technical and vocational schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Classes last about six to 16 weeks and are generally taught by registered nurses. Those who complete the training program will earn a certificate. Although a nursing assistant does not require a college degree, some aspiring nurses use this career as a way to test the waters before investing the time and money required to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Some nursing aides also choose to specialize in an area of care. This might include providing care for patients with dementia, or assisting in physical therapy. Examples of specializations are geriatric or pediatric nursing.
A phlebotomist draws blood from patients to send for analysis in medical labs. These labs perform tests that can help medical professionals find conditions like cancer, autoimmune diseases and blood disorders. The job is fast-paced and often involves a bit of risk. It’s important for phlebotomists to follow strict safety protocols, since they’re handling blood samples that could carry dangerous infections. They must also ensure that all equipment is properly sanitized and that blood samples are correctly labeled.
Phlebotomists are employed by hospitals, clinics, donation centers, treatment facilities, research laboratories and physician offices. They’re in high demand in almost every healthcare facility, so those with the right training can find a job quickly after graduation.
Because of the high demand, phlebotomists can earn competitive wages in most areas. They may work full-time or part-time, and their schedules vary depending on the needs of the facility. Many phlebotomists who work at hospitals are responsible for drawing blood from patients in the hospital. These phlebotomists are sometimes required to work at unusual hours, such as during night shifts.
If a phlebotomist works at a trauma center or in an emergency clinic, they’re likely to be exposed to a variety of distressing situations, such as gunshot wounds and severe injuries from accidents. These phlebotomists need to have compassion and patience for patients who are anxious about the experience and must be able to make them feel comfortable during blood draws.
Phlebotomists can earn a good salary in most regions of the United States, and they can choose to specialize in a certain type of work or move between facilities as needed. This flexibility makes the position a great choice for those who want to change jobs or have family responsibilities that prevent them from working full-time.