Careers in healthcare can be varied, challenging and highly rewarding. Whether you’re interested in becoming a doctor, a hospital administrator or an art therapist, there are plenty of roles and specialisms to choose from. Below are ten careers to consider if you have a desire to work in healthcare.
Dental assistants play an important role in a dental practice. Not only do they perform basic patient care such as dental cleaning, but they are also responsible for administrative duties such as filing patient records. Sometimes known as dental hygienists, these specialised roles work with all groups of people – young and old – and provide crucial support to the patients and the dental team.
Art Therapist/Art Psychotherapist
No longer considered a peripheral therapy, art psychotherapy is an established way of using art to help patients with mental health issues. Art therapists use a variety of artistic tools and practices to help patients deal with their emotions, especially if the person finds it difficult to express in words. Art therapy has proven to be highly effective with people of all ages, particularly with individuals who struggle with trauma, addiction and substance abuse. Clarity Clinic is an expert in traditional Physicatry.
While helping clients increase their self-awareness and self-confidence, art therapists can also assist with other behavioural or physical problems such as learning disabilities, neurological conditions or physical illness. Art therapists are typically found in social services, rehab facilities, educational settings and in prisons or private practice.
Nurses work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, medical centres and doctor’s offices. Their role is to provide medical care and support to patients who are suffering from physical or mental health issues. Nurses are highly skilled and require traits such as compassion, a caring attitude and the ability to deal with high-pressure situations.
There are many types of nurses, and they work in all kinds of settings. Some examples include:
- Nurse practitioners: nurse practitioners are highly skilled and perform similar tasks as physicians, such as diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications. Some NPs can even perform minor surgeries. Most NPs require a master’s degree, and they can work in their own private practice or in educational or other medical environments.
- Nurse educators: these types of nurses are responsible for educating the nursing workforce. Their role is to inspire, teach, and mentor the next generation of nurses. They also play vital roles when it comes to curriculum development and improving the systems that provide nurse training.
- Psychiatric nurses: psychiatric nurses are responsible for caring for people with mental health conditions. These specialist nurses can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications where necessary. They also work in a variety of settings such as psychiatric wards, hospitals, prison wards and in people’s homes.
- Orthopaedic nurses: orthopaedic nurses deal with patients who have musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, such as arthritis, fractures, broken bones, joint replacements and osteoporosis.
Mental Health Therapists
Therapists and counsellors play a vital role when it comes to treating and supporting individuals with mental health conditions. Some therapists specialise in certain conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or personality disorders. They might also specialise in specific therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation reprogramming (EMDR).
Whatever the specialism, therapists can assess and treat a variety of mental health conditions and help patients improve their lives. Many therapists have master’s degrees or degrees in psychology or mental health counselling.
Unlike mental health therapists, physical therapists help patients rehabilitate from injuries or illness. These include professions such as physiotherapists and osteopaths who help clients improve muscle and joint function. Physical therapists typically use tools and their hands to manoeuvre patients into positions that can help them build strength, repair structural imbalances and decrease pain. These types of healthcare professionals are often called upon following an accident or an injury and will usually work in physical therapy clinics or rehabilitation centres.
Speech-language pathologists are responsible for diagnosing and treating patients with communication disorders such as lisps or stutters. Speech-language pathologists also help patients who have underlying conditions, such as swallowing disorders by teaching them how to utilise the muscles in their mouth. Often working in schools or private day care facilities, speech-language pathologists play a vital role in terms of helping kids and adults communicate, eat, drink and swallow.
If you love animals, a veterinarian career may be for you. These specialist healthcare professionals can diagnose and treat animals in much the same way as a regular physician. While some vets specialise in working with specific animals, some will work in a more general capacity. Most vets are known to treat smaller domestic animals like cats or dogs; however, they can also work with larger animals such as horses or donkeys.
Dieticians are responsible for helping people develop a customised dietary plan. This can be due to a particular condition such as diabetes or for regular weight loss and maintenance. Dieticians must know a great deal about how foods affect the human body, which is why a degree can take anywhere from 4 to 8 years. Many of these individuals work in hospitals, health clinics, in fitness and weight loss centres and in private practice.
Did you know there is a name for people who draw blood from patients? This is essentially what a phlebotomist does. Whether it’s for routine medical tests, research, blood transfusions or donations, phlebotomists are highly skilled at drawing and administering blood. Many of these individuals are known as phlebotomy technicians, and they often work in labs, doctor’s offices and blood donor facilities.
Director of Public Health
Not all healthcare workers deliver one-on-one care. There are many roles in healthcare administration, and one of those is a director of public health. These individuals are responsible for creating the overall vision and objectives for public health in a specific area or centre. While the role is varied, they are often involved with commissioning health services, managing senior staff, leading on training and development programmes and being responsible for a public health budget.
As directors, these individuals play a vital leadership role in terms of delivering public health objectives and providing reports on key outcomes. Directors must be qualified in public health and registered with the General Medical Council or General Dental Council or UK Public Health Register.