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Health Careers by Field

Figuring out which healthcare career or health occupation to pursue, or simply finding a good job, can be a difficult and time consuming endeavor. This section of our website was developed to help aspiring healthcare and medical students and job seekers make better, more informed career choices by providing them with highly relevant, reliable and up-to-date job search, career development, and employment information.

Allied Health Professions

Allied health is one of the largest healthcare fields. Nearly sixty percent of all health professionals work in a field of allied health. And as the demand for allied health professionals and specialists continues to grow this field is predicted to maintain its popularity throughout the next decade.

Allied health professionals work directly with patients but may also function in a variety of administrive roles. Most specialists are found working in public and private healthcare facilities including hospitals, laboratories and clinics. However, many manager their own practices or work as part of a team of other specialized medical professionals to determine how to best treat and care for their patients.

Most allied health professionals/specialists are either technologists, technicians, or therapists-which technicians being the most popular of the allied health career positions. It typically requires a year or two of formal training to become a technician. Technicians work under the supervision of technologists, therapists as well as doctors themselves. Technicians can be found in just about every allied health field including, but not limited to, respiratory therapy, recreation therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, medical laboratory, and physical therapy.

Technologists resposibilties usually revolve around the development of medical procedures, patient evaluation and medical diagnostics. Specially technologists may design detailed patient treatment plans, evaluate patients' reaction to treatment/medications, implement complex medical procedures aimed at patient evaluation and care, and make informed recommendations to their superiors (i.e. medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, etc.)

Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Alternative medical specialists treat people seeking alternatives to surgery, prescription drugs, and other traditional medical procedures. Alternative medical specialists focus more on prevention rather than treatment.

They typically recommend nutritional changes, exercise, and stress management techniques to their patients. They believe, if treated properly, the body can heal itself. Many incorporate ancient medical treatments and meditation into treatment plans.

Arts & Humanities in Health

Most people studying the arts and humanities during college develop analytical, communication, and research skills that can be used in the healthcare industry.

Workers with a background in humanities have the ability to connect with patients and understand how culture affects human health. Yet many people are unaware that many humanities related careers are available in the healthcare industry.

Chiropractic Medicine

Although not considered mainstream by some medical professionals, many people rely on chiropractic medicine. People struggling with joint problems and neck and back pain often consult with chiropractors. Chiropractic medicine is very popular among people who prefer alternative and holistic medicine.

Dentistry

Advances in genetic engineering, treating oral diseases, salivary diagnostics, and dental technology make dentistry a satisfying, challenging, and exhilarating career field to work in. Modern dentists are highly trained health specialists who administer numerous oral health treatments intended to eradicate cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Environmental Health

Problems with the environment can increase diseases, carcinogens, and toxins that humans are exposed to on a daily basis, which in turn causes health problems, such as asthma, allergies, and cancer. Additionally, agriculture grown in contaminated soil and irrigated with toxic water can increase food borne illnesses.

Environmental health specialists identify environmental hazards and develop strategies to reduce and eliminate them from the environment. These specialists include public health specialists, environmental health officials, and environmental health practitioners.

Environmental health specialists work closely with elected officials, engineers, doctors, meteorologists, biologists, geologists, chemists, and other professionals in an effort to identify and eliminate environmental pollutants.

Forensic Science

When people think of a career in health, they don't typically think of forensic science, but forensic science is an integral part of the healthcare system. Forensic scientists investigate crime scenes and physical evidence to assist with legal and police investigations.

Forensic scientists utilize psychology, math, biology, physics, chemistry, and toxicology while investigating crimes. They also assist people investigating steroid scandals in professional sports, drug use at worksites, and environmental catastrophes, such as toxic chemical or oil spills. The information forensic scientists collect is utilized by various groups, including public health organizations.

Gerontology

Gerontologists specialize in human aging. They focus on how people change physically, socially, and mentally as they age. Since life expectancy is increasing, demand for gerontologists is growing.

Health Administration

Hospitals and medical clinics are managed like other companies. As a result, qualified administration professionals are needed to fill important management roles. Healthcare administrators and managers supervise, plan, and coordinate delivery of medical services.

Informatics

Medical informatics professionals specialize in information science and technology utilized in the healthcare industry. These specialists oversee technology that is used to store, retrieve analyze, and deliver mission critical health data.

Medicine

Physicians are licensed medical specialists who diagnose disease, administer medical procedures, prescribe medication, and teach patients how to prevent illness.

Physicians are classified as MDs (medical doctors) or DOs (doctors of osteopathic medicine). MDs are trained in allopathic medicine, while DOs are trained in osteopathic medicine.

Mental Health

Mental health specialists assist people struggling with mental health disorders, relationship issues, and emotional problems. In addition to correcting problems, they teach patients how to prevent them.

Mental health professionals assist children, adolescents, and adults. Those specializing in counseling work with individuals, couples, and groups. Many mental health professionals specialize in marriage, substance abuse, career, and family counseling.

Nursing

Nurses assist patients in hospitals, encourage healthy practices, and administer medical procedures. They're often members of healthcare teams that provide direct patient care. There are numerous specialties and career opportunities within the field of nursing.

Nurses also work as patient advocates and raise awareness about various public health problems in their communities. They design and oversee nursing care plans, teach patients about disease prevention, and assist doctors with various procedures.

Entry-level jobs for nurses can be obtained with a diploma or associate degree in nursing, which usually takes 1 to 3 years to complete, but most organizations prefer to fill nursing positions with applicants holding a bachelor's degree in nursing. Registered nurses (RNs) interested in upgrading to a master's degree can complete a RN-to-MSN degree in nursing.

Nutrition/Dietetics

Nutrition is an important component of health. Dietary changes can reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other metabolic disorders.

Dieticians specialize in the link between health and nutrition. Dietitians develop nutrition plans for people struggling with disease and other health problems. They often design preventative health nutrition plans.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help injured and disabled people become and remain productive in the workforce. They also teach clients how to live more independently. Specifically, they design individual productivity improvement programs for disabled, injured, or ill individuals, examine clients' homes and worksites for impediments, administer performance tests, teach clients how to use adaptive and assistance equipment, and counsel clients' family members about proper care for loved ones.

Optometry

Optometry professionals specialize in the anatomy and diseases of the eye. They are licensed to diagnose and treat eye diseases and vision impartment.

Pharmacy

Pharmacists are licensed professionals who dispense medication and answer questions about proper dosage and usage. They are assisted by pharmacy technicians and aides. Since pharmacists dispense narcotics and other addictive substances, they're responsible for monitoring patient subscriptions.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists utilize massage, exercise, traction, and other therapies to help people recover from serious injuries and illnesses. They work with individuals recovering from car accidents, sports injuries, combat wounds, strokes, and various other maladies.

Podiatric Medicine

Podiatric medicine (podiatry) professionals specialize in treating problems affecting feet and ankles. They often specialize in orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, biomechanics, sports medicine, and surgery.

Since a growing number of people suffer from ankle and feet problems, the demand for podiatric doctors is on the rise.

Public Health

Public health specialists educate communities about injury and disease prevention, raise awareness about communicable and other diseases, and conduct research to improve public health. Unlike doctors, public health specialists work to prevent disease, rather than treat it. Public health professionals may specialize in emergency and disaster preparedness, health services administration, epidemiology, environmental health, occupational health, nutrition, child health, global health, biostatistics, behavioral science, and health education.

Speach/Language/Hearing

Speech language pathologists, audiologists, and other hearing science specialists diagnose and treat hearing disorders. Many conduct research in an effort to design and improve hearing assistance technology. Others specialize in the treatment of individuals with hearing loss, language delay, and speech problems.

Sports Medicine

Sports medicine specialists teach athletes how to properly recover from and prevent injury. They also help athletes improve their mental and physical performance.

Sports medicine is growing in popularity as a career. In addition to assisting athletes, sports medicine specialists work with non-athletes recovering from injury, individuals striving to get in shape, or those training for marathons. They also teach people with disabilities how to exercise properly.

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians are primarily responsible for diagnosing and treating injured and sick animals, but they also fulfill other roles. Many veterinarians are researchers that identify similarities between certain animal and human diseases, including the avian flu, West Nile virus, and mad cow disease. Veterinarian medicine can prepare one for research that can improve human, as well as animal health.

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