If you look at the highest paying jobs in the U.S., you’ll see that many medical professions made the list. That’s because healthcare is a lucrative industry, and many enter it for that reason. Of course, many more enter it to help people.
However, the most popular professions aren’t the only ways to help the community heal. Not everyone needs to be a doctor or surgeon, after all. Check out the other jobs you should consider if you want a career in healthcare.
1. Home Health Aide
A home health aide, like the name suggests, helps a patient live their daily lives in their home. They help the elderly and patients unable to do tasks on their own.
Some of their responsibilities might include doing laundry or grocery shopping. They may also prepare meals and provide housekeeping. Assisting patients with personal care like bathing is also a key responsibility.
More than that, however, a home health aide monitors the patient’s condition. They take note of intake and output, as well as exercise. They also observe the mental and physical condition of the patient.
Furthermore, they make sure that the patient is safe by maintaining a secure and clean environment for them. They make sure that the patients are sticking to their dietary requirements.
2. Registered Nurse
The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of nurses. It needs additional 11 million nurses to avoid further shortage. That’s why a nurse is one of the most sought after medical professions in the healthcare field.
An RN provides care and treatment to patients on a more personal level. But, they also act as the middleman between a doctor and patient.
They carry on the physician’s orders. Examples are administering the prescribed medication, performing procedures, and more.
They can, however, also order and assess diagnostic tests. They also assess and record the needs of the patient. RNs also communicate with the family about the patient’s care and health education.
To become a registered nurse, you need an associate’s degree in nursing at a minimum. You can find online courses to help you with that; read more to learn more about it.
3. Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners provide valuable healthcare in several areas, such as family, psychiatric, public health, and so on. They’re also registered nurses, but they have additional responsibilities.
They receive formal training in diagnosing, managing, and treating common ailments. They can also conduct medical tests and provide prescriptions. NPs also focus on educating patients on disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle.
What separates them from RNs is that they don’t need the supervision of a physician. Beyond the education for RNs, nurse practitioners must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. They must also have advanced clinical training.
They’re somewhat close to doctors, although the latter have to spend more time in school.
4. Physician Assistant
Physician assistants also work under the supervision of a physician. They make rounds and perform patient exams and assist in surgery. They also provide counsel for preventative health care and interpret tests.
These responsibilities might seem like that of nurses, but PAs are closer to doctors than RNs. They can examine and diagnose patients, as well as order tests and write prescriptions. They can also assist in research on the latest treatments.
They’re also different from nurse practitioners in that they have more general work. NPs, on the other hand, cater to a specific population. PAs also attend medical school or a center for medicine, while the other goes to a nursing school.
5. Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapy is going to be in high demand over the years. More of the aging population of the U.S. and physically challenged individuals are wanting to enter or return to the workforce. How does an occupational therapist help them with that?
For one, occupational therapists work with patients to restore or learn basic abilities. They use evidence-based practice to help patients perform their daily roles.
An OT can help patients with things like:
- Eating on their own
- Do housework
- Bathe and get dressed
- Do office work
The kind of therapy the patient will need depends on their disability. Regardless, an occupational therapist can create a plan for them. This will help them learn (or relearn) the skills they need for a normal life.
Paramedics are the first responders in emergency situations. They’re well-trained in providing first aid, emergency treatment, and making immediate diagnoses.
Some of their responsibilities include dressing injuries, staffing ambulances, using specialist equipment like defibrillators, and administering medications. They receive extensive training to carry on some of the duties of a physician.
They’re somewhat similar to nurses or physician assistants in this regard. After all, they receive education in the same areas, such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and more. However, paramedics focus more on emergency medical care out of the hospital.
To become a paramedic, you need to have a qualification in paramedic science. You also need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to begin work as a paramedic.
7. Dietitians and Nutritionists
A dietitian may not have the same roles as the medical professionals you’re used to, but they’re a healthcare professional, too. They’re regulated and they must have a license to perform their duties, such as assessing, diagnosing, and treating nutritional issues.
Dietitians and nutritionists are experts on good nutrition and food choices. First, they assess the patient’s nutritional needs based on factors like age, weight, and such. They then create a plan for treating or managing a disease or a chronic condition.
Many dietitians work in the prevention and treatment of diseases. They may also work in the community and public health settings, as well as in the food industry.
Which of These Medical Professions Do You Want to Be?
Although they fulfill different roles, these medical professions all have the same goal. That is to help and heal the patients.
The endgame for all healthcare professionals is the same. They all want to help the patients live their healthiest lives possible. If you want to learn more, feel free to go over our other career guides today!