Six careers in the healthcare sector that you could pursue

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Last Updated: Jul 28, 2021

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had huge changes in the way people across the world live their everyday lives, with these alterations looking set to continue for some time yet. From working from home and avoiding meeting beloved friends and family to keep social contact to a minimum, to wearing face masks and constantly sanitizing your hands, you are no doubt worn down by the situation, and perhaps even a bit fearful of the threat of the disease.

However, there have been brighter moments during the pandemic, when people’s resilience and selflessness have come to the fore. This has been particularly evident in the army of healthcare professionals caring for the most vulnerable members of society throughout the pandemic, as well as those suffering from the disease.

As such, this entire situation might have led you to seriously consider going after a healthcare-related career. Read on to discover six careers in the healthcare sector that you could pursue.

1. Doctor

Perhaps the first career in healthcare that you think of is becoming a doctor. This is a prestigious position that puts you at the forefront of patient care, diagnosing their health problems and devising a treatment plan for them. However, this career path requires a great deal of education and initial training, with doctors completing on average between 11 and 15 years of higher education before becoming qualified.

However, there are many different medical fields in which you could specialize as a doctor; for example, you could become a cardiovascular doctor (who can diagnose and treat patients with heart problems) or if you would like to help a greater range of people of all ages suffering from a variety of conditions, you could become a family physician or general practitioner at a community surgery.

2. Registered nurse

Another popular career in the healthcare sector is to become a registered nurse. In this career path, you will assist doctors in providing care to patients, as well as educating and supporting patients in their journey towards improved health. To become a registered nurse, you will first have to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing before becoming licensed to practice in your state.

If you are switching careers after having already completed a first Bachelor’s degree in a different sector, you may not necessarily have to complete a further three years at college; accelerated nursing programs are available that can be completed in one year to set you on your way to a rewarding nursing career. Click here for more information about accelerated nursing programs. As with doctors, there are nursing specialists working in different medical fields and you may decide that you would like to offer specialist nursing care to specific patients, such as geriatric or pediatric care.

3. Dentist

Problems with your teeth can be exceedingly painful and have knock-on effects elsewhere in the body, as well as being aesthetically unpleasant. As such, it is hugely important that the mouth is kept healthy. If you would like to help patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles, then you could become a dentist. As a dental specialist, you will provide dental treatment to patients, as well as support and education to help your patients to maintain healthy smiles.

You may also specialize in areas such as orthodontics, which is a type of dentistry that aims to improve the appearance, function, and positioning of crooked, protruding, or crowded teeth. To become a dentist, you will have to complete four years of study at a dental school, followed by a further two years or more to specialize in a particular dental area.

4. Emergency medical technician (EMT)

An EMT provides a critical role in the healthcare sector, being the first medical professional on-site to treat and transport a patient to the ER. In this role, you will be exposed to many high-stress and emotional situations as you enter the scene of a crisis.

As such, in addition to medical skills, you will need to have the ability to remain calm in a crisis and have techniques in place to deal with the emotional stress of seeing patients in trouble. If you feel that you have these skills and thrive on adrenaline, you will find a career in this life-saving role particularly rewarding. To become an EMT, you will have to complete an EMT training program lasting for several months, before passing an exam to receive a nationally recognized certificate. Training includes both classroom and practical instruction on anatomy, trauma care, and emergency management.

5. Physiotherapist

A physiotherapist provides a more holistic approach to helping patients afflicted by an injury, disability, or illness. You will work with patients to lead healthy and active lives, developing a treatment plan designed to reduce or manage pain, improve their ability to move, restore function to a limb, and prevent disability.

You might even specialize in providing physiotherapy for specific conditions, such as helping athletes to recover from sports injuries, or providing respiratory physiotherapy to help patients with respiratory problems to breathe more easily. To become a qualified physiotherapist, you will first have to complete a physiotherapy degree that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, before passing your state licensure exam.

6. Pharmacist

Pharmacists prepare and dispense medications in a pharmacy, often according to a prescription filled out by a doctor. In addition to this, they provide patients with information regarding the use of their medications and can provide basic medical advice regarding treatment options for commonplace ailments such as colds.

As a pharmacist, you may also be required to administer flu and other vaccination shots. To become a pharmacist, you will have to complete an accredited Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program before seeking your state licensure. To get on a PharmD college program, you will be required to first pass The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) to ensure that you have the basic biological knowledge and critical reasoning skills required to complete a PharmD.

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