The healthcare field is a rewarding career field. Healthcare workers enjoy job security because of the high demand for qualified medical professionals. Healthcare workers are employed throughout the country, in both cities and small towns, which means you will have more opportunities to work where you live.
People employed in this field also enjoy high salaries. It’s also possible to pursue a health career with only a few years of postsecondary education. After you finished your education, you can start working in a hospital or you can apply for a medical practice loan and open your own clinic.
If you’re thinking about entering the healthcare field, these are some career options you may want to consider.
1. Nurse Practitioner
Registered nurses are in demand, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expecting opportunities for these frontline healthcare workers to increase by 12% from 2018 to 2028. Job growth for nurse practitioners (NPs) is expected to be 26% during the same period, per the BLS.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have obtained a master of science in this field. Nurse practitioners are qualified to be primary healthcare providers to patients. They may assess a patient’s health, send patients for medical tests, refer patients to specialists, and determine how to treat their condition. Nurse practitioners are also authorized to prescribe medication.
Nurse practitioners typically earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree before obtaining their nursing license and pursuing graduate studies. The BLS reports these healthcare professionals earned a median annual income of $115,800 as of May 2019 while registered nurses took home $73,300.
There are also several kinds of Nurse practitioners. Most NPs specialize in a particular age group or discipline, such as; Psychiatric NP, Pediatric NP, Acute care NP among many others. There’s also the option of becoming a Family Nurse practitioner.
So, while Nurse practitioners specialize in a specific age group, Family Nurse practitioners (FNPs) work across various specialties and age groups. Becoming an FNP doesn’t mean you have fewer or different responsibilities to a Nurse practitioner. You have the same authority as NPs do, even across all of their various disciplines.
As well as being able to serve an incredibly diverse patient pool, FNPs have the flexibility to work in a variety of healthcare settings that aren’t always open to NPs. To name just a few of these environments; primary care, public health, school health, and women’s health, among others. Having the option to work in these places means that FNP work hours coincide with traditional working hours that mirror the setting they are working in.
These days, nurses can also do a large majority of their studying online with universities like Victoria University Online, meaning no textbook fees and the ability to learn around their schedule.
2. Medical Scientist
Medical scientists prepare for their careers by studying life sciences. After they earn their undergraduate degree, they pursue graduate studies. Common Ph.D. options include studies to become a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.D.M.).
Medical scientists contribute to the healthcare industry by creating medical devices and running drug trials. Medical scientists who work for companies such as Roivant Sciences focus on identifying medications to treat diseases effectively. They emphasize using technology to streamline the process of evaluating drugs and reducing the cost of developing medications.
The BLS reported the median annual salary for medical scientists was $88,790 in May 2019. The anticipated job growth for medical scientists is 8% from 2018 to 2028, which is higher than the expected average job growth rate for all occupations.
3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists
You can become a diagnostic medical sonographer, or cardiovascular technologist or technician by earning a certificate or associate’s degree. The BLS expects job opportunities for these healthcare workers to increase by 14% from 2018 to 2028, and reports their May 2019 median annual income was $68,750.
Diagnostic medical sonographers use medical equipment to generate diagnostic images of a person’s tissue and organs. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians may perform cardiac catheterization on patients and assist with open-heart surgeries.
While myocarditis research strives to prevent heart failure, cardiovascular technologists and technicians can perform tests and assist with procedures that may be required if a myocarditis patient’s condition deteriorates.
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians may also work as pulmonary function technologists, who focus on assessing whether a patient’s lungs are functioning correctly.
4. Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists need an associate’s degree. After two years of study, these healthcare workers can enjoy a median annual salary of $61,300, per the BLS. They work with patients with breathing issues. They may perform tests to determine if their condition has reduced a patient’s lung capacity.
It’s common for respiratory therapists to work with patients with emphysema or asthma and teach patients how to use devices to improve their ability to breathe.
The BLS expects respiratory therapists will see a 21% rate of job growth from 2018 to 2028.
5. Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapy assistants can earn a median annual income of $61,510, and the BLS expects opportunities for these healthcare workers to increase by 33% from 2018 to 2028.
Occupational therapy assistants help patients complete exercises designed to improve or restore their motor skills. They may work with people who have suffered a stroke and need to relearn how to write or button clothing.
They may also work with individuals with disabilities to help them improve their fine motor skills. Occupational therapy assistants teach patients how to use assistive devices, update patient files, and report observations and concerns to an occupational therapist.