The world of healthcare is vast and ever-changing, offering many career opportunities beyond the traditional roles of doctors and nurses. Whether you have a passion for improving health and wellbeing, are looking for a fulfilling career change, or are exploring options within the healthcare field, this article is your guide to discovering some lesser-known yet highly rewarding healthcare careers.
Health Information Management (HIM)
Health Information Management (HIM) professionals are the custodians of healthcare data, ensuring that patient information is accurate, confidential, and accessible when needed. They bridge the gap between healthcare providers and technology specialists, translating healthcare needs into effective technology solutions.
Why Consider HIM?
Working in health information management offers a dynamic intersection of roles. HIM combines healthcare, technology, and data management, making it a unique and multidisciplinary field. The increasing reliance on electronic health records (EHRs) and data-driven healthcare has also elevated the demand for HIM professionals, so you know work will be available. Plus, HIM graduates can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and government agencies.
Path to Health Information Management
To embark on a career in health information management, consider pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in HIM or a related field, such as the programs offered by Ultimate Medical. After completing your degree, professional certifications such as the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) can enhance your career prospects.
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. They play a crucial role in helping physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Why Consider Radiologic Technology?
Radiologic technologists directly contribute to patient care by producing high-quality images for medical diagnoses. Also, compared to some other healthcare careers, radiologic technology programs can be completed relatively quickly, leading to quick entry into the workforce. Radiologists can enjoy diverse work settings, too. These technologists can work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient imaging centers, and even mobile units.
Path to Radiologic Technology
To become a radiologic technologist, you can complete an accredited radiologic technology program, typically resulting in an associate’s degree. After graduation, you’ll need to become certified in your specific imaging modality (e.g., X-ray, MRI, CT) by passing a certification exam.
Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. They provide respiratory treatments, administer oxygen therapy, and assist in emergencies such as cardiac arrest.
Why Consider Respiratory Therapy?
Consider this type of role if you want to spend time on direct patient care. Respiratory therapists work directly with patients to improve their breathing and overall health. They work with patients of all ages, too, from premature infants with respiratory distress to elderly individuals with chronic lung conditions. As with many other healthcare jobs, the demand for respiratory therapists remains stable, with opportunities in hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare settings.
Path to Respiratory Therapy
To become a respiratory therapist, you’ll need to complete an accredited respiratory therapy program, typically resulting in an associate’s degree. After graduation, you must pass a national certification exam to become a licensed respiratory therapist.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work with occupational therapists to help patients develop or regain the skills needed for daily living and working. They assist individuals with physical, developmental, or cognitive challenges.
Why Consider Occupational Therapy Assisting?
OTAs make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing various challenges. Plus, the demand for occupational therapy services is rising as the aging population increases. Occupational therapists also enjoy job variety. They can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and home healthcare settings.
Path to Occupational Therapy Assisting
To become an OTA, you’ll need to complete an accredited occupational therapy assistant program, typically resulting in an associate’s degree. After graduation, you must pass a certification exam to become a licensed OTA.
Dietitian or Nutritionist
Dietitians and nutritionists specialize in food and nutrition. They assess patients’ dietary needs, develop meal plans, and provide guidance on healthy eating to promote overall health and manage various medical conditions.
Why Consider Dietetics or Nutrition?
Dietitians and nutritionists play a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic diseases through dietary interventions. The importance of nutrition in healthcare is gaining recognition, too, leading to increased demand for these professionals. Furthermore, dieticians and nutritionists can work in diverse settings such as hospitals, clinics, schools, public health organizations, and private practice.
Path to Dietetics or Nutrition
To become a dietitian or nutritionist, you typically need at least a Bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutrition, or a related field. Many states also require dietitians to be licensed or certified. Consider pursuing additional credentials, such as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) certification, to enhance your career prospects.
While the healthcare field offers a wide array of career options, it’s important to explore beyond the well-known roles to discover hidden gems like the professions mentioned here.
If you’re considering a career change or looking to embark on a path that combines your passion for health and wellbeing with a fulfilling profession, these lesser-known healthcare careers may be just what you’ve been looking for.