Throughout the ages, healthcare has been a very significant issue, and as more and more diseases are discovered and acquired, we cannot rely only on doctors and nurses to perform all health- related jobs. The rapid changing world had given birth to other medical careers, and their utmost importance has been acknowledged nowadays. As the demand for cure increases, technology also advances, and the need for certain professionals to perform those tasks has greatly boomed. Individuals who have been practicing these medical careers usually work in collaboration with one another, with that single goal to improve quality of life and holistic wellness.
A medical assistant is a trained healthcare worker that assists physicians in tasks that they don’t have time to do themselves. Jobs of a medical assistant may include clerical works, taking patient’s medical history and vital signs, weighing, performing ultrasound or blood tests, giving medications and drawing blood. However, medical assistants are not allowed to prescribe medications. Certification may be acquired through vocational schools, community colleges, and online programs.
Xray technicians are important members of the medical team, and the demand for them has greatly increased. They are especially needed in hospitals and diagnostic centers to take and develop xray films of specific parts of the body. This aids doctors in diagnosing medical conditions or injuries. Trained xray technicians can also manipulate other equipments like CT(Computed Tomography) Scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and Mammogram. They can identify problem areas and refer them immediately to the radiologist or doctor, but they aren’t the ones who perform the official reading.
Pharmacy technicians may work at hospital pharmacies or independent pharmacies under the supervision of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians receive prescription requests, and after verifying them, they prepare the medications or healthcare supplies with appropriate labels. The products are then double checked by the pharmacist before being dispensed. In the event of absence of a pharmacy aide, pharmacy technicians may also perform administrative works in the pharmacy.
A certified surgical technologist is a part of the operating room team, together with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and registered nurse. Their jobs include ensuring proper functioning of equipments, preparing sterile instruments, drapes, and solutions, and passing instruments to the scrub nurse or surgeon during surgery. They are also involved in patient care before and after the operating procedure. They should have appropriate knowledge of aseptic technique, and may undergo training to acquire certification, diploma, or associate’s degree.
Education for an ultrasound technologist may range from 2-4 years of study, choosing from basic certification, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. The work of an ultrasound technologist involves the use of sound waves to provide images of internal organs in the abdomen, brain, eyes, and heart. This can help check proper functioning of these organs which aids physicians in their medical diagnoses. However, the most common work of an ultrasound technologist is in Obstetrics, including monitoring of fetal status and positioning in the mother’s womb.
To work as a dental hygienist, one must acquire a diploma, associate, or bachelor’s degree, and a license. Dental hygienists assess patient’s history and may take dental pictures through xray to provide clinical findings to be interpreted by the dentist. Common tasks of a dental hygienist include prophylactic cleaning of teeth, removing tartar and plaques, application of fluorides, root planning for patients with periodontal diseases, and provision of teachings for proper maintenance of oral health including oral care, diet, and hygiene. Depending on State jurisdiction, dental hygienists are sometimes allowed to administer anesthetics, place filling materials and dressings, and remove sutures.
A dental assistant is responsible for scheduling patients’ appointments, obtaining and keeping records, ordering dental supplies, and sterilizing instruments to be used by the dentist. They are also involved in patient’s care during procedures, maintaining the patient’s mouth dry and clear by suctioning secretions, ensuring patient’s comfort in the dental chair, preparing materials for impressions, and passing instruments to the dentist. They may also remove sutures and excess cement, place dental dams, apply topical anesthetics, and provide postoperative oral health teachings.
Qualification to be a physical therapist involves a minimum of 4 years of education, and sometimes a post-baccalaureate degree is even required. Physical therapists often work in collaboration with other members of the heath care team. They examine and diagnose individuals of all ages who have limited movements and functions, which may have been affected by medical conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, sprains, and fractures, among others. They aim to restore body functions and prevent disability by planning treatment programs, which may include therapeutic exercises and the use of assistive devices and equipments.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurse (LPN) may acquire training through technical and vocational schools, and community or junior colleges for a period of about a year. LPNs work under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse and cannot perform assessments, but may collect patient’s data and report untoward manifestations; may perform routine, unchanging procedures like catheterizations, tube feedings, laboratory tests, wound care; administration of medications in stable patients; and monitoring of vital signs, intake and output.
Under the supervision of a physician, a physician’s assistant is a licensed medical practitioner who is trained to diagnose and provide treatments to certain medical conditions, assist in surgeries, and prescribe medications. They obtain medical histories, perform physical exams, order laboratory exams and interpret them, suture, splint, or cast minor injuries, counsel patients, and refer them to specialists as necessary.
Also referred to as respiratory care practitioners, respiratory therapists are professionals responsible for treatment and care of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders, ranging from stroke, heart attack, asthma, emphysema, drowning, and shock, as well as supervising respiratory therapy technicians. They conduct diagnostic tests, examine a person’s ph level, measure lung capacity, and draw arterial blood gas samples, after which all of those information are to be relayed to the physician, and together they create and modify treatment plans.
A speech pathologist is an expert whose function is to diagnose and treat speech, language, and communication problems of an individual. These may be related to stuttering, swallowing difficulties, voice problems, impaired speech sounds, and attention and memory deficits, commonly manifested by sufferers of stroke, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and physical deformations like cleft lip and palate. The goal is to assess speech, language, and cognition problems, and from then execute treatment modalities to develop better communication skills which may include sign language, automated devices, and compensatory strategies for individuals with very poor speech capabilities.
An occupational therapist helps improve patients’ motor and intellectual skills and ability to perform activities of daily living. They particularly aid those who are physically, emotionally, and mentally disabled to foster independence and achieve productivity. They aim to restore optimal functioning and may demonstrate the use of adaptive equipments at home or at the work place for those who have permanent loss of function, with the goal of helping them make the most of their remaining abilities and achieve self satisfaction.
Also known as renal dialysis technician, a dialysis technician operates the dialysis machine. This machine does the job of removing excessive fluids and waste products from the blood of the patient whose kidneys have been incapacitated to perform excreting functions. The dialysis technician works under direct supervision of the physician or registered nurse, and their jobs include patient monitoring during dialysis treatment such as taking weight and vital signs; sterilization, maintenance, or repair of the machines; and client teachings.
Athletic Trainers have a much wider scope of duties than one might expect. For example, other than specializing in conditioning and rehabilitation, Athletic Trainers also collaborate with physicians to prevent disease and keep patients active. Athletic Trainers also work in a wide variety of schools including high schools, universities and more. As an Athletic Trainer you have a wide variety of options ranging from working with sports teams to treating injured patients.
A Social Worker is a professional that specializes in mental health, quality of living, teaching and many other practices. Unlike many medical careers, Social Work requires an ongoing education. However, before anyone begins a career as a social worker, they require a degree in Social Work. Also, many Social Workers must carry a license as well.
Emergency Medical Technician
Emergency Medical Technicians (or EMTs) are the first responders of the medical world. But EMTs don’t just drive ambulances. In fact, they have a wide variety of jobs. For example, many emergency rescue squads have EMTs. Also, some police and fire departments use EMTs as part of their team. Their training enables them to determine the state of a patient and what kind of emergency treatment they need.
Nurse Practitioners (or NPs) are some of the highest level Nurses in the world. In fact, a Nurse Practitioner can act as a person’s primary provider of healthcare. Becoming a Nurse Practitioner is a big endeavor. To become a Nurse Practitioner you must be licensed through your state and hold a degree as a Master of Nursing.
Lack of awareness of the existence of these medical careers has made these jobs highly in demand. More and more facilities will need them in time, and certainly more job opportunities and greater salaries await those professionals today and in the near future.