If you’re considering a career in medicine, it can be helpful to understand the different types of roles that are available. There are many paths to take, and each will have unique requirements, responsibilities, and job duties.
So how do you decide which path is right for you?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular medical careers and outline their basic requirements so that you can find the best fit for you.
1. Surgical Technician
A surgical technician is a medical professional who assists in the operating room and helps physicians and surgeons perform their duties.
Surgical technicians are responsible for setting up and maintaining equipment, preparing patients for surgery, cleaning instruments and equipment used during procedures, sterilizing equipment after use, and preparing specimens for pathology labs.
To become a surgical technician, you must complete an accredited program at an education facility that offers certificate programs in this field of study.
2. Laboratory Technician
A lab technician is someone who performs tests and analyses on samples of bodily fluids, tissues, or other materials in a laboratory. They are also known as clinical laboratory technologists or medical technologists.
Lab technicians can work in many different settings, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and research facilities. Most lab techs specialize in one area of testing, such as chemistry or microbiology.
To become a lab technician, you must complete an associate degree program at an accrediteduniversity before entering into an internship program at a hospital or medical facility.
3. Physical Therapist
Physical therapists treat people with injuries or illnesses that affect their movement and posture. They help patients restore movement, reduce pain and improve function.
Physical therapists work with people of all ages and all levels of ability in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and private practice settings.
4. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses (RNs) are healthcare professionals who have graduated from an accredited nursing school and passed the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed registered nurses.
They provide direct patient care, administer medications, assist doctors with procedures and surgeries, and help prevent disease.
To become an RN, you must complete a bachelor’s degree program in nursing that includes classroom instruction and clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed nurse.
5. Clinical Research
Clinical research is a branch of medical science that involves the study of human beings to understand the causes, treatments, and cures for disease.
Clinical research trials are conducted to test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and medical devices. Clinical research is important because it helps doctors and scientists find better ways to treat patients.
6. Community and Public Health
Community and public health professionals work in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and universities.
They may be involved with providing medical care or educating people about health issues. Some community and public health workers work with underserved populations such as migrant workers or refugees.
Community and public health professionals can earn a master’s degree in community or public health.
In addition to earning an advanced degree, some states require certification through organizations like National Board for Public Health Education before you can become licensed as an epidemiologist or other related profession.
7. Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists help people with injuries or illnesses to improve their ability to function at home and in the workplace.
Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities.
They may also work with individuals who have experienced trauma, such as an injury or illness that requires rehabilitation. The goal of occupational therapy is to restore independence through activities related to daily living such as bathing and dressing oneself; preparing food; doing laundry; and shopping for groceries.
Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who prepare, dispense and provide advice on medications.
Pharmacist careers are available in community pharmacies, hospitals, retail drug stores, and research facilities.
To become a pharmacist, you must complete a PharmD program and pass all examinations.
9. Physician Assistant (PA)
Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor.
They are trained to diagnose, treat and manage patients in all areas of medicine, including primary care, surgery, and emergency medicine.
In most cases, PAs work in collaboration with physicians to provide services such as physical exams; routine blood work; interpreting test results; educating patients about their condition(s); writing prescriptions for medications if needed; and advising on lifestyle changes.
There are many different types of medical careers. The ones we’ve discussed here are just a few examples of the many options available to you as an aspiring healthcare professional.
For information on one of the highest paying medical careers, read this article.