Careers of the future? Healthcare roles with tremendous potential

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The healthcare scene has undergone a total transformation over the past decade or so. An increasingly aging population coupled with advances in biomedical technology and a more efficient healthcare system has resulted in a vast array of new medical specialties.

Where earlier, students aspiring to join the healthcare field simply thought of becoming doctors and nurses with limited specialties to choose from, this is no longer the case. Today’s premeds have endless specialty options open to them, some of which are projected to be ‘careers of the future’ going by current trends. If you’ve not yet pinpointed the specialty you intend to pursue and are still exploring your options, consider these nine careers, which are on track to becoming the core of tomorrow’s healthcare.

Physician Assistant

A physician assistant is qualified to examine, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of licensed physician. As demands on doctors increase, physician assistants are playing a large role in paving the way for patients to receive timely care. PAs offer diagnostic advice, provide some preventative healthcare, and even take a look clinical testing results. With a continued global shortage of trained physicians, physician assistants are quickly becoming part of frontline medical care. Obtaining the education and licensing that will qualify you as a physician assistant takes about two years. Entry requirements vary for most programs, but many PAs are registered nurses or paramedics who have decided to switch over to this stream. This specialty is perfect for someone who has basic medical training and experience and is looking for a step up the ladder.

Healthcare IT Manager

Healthcare information technology managers take care of all the records, data collection and billing that is a huge part of any healthcare facility. While earlier this was all done manually, new technologies that have made things easier and more efficient requires qualified professionals with backgrounds in computer science and IT administration. With healthcare facilities all over the world doing away with manual record-keeping and investing in technology, the demand for qualified Healthcare IT managers is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Adding a Healthcare Administration degree to IT experience can act as a quick route into this field.

Paramedic

Paramedics are first on the scene in emergencies and disasters. They undergo special training in a wide range of first aid techniques and emergency treatments that enable them to care for patients at the site of the crisis till they get to a hospital. A current shortage of paramedics across Australia has put this specialty high on the list of healthcare careers with tremendous potential. A career as a paramedic or emergency medical technician is made all the more attractive by the fact that it requires only basic training that leads to certification. This job experience can pave the way for several other healthcare careers.

Radiologic Technician

Radiologic technicians are experts in operating highly advanced machines that use radiation to scan the human body. These professionals help physicians diagnose a range of diseases from cancer to respiratory issues. Radiological Technicians undergo specialised training that qualifies them to use high-tech radiation equipment, which could be potentially dangerous if not handled properly. Many technicians decide to pick up this skill after having some previous training in medical care.

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists use specialised techniques to help people find relief from pain, improve physical mobility and prevent long-term mobility restrictions resulting from accidents or disabilities. This is a very hands-on healthcare field that involves working with patients from across different age groups suffering from a wide range of conditions. A graduate degree in physiotherapy is the minimum qualification for this specialty but going on to complete a Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) offers several benefits such as better job potential as well as higher salaries. Physiotherapists work in diverse settings, from hospitals and private clinics to schools, sports teams, and long-term care facilities.

Clinical Research Administrator

Professionals who work in clinical research are dedicated to looking for new ways to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. This is a vital but very complicated process. Clinical Research Administrators make it easier for scientists to carry on their work by taking care of the numerous administrative and legal involved. Clinical research administration is a highly specialised field. Although relatively new, demand for professionals qualified in this specialty is growing rapidly. There are a few undergraduate and graduate programs that train students in the nuts and bolts of clinical research. If you are interested in research and have the necessary administration skills, this is an area that’s worth exploring in more detail.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help people to live more satisfying lives. They work with individuals who need assistance with developing routine skills or recovering skills that may be lost as a result of disability or injury. An occupation therapist’s job straddles several different areas from mental health to social work and education. A Master’s Degree is the minimum qualification required to work as an occupational therapist.

Pharmacist

A Pharmacist prepares and distributes drugs that are prescribed by doctors. It is not as simple as it sounds. The challenge in this career stems from the vast variety of drugs and treatments that are available. Adding to the challenge is the constantly changing regulations regarding medications. Pharmacists play key roles in treatment for diseases such as cancer and also in routine hospital care as well as scientific research. You will need to obtain a Pharmacy degree to work in this specialty.

Medical Tech or Laboratory Tech

Medical Technologists and Lab Technicians are responsible for performing testing (which is requested by doctors) to diagnose and treat patients. Getting these tests done involves using advanced technology and high-tech equipment. Med Techs undergo training in how to use this type of equipment. Earlier, becoming Med Techs could be done through a variety of degree programs, from biology to computer science. However, anyone wishing to work in this field today can enrol in any one of the many Medical Technology degree programs that focus on training students in highly specialised laboratory skills.

What’s your future healthcare career? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@gapmedics.com

Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.

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