At some point, it seems all children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. If you were never sure of the answer, but somehow knew that you would be most satisfied doing something that helps others, a career in healthcare could be precisely what you’re looking for.
Your desire to help other people may actually benefit you. Psychology Today suggests that helping others fixes a higher happiness set point. The happiness set point theory says that a human’s level of well-being (happiness) is primarily determined by heredity and personality traits that were ingrained during early life. Researchers have found, though, that a person can raise their happiness set point by focusing on helping others.
As jobs in other fields disappear, healthcare jobs are on the rise. Opportunities in healthcare and health technology will continue to be strong for years to come, according to heathcarecareers.org.
Becoming a doctor is an obvious choice for helping people, but medical school is not for everyone. Fortunately, there are a number of other avenues you can take that will lead you to a career in healthcare.
As a registered nurse you would directly treat patients, help educate them and provide emotional support to patients and their family members. A registered nurse is often the first person on the job, and the first to get to know a patient’s history and symptoms. You would most likely be the professional a patient would turn to for answers and encouragement. Nursing is a life-changing career for anyone with a passion for healthcare and helping others.
As a pharmacy technician you would deal with people when they’re either sick or trying to maintain health. It would be your job to help licensed pharmacists provide medication and health care products to patients who need them. Routine tasks include the preparation of medicine, including properly labeling bottles and counting tablets or capsules. You have options when it comes to learning this job. You can either attend class in person or learn to be a pharmacy technician online. For a people-person, working as a pharmacy technician allows you to be a comforting voice during what might be a stressful time for a patient.
While the idea of drawing blood and transporting it to a laboratory for analysis may not appeal to everyone, it is exactly what a phlebotomist does. A great phlebotomist is calm, compassionate and can make the act of drawing blood seem effortless. If you’re someone who can soothe a crying child or calm a nervous adult, this may be the perfect career fit for you.
A physical therapist helps restore function and relieve pain in those who suffer from injury or disease. Pain can change a patient’s quality of life and even impact their personality. As a physical therapist you would have the ability to help them regain normal function and to encourage patients as they are on the road to recovery. You would also help patients with permanent conditions find adaptations that make their lives easier, thereby changing a person’s entire life.
Sonographers direct high-frequency sound waves into areas of a patient’s body in order to generate an image that will be assessed for a variety of medical issues. In one day you may do everything from looking for a blocked artery to helping parents determine the sex of their unborn child. No two days are alike in the life of a sonographer. If you like variety and can deal with a myriad of different patient personalities, this career can use someone like you.
Radiation therapists are part of a medical radiation oncology team, working primarily with cancer patients by administering radiation at targeted cancer cells. As a radiation therapist you would work with patients at one of the toughest times of their life. A compassionate nature and professional attitude are both required for such a position.
A dietitian can work in many settings, including: hospitals, schools and nursing homes. As a trained dietitian it would be your job to plan food and nutrition programs for the population you’re working with and to supervise the preparation and delivery of meals. Dietitians change lives by recommending dietary changes that can help people live a longer, healthier life.
Healthcare jobs are here to stay. It’s just a matter of finding the one that speaks to you and investigating what it will take to get you there.
Guest Post by Chuck Flint.
Chuck teaches Pilates and writes about health and wellness from his beachside home in California.
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