The health care industry is not just about doctors and nurses. While those two are certainly the more glamorous positions, health care is a massive business entity that needs people with varying kinds of abilities, education, and experience. Even with the increasing understanding that the health care system in America is badly in need of an overhaul, there will always be different career opportunities that can be exploited by those who do not possess a medical degree.
Doctors exist at the top of the heap of the health care industry. Whether a heart surgeon or a general practitioner, doctors can expect to make in excess of $100,000 a year. The price to be paid for making that kind of money can be steep, however. It takes many years of college to become a doctor and the hours can be long and the psychological impact of being around sick and dying people can be taxing.
Nursing is the single largest occupational component in the health care industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses do not need as much education or training as physicians, but generally speaking they work longer hours. Nursing itself offers many career paths, including working with children, working with older patients, and specializing in assistance for terminal patients. More than anything, nursing requires an emotional strength that seeks to help those who need it most, while also having the ability to deal with constant pain and suffering going on around them. Although often considered underpaid for the demands put upon them, it must be noted that the median average wage for a registered nurse in 2007 was over $60,000.
Therapy is a vital part of the process of recovery in the health care industry. Therapists exist not just to get patients’ muscles back to normal again after injury or convalescence. Recreational therapists, for instance, help patients by involving them in sports and games. Occupational therapists assist patients in getting back up to speed so they can back to work. Speech therapists specialize in helping people learn to regain their vocal abilities after a brain injury or stroke.
Health Information Technicians
The health care industry is one of the largest producers of files and records in the country and keeping track of all this information is almost another industry of its own. Although they may not save lives on a daily basis, those who work as as health information technicians are just as vital. Medical charts, insurance forms, and treatment plans are handled by these professionals and if the information that is delivered is wrong or mishandled the results can be disastrous.