Which healthcare or wellness profession is right for you? That’s a question many people are asking themselves as the industry continues to grow.
There are many healthcare and wellness professions to choose from, each with its own unique set of benefits and challenges. The important thing is to find the career that best suits your personality and interests.
Some healthcare and wellness professionals work directly with patients, while others specialize in research or management. No matter what field you choose, it’s essential to be passionate about your work and committed to helping others. Here are some of the most common healthcare and wellness professions to consider.
Physicians & Surgeons
As a physician or surgeon, you’ll be responsible for treating patients who are suffering from injuries or illnesses. These careers have many sub-specialties, including dermatology, geriatrics, cardiology, psychiatry, orthopedics, and more. Some choose to work in an office, while others opt for the hospital.
Physicians and surgeons enjoy a rewarding career that can be emotionally and financially fulfilling. However, the path to becoming a doctor is long and demanding, making it a tough choice for many people.
A dental hygienist performs various tasks such as cleaning teeth, educating patients on how to improve their oral health, and taking x-rays.
Dental hygienists must complete a two-year degree at an accredited dental hygiene school. If you’d like to advance your career, consider becoming a dental assistant, which requires an additional year. The dental assisting program usually includes courses in business and medical assisting.
There are many benefits to becoming a dental hygienist, including a predictable work schedule, a competitive salary, and the opportunity for advancement. However, you’re not going to have much contact with patients — something that can be tough if you’re used to working directly with people.
As a nurse, you’ll provide direct patient care under the supervision of a physician or other healthcare professional. Nurses can specialize in many areas. Some nurses work as case managers or patient care coordinators to help patients transition from hospital to home.
To become a registered nurse, you’ll need at least an associate degree, plus you’ll need to take the NCLEX-RN exam. If you want to advance your career or become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, consider earning a master’s degree in nursing (MSN).
Nurses enjoy many benefits in addition to job security and competitive pay. You’ll work directly with patients, making the career emotionally satisfying for many people. Nurses tend to be very independent, but you’ll also have opportunities for advancement.
A physical therapist evaluates, treats, and helps prevent injuries. They also educate patients on how to continue improving their physical health at home.
Physical therapists enjoy high job satisfaction because they help patients overcome physical challenges and improve their quality of life. You may even get to work with one or more family members simultaneously, making the career an excellent fit for many parents who want to balance work and family.
However, the career is physically demanding and can be tough on your body if you don’t know what you’re doing. In addition, the demand for therapists far exceeds supply, making it a competitive job market.
Pharmacists are responsible for filling prescriptions and providing information about medications to patients. They must have a thorough knowledge of drug interactions, side effects, and dosage information.
If you want to become a pharmacist, you’ll need to complete a four-year degree in pharmacy from an accredited school. You’ll also need to pass the Pharmacy Licensing Exam.
Pharmacists can work in different settings, such as hospitals, retail pharmacies, and clinics. They enjoy a stable career with good pay and job security. They also have the opportunity to help patients improve their health and well-being.
Nutritionists and Dietitians
A nutritionist or dietitian evaluates a patient’s eating habits, recommends healthy alternatives, and educates patients on maintaining their health long-term.
Much like pharmacists, the demand for nutrition specialists far exceeds the number of qualified people to fill these positions. Becoming an expert in your field can take many years of education and experience.
The career isn’t all about nutrition — you’ll also need to communicate with patients, making good bedside manners a must-have skill. If you enjoy working directly with people and helping them improve their health, this profession may be right for you.
So, which healthcare or wellness profession is right for you? Each of these professions has its unique benefits and drawbacks. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, consider talking to professionals in each field to get a better idea of what they do day-to-day. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to try out a few different careers and see which one feels the best.