5 Major career paths in healthcare

greysanatomy According to Forbes Magazine, the expansion of healthcare to more Americans will bring the need for more professionals in health fields to provide the highly skilled knowledge for diagnosis and treatment. A number of fields are in serious need of more workers. If you are considering a career in healthcare, consider these essential areas of practice.

Nurses

Nurses are in high demand because while healthcare services are expanding, many nurses are retiring after years in their careers. The need for trained nurses will continue for some time. Nursing is a profession that offers many opportunities for greater training and career advancement into specialized fields with higher salaries. You can earn a variety of degrees for nursing, from a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing to a Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. The longer the investment in your education, the more you will likely earn after your degree.

Physician Assistants

More healthcare services will require greater attention from physicians, but the field of medicine attracts only a few and takes many years to complete. Physician assistants will be needed to fill in some of the gaps in the healthcare system. Physician assistants perform many of the basic tasks that doctors do and can free up doctors for more medically complex cases. This is a field that will continue to grow in importance in the coming years. In order to become a physician assistant, you must complete a bachelor’s degree, as well as a master’s physician assistant program. During your master’s program, you must also gain clinical experience in order to have a realistic opportunity of landing a job after your education.

Radiology

As a career field, radiology is continuing to evolve as more uses for this technology are developed. Radiologic imaging is a critical facet of the diagnostic process for a wide range of medical fields. Highly specialized techniques are often required for the new equipment and uses that are now being developed. Basic radiology technicians can increase their career potential with online schools for radiology, which offer the bachelor’s degree courses necessary to work in radiology. Beyond an undergraduate bachelor’s degree, you can also head to medical school for a four year degree to become a licensed physician. Another four years of radiology clinical residency follows, and then you can begin practicing as a radiology physician.

Sonographers

People trained in the use and analysis of sonograms will see greater opportunities as healthcare services became available to more people. Sonograms are used extensively in gynecological and obstetrical medicine. However, it is also helpful for diagnosing disorders of the abdomen, breast, cardiovascular system and neurological system. Individuals trained in this field will be prepared for opportunities in research, sales, teaching, administration and technical advising. Education for sonographers can range from a one-year certificate program to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Those without healthcare experience are likely to need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in order to practice.

Pharmacists

Pharmaceutical treatments are often the first line of treatment for many diseases and illnesses. The field of pharmacy requires in-depth knowledge of medications and their use in treatment. Pharmacists work in retail establishments, hospitals, in-patient clinics, nursing homes and a variety of other facilities. In addition, pharmacists can become involved in the teaching field, consulting for medical institutions and other medical establishments. Pharmacists are required to have a doctorate of pharmacy degree—a four-year graduate program that follows a two-year undergrad degree and a passing PCAT score.

As more technological innovations are used in the field of medicine, new career opportunities will continue to open up to those interested in the healing field.

Author: Anica Oaks