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Exploring Heath Professions

There are man different occupations that are considered health professions. If you are a student who is interested in pursuing a career in a health professions field but have not yet chosen a specific field, you are encouraged to explore all of your options.

To explore your health profession options, begin with a broad list of potential health-related careers. Narrow down the list by crossing out careers that do not interest you. Research the occupations that you have not crossed out to be able to eliminate more occupations. Once you have your list narrowed down to a number that is manageable for you, complete more intense research in the remaining professions to help you select your future career field.

Job title and job responsibilities within the heath care industry vary by country. Therefore, it is important to obtain a list of health professions from the country where you intend to work before starting the process of elimination.

Below is a list of common health professions in the United States. Students who plan to work in the United States can use this list to help them narrow down their occupational choices.

Anesthesia Technician

Athletic Trainer

Audiologist

Billing Specialist / Coding Specialist

Biomedical Equipment Repair Technician

Clinical Laboratory Technician

Counselor / Psychologist / Psychologist

Creative Therapist (Art Therapists, Dance Therapists, Music Therapists, etc.)

Dental Assistant

Dental Hygienist

Dietitian / Nutritionist

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Environmental Health Specialist

Health Care Administrator

Health Educators

Health Information Administrator

Home Health Aide

Hospital Social Workers

Massage Therapist

Medical Administrative Assistant / Medical Secretary

Medical Assistants

Medical Receptionist

Medical Records Technician

Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Writer

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Practitioner

Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Optician

Optometry Technician

Optometrist

Paramedic

Patient Advocate

Pharmacist

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmaceutical Sales

Phlebotomist

Physician

Physicians Assistant

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapy Assistant

Podiatrist

Practical Nurse (LPN)

Radiologic Technologists

Recreational Therapist

Registered Nurse (RN)

Rehabilitation Counselor

Respiratory Therapist

Speech Language Pathologist

Surgeon

Surgical Technician

Ultrasound Technician

Veterinarian

Veterinary Assistant



The list above is a great place to begin exploring your options for career in the medical field. If you are interested in becoming a health professional but are uncertain of which one to pursue, take the list and then eliminate the careers that you are not interested in and then research the rest.

One resource you might want to look at when researching health-related professions is the Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/bls/topicsaz.htm). The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a United States government resource that provides basic information for a great deal of careers.

Another excellent resource for exploring health professions is professional organizations. For example, if you were interested in the field of physical therapy, you could do a Web search for physical therapy professional organizations. In that search you would find the American Physical Therapy Association (http://www.apta.org/). When reviewing that website you would find the career and education section, which provides a great deal of information about the physical therapist and physical therapy assistant professions.

Once you have narrowed your list down to a manageable number of potential careers you can do more comprehensive research. This comprehensive research may include activities such as reading books about the career, networking with professionals working in the field, conducting informational interviews, and shadowing a professional.

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