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Exploring Heath Professions
There are great number of 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. (There are so many health professions that is impossible that none are missed. In addition, some occupations have more than one term that is used to describe it.) Students who plan to work in the United States can use this list to help them narrow down there occupational choices.
Billing Specialist / Coding Specialist
Biomedical Equipment Repair Technician
Clinical Laboratory Technician
Counselor / Psychologist / Psychologist
Creative Therapist (Art Therapists, Dance Therapists, Music Therapists, etc.)
Dietitian / Nutritionist
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Environmental Health Specialist
Health Care Administrator
Health Information Administrator
Home Health Aide
Hospital Social Workers
Medical Administrative Assistant / Medical Secretary
Medical Records Technician
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Physical Therapy Assistant
Practical Nurse (LPN)
Registered Nurse (RN)
Speech Language Pathologist
The list above is a great place to begin exploring your options for career in the medical field. 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 method for researching prospective health professions is to search for professional organizations for that career field. 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 searching 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, conducting informational interviews, and shadowing a professional.
Content copyright © 2013 by Susan D. Bates. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Susan D. Bates. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Susan D. Bates for details.
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