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It’s not unusual to work in the same industry for years, and then suddenly decide you want a change. There are several reasons why you might want to do something new and exciting. Feeling like you’ve progressed as far as you can go or becoming bored and unchallenged. Or, wanting to do something more meaningful with your career are all valid reasons.
Healthcare is a popular field to move into, mainly because there are so many different roles within the industry. From the medical side of things to more administrative work, there’s a vast amount of variation.
If you’ve been thinking that a caring role is what you’re looking for, but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve rounded up five of the best healthcare careers to inspire you.
A nurse midwife is someone who specializes in pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum issues. It is a great healthcare career for parents who want to help others take on this new journey.
They spend their working days preparing mothers for the birthing process, educating them on breastfeeding and other maternal issues. They also perform examinations and run medical tests.
Midwives are a great source of support and care during labor and delivery and take care of women and babies during the postpartum period. To qualify as a nurse midwife, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master of Science in nursing (MSN).
You’ll also be required to possess a current RN license, and have a year or more of experience in a labor and delivery unit under your belt.
Dietician and Nutritionist
The role of dietician and nutritionist is incredibly important and plays a large part in the health and wellbeing of people of all ages. Their work is extremely varied. They provide general advice and counseling on specific food groups and nutrition, but they also help people to create diet plans for serious medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, lactose intolerance, allergies, and heart disease.
It usually takes place in a hospital or doctors office, but they can work in other places too. Places like specific weight-loss clinics, fitness centers, and nursing homes. In addition, they also work in schools and colleges to educate young people on the benefits of healthy eating, and can sometimes be found providing advice to sports teams on how best to fuel their bodies for the best performance.
Dieticians can also find work within governmental sectors, advising on policy development, and taking part in in-depth research into nutrition.
To work as a dietitian or nutritionist, you’ll need to complete a lengthy period of study. This usually starts with a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). When you’re choosing your course, make sure the Accreditation Council will approve any coursework you do for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
While you’re studying, you’ll get the chance to work under the guidance of a registered dietician. This will give you some much-needed field experience to add to your CV.
Once you’ve completed your initial study, moving on to a Master’s degree is a great idea. You’ll also need to pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam to become fully licensed and able to work as a registered dietician.
Family Nursing Practitioner
This is the ideal healthcare career for anyone who wants to provide a well-rounded care package. A family nursing practitioner is an advanced level nurse who delivers long-term family-focused care. This can mean anything from health promotion and disease control to preventative care and counseling.
Their work can take place in a variety of locations, from doctors offices and ambulatory clinics to schools, private homes and hospitals, and their days are usually varied.
The training to become an FNP is extensive; you’ll need to first graduate as a Registered Nurse (RN) and spend several years working in this field, before taking part in a Master’s degree in Nursing or a specific FNP Postgraduate qualification. The postgraduate courses can either be studied at a physical college or by taking part in online post masters FNP programs.
The role of an occupational therapist is an incredibly important one as they provide vital day-to-day care and support for anyone who has experienced a life-changing injury or stroke, suffers from a disability or is having trouble getting to grips with the limitations of getting older.
They show patients how to adapt to their new situations. Everything from physical movements, eating, and mobility to organizing their days and using technology. They can be found working in various locations such as schools, hospitals, doctors offices, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.
To train as an occupational therapist, you’ll need to complete a Bachelor’s degree, and then a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. You’ll also need a period of work experience. Plus, you’ll be required to pass the Occupational Therapy Registered (OTR) exam.
Speech-language pathologists provide vital care within the community to anyone struggling with communication for a variety of reasons. They work to help treat patients with physical speech problems such as lisps, stutters and voice resonance. Many also assist with feeding and swallowing difficulties following an injury, stroke, or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, they work with people who have social communication difficulties who struggle with both verbal and non-verbal communication. This can be due to conditions such as Autism and ADHD, or following a severe brain injury.
There is also the opportunity to work in research into human communication, and even in counseling and support.
Anyone looking to work as a speech-language pathologist will need to study first at the undergraduate level; a Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences or related field is perfect, but you can do something more generalized and then specialize later on.
While you’re working towards this healthcare career degree, you’ll need to complete 25 clinic hours with a qualified SLP. This means spending time gaining work experience in a real-life setting.
Following on from that, you’ll need to earn your Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Just remember to make sure it’s accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).
You’ll also need to complete a clinical fellowship, which involves being mentored by a qualified SPL, pass the Praxis exam, and apply for a Certificate of Clinic Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.