Exploring Medical Field Options - Part 2

Posted by

I began in part one of this article looking at some of the medical field opportunities that are not often the most common ones people think of when considering a medical career. When people think of medical careers, especially people without much history or knowledge in the medical field, they tend to think of doctors and nurses, or other fields that require lengthy education to acquire. However, as I stated last time, there are so many other jobs that are all equally important, and many that require less education than you might think. Last week we covered ultrasound, and radiology, this week I would like to look at some others.


I personally have worked many years in various positions in the medical field, but my wife has worked steadily in the medical field for over twenty-five years, and so she is my inside source for most of this information.


Respiratory therapy seems to be one of the careers offering a hiring bonus lately, which is always a nice perk. In this field.  Technicians work closely with doctors and nurses in the intensive care units taking care of ventilators and oxygen delivery devices. They are also responsible for taking blood samples from arteries, not veins, to check oxygen levels in the blood. As is the case with most medical jobs, there are special schools for this, as well as a registry after school is over. It is always important to seek getting registered as soon as you are eligible. Some positions are only open to registered techs, and the pay is a bit more if you are registered.


Physical therapy is another important career in healthcare. Physical therapists will help people who have injured themselves, or have just had surgery. Maybe you have known someone who has injured their back, and needs physical therapy to help restore movement in that area. My wife’s father had a knee replacement recently, and he had physical therapy to help him restore movement in his knee. Again a special school is required, as well as licensure when school is over.


When you go to the hospital to have blood drawn, you will encounter two job specialties; the medical laboratory technologist and the medical laboratory technician. The technologist will have a bachelor’s degree, and perform more difficult analysis and procedures, while the technician will usually have an associate’s degree, and be supervised by the technologist. In this career field, the technologists will be paid more, but both can be certified or registered.


One more field I would like to introduce you to is that of the surgical technologist. Doctors cannot perform surgeries alone, and this is where the surgical tech comes in. If being an actual surgeon is not for you, or is a long time off in your education, but you would like to assist doctors in the operating room, then this is the job for you. For me personally, I can only imagine what things you might see in an operating room, and hopefully you have the constitution to avoid getting “grossed out.”


All of these fields have schools of their own, so when you are thinking about a medical career do some checking around. Actually, the amount of medical knowledge is a bit more these days because of the vast amount of medical based shows on television. If these types of shows interest you enough to pursue a vocation in this field, then begin to pay close attention to the positions portrayed on the shows that are not doctors or nurses. Ask friends and relatives, or look up jobs to see which one might be best for you. Are you more of a people person, or not? Some jobs like the physical therapist will have a lot of patient interaction, while a medical laboratory technologist will not. Are you detail oriented? Do you like anatomy? Do you like chemistry? Do you just want to help people? These are all important questions to ask yourself when looking into a career so that you will be happy with your final career choice. The medical field is a good choice, just be sure you pick the right job for you.


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Jeffrey McCormack
    Jeffrey McCormack
    Karen, the article was written about the field in general, so no specific link is available. However, Beyond.com has a wide range of medical positions available. Be sure to check them out at http://www.beyond.com/jobs/job-search.asp?k=medical
  • Karen W
    Karen W
    Good article.  Would like more information on Radiology/Ultrasound careers which you alluded to in this article.  Would you e-mail a link to me?  Thanks!

Jobs to Watch