What Can You Do in Health Science?
The healthcare industry is experiencing phenomenal growth, and to meet the demand for service providers in the health science field, colleges, and universities are educating students in order to fill the wide array of careers that healthcare provides. A health sciences degree is an example of a program that introduces students to interdisciplinary topics that apply to healthcare, but also focuses in on a specialty area that helps them hone their expertise. Health science degrees are available online for those who are changing careers or advancing, and need to continue working as they learn.
So, what can you do with a health science degree? There are numerous specialty areas available to consider. One might think of a hospital campus as a miniature city where every sort of worker can practice his or her trade. To follow this analogy, a health sciences degree provides the specific language needed to conduct business in that town. While skills may translate to other industries, the healthcare sector requires a specific understanding of medicine and patient care, and every healthcare worker works, in some way, to support its patients.
Where Do You Want to Work?
Since health science is such a broad field, you have a lot to choose from. Once you are sure where you want to work in the field, you can narrow down your options.
Where you prefer to spend your workdays can influence the type of work you would like to do. Some of the more common places for healthcare workers to be found include the following environments:
Environments for Health Science Workers
Within most of these places, the work is divided according to each person’s particular talents, interests and education. Some will work directly with patients as clinicians, others will spend time performing administrative or technology tasks and some may be in leadership roles in a school or governmental building. The possibilities are really endless for those in health sciences.
Those who want to work with patients and use a hands-on approach to healing and rehabilitation typically work in clinician roles. These specialists include the following:
Before you make the decision to work in one of these areas, make sure that you are fully aware of the environment you’ll be working in. Your specialty may bring you into close quarters with injury, disease, mental health issues, and bodily fluids including blood. For many of these professions you will need patience and a strong constitution. You may also deal with people who resist the advice of their caretakers and who may be difficult, at best.
Some people find that they are geared towards management positions, and might opt for a healthcare administration track. An administrator might work in a hospital, or in close proximity to the clinicians, but they still maintain a distance because they perform most of their work in an office or general headquarters. Administration can include a wide array of workers who help keep healthcare organizations running smoothly and efficiently. These areas of administration include the following:
Public Sector Roles
Some people like to take a bigger picture view of healthcare and might choose to work in public policy or in areas in the wider community. Many will work for government agencies, but also non-profits, government contractors and even traditional healthcare environments such as hospitals. If this sounds like you, you might consider the following career tracks:
Advantages of a Health Science Degree
When you earn a degree in the health sciences, you may find there are several positions to choose from, and several ways to earn your degree.
For those who are unsure of which path to take upon entering college, health science can provide a solid background and basic education and then focus on a specific industry that will likely need your talents.
When you are able to show an employer that you have devoted your education to the industry, they are likely to be impressed. While all clinicians need to choose a specialty or a focus, administrative and IT professionals will be rewarded when they show that they are educated in the business and technology sides of the healthcare industry, which may result in advancement opportunities later and increased salary once you do advance.
Which Degree Suits You
Getting a health science education starts a with a certificate, such as a pharmacy technician certificate, and then advances from the 2-year associate’s degree level all the way through the PhD or doctorate. Here’s a general run-down of degree types:
Healthcare offers so many opportunities that you are sure to find your calling somewhere in the industry. A health science degree can put you on the path to success for a lifetime. The time to get started is now, so start researching hybrid, classroom, and online degree programs today.