Many people who want to jump into the healthcare profession are not particularly interested in nursing, where the work can be backbreaking, very dramatic or very dull. It can also involve internal medicine, which may not be your cup of tea.
So, what do you do? If you’re looking for rewarding work, but don’t really care for the sight of blood or have worries about the heavy lifting involved in nursing, try these technical job ideas out for size. After all, income levels for peripheral healthcare technicians, such as radiation therapist or sonogram technician, are holding up well, because of the high demand training.
Here are some job ideas for smart folks who don’t necessarily care for a traditional job as a nurse or a doctor:
Hospitals and clinics still require office managers, who make vital decisions on allocating funds or whom to hire. Often these jobs involve community-wide budgeting decisions, simply because it is unwise for a hospital to invest a million dollars into the same piece of equipment a rival hospital down the block is also thinking of buying. Salaries for hospital administrators run from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the hospital’s size. Small clinics also require administrators, generally called office managers.
Biomedical engineers can earn up to $90,000 or more. The work involves a wide range of activities normally assumed to be project development, but the product may be diagnostic equipment or an improved prosthesis.
It is hard to overestimate the growth rate of engineers in the medical equipment. Many medical advancements occur in chemistry laboratories, but an increasing amount of support from engineers, who create a vast assortment of surgical equipment used by doctors, nurses and technicians.
A sonographer uses sound waves to take photos and videos of soft tissue, which makes it an invaluable device to monitor the development of a fetus in the womb or the health of a patient’s heart.
But this is more than just taking pictures. Sonographers must know what to look for and how to measure movement — breathing or heartbeats, for example. Earnings for sonographers can be around $65,000 or higher.
Radiation therapists are on the front lines in the battle to control and eliminate cancer, which requires operating complex equipment to make precise, strategic radiation treatments. It requires either a two-year or a four-year degree in radiation therapy and working in a hospital or a specialized cancer facility—the pay averages around $75,000 per year.
Behind the scenes in healthcare, the landscape is cytotechnologists, a field expected to have high demand in the coming years. A cytotechnologist, essentially, studies cells and plays a vital role in early diagnosis of different illnesses. Especially with the growing concern over cancer in the past five decades, the importance of early detection of illnesses has become a focus within the medical community, making a cytotechnologist an indispensable member of the healthcare system.
The role of social workers in medicine has grown in recent years. The job entails a wide range of interventions that involve patients in hospitals who may require ongoing support when they are discharged for issues related to addiction, diet, age, the home environment and various psychiatric conditions.
Emergency medical technician
If you’d like a job high in drama and rewards, try working as an emergency medical technician, a job that also appeals to those who like a lot of different types of challenges in their work.
Providing emergency services can be rewarding and it can be very dramatic and shocking, especially when responding to a violent incident, such as a car crash or a shooting. EMT work requires a sober attitude, but also an ability to relate to patients as they are brought to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
Biomedical equipment technician
If you prefer to work with machinery, instead of patients, remember all of the new gadgets in hospitals, clinics, dental offices and the like, need to be kept calibrated and in top working order. As such, a growing army of technicians is needed to maintain and fix a wide variety of sophisticated medical devices, making this a great job for technically-minded folks who prefer to leave the hands-on work with patients to someone else.