Many people have an interest in science and medicine but do not wish to go through the lengthy and costly process of becoming a physician, or simply do not wish to work that closely with patients. There are many professions in healthcare that people often overlook, mostly because they are done behind the scenes at a medical facility or in a laboratory setting. Here are five other medical professions to consider.
1. Medical Coder
A medical records coder does the important job of making sure that the correct diagnosis and procedure codes go on a patient’s chart for insurance claims and patient billing. In addition to having excellent attention to detail, medical coders must be familiar with medical terms as well as the regulations of the insurance industry. Most medical coders have at least a certification or associate degree and can expect to work in an office setting.
2. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants help with a wide variety of tasks alongside doctors and nurses. They may do everything from drawing blood, administering vaccinations, and performing testing, to updating patient records, bills, and insurance forms. Their medical training may consist of obtaining a professional certification or completing a college degree program. For example, someone seeking to be a medical assistant may complete an online certificate or other coursework, and then get hands-on training in the workplace. The most successful medical assistants are excellent multi-taskers who are great with patients.
3. Operating Room Technician
Operating room technicians perform duties to help prepare the operating room for surgeries. This may include sterilizing equipment, setting up tools, and preparing the patients themselves to enter the operating room. Steps to becoming a surgical technologist vary by state but usually include completing a two-year degree in surgical technology and obtaining a certification. Technicians may also assist the surgeon during the procedure, so those who get nervous around bodily fluids may want to look for a career elsewhere.
4. Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical engineers help develop new equipment and software to be used in a medical setting. These devices may include:
- Artificial hip and limb replacements
- Ingredients to be used in pharmaceuticals
- Software used by surgeons in the operating room
Biomedical engineers generally do not work directly with patients as much as most who work in the medical field, making this a good option for someone who is more introverted or who prefers working behind the scenes. To become a biomedical engineer, most people complete a bachelor’s or graduate degree in biomedical engineering, bioengineering, or a related field.
5. Physician Assistant
A physician assistant differs from a medical assistant in that they perform patient examinations, prescribe medications, and manage patient treatment, just as a doctor would do. However, the training that physician assistants go through is much shorter than that of a physician. To make up for this difference in training, assistants work under the supervision of a doctor, even when they see a patient without the supervising doctor.
Consider one of these professions if you are interested in the medical field.