What are Some Different Healthcare Jobs?

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  • Written By: M. DePietro
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2019
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Within the field of healthcare, there are dozens of career options to choose from. Some jobs involve working directly with patients while others help patients indirectly. Educational requirements for healthcare jobs vary also. Some healthcare jobs require only a few months of training while other jobs require a two or four-year college degree. Not only do different jobs have different duties and educational requirements, but those requirements may vary among countries. To find out specific experience and educational requirements for a healthcare job in a particular location, check with schools or licensing boards in that area.

Nursing may be one of the most well known healthcare jobs. Completing a two-year associate degree program is required to become a registered nurse in the US. US nurses then have to pass state boards. Nurses work in various departments of a hospital including pediatrics, obstetrics, and intensive care units.

There are many other healthcare jobs that involve patient care. Respiratory therapists treat and educate patients who have various types of breathing problems such as asthma. Therapists administer medication and perform other breathing treatments such as chest physiotherapy. In emergency situations, such as with patients who have life threatening injuries, respiratory therapists may need to place a person on a mechanical ventilator to assist with breathing.


Respiratory therapy programs usually are two to four years in length. After graduating from a program, therapists must pass a test to become licensed.

Occupational therapists also work directly with patients. They develop care plans to help a patient improve their ability to do daily living activities. They may work with patients with head injuries, stroke victims, or other types of impairments. For example, therapists may have patients do activities which improve fine motor skills.

A four-year degree is typically required to become an occupational therapist. Individuals interested in a quicker path into the career can go through the two-year associate degree program and become an occupational therapist assistant. Assistants work under the direction of a therapist, carrying out care plans.

Not all healthcare jobs require direct patient care. Lab technicians work with samples taken from patients. They analyze body fluids such as blood or tissue samples. This helps doctors determine a diagnosis and provide the proper treatment.

Programs to become a lab technician are usually two years and result in an associate degree. Four-year baccalaureate degree programs are also an option. Graduates from a four-year program are considered clinical laboratory scientists and perform more advanced lab procedures such as genetic testing.

Medical coders are another example of healthcare jobs that do not involve direct patient care. Codes are given to medical procedures, tests, conditions, and supplies by insurance companies. Medical coders review patient's charts to assign an appropriate code to all procedures and services. This allows doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to be paid by the insurance company. Training to become a medical coder is usually a few months.



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