Alternative Careers in the Healthcare Field

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a nurse. I went to a technical school and went through a training program that split my time between health/business work and actual nursing training. In my senior year, I got to choose – health business or nursing. I chose business. Why? I realized nursing really wan’t for me. And thankfully I found that out before spending thousands of dollars on nursing school.
Finding Alternatives
That didn’t mean I wasn’t destined to work in healthcare, though. I still had a driving desire to help other people. I even went to EMT school, and then later (finally) to massage school. I have a keen interest in nutrition and exercise. I just don’t want to be a doctor or a nurse.
This isn’t an uncommon problem. What I’ve found is that there are tons of opportunities out there for those with varying skill sets – and yes, I do still mean within healthcare.
Alternative Careers in Healthcare
Art Therapists get to work in a medium the love – with art – while helping others with their mental health issues. They still have to go to school to become licensed therapists, but they receive the training necessary to combine the visual arts with their therapy models. You’ll be in school for about 6 years, but this is a growing field.
Home Health Aides don’t necessarily have to be nurses. Your tasks will depend on what was requested by the family. Some have to simply act as companions while others have to help their patients dress, bathe, or use the bathroom. You might cook, drive your client to the store, or even just read a book. You won’t make treatment decisions, though you will be expected to perform emergency care if it becomes necessary.
Health IT jobs are becoming easier to find as well. If you love computers and already have basic certifications, adding a healthcare IT certification shouldn’t be too difficult. You can help in doctor’s offices, within hospital networks, and in any area where privacy and security are combined with a tech need. You can search here, at HealthITJobs, and on other sites to see how many opportunities are out there.
What other options are out there? It would take days for me to list them all. Some others include:

  • Dental education
  • Athletic training
  • Environmental specialist
  • Forensic pathology
  • Geriatric pharmacist
  • Occupational health
  • Social work
  • Respiratory therapy

And these are still just a handful of the options out there. Think outside box and consider the things you really like and are good at. There is probably an area of the healthcare world that could use your skills. You just need to find it.

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