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10 Careers to Explore in Healthcare and Medicine

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17 June 2021
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With the ongoing pandemic highlighting the vital role health and medical professionals play across our shared society, there’s an increased awareness of the career pathways in this sector.

Challenging, yes, but also incredibly rewarding. And with a myriad of opportunities and progression pathways to explore, it’s a sector that will set you up well for a sustainable and rich career journey.

Many people are clued up on the role of doctors and nurses in the sector, but what other roles are out there?

Let’s take a look!

10 Careers in Health Worth Exploring

Outside of nursing and being a doctor are what are often referred to as Allied Health Professionals. These roles fulfil a number of healthcare roles in specialist or niche areas that support the core jobs of nurses and doctors.

Australia’s 195,000 allied health professionals represent more than a quarter of the health workforce and deliver an estimated 200 million health services annually.

Here are ten roles worth looking to:

Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists diagnose and treat difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, and stuttering. They work with a broad range of people of all ages, including young children and older adults. Patients might seek a speech pathologist due to difficulty communicating because of developmental delays or learning difficulties, experiencing a stroke or brain injury, hearing loss, or other conditions that affect speech and language such as cerebral palsy or dementia.

Find out more through the Speech Pathology Australia website.

Psychologist

Psychologists study and support individuals experiencing a range of conditions related to how they engage with and perceive the world around them, including mental health conditions. Psychologists seek to understand human behaviour and help people change how they think, feel, behave and react. They tend to specialise in one core area of human behaviour and choose to work with a core group such as children and adolescents, adults with addiction, or community psychology.

Find out more through the Psychology Board of Australia.

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists are specialists in the structure of the human body, how it moves, our skeletal and muscular make-up. They typically work with a range of people across all age groups who might be experiencing difficulties with mobility following an injury and accident o surgery. They work to develop rehabilitation plans to support individuals to get back to full or improved mobility based on their individual experience and situation. They can also work with individuals experiencing a chronic health condition to help them adjust to their body’s changing condition.

Find out more through the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Dietician

Dietitians provide guidance on appropriately managing diets and nutrition for people affected by various health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and food allergies. They work with individuals to help them understand their specific dietary needs and adapt to nutritional plans that support healthy behaviours for their lifestyle and health conditions.

Find out more through the Dieticians Australia Website.

Prosthetist

Prosthetists – also known as orthotists – provide orthoses (splints and braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs) and associated clinical services to those who need them for mobility or rehabilitation purposes. They work with individuals to understand their situation and specific needs, alongside analysing and determining the equipment and prosthetics required to help them achieve their health and life goals.

Find out more through the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association website.

Radiographer

A radiographer is responsible for producing high-quality medical images to assist medical doctors in diagnosing, monitoring, and treat patients. Working as part of a diagnostic health team, radiographers are highly skilled individuals who operate advanced technical equipment, including MRI scanners (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography). Their work is instrumental in helping other medical professions deliver accurate diagnoses, develop treatment plans, and determine results.

Find out more through the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation. 

Chiropractor

Chiropractors diagnose and offer treatment for back pain and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In Australia, chiropractors work within a regulated segment of the healthcare system, helping individuals with a range of conditions, including acute or chronic back or neck pain, posture, chronic migraines or headaches, and poor mobility overall. They can work in partnership with other therapeutic and health professionals to provide rehabilitation plans to help individuals live a pain-free life.

Find out more through the Australian Chiropractors Association website.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists support overall health and wellbeing by enabling individuals and patients to participate in everyday activities. They generally work to support individuals with varying disabilities to identify and implement the resources and methods needed to help them carrying out things such as self-care activities and preparing food, getting to school or work safely, participating in social activities, or caring for others such as new baby or elderly parent. They work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to help their patients lead a fulfilling and independent life.

Find out more through Occupational Therapy Australia.

Audiologist

Audiologists help individuals experiencing hearing-related conditions, including hearing loss and balance disorders. They work to analyse, assess and diagnose potential hearing issues and provide solutions, which could include hearing aids and related technology to support patients’ health and recovery.

Find out more through Audiology Australia.

Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists handle all the medical aspects of eye care, including diagnoses, assessment, treatment, surgery, and post-surgery care. While they can also prescribe glasses and contact lenses, they are different from opticians. They may see patients with more significant eye conditions that need regular health checks, interventions, or medication.

Find out more through Optometry Australia.

This list is barely beginning to scratch the surface! Researching the sectors you’re interested in is a great way to learn more about the variety of roles, entry pathways and qualifications you’ll need to get where you want to be.

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