Last Updated: September 02, 2021
Candidates who wish to take up a career in the healthcare sector will be informed of the fact that it is a service-oriented industry through which they will be able to better the lives of people who seek them out. While the most popular fields under healthcare will be related to the diagnosing and treatment of diseases, drug testing, and even the prevention of diseases, this field also includes a lot of career options which is based on the management and successful supply of healthcare facilities to those in need. This implies that candidates who wish to be part of this sector will be able to take an MD or DO in medicine or take up courses like Healthcare Administration and the like which will help in the management of systems that provide healthcare.
Healthcare is one of the most popular majors among students. Ten of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are from the healthcare industry. Most workers involved in this field will have jobs that require less than 4 years of college education, but at the same time, health diagnosing and treating practitioners might even require 8 or more years of intensive study to practice that profession. About 40 percent of healthcare professionals work in hospitals, whereas around 21 percent were in nursing and residential care facilities and 16 percent were in offices of physicians.
Benefits of Studying Healthcare
The benefits of being part of the healthcare industry range from the never-ending supply of career options in the field to the above-decent pay that these career options will give the candidates. Candidates who take up courses relating to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases will have to complete a four-year undergraduate program in the sciences before they can be a part of medical schools. The opportunities made available for medical practitioners include doing an MD or DO both of which provide slightly different practicing methods.
These candidates will ideally have to specialize in a field to successfully practice the profession of their choice. Though the process is tedious and can take over 8 years and research to reach fulfillment, candidates will at the end of this endeavor have a highly respected job that can provide them with satisfaction and high pay. The opportunities for candidates who choose this sector are endless. They will either be able to choose the above-mentioned track or they will be able to do a BS or MS in fields relating to healthcare which will give them excellent career options after graduation.
While most candidates opt to work in hospitals, those who have completed their respective courses in the field will also be able to work in clinics, homes, labs, etc. Even while being part of a job, candidates will be able to do extensive research on topics of their choice and will have the space of writing and publishing articles in journals if they are committed to the task.
Fields of Study Under Healthcare
The fields that come under healthcare are large in number with specific courses available for each career path candidates want to take. Ranging from being a doctor or a nurse who will work in the frontlines, this industry also holds people who work behind the lines by managing the functionality of the hospital or clinic in question. While candidates will be able to take up different specializations as part of the course they do, this might not be enough for them to practice the profession of their choice. Most professions will require candidates to do get extra certifications that are state or course-specific.
The ten most popular fields under healthcare and their course details have been listed below.
Candidates who wish to study dentistry will be dealing with the treatment of teeth and gums. This will involve diagnosing the patient according to the trouble they are facing and providing the consequent treatment which will be necessary to heal the patient. They will also deal with other tasks like realigning teeth, providing instructions on oral health, and sometimes even provide patients with information relating to the diet choices they have to make for better oral health.
To be a Dental Assistant, candidates will be required to complete their Associate’s program at the very least which will take a duration of 2 years or more depending on the university of their choice. Candidates who wish to become a dentist or an oral surgeon will have to attend a dental school for an undergraduate program which has a duration of 4 years in all. They will also be able to do a master’s program in the field if they wish to research in the area beyond the level required for practicing the profession.
The courses taught by colleges and universities for a degree program in dentistry include anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, oral anatomy, oral pathology, etc.
The field of neuroscience deals with the study of the brain and the nervous system with sub-fields like cellular and molecular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, etc. It is an interdisciplinary field that links subjects relating to thoughts, consciousness, and the brain. Most often, a course in neuroscience is taken up at a research level with candidates pursuing the subject as a specialization during their MD program.
Taking neuroscience as a major will take a duration of 4 years to complete whereas graduate programs, though rare, can be completed in 2 years. Doctoral programs in the subject are offered by the top medical schools where they focus on behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, developmental neuroscience, and even quantitative psychology.
Studying healthcare administration is a safe option for candidates who wish to work in the healthcare sector but do not wish to stay as frontline workers. This course can be taken by candidates at an undergraduate level since it does not require candidates to complete pre-medical courses. It comes under the fields of healthcare, business, and scientific research letting candidates manage the functioning of healthcare institutions.
Candidates will be able to do undergraduate and graduate courses in the subject which will take 4 years and 2 years respectively. The courses that are taught during the undergraduate program include history and evolution of healthcare, basic illnesses, and diseases, management of healthcare, etc. The courses dealt with during the master’s program include legal aspects of healthcare management, management of healthcare operations, accounting, etc.
Nursing is a field under healthcare that requires candidates to work on the frontlines at all times. Their job description will include assessing patients, diagnose them according to their physical symptoms, set goals for their recovery and implement the plans they have made for the recovery. They will have to check the vital signs of the patient, assess whether the patient is healing or not, ensure the comfort level of the patient is met, etc. Candidates who wish to take up nursing as their profession will be able to do certification courses for the same or take an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in the same.
Candidates will be able to become s registered nurse/RN by completing ASN or BSN after which they will have to pass the NCLEX/National Council Licensure Examination. They will also be able to be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse/APRN by taking a master’s degree in the field or be a Licensed Practical Nurse and work under an RN, APRN, or LPN.
An associate degree in the subject will take a duration of 2 years to complete and is the shortest way to becoming a registered nurse. Candidates will be able to take a bachelor’s degree in the subject instead of an associate degree which will take a duration of 4 years to complete. Irrespective of the course taken, they will have to write the NCLEX examination.
Optometry is the field of study that deals with the examination of the eyes and visual system to correct defects and abnormalities that exist. By choosing this field, candidates will learn to provide corrective glasses, manage vision development, perform vision therapy, etc. They will also learn how to prescribe a topical medication for the eye and treat normal bacterial and viral infections in the eye. Candidates who take up this field will not be able to do invasive surgeries.
The subjects that are taught as part of the course will include ocular anatomy, pathophysiology, epidemiology, biostatistics, primary care testing, biochemistry for optometry, etc. The entire duration of study to become an optometrist will range between 7 to 8 years in all.
To be an optometrist, candidates will have to complete their undergraduate studies in the sciences and then study in an optometric school just as they would study in an MD program. Some universities will require candidates to do an additional year of training/residency. After this, they will be able to write the national board examinations required to get the license to practice which will vary from state to state.
This field of study is interdisciplinary in nature with elements of behavioral science, health policy, law, and even ethics. The ground on which this field is focused is in the prevention of sickness and disease so that human beings will be able to stay young longer. During the duration of the course, candidates will have to learn about the healthcare system in place, communicable and non-communicable diseases, injury, etc.
The courses that are taught will include evidence-based public health, public health data, social and behavioral sciences, environmental health, health insurance, healthcare systems, etc. This course is offered at an undergraduate and graduate level with the course being either online or offline.
Candidates will be able to take a BS in Public Health and continue it with an MS in Public Health if they wish to do so. The undergraduate degree has a duration of 4 years in all whereas the master’s degree is of 2 years/4 semesters only.
Clinical science is a field of study that deals with the treatment plans that are provided to patients. They are supposed to ensure that the medicines and medical products provided to the patients are efficient enough and work toward reducing the side effects of the medicines that are provided. Candidates who wish to learn this subject will need in-depth knowledge in chemistry, biology, and even experimental science since they will mostly be working in labs for long hours.
The courses that are taught under the subject include microbiology, precalculus, biology, immunology, genetics, statistics, etc. The courses that are offered by universities include undergraduate and graduate programs where the undergraduate program takes 4 years and the graduate program takes 2 years if the candidate is doping master’s and 5 years if they are doing a Ph.D. Candidates will also be able to take a diploma in the course.
This field of study deals with the diseases and ailments that affect the feet and lower legs of human beings. Candidates who have studied this field will have to diagnose and treat patients with ailments in their feet/lower legs and also deal with the complications that can arise due to the presence of other illnesses. To become a podiatrist, candidates will have to study in a school that is dedicated to podiatry which implies that they do not have to go to a traditional medical school.
Candidates will have to take an undergraduate degree in the sciences with an emphasis on subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics after which they will have to apply to one of the 9 podiatry schools in the country. Here, they will have to do the course for 4 years. After course completion, they will be able to do a residency program for 3 years where they will have to train themselves under experts in the field before they can practice as a podiatrist. Candidates might sometimes have to get separate certifications in the area of specialization.
The subjects that are taught during the duration of the course include anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, etc. They will also be able to take a DPM/Doctor of Podiatric Medicine if they wish to research in the field of study.