What Kind of Non-Medical Careers Exist Within Healthcare?

What Kind of Non-Medical Careers Exist Within Healthcare?

You know that you want to help people. Healthcare interests you greatly, but you also aren’t a boots-on-the-ground kind of person. Nurses work insane hours and they have to witness suffering at its most profound level. Doctors are in a similar boat— and they can’t even board it until they’ve completed more than ten years of school.

This begs a question: What kind of non-medical careers exist within the healthcare industry? You may be surprised by how broad the answer to that question is. In this article, we provide an overview of some options you might consider.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the list below is far from comprehensive—though not for lack of effort on our part. It would take more words than we have available to us in this one article to list all of your options.

So, without further ado, read on for a quick peek at the wide world of non-medical healthcare work.

 

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers advocate for patients as they enter and attempt to navigate the complexities of Western healthcare. In some hospitals (and depending on the specific needs of the patient) social workers are provided at the moment of intake. From there, they explain what the patient can expect, both from a treatment and financial perspective.

They may connect the patient with payment plan information, bill forgiveness programs, local charities that make care more affordable, and other resources that can assist in the journey.

Sometimes, this involves serving as a communications asset— keeping family members informed or at a distance depending on the patient’s wishes. People requiring healthcare benefit immensely from all the agency they can get. However, because they are so vulnerable at the time of care, it can be very difficult for them to express their desires and see their wishes respected.

That is the ultimate objective of a healthcare social worker— to help patients get the care they need and desire.

 

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety specialists operate in a health-adjacent niche, helping to ensure that the worksite and other professional locations are secure and well attended to in terms of necessary safety provisions.

This involves obvious things like making sure a worksite is up to code. However, they are best used as strategists, helping to optimize every aspect of work— from machine maintenance to how the floor is laid out. They may consult on ergonomics, and even make recommendations designed to boost employee wellness.

It’s an important job. Every year, 6000 people lose their lives to work-related accidents in the United States alone. Occupational health and safety specialists help minimize that risk.

 

Healthcare Administration and Management

When it comes to non-medical healthcare careers, administration work is what first comes to mind for many people. These professionals typically work directly in hospitals, planning the logistical aspects of patient care. In other words, these are the folks keeping the lights on.

Not only do they manage finances and oversee day-to-day operations but they also implement policies, implement long-term strategies, and coordinate staffing efforts to maximize efficiency.

During the height of Covid, it was administrators who were responsible for making sure hospitals could get by with reduced staff and increased demand. The work is high-pressure and often requires an advanced education. High-level administrators typically have a graduate degree. They are also expected to pursue continued education opportunities throughout their entire career.

Still, the benefits are nice. Healthcare management professionals often make six-figure salaries and have the opportunity to influence significant healthcare-related decisions within the communities where they live.

 

Informatics

Some healthcare informatics professionals are licensed medical workers. However, they focus less on patient care and more on hospital-wide interventions that are data-led. Informatics nurses are perhaps the most common example. They study data processing and implementation, leveraging technological solutions to make a more targeted approach to patient care.

 

Marketing and Communications

Even hospitals require a marketing and communications department. Sometimes the work involves pretty traditional marketing tasks. Driving attention to a local hospital with the intention of increasing business.

To that end, healthcare marketing is largely the same as any other marketing job. However, other times, ad campaigns may revolve around health initiatives. For example, the marketing campaign might spearhead a vaccine awareness campaign designed to boost local health during flu season.

 

Health Policy Advocacy

There are many non-profits that advocate for healthcare accessibility. They do this by lobbying politicians to enact policies that will make healthcare more affordable or better aligned with patient well-being. They might also raise funds to provide grants and stipends for people who can’t afford care on their own.

There are lots of ways to participate in non-profits both in a voluntary and professional capacity. If you have a talent for grant writing, event organizing, or community outreach, consider this as a rewarding and accessible career option.

 

Conclusion

As stated at the beginning of this article, the jobs featured here represent only the tip of the iceberg. So many factors contribute to community health. If you want to think outside the box you could look at personal fitness. Self-care. Meditation. Stress management. The list goes on and on.

In recent years the general public has become more receptive to the idea that health is at the center of everything we do. That is why so many businesses now emphasize employee wellness in their incentive programs and company policy initiatives.

If you are looking for a way to improve people’s quality of life but you don’t quite know where to start, begin by thinking about the pain points you’ve encountered. You may be surprised by how many health-related careers are available within the niches you are passionate about.

 

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