As society changes at an unprecedented rate, the job market seems to likewise be in perpetual motion. However, if there is one industry with an unceasing need for new employees, it is the medical field. From delivering newborns to social work and everything in between, the field is full of fulfilling careers for new and experienced workers alike. There is something for almost everyone, from students looking for a highly academic environment to those who simply want to help people in their community.
Are you interested in learning more about rewarding healthcare roles and the education you need in order to fill them? This article will discuss some of the most fulfilling positions in the industry.
The healthcare system in the United States is anything but easy to navigate, and securing adequate care is more complex than simply visiting a care provider. There is always something to be done, from consulting with physicians and specialists to insurance agents, the billing department and even external care providers. This process can often be incredibly intimidating, even for patients who have dealt with the healthcare industry before. Patient advocates can help.
Patient advocates exist to help patients and their families demand quality care. They guide you through speaking with doctors, setting up external lab visits and screenings, finding legal aid and interacting with insurance providers. While patient advocacy used to come from outside the system – in the form of family members or social workers – more and more facilities are adding professional advocates to their hospitals and other health facilities. The job responsibilities of patient advocates are even more complex than they might initially sound too, and they have many different roles to fulfill throughout the day. In this section, we’ll dig into what exactly patient advocates do every day and why the job is such an important one.
What are some examples of patient advocate roles?
Note that not all patient advocates are referenced by that name. In fact, there are many different job titles to look for when searching for a patient advocate. Some of the most common job titles include:
- Consumer advocate
- Health advocate
- Patient liaison
- Medical advocate
- Patient representative
- Care manager
- Case manager
Patient advocates serve as supporters, sponsors, believers, backers, spokespeople and promoters. Their goal is to make being a patient as easy as possible so that recovery remains your top goal. While the job titles above all have distinct focuses and emphases, the professionals in them are all dedicated to helping patients secure the best care possible throughout their interactions with the health industry.
What do patient advocates do?
The exact responsibilities a patient advocate takes on varies from position to position, but there are some very important overlapping duties. Patient advocates fight to ensure that patient’s rights are upheld and that they receive the best health care possible, no matter how complicated their health conditions are. Just as importantly, they work to ensure that patients receive affordable care from professionals they trust.
Some patient advocates work to make the basics of the healthcare system more manageable. These individuals will help set up medical appointments, help secure second opinions and help locate legal and financial help if necessary. Patient advocates often help patients negotiate medical bills, review medical bills for accuracy and even resolve conflicts between healthcare providers and patients.
Other patient advocates are concerned primarily with financial help. They have a stronger focus on communicating with insurance companies and billing departments to secure care which is as affordable as possible. This kind of patient advocate often has access to financial aid options which can make medical care a smaller financial burden.
There are also patient advocates who work with you even when you are outside of the hospital. They will help gather information about the patient’s health conditions, read medical charts and documents and even help complete applications and forms.
Perhaps most importantly, patient advocates ensure that patient’s wishes are upheld and that their voice is heard throughout the healthcare process. From life-saving surgeries to routine checkups, patient advocates can help make sure that patients are heard.
Is patient advocacy a fulfilling role?
Patient advocacy is one of the most rewarding careers in the medical field. Individuals with a deep-rooted drive to help others might find themselves a particularly good fit for the role. If you enjoy working with other people and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure they are treated fairly, this might be an excellent job for you. If you know that you have trouble with tenacity and don’t have a strong drive to help, on the other hand, this might not be a great pick for you.
How can I become a patient advocate?
There are a few different ways to become a patient advocate, but one of the most common is by studying social work. Social workers are trained to work within the system to achieve change for their clients, and many students pick patient advocacy as their career of choice when completing their degree.
If you are interested in learning more about patient advocacy, consider looking into a social work program. Don’t worry if you’re already working or don’t live near a brick-and-mortar institution. The good news is that you can obtain an FSU Master’s in Social Work without even taking your GRE! Accredited providers such as Florida State University often accept financial aid and have flexible programs for busy adults.
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
Experiencing a health crisis can be one of the most terrifying events. The fear that comes with realizing that you aren’t okay, paired with the upcoming physical and financial stress, can combine to form a truly nightmarish sequence of events. For many people, a great comfort during these experiences is the kindness they receive from emergency medical personnel committed to keeping them as safe and healthy as possible. Few things are as rewarding as making a positive difference in someone’s life, and the medical profession has these opportunities in spades.
Many people enter healthcare with the hope of helping those in need. One of the industry’s most common entry points, and most fulfilling positions, is a career as an emergency medical technician (EMT) . When someone is scared about their health and worried about how their life might be disrupted, a little kindness and competent care can go a long way.
EMTs serve a critical function in society. They must work well under immense pressure and challenging circumstances to save lives. Professional EMTs are responsible for helping people “in the field” and ensuring they have the best chance of recovering.
What do EMTs do?
EMTs are responsible for quite a bit. Their jobs are varied and often include everything from visual examinations to more advanced life-saving techniques. Some of the most basic responsibilities EMTs can expect to fulfill include conducting examinations and evaluations to determine if emergency care is needed. If they determine it does need to be provided, EMTs must be prepared to care for individuals before they are admitted to the hospital. This includes collecting the patient’s information, documenting their condition, providing treatment and transporting patients in a safe, clean environment.
The exact medical care that EMTs provide varies depending on the patient and situation in question, but typically includes treating wounds, providing life-saving care such as CPR, and treating other injuries on a basic level to prolong life until patients reach the hospital or healthcare facility in question, such as splinting broken bones and protecting the spine.
Is EMT a fulfilling career choice?
As you positively impact other people directly, many find that being an EMT is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the medical industry. As mentioned earlier, working as an EMT is often a good fit for people with a deep-seated drive to care for others. This motivation is not a requirement for the job, but it certainly helps workers feel fulfilled as they help save lives.
How can I become an EMT?
Becoming an EMT is quite straightforward. Students will complete at least 170 course hours, where they learn how to assess patients, common medical issues, life-saving medical care and treatment methods. Not everyone studying to become an EMT will learn the same thing in training as some courses allow students to specialize and focus on different aspects of the job.
You do not need to have completed any medical training or have any experience in the field to become an EMT. Once you have completed the educational requirements and are in compliance with state law, you are ready to get to work!
Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
Yet another rewarding role in the medical industry is the certified nurse midwife (CNM). According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives is expected to grow by 40% by 2031. This is an incredibly fast growth projection across most occupational fields and demonstrates the importance of the care that CNMs provide to their patients.
Patients who work with CNMs often seek natural childbirth help, although not always. They typically turn to midwives for more personalized information as they progress through their pregnancies.
What do CNMs do?
Pregnancy can be difficult, and sometimes women want more thorough care than what they receive from busy doctors with dozens of other patients to see. Being able to sit down and discuss their health concerns and have their questions answered is a great advantage for these women, and the process can help them feel more confident about their pregnancy and birth. Midwives meet this need for many and serve an important role in the health sector.
Midwives provide many different services, primarily for women, across the country. From conducting gynecological exams and contraceptive counseling to writing prescriptions and helping with delivery and labor care, CNMs offer comprehensive care for women, from annual exams to postnatal care. More specifically, and depending upon their specific education, midwives can help with everything from education about reproductive health to newborn and infant care.
Women who work with midwives tend to experience better pregnancy outcomes than those who do not. This includes a lower risk of preterm birth or serious perineal tears, lower costs and a lower rate of induction and augmentation. Midwives also typically lead to increased satisfaction with the pregnancy, labor and delivery processes, and an increased likelihood for successful breastfeeding.
Is midwifery a fulfilling role?
Midwives often find their job particularly rewarding. After all, what could be more fulfilling than bringing new life into the world and positively changing lives? Watching pregnancies progress and children enter their parents’ lives is one of the main reasons many CNMs pursue this career in the first place.
How can I become a CNM?
There are many different educational routes to midwifery. CNM is one of the most common credentials in the industry, and there are a variety of academic requirements that must be met before one can begin to practice. First, potential CNMs must complete a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in nursing. They will need to meet all the standards nurses who intend to go into other areas of the industry must master. Once they have completed that degree, they must also complete an advanced degree. This often takes the form of a master’s degree in midwifery.
Once their educational requirements have been fulfilled, the American College of Nurse-Midwives certifies new CNMs, and the hard work begins.
Are you interested in entering the medical field? The range of positions available is ever-growing, and there is truly something for almost every interest. Whether you want to bring new life into the world or think that everyone should have help navigating the hectic and often confusing healthcare system, you will likely find a fulfilling and rewarding position that meets your needs.