Beyond Nursing: Health Care Industry Careers

Beyond Nursing: Health Care Industry Careers

Health care jobs are almost always in high demand. There’s much to be said for the chance to help people, especially when they’re in need of care. And as long as there are people living, there will always be a need for an industry to help them heal, recover, and maintain their overall well-being.

It can be all too common that thinking of the health care field brings to the mind’s eye visions of doctors or nurses. If you’re someone who has a passion for care-giving or helping people, it might be tempting to write off the idea of health care careers because you assume you need many years of education, followed by even more hands-on experience.

But the truth is that—while critical roles for delivering patient care—nurses and doctors aren’t the only ones keeping the industry up and running.

Let’s break it down. Health care jobs can be broken down into three main categories: patient care, laboratory, and support and administration. Each role requires different qualifications and levels of education, and each can have its own type of impact in health care environments—and they’re all essential jobs.

So if you feel drawn to the medical field but aren’t sure you want to commit to a nursing career, there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you to consider.

Patient Care

Patient care roles, as you might guess, are jobs that require working directly with patients. These can include pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, dental hygienists, surgical technologists, radiation therapists, and more.

These roles are often popular choices for students interested in a health care career because they involve a lot of hands-on work directly with patients—but they don’t typically require years and years of school. In fact, students could begin most of these patient care careers after just two years in a qualified training program.


Maybe in addition to working with patients, you are really fascinated by the science behind the processes, techniques, and treatments used in health care spaces. Consider something in a lab environment!

Laboratory jobs in health care spaces can include phlebotomists, medical imaging technicians (like sonographers and ultrasound technicians), and more. These jobs can help you pursue two passions at once and still fulfill your dreams of working in health care.

Support and Administration

Would you prefer a more behind-the-scenes career? Support and administration positions are critical to doctor offices, hospitals, imaging facilities, and other health-related environments. This is particularly true as the country continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health insurance industry continues to evolve, and the population continues to age.

Consider pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, medical office assistance, or medical administration assistance. These jobs can be great for working in (and supporting) the medical field, but without the need to interact directly with patients on a regular basis.

The health care system relies on nurses and doctors—but also on an entire network of people who depend on each other for it all to work cohesively. If you have the inclination to build a career in a field that values helping people, choosing a health care role (any health care role!) could be the perfect fit for you.

Are you ready to find a hands-on career training program to help you begin a new chapter? The Imagine America Foundation has a robust database of schools that offer career and technical education nationwide!

Does your career college enrollment strategy include high school students? It should.

For decades, career college recruitment specialists have focused primarily on enrolling older adults: those with time in the workforce, with families, with less desire and fewer resources to commit to a traditional on-campus, four-year degree. Those adult learners aren’t going anywhere, thanks to employment market…

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