When you hear about a friend who wants to pursue a degree in health sciences, what do you typically think it is that they want to do?
A health sciences degree likely makes you think of nurses, hospitals, doctors and maybe even Grey’s Anatomy. However, a health sciences degree isn’t only useful on the operating table — there are actually numerous things you can do with a degree in health sciences besides becoming a doctor or a nurse! Here are four careers you didn’t know you could pursue with a degree in health sciences.
1. Health education
Health education is an often overlooked area that you can work in with a health degree. There are a wide range of possibilities in this field, both for where you work and what you teach. You also will have autonomy working in health education — health educators often get to make their own lesson plans, brochures and even organize events if they want! Health educators can work anywhere from public schools to universities, to nonprofits or private-owned businesses. Depending on where you work, you would want to focus your topic on whatever audience you’d be addressing. This means you could talk about different health-related topics, such as good nutrition habits or sexually transmitted diseases, depending on your audience.
2. Lab manager
Lab managers are key players in the operation of medical labs. Have you ever wondered what happens when you get your bloodwork done? Where do the test results come from, where do they go and where are they kept? Lab managers deal with all of these very important aspects of running a medical lab. Being a lab manager doesn’t require a lot of hands-on medical work, so this is a good job if you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of medical testing. Lab managers keep track of test results and medical records, and they make sure test results and information get to the appropriate recipients. As a lab manager, you would also likely be in charge of lab personnel, lab equipment and making sure the lab runs smoothly. This is an excellent job if you have good organizational skills and can manage people and projects well.
3. Medical/veterinary assistant
A medical or veterinary assistant plays a wide variety of roles in the office. They do behind-the-scenes work, like keeping track of patient records, and do some direct work with patients. This would be good to look at if you have a wide range of interests in the medical field. As a medical/veterinary assistant, you would have varying degrees of firsthand work with patients in the office. You could do anything from routine check-up work, like taking blood pressure, to drawing and testing bloodwork. If you aren’t sure whether you like the hands-on side of medical practicing, you may want to consider starting off as a medical assistant.
4. Health care facility coordinator
Health care facility coordinators can be seen as the backbone of health care facilities. They act as the bridge between patients and doctors, and between various departments in the facility. They are responsible for making sure everyone is on the same page, all the time. This job is great for someone with good interpersonal and organizational skills. Health care facility coordinators don’t only work in hospitals — they’re also present in nursing homes, hospice care and other long-term facilities. This makes it easy to find a job where you could focus on a particular group of people, like the elderly or people in rehabilitation. As a health care facility coordinator, you would do a lot of behind-the-scenes work. You would be responsible for supply management, appointment scheduling and keeping everyone in sync with the happenings of the facility. If you’re interested in medicine but the thought of tending to wounds or drawing blood makes you queasy, this could be a great job for you!
A health sciences degree is a solid base for an array of health careers
Not everyone who studies health sciences goes on to become a doctor or a brain surgeon. The applications of a health sciences degree spread far wider than just the operating room, and can accommodate many interests and comforts. If you’re at all interested in pursuing health sciences as a career, chances are that the perfect job is out there waiting for you!
Want to learn more about the Health Sciences program at Marymount? Learn more about it here.