Are you looking to launch a career that really makes a difference? Do you want to work in healthcare, and have a direct role working with patients? You may think of doctors and nurses when you first consider this field. But the truth is, there are many other patient care careers.
If you’re wondering what alternative career options are out there, you’ve come to the right place. Read on, as we explore five of the most rewarding patient care careers that go beyond hospital walls.
- Child Development Specialist
If you are interested in a role that involves working with children, you may be perfect for the role of child development specialist. In a healthcare setting, these professionals help children and families understand and cope with a child’s treatment experience. This may involve encouraging play or self-expression in a clinical facility, and for parents this may be educational or emotional support. They also assess what the child and family need, and fill the gap between medical care and everyday lives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), child life specialists earned a median annual salary of $60,380 in 2017.
In order to land a career as a child development specialist, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree. For example, the Public Health program at Goodwin University provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to reach success in this role.
- Dental Hygienist
If you’re looking for a patient care role with flexibility and great pay, you may consider dental hygiene. This healthcare career ranks among the top jobs for work-life balance. These professionals enjoy standard office hours and have the freedom to choose part-time or full-time work. Every day, dental hygienists ensure patients maintain good oral health. They clean teeth, take X-Rays, and assist dentists with complicated dental procedures. Dental hygienists enjoy a comfortable work life as well as a comfortable salary, earning over $76,000 per year, according to the BLS.
A Dental Hygiene Program can prepare you for this hands-on and rewarding career. As part of the curriculum at Goodwin, students participate in clinical rotations and community service activities. They also enjoy:
- A state-of-the-art Dental Lab and equipment to perfect their skills
- Functional dental office with full waiting areas for patients/customers
- 6 semester program – students can get trained and working in the field in as few as 24 months
- Day classes available on-campus and in hybrid (a mix of online and in-person) formats
- Clinic open 6 days/week, including Saturdays
- Health Educator
If you’ve ever debated between healthcare and education, a role in health education is the perfect blend of the two. Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They work in a variety of settings, including:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Doctors’ offices
- Private businesses
Students looking to break into this field need at least a bachelor’s degree. The Public Health program at Goodwin can not only satisfy this requirement but offer advanced training and know-how to prepare students for this important work. Students are taught by industry professionals, and their expertise can offer insight into the field better than any textbook available.
- Respiratory Therapist
This profession ranks among the best healthcare jobs according to U.S. News. This role only requires an associate degree for entry and can be both satisfying and rewarding – with a median salary of $60,280. This growing field is one that offers direct care with patients and is literally a life-saving role. Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing.
The Respiratory Care program at Goodwin prepares students for work in the field, with clinical partnerships at hospitals, health centers, and physicians’ offices. This experience exposes students to real-life work they will be doing after graduating and passing the examinations required. Graduates of this program go on to work in a variety of settings, such as:
- Acute care hospitals
- Homecare settings
- Life Star air ambulance
- Rehabilitation and long-term care facilities
- Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
Occupational therapists also rank well in the list of the best healthcare jobs. The master’s degree required can translate to a median salary of $84,270 for these professionals. They work with patients to build or restore their abilities to perform the daily of tasks of life. For those looking to break into this field, occupational therapy assisting can be a great place to start.
Occupational therapy assistants help patients who are limited by a physical illness or injury, an emotional disorder, a developmental disability, or the aging process. They help restore basic skills such as dressing, writing, eating, and working. The Occupational Therapy Assistant associate degree program at Goodwin prepares students to help care for patients in need, and earn the necessary certifications along the way. Since the baby boomer generation is advancing at a rapid pace, this career shows great potential. In fact, the BLS expects this job to grow 35% over the next several years – much faster than the average for all occupations!
Finding a Flexible Program that Works for You
Before you set out to begin any of these patient care careers, you will want to make sure you can find a program that works for your busy life. Goodwin understands the many demands of its students. You may have a part-time or full-time job to maintain. The healthcare programs at Goodwin are built around our students. We offer online, in-person, and hybrid formats for nearly all programs.
If you are interested in one of these patient care careers, do not hesitate to contact Goodwin University. Call us at 1-800-889-3282, or visit us online to learn more.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.