When we’re young and thinking about what we want to be when we grow up, doctors and nurses are popular professions. Most of us had doctors sets and played hospital with our toys. Often, as we got a little older, our thoughts turned to helping others. Being a doctor, or working in the healthcare field in another role, is something that we saw as being a noble way to spend our time. We pictured ourselves saving lives, gaining respect and admiration and really making a difference to the world. When we’re little, we all dream of doing something worthwhile with our lives, and what could be more so than practicing medicine?
Then, as we grow we develop new interests, hobbies and passions. Our dreams and ambitions often change as we learn more about the world, and about ourselves. Sometimes, our desire to practice medicine stays strong, but we become squeamish. We realize that we can’t stand the sight of blood, that we’re scared of anything a little gory, and that we feel faint at the very mention of bleeding. While we still want to help people and work in medicine, we start to rethink our options because we’re clearly not cut out for work on the front line.
But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a career in medicine. The world of healthcare is about much more than slicing people open and stitching people up. The options are vast and varied. Here’s a look at just some of the careers in medicine and healthcare that you could pursue, even if you are squeamish.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Psychiatry and other mental health specialities give you the chance to care for people that really need it. To diagnose mental health disorders and conditions, to help your patients come to terms with their diagnosis and to find ways to help them to live productive lives. The field of mental healthcare is developing all of the time, as new advancements are made and the subject becomes less of a taboo. Governments and research agencies are spending more time and money on mental health, and the future of the sector is starting to take shape. Doctors like Cynthia Telles are doing well in Neuropsychiatric Centers of Excellence, and there are many prospects for those wishing to work in mental health.
For this kind of job you need to be empathetic, and understanding. You need to be organized and creative but you also need to know how to switch off at the end of the day. It’s hard work, but the right kind of person can thrive as a mental health professional.
Some of us aren’t just squeamish. We prefer to work away from people, without day to day patient contact. If this sounds like you, a job in medical research could be ideal. You’ll be at the forefront of advancements and discovery. Working towards new diagnostic methods and treatments and perhaps even cures to some of our biggest killers.
To work in research, you again need to be organized. You need to be able to work well on your own, but also as part of a team. You need to have a love of research and knowledge and be willing to spend your life learning. But, you also need to be prepared for large periods where very little happens. If you expect a massive discovery every day, then you’ll be disappointed.
There are plenty of management opportunities in medicine. You could work in, or even own your own healthcare practice. You could manage a hospital or an old people’s home. You could manage a small admin or research team. There are a large variety of management positions in a range of different locations. You’ll usually have patient contact, and you’ll need to be able to communicate well between patients, doctors and other professionals. You’ll need to be good with people but also able to focus on data and administrative tasks.
Nutrition and Diet
Obesity is one of the most significant problems facing society today, and it’s only getting worse. This means that the role of nutritionists and dietitians is more crucial than ever. You’ll spend some of your time with patients, advising them on their diet and health. But you’ll also spend time learning about nutrition and coming up with new ways to help people. Some time will also be spent educating on the importance of diet, in schools, the community and healthcare settings.
Of course, if you work in a hospital or healthcare facility, around patients, there will always be a risk that you will occasionally see something that you’d rather not. There’s no guarantee that your days will be entirely blood free, and you never know what might happen. But, your exposure will be minimal.