There are many reasons to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Health Science. Health Science is an interesting and valuable field. Through your health science degree program, you will cover both topics of science and society to create a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare field. While knowledge and intellectual growth are good reasons to study health science, you are probably also concerned about what you will do once you graduate.
It is a good time to enter the healthcare industry. Health science majors have good career prospects because the healthcare industry is growing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the healthcare sector is predicted to increase by 14 percent between 2018 and 2028.
There are many job opportunities open for graduates with just a bachelor’s degree, but candidates who take the initiative to complete a certificate program will have more opportunities open to them. If you are interested in a specific career listed, you may want to take a minor or specialize in a related field to enter the workforce without requiring any additional education.
Lifecare Planners: Lifecare planners work with patients after life-changing injuries or health conditions to develop reasonable goals to improve patient quality of life. They might work with the legal and medical community to coordinate medical needs or handle lawsuits. Lifecare planners typically must complete a year-long certification program.
Laboratory Assistants prepare biological samples, such as blood, urine, and bacteria cultures to conduct tests. They work under the supervision of a biologist, microbiologist, or medical doctor to conduct research or help diagnose medical conditions.
Nutritionists assess patients’ dietary needs and restrictions to complement the work of healthcare professionals. Nutritionists educate patients who need special dietary guidance and help them make healthy food choices.
Recreational Therapists use activities such as sports, games, and crafts to help reduce patient stress and depression. Some recreational therapists work in psychiatric settings, whereas others will provide care to people in stressful situations, like children in foster care or patients recently diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Medical and Health Services Managers oversee health care facilities or departments to coordinate the administrative needs of the facility. They may make schedules, monitor budgets, or train new hires.
Social and Community Service Managers work in a variety of environments, but as a health science graduate you will most likely work for a nursing home or long-term care facility. They collect statistics and ensure that their program area is running smoothly. They often hire, train, and supervise social workers and other care staff.
Health Information Specialists maintain clinical databases and review patient records. They also often work with health insurance companies to get proper reimbursement and may be involved in billing. Most employers prefer candidates who have completed professional certification in the field.
A health studies minor puts you in a good position to pursue further education in a related field. You will likely have completed the prerequisites for several degree programs without even realizing it.
Medical School: Physicians can work in a variety of fields and settings. Getting a medical degree sets you up to pursue a large breadth of work where you get to work directly with patients and medical staff. Physicians must attend four years of a post-graduate medical program followed by a 3 to 7-year residency.
Dental School: Dentists examine teeth to diagnose and treat tooth and gum disease. Dentists play an important role in the overall health of patients; many diseases are caused by poor dental hygiene. Dentists attend four years of dental school followed by a four to seven-year residency. Dentists can specialize in a specific area of dentistry if they choose.
Pharmacology School: Pharmacists fill prescriptions, check medication interactions, and educate their patients. They can offer advice about minor health conditions, recommend appropriate over the counter medications, and offer general wellness advice. Pharmacists typically attend four years of pharmacology school followed by a one or two-year residency.
Registered Nurse: If you are interested in directly treating patients, you can complete your associate degree in nursing in addition to your bachelor’s in health science. The combination will give you a professional leg up, as most hospitals prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
Genetic Counseling: With the advent of genome sequencing, the medical profession has begun to use genetics to diagnose and treat illness. Genetic counselors discuss the benefits and risks of genetic testing with patients, interpret genetic information, and discuss the results with patients. Genetic counselors must be comfortable explaining complex scientific concepts to patients without any scientific background. An undergraduate background in Psychology or Social Work would be a complement to this path. This career requires a master’s degree in genetics or genetic counseling.
Physician’s Assistants: Physician’s assistants usually work with medical doctors to take patient histories, run and interpret tests, and examine patients. They can do many of the same tasks that primary care doctors do and may work fairly independently in remote communities where physicians are not regularly available. Physician’s assistants complete 2 years of post-graduate education in a physician’s assistants’ program.
A Helping Job
These are just a few of the opportunities health science graduates can pursue. The healthcare field is broad and ever-changing. By the time you graduate, you might be applying to a job that does not currently exist. Make sure to network and talk to alumni from your degree program to learn about potential career paths. This will help you identify potential professional paths and home in on your ambitions.
Working in the healthcare field is a good way to grow professionally while giving back to the community. A health science degree opens up many opportunities to work side-by-side with a large team of medical care providers to ensure the health of individuals families, and communities.