Choosing a career in the NHS or private sector doesn’t mean you have to opt for qualifying as a doctor or nurse. There are literally hundreds of different careers in this sector, from catering to podiatry.
A career as a healthcare worker can be an extremely rewarding one. Of course depending on the career, it may involve having to work long hours, nights and weekends, which can cause a difficult initial adjustment. Stress is another factor to consider. Most jobs invoke some level of stress but in the NHS or private sector, a medium to high level of stress comes with the territory. One way to achieve some peace of mind, apart from meditating, is to take out adequate liability insurance. Hopefully a claim will never be made, but having it brings a sense of security.
These therapists use art, music or drama to help people with physical, mental, emotional or social difficulties. They can work in child services, palliative care or even forensic medicine. Qualifications required are a degree in art or relevant subject, plus a two year post-graduate course in art therapy.
Dieticians translate the nutritional science into easy-to-understand advice about food, to help patients make informed choices about what they eat and drink. They educate people with a wide range of illnesses, including eating disorders, kidney disease and diabetes. They can work in a hospital environment or in the wider community. Entry requirements are two A-levels in sciences, then completion of a four year undergraduate or two year postgraduate course in Dietetics/Nutrition.
OTs work with people of all ages, in many different situations, to help them overcome disabilities. These disabilities can be physical or psychological. They use specific activities to promote independence and well-being. This would be a good career choice for those who seek variety and job development. There are several ways to reach qualification: three year postgraduate degree; in-service programmes and accelerated courses for postgraduates.
There are two types of radiographers: diagnostic and therapeutic. The diagnostic radiographer will carry out X-rays, MRIs, fluoroscopy or ultrasound scans to help determine what treatment, if any, a patient needs. The therapeutic radiographer works with the oncology department to help treat patients with cancer. There are under and postgraduate degree courses offered at many universities across the UK.
The UK has some of the best healthcare workers and training courses in the world, and opportunities in this sector are much more wide-ranging than most people realise.