Healthcare sciences degree, perfect for a second career
What happens if you earned an associate’s degree and work as an occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant, medical imaging professional, dental hygienist or a respiratory therapist and you’d like to expand your career options?
For those who want to stay in the healthcare field, a healthcare science degree is the perfect fit. This degree recognizes what you learned earning your associates degree and builds on that experience with courses necessary to work in other aspects of healthcare.
By combining the medical knowledge that was the backbone of your associates degree and adding courses such as writing for healthcare science, healthcare systems and policy, community health organization & administration and healthcare science management, for example you can move beyond hands-on patient care and make a difference through a variety of jobs.
In addition to hospitals and clinics, many people who have earned a healthcare science degree can work in nonprofits, insurance companies, government agencies, consumer groups and scientific research or consumer institutes.
Healthcare science graduates can become advocates for individuals and communities that are under-served or under-informed. Ways that they can help include:
• Medical Assistance – Accompanying patients to appointments and answering questions.
• Insurance Assistance – Help patients navigate health insurance information; ensure patients have the necessary coverage; and deal with insurance companies on behalf of the patient and/or family.
• Community Health Care – Enhance health policy initiatives focused on available, safe and quality care.
Requirements for professionals vary from job to job. Most fields seek individuals with previous medical experience and knowledge, the ability to speak to authority figures like doctors and insurance companies with the patient’s best interests in mind, compassion and empathy, excellent communication skills and the ability to multitask and remain organized.
If you’re considering changing your career, reviewing the courses required for the healthcare science degree can be a good brainstorming exercise to help you decide possible next steps in your career.