What Kind of Jobs and Careers Can I Pursue with a Masters in Health Care Degree?
Health is an integral aspect of human life. Nurses with advanced degrees assist during births and surgeries. Counselors and psychologists care for patients and help them recover from mental illness. Occupational therapists assist those who struggle with the debilitating physical damage from disease or injury. In addition to those who work directly with patients, there are others who manage health care organizations, advice public policy, and educate the public. Find out more about the rewarding careers of the health care industry that can be pursued with a master’s degree.
A master’s degree in psychology allows you to work within a variety of clinical settings as a psychological assistant. To work in a clinical setting, however, a psychologist must either have a doctoral degree or be supervised by another psychologist who has earned a Ph.D. or Psy.D. In order to practice as a psychologist, you will need to obtain a license or certification. Job growth for psychologists is forecasted to increase faster than the national average.
Two common positions for psychologists with master’s degrees are those of school counselor or industrial-organizational psychologist. A school counselor will work with issues pertaining to education and mental health; so to become a school psychologist, you may need to pursue a specialized master’s program specifically for education-related psychology. Industrial-organizational psychologists also participate in a specific graduate program, focusing on psychology within the workplace.
Health care management positions are growing faster than the national average. Also called health care executives or administrators, health care managers plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They can manage entire facilities or specific departments. They can also be in charge of protecting patient records or work in an administrative support position under top executives.
Registered nurses primarily provide patient care, but they also educate patients and the public about health issues. Nurses are in high demand across the nation and can also specialize in different types of care. If RNs decide to pursue careers as educators, public policy advisors, or any other positions outside of patient care, they will still need to maintain their license in order to be considered RNs.
Nurse Anesthetists are also known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists or CRNAs. In addition to earning a master’s degree, CRNAs must be certified in anesthesia. Nurses commonly provide anesthesia and related care to patients before and after surgical and obstetrical procedures.
Nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses who are certified, educated, and trained in nursing and midwifery. Nurse midwives provide care to women through gynecological exams, family planning advice, prenatal care, and labor and delivery.
Nurse practitioners treat physical and mental conditions and serve as primary and specialty care providers. The official title of a nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse, commonly referred to as an APRN. Nurse practitioners must be certified and licensed, and they can also be certified in specific areas such as family health or pediatrics.
Occupational therapists help patients develop, recover, or improve everyday skills that have been lost or damaged through injury or illness. Some disabled patients may need help from occupational therapists starting at a very young age. The demand for occupational therapists is growing much faster than average.
Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are able to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. PAs must be licensed in order to practice. Demand for PA’s is extremely high.
Epidemiologists investigate the causes of disease and other public health problems. Their research is designed to prevent diseases from spreading or reoccurring. Epidemiologists work in health departments and research laboratories, and they report their findings to public policy officials and the public at large. Job growth for epidemiologists is expected to grow at a faster than average rate until 2020.
Public Health Educator
Health educators work in a variety of organizations including schools, public health departments, and companies. The basic role of a health educator is to work with those associated with their employing organization – patients, students, employees, etc. – to teach them about relevant health topics and to perform routine check-ups. The focus of a health educator could be a very small group of people or a very large community, and a health educator will adjust his or her methods and strategies based on the audience. The demand for health educators is expected to grow much faster than average over the next few years.
Rehabilitation counselors help those with physical and emotional disabilities live on their own by helping them overcome personal, social, and professional hurdles presented by their disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors work in many different settings such as schools, prisons, independent-living facilities, and private practices. Job opportunities for rehabilitation specialists are expected to grow faster than average in upcoming years.
Clinical Social Worker
Clinical social workers diagnose and treat patients with mental, behavioral, and social issues. They can find work in schools, hospitals, or private practices to develop plans geared towards improving patients’ lives. Clinical social workers might be required to respond to crisis situations, advocate for patients, or assist patients in obtaining government services. Health care social workers work with patients to help them understand certain adjustments that may be needed due to illness. They also help doctors and other medical professionals understand the day-to-day impact diseases have on patient’s mental and emotional health.
Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in patients. They usually work in schools or healthcare facilities and must be licensed in most states. Speech-language pathologists work to improve patients’ communication skills through vocal exercises, sign language, and even reading and writing skills. The demand for speech-language pathologists is growing faster than average.