March 8, 2019, by Katy Johnson
Careers In Healthcare: It’s Not Just For Doctors And Nurses
By Abigail Rowse, Employability Officer
When you read the phrase “careers in healthcare”, what comes to mind? If you’re anything like me, the first roles you think of are doctors and nurses, followed by possibly midwives, pharmacists, dentists, and ambulance drivers. These are all great careers – you could even study graduate entry nursing or medicine here at the University of Nottingham – but this blog is to tell you about the amazing opportunities in healthcare beyond clinical careers.
The first thing to know is that the NHS is the fifth largest employer in the world. Of course, countries outside the UK also need healthcare, and there are private organisations and charities with healthcare roles. This means that there are a large number of potential careers in healthcare globally. If you want a career where you can give back, this might be something to explore.
“When your values are clear, your decisions are easy”
Roy E. Disney (Walt Disney’s nephew) said the above quote, and it’s a good message to live by. The NHS has six values, which they hope all employees demonstrate in order to ensure the best possible care for patients. In roles where you don’t actually see patients, such as in Human Resources. Your career is still helping to support patients.
If your own values align with those of the NHS, which include compassion, improving lives, and respect and dignity, a career in healthcare might be a great choice for you. But what are the options for graduates?
1. Health informatics – working with information and data
Health informatics is one of the fastest growing areas in health careers. Every day in the health sector, information from patients is collected, managed, used, and shared – and this needs to be done accurately and quickly.
These roles involve working with information technology, library work, analysing data, and keeping accurate records. If these skills sound like they align with yours, a career in health informatics could be for you. Even with this area, there are dozens of different roles that you could do; explore these here.
2. Management – motivating others
As of 2017, there were over 61 million people living in the UK. All of these people require healthcare. Clinical staff can’t do their jobs without managers to lead and the NHS and other healthcare organisations. Managers are needed in areas as diverse as project managers and finance to hotel services and communications.
You need a range of skills to be a good manager; the NHS lists skills including a willingness to work with others and respect their views, good communication, organisation skills, and leadership skills. If you’re interested in management in the healthcare sector, check out this NHS booklet as a starting point.
3. Healthcare science – helping others through science
If you are passionate about both science, technology and helping others, a career in healthcare science could be for you! Healthcare scientists help prevent, diagnose, and treat illness using their expertise. Roles will include using a variety of specialised equipment, and some roles may involve communicating with patients directly.
There are four main scientific areas that the NHS are seeking: life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and clinical engineering, and clinical bioinformatics. For more about healthcare science, the NHS has more information. One popular route into this area is the NHS Scientist Training Programme.
4. Public health – helping people stay healthy
Public health is all about improving the health of the general population. This can be by preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting ways to keep healthy. There is a diverse range of roles in this area, from consultants to intelligence analysts, and from health visitors to statisticians.
If you are interested in helping people stay healthy and in many cases, preventing people from illness in the first place. This may be the career choice for you. Public health is considered a multidisciplinary field, so no matter what your academic course or individual skills, it might be a great option for you.
5. I’m interested – where do I start?
There are hundreds of different roles in the healthcare sector and I’ve outlined just a few of the main ones above. Start with doing some more research on the NHS health careers website to work out if you think you would be a good fit for the role and find out more about what it involves.
For graduates, there are different ways into roles. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is something to consider if you’re interested in finance or general management, health analysis, health informatics, HR, or policy and strategy. If you’re not sure whether a career in healthcare is right for you or which field to apply for, the scheme’s website has a handy “is this for me?” matching tool. The NHS Scientist Training Programme is another great choice if you are interested in healthcare science.
For more support with your future options, consider booking a careers appointment and attending our excellent events. If you’re considering a career in healthcare, our Spotlight On: Health Careers is a must. Come along on Thursday 21 March to find out more about a diverse range of graduate careers, all of which make a difference and improve lives.