What Jobs Does a Health Science Degree Prepare You For?

Health Science DegreeWhen you think of healthcare careers, doctor and nurse come first to mind. A second thought may help you to recall that beyond those key roles, there are a number of health care professionals who help others in important ways each day. A Health Science degree can help you prepare for a variety of jobs in diverse health care fields including medicine, dentistry, emergency medical care and occupational therapy.

Levels of Health Science Degrees

Health Science degrees can be pursued at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. A Bachelor’s in Health Science is more of a general degree that can provide grounding in basic courses that provide stepping-stones to a wide variety of careers. Depending on the school, you may find that the Bachelor of Health Science has two tracks. One track, the pre-professional, prepares students for further graduate work in a chosen field, while the clinical manager track is better for those who already work in health care and perhaps already hold an associate’s or other less-than-four-year degree. For the pre-professional track, you will likely need to choose a concentration area. This might be dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, public health or other specific areas.

Types of Jobs a Health Science Degree Can Prepare You For

Just a few of the jobs that a Health Science degree can help prepare you for are physician’s assistant, dental hygienist, occupational therapy assistant or emergency medical technician.

A physician’s assistant is trained to assist a medical doctor in caring for patients. This may include taking patient histories, performing physical exams, referring patients to specialists or prescribing medications. This is becoming a very important job as the population in the U.S. ages and more patients are requiring medical attention and care.

A dental hygienist is a licensed professional health care worker who provides preventive, educational and therapeutic services that help patients maintain good oral health. Cleaning teeth, taking radio graphs of teeth, giving fluoride treatments and teaching patients about good oral hygiene are a few of the things a dental hygienist does.

An occupational therapy assistant works with an occupational therapist to develop a treatment plan for patients needing rehabilitative services. Their main role is to assist patients in following through on exercises meant to improve their mobility. OT assistants monitor and record patient progress and alter treatment plans when necessary to make them more effective.

An emergency medical technician is a clinician who works in emergency medical situations. These health care workers are trained to assess health care issues quickly and perform medical procedures until a patient can be moved for further medical care. Sometimes they are based in hospitals, but often travel with ambulances or fire departments.

These are only a handful of jobs that can be prepared for, in part or in full, with a degree in Health Science. Health information and administration are other areas where the need for dedicated workers with a solid health science background is growing. With the changing American healthcare scene, it’s predicted that the need for jobs with a health science background will increase between 25 and 35 percent in the next several years. So if you have an interest in pursuing a healthcare job, this may be a degree worth looking into.