Health and medical services

What does working in Health and Medical Services involve?

A career in health and medical services can effectively be narrowed down into two avenues: private healthcare or public healthcare. And the public route will mean you will be working, in some capacity, for the NHS. The NHS is an extensive organisation that aims to cater for the general healthcare of everyone in the country through an allocation of public funds from the government. There are an extensive number of roles available in health and medical services, regardless of whether you work publicly or privately. From the doctors who deal with day to day patient well being and their secretaries who manage the admin side, to paramedics who offer the first support for those involved in accidents; from surgeons, performing life saving operations, to the technicians who keep the equipment clean and safe; from dentists, to physios, and plastic surgeons to therapists: there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of roles available within health and medical services - and at almost every step of the way you'd be working directly with the people of the nation.

Want to know what it's like to be a paramedic? Click here.

Why should I apply for a career in the Health and Medical Services?

A career in health and medical services is likely to be a demanding and tiring one. Accidents happen all the time, and general health trends would be impossibly hard to predict. But that unpredictability is one of the main draws for people who may find a 9-5 office job would be too boring for them. In addition, being able to work with a wide range of people will enable you to broaden your life experiences while contributing directly to the society we live in.

Training and Applicants

Applicants who are determined and hard-working can expect a career in Health and Medical Services to be a challenging but rewarding one. Obviously, for someroles you will need specific degrees - i.e. doctors, dentists and surgeons would have a very narrow set of courses to choose from. Other jobs, such as nursing, and especially lower level administrative roles will be less academically demanding, though even nurses must go through rigourous training. Relevant work experience (including voluntary work with children and the elderly) would be important for certain roles where academic qualifications are less specific.

Personality wise, applicants would need to be polite and conscientious, calm under pressure and very dedicated. The ability to work as part of a team is essential for a career like this, where the efforts of one individual will often be lost in a sea of patients and personal relations.

What opportunities are available within the sector?

There are hundreds of different jobs within the NHS (the largest employer in Europe), and outside it. Opportunities are increasing in quite a few work areas, including nursing and radiography and more places are available to study medicine than ever before.

Good health care assistants, especially in the private sector, are in short supply. Self-employment is possible, particularly in complementary medicine.

Opportunities also exist on the non-medical side, such as for dental surgery managers and hospital administrators.

Further Information

From the headlines in newspapers you might think that health and medical services in this country are in a bad way. That doesn’t really tell the whole story. The UK still boasts an excellent, and free, national health service. Slightly understaffed, this would provide those with the right qualifications the space to make a direct impact and real difference in people's lives. After all, no experts agree with what the future will hold - some say we’re living longer, others say our diet and lack of exercise is making us ill, and others are concerned about the strange viruses that keep appearing. Whatever the truth, there will probably be increased work opportunities, although it’s possible that increasing numbers of operations and lab-based research will be carried out abroad.

Complementary treatments, such as acupuncture and herbalism, are popular with many people. Orthodox doctors are becoming slightly less suspicious of a few of these ’alternatives’.

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