Health science refers to the application of science to health, covering the study of health-related subjects, such as nutrition and medicine. A broad field that also encompasses an inter-disciplinary mix of both behavioral and natural science, it aims to improve both human and animal health through scientific research. For instance, alternative and Western medicine can be considered health sciences. Acupuncture, oncology, neurology, and pediatrics are some sub-disciplines of health science.
Health science programs usually involve hands-on learning like lab work and class discussions. There are some programs where you need to take practicum or an internship as a requirement for graduation. Moreover, coursework may cover environmental health, biology, and physiology.
Essentially, health sciences are a mix of everything. If you want to pursue a career in health science, you can take up common courses, such as a human biology short course, or earn a degree in a variety of fields, like physical therapy or kinesiology.
Because health sciences include a wide range of studies, you can choose from many practical career options. Here are some of them:
1. Behavior Analyst
A behavior analyst is an expert on people’s behavior. They use techniques, including positive reinforcement, to help their clients develop new behaviors, improve existing behaviors, and demonstrate behaviors under specific conditions.
They may collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists if patients need other forms of medical assistance or therapy. Some of the clients they assist are those who are diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or traumatic brain injuries. They analyze their patients’ behaviors in order to come up with treatment plans that will enhance communication and behavioral skills gradually.
Behavior analysts can even work in other fields, such as vehicular and pedestrian safety, workplace safety, health and fitness, sports, and organizational behavior.
2. Community Development Worker
A community development worker aids in fostering social change and improving the overall quality of life in a community they’re in charge of. Their duties include:
- Developing relevant social activities to help increase confidence and motivate members of a community
- Setting goals for the community, so appropriate action is taken
- Working on projects to tackle major issues in the community, such as high rates of teenage pregnancy, crime rate, or low employment rate
- Mediating in certain situations that involve conflict in the community
- Managing fund raising
- Creating grant proposals
- Hiring or supervising volunteers
If you’re passionate about helping others or promoting social justice, you’ll enjoy working as a community development worker.
3. Health Educator
A health educator typically works in a classroom or a hospital after completing their studies. Their job is to teach the public about matters related to health, such as hygiene and nutrition. For example, they guide people through developing a personal hygiene routine. They also teach individuals and communities the importance of avoiding unhealthy activities, like excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
The following are some of their duties and responsibilities:
- Analyzing, creating, presenting, recommending, and distributing culturally appropriate health education information and materials, such as posters and pamphlets
- Devising and implementing programs and treatments to meet patients’ needs
- Holding classes according to an organization’s guidelines
- Discussing with healthcare workers regarding health education services
- Overseeing staff who handle health education programs
Overall, their goal is to equip the public with knowledge of how to live healthier lifestyles and the tools to prevent health problems.
With a health science degree, you can be a doctor. Which specialization you choose will be up to you. Some common specializations are oncology, pediatrics, dermatology, general surgery, and anesthesiology.
The duties and responsibilities of a doctor depend on the specialization, but all physicians perform tasks, such as:
- Identifying symptoms
- Making diagnoses
- Providing prescriptions and performing treatments
- Offering patients follow-up care, giving them referrals, and analyzing their lab results
- Working with other healthcare staff, such as registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants
- Staying updated on medical technology and research
5. Naturopathic Doctor
A well-trained diagnostician, a naturopathic doctor uses therapies that are least invasive and toxic to not only treat the condition itself but also address the underlying causes of health issues. They treat conditions, such as respiratory problems, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, allergies, and fertility issues. Some methods that they apply for treatment are botanical medicine, nutrition counseling, homeopathic treatment, minor surgery, and hydrotherapy.
A naturopathic doctor is an expert on preventative care as well. Like a health educator, they help patients adopt healthier habits to keep themselves safe from health issues.
In addition, they can specialize in fields, like pediatrics, women’s health, and internal medicine. As a member of an integrative medical team, they work with other specialists to handle patient cases.
6. Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET)
A biomedical medical equipment technician’s job is to service, repair, and maintain medical equipment, so they play an important role in laboratories and hospitals. They know how to reassemble and disassemble equipment and identify parts that need to be fixed or replaced. Aside from repair and regular maintenance, they conduct preventative maintenance on essential equipment to guarantee effective treatment for patients.
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a biomedical equipment technician include:
- Maintaining a healthy and safe work environment through safety tests on machinery, compliance with codes, and training of medical professionals
- Installing new equipment that a hospital or clinic may have acquired
- Keeping all patient information confidential by ensuring all hospital systems are in place
Hospitals aren’t the only major employers that require the expertise of BMETs. Equipment repair businesses and medical equipment wholesalers depend on their services just as much.
7. Hearing Aid Specialist
A hearing aid specialist performs a noble job of assisting those who have hearing difficulties. They conduct hearing tests and ear exams, select and fit suitable hearing aids for their clients, and teach them how to wear and maintain hearing aids properly. Additionally, they support them by:
- Taking ear impressions so that ear molds can be prepared, designed, and modified
- Assessing and checking the efficacy of certain hearing devices
- Interpreting hearing tests
Pursuing a degree in health science will be a practical choice. You can do anything, such as practice medicine or tinker with medical equipment. With such a degree, you’ll enjoy not only a lucrative career but also a fulfilling one.