Blog Career

A Comprehensive Guide to the Primary Career Paths in Healthcare

A Comprehensive Guide to the Primary Career Paths in Healthcare Leave a comment
career paths in healthcare

Wondering whether career paths in healthcare is right for you? Read on to find out more!

Whether you are someone who is already a medical professional and working full-time in a certain area of the healthcare sector, or else someone who has forged a career in another public sector or indeed another industry and is looking for a change of direction, then you have come to the right place.

A career in the healthcare sector is as rewarding as it is challenging in equal measure, and there are a wide plethora of exciting opportunities involved in the pursuit and acquisition of such a professional achievement. So, with this in mind, here for your information and, of course, reading pleasure is a comprehensive guide to the primary career paths in healthcare.

Nurse helping someone


The first and arguably the most prominent of careers in the medical and healthcare world is that of the professional and registered nurse.

There are a wide plethora of different and often decidedly unusual reasons why individuals choose to dedicate their professional working life to helping others, yet the overarching theme amongst nearly all of them is that they want to feel like they are making a difference.

Of course, with nursing, as with every single other profession in this article, the difference they are making is plain for all to see. There is a myriad of different types of nursing, all with their own specialisms and subspecialties and, therefore, all with their own required qualifications as well as personality attributes and assets.

Typical roles and responsibilities of a professional working nurse that can translate across a variety of different spectrums include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

. Responding quickly and calmly to a whole host of different emergencies and situations

. Writing, editing, and maintaining individual patients’ treatment and care plans

. Recording and regularly observing the condition and subsequent progress of each patient in their care

. Preparing the patient for blood transfusions

. Installing catheters and drips

. Carrying out thorough and devised routine evaluations and inspections

. Liaising with other medical professionals such as doctors, surgeons, and specialist nurses on a regular basis

. Conversing and even building a professional rapport with social workers

. Acting as a professional advocate on behalf of individual patients and their families

. Prioritizing busy wards, strained workloads, and junior and student nurses and other staff

. Maintaining efficient and up to date patient records

. Gaining the respect, confidence, and trust of every single patient in their care

. Treating wounds and injuries

. Monitoring temperature, blood pressure, and pulse

. Administering and checking injections and drugs

. Assisting with patient evaluations and tests

. Communicating and reassuring loved ones of the patient as well as the patient themselves

Social Work

Another incredibly rewarding career in the healthcare industry and one that additionally combines working in and around your local community is that of a career in social work. 

There is a substantial array of incredible opportunities in the world of social work, regarding the location in which you conduct your daily activities as well as specific specialties in which you can excel. Social workers can work in virtually any treatment, medical or counseling facility, from nursing care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities to schools and government agencies.

Due to the wide-reaching nature of the occupation, social workers are highly trained in a wide plethora of different disciplines so they can effectively provide the right type of service for different people. There is an increasing demand on the need for social workers, both in the United States and beyond, and a recent study published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a massive thirteen percent growth rate in the next seven years.

Typical duties, roles, and responsibilities of a professional and practicing social worker in this country include the following:

  • The arranging and conducting of both initial and follow-up mental health and well-being counseling appointments for individual people, couples and groups, and even, upon occasion, whole families
  • Conversing, communicating, and building a strong professional rapport and connection with the client’s care teams as well as the client themselves
  • Professionally analyzing and then referring the patient to the individually appropriate treatment centers or even medical facilities when and where appropriate

Out of all the career paths in healthcare, this might be the most mentally challenging. Be aware it takes a lot of caring and fortitude to do this job!

Healthcare & Leadership

Within the proverbial umbrella heading of healthcare, there is also a vast array of different leadership roles, both inter-departmentally as well as in an overarching medical leadership way. When choosing to go in this particular direction, you will be afforded the opportunity to not only make decisions in terms of the direction of treatments and scheduled training within clinical care but also maybe even change aspects of the healthcare system that are not up to the proverbial par. 

Regardless, however, of the particular type of leadership role you would like to pursue within healthcare, it is strongly advisable to first embark upon some higher education, namely a unique and innovative emha program, which will boost your knowledge base beyond all comparison. 


An absolutely fascinating career path that may well be more than interesting relates to everything to do with the mental and emotional health and well-being of an individual and comes under the proverbial umbrella heading of psychiatry. There is a multitude of different career pathways that firmly come under this heading, including mental health nurses, social workers, counselors, and many, many more.

However, perhaps the most compelling aspect of mental health, and subsequently the most challenging yet intensely fulfilling and rewarding career paths in healthcare within the art and discipline of psychiatry, are psychiatrists themselves.

Essentially, the job of a psychiatrist is to diagnose and treat patients of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles who are living with either an emotional, behavioral, or indeed a mental disorder.

Highly trained and exceedingly intuitive, psychiatrists deal with and apply the following in a regular workplace setting:

. The provision of sound crisis intervention plans and actions as and when needed and wanted.

. The analysis of both the information and patient data, as well as the findings and results of patient assessments which are conducted in order to diagnose.

. The regular and intense monitoring of an individual patient so as to ascertain the efficiency, effectiveness, and any possible side-effect signs or symptoms of any prescription medication.

. Communicating, conversing, and collaborating with a wide variety of different medical professionals so as to adjust, assess or indeed entirely change an individual patient’s roadmap for treatment as and when required.

. The screening and assessment of the patient in all manner of ways, including interviews, observation, physical examinations, written tests, medical history evaluations, and psychological testing.

. The prescribing and subsequent administering of prescription drugs if the patient is deemed to require them.

. The intimate developing of a sound and hopefully effective treatment plan, and then monitoring and adapting the plan as the patient progresses.

. Timely, accurate, and thorough completion of each individual patient’s treatment schedule and medical record.

. Communicating and building professional working relationships with hospital managers, possible stakeholders, and care managers about the general practice of patient care and treatment.

Substance Abuse Counselor

A professional substance abuse counselor is a medical professional who specializes in a very niche and specific area of mental health counseling. Namely, substance abuse counselors work with individuals, and sometimes even groups or families, who are addicted to a substance and want to recover from said addiction.

In the vast majority of cases, the ‘substance’ that is referred to is usually either alcohol, prescription medicine, or else some form of illegal narcotic. There are a lot of career paths in healthcare, but this one will probably be more one on one, and very in depth.

Substance abuse counselors are highly trained in exceedingly specific areas of counseling and usually employ one or more of the following counseling practices to get results and help the patient:

  1. The 12 step facilitation plan (focused on acceptance, then surrender, then active involvement)
  2. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  3. Family counseling system
  4. Group therapy sessions
  5. Dialectal behavior therapy

As with other career pathways into and throughout the healthcare and medical profession, the general duties of a substance abuse counselor range, often quite widely, depending on the location of the patient and their background. However, typical roles and responsibilities of a substance abuse counselor include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Informing and educating clients about the various coping mechanisms they can use to overcome their addiction once and for all to ensure that, as likely as possible, their client will never return to their former unhealthy habits.
  • The analysis and tracking of the progression of recovery for each and every client in their care and often additionally changing or adapting their treatment plan to suit their individual responses and needs.
  • Focusing on the ultimate goal of the client to be discharged from the counseling facilities in order to lead a life free of their old addiction by encouraging a slow, meaningful, and careful transition back into society.
  • Creating, developing, and monitoring crisis management plans for each client in their care, including arming them with various tools to fight off the temptation of returning to their addiction.
  • Monitoring each of the clients under their care and even responding directly and immediately to any emergency situation involving them.
  • Leading and tutoring various educational addiction programs both in the community and on a large scale, and sometimes even in a prison setting.
  • Leading the conversation, communicating, and building a professional rapport with not only the client themselves but the close family members and even their close friends as well to better understand and monitor the progression of their client.
  • Communicating and often even collaborating with other medical professionals such as mental health counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, primary caregivers, doctors, and nurses.


Widely different from the other careers on this list, a nutritionist is not a medical professional, yet they make substantial positive differences and impacts on the lives of hundreds and thousands of people across the length and breadth of this country and beyond every single year.

Professional nutritionists work towards the common goal of promoting a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle and often specialize in one or more areas, usually either food science, medical healthcare, sports and exercise, nutrition science, animal nutrition, or public health nutrition.

Nutritionists always work in non-clinical settings, such as working together with local authorities, in the media, employed full-time within sporting organizations, food manufacturers and retailers, and even research and educational institutions. 

Daily roles and responsibilities of a fully qualified nutritionist include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • Advising professional sportsmen and women on how changing and adapting their diet can improve and maximize their performance.
  • Analyzing, adapting, and developing menus for various institutions such as schools, residential care homes, workplace canteens, and even prison kitchens.
  • Undertaking copious market research as well as conducting product surveys and reviewing new and existing academic literature surrounding the topic of nutrition.
  • Writing new policies on nutrition and fighting to advocate change in the right places and to affect the right people.
  • Evaluating, delivering, and creating a wide range of educational and practical initiatives surrounding a healthy diet with the aim of affecting healthy changes to the general public’s lifestyle.
  • The presentation and delivery of workshops and presentations on key subjects under the umbrella of nutrition, including lifestyle change, behavioral changes, eating for performance, and weight management.
  • The provision of specialist and often individual advice pertaining to the healthy diet and lifestyle of particular groups of people, such as the elderly, pregnant women, babies, and teenagers.
  • Promoting nutritional and dietary advice through a range of different media, such as e-learning tutorials, social media, video podcasts, website content, the press, webinars, and audio podcasts.
  • Conducting a wide range of polls and surveys surrounding the topic of healthy eating and diet as well as clinical trials and research into different types of food and their various properties.
  • Working in specific areas of the nutrition industry and focusing on a particular topic, such as healthy bones, sugar reduction, and salt intake.

Definitely one of the most well balanced career paths in healthcare!

Career Paths in Healthcare for You!

So whether you’re tired of freelancing, or simply want a new career, theses jobs can help you find something that will be fulfilling in healthcare!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *