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Five Unique Healthcare Degrees

When people discuss healthcare degrees and careers, some of the typical occupations that come up are nursing, medical assisting, medical imaging, healthcare management, physical therapy or occupational therapy assisting, and even health information technology or billing & coding.

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Some healthcare specialties are not as familiar. We’ve come up with a list of some lesser known education programs that may spark your interest as you map out your health or medical career goals.

Trying to figure out what school to attend?
Find out about some key questions to ask college representatives, whether you’re pursuing sonography or another field of study: “Researching Ultrasound Technician Schools – Ask Questions”

Medical Assisting with X-Ray Technology

There are plenty of medical assistant programs out there, and plenty of radiology tech programs, but some colleges offer training in both areas. Offered as a diploma or degree, these types of programs may have several different names, like “Clinical Assistant with Limited Medical Radiography” (Spencerian College), “Medical Assistant X-ray Technician” (Kaplan College), “Basic X-Ray with Medical Office Procedures” (Ultimate Medical Academy) and “Medical Assistant with Limited Radiography Technology” (Vaterott College).

To give you an idea of what such a program might entail, Remington College offers a “Medical Assisting with X-Ray Tech (Limited Scope)” diploma. According to the college’s website, students “Study limited X-Ray procedures, medical insurance and coding, patient billing, and more!” The curriculum – which involves a range of medical and office procedures –  is taught in the classroom and in the lab, and students also complete an externship in a workplace setting.

Sterile Processing Technician

Although numerous schools offer Sterile Processing Technician training, employees that perform this role tend to be out of the limelight. That does not mean their role is less important than that of a professional who directly works with patients. Sterile processing technicians work towards ensuring medical instruments used in hospitals, surgeries and other facilities are completely free of contamination, which is crucial for patient safety.

Fortis Institute is just one school that offers a Sterile Processing Technician training program. The school states, “As a graduate of the Fortis sterile processing training program, students will be prepared for entry-level positions in hospitals, physicians’ offices, inpatient and outpatient clinics, diagnostic centers and many more exciting opportunities.”

Health and Wellness Degree

Promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing sickness and disease are concepts that are increasingly becoming priorities in the world of healthcare and society at large. A number of schools offer Health and Wellness majors where students can learn how to create wellness programs for healthcare institutions, communities, companies, social service agencies and other organizations; study a holistic approach to healthcare; delve into communication strategies and relationship building with stakeholders; become an advocate for patients, and more.

Rasmussen College is just one of the postsecondary institutions that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness. As an example, the courses in its program range from “Healthcare and Aging,” “Health Care Advocacy” and “Behavioral Health” to “Healthcare Administration” and “Therapeutic Communication.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 26% increase in healthcare employment (4.1 million jobs) from 2012 to 2022.

Source: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/spring/art03.pdf

Sex Therapy

Health educators, psychologists, therapists and similar professionals might choose to specialize in sexual health or sex therapy. Depending on the school, such a specialization could be offered as part of graduate degree concentration, as a professional certificate, or as part of another format. Sex therapy can help an individual or a couple experiencing physical, psychological or emotional difficulties related to sex and sexuality.

Trauma/Crisis Response

Unfortunately, in this world a person can potentially experience a wide variety of traumas and crises, from abuse and bullying to natural disasters and war. Those who are already working in a human services field or those who are working on such a career can choose to become experts in crisis/trauma response, counseling or relief. Concentrations and specializations are offered at various degree levels and also as certificate programs.

Just one example is Northcentral University’s Ph.D. in Trauma and Disaster Relief. It is geared towards those who already have a Master’s degree in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work or Mental Health Counseling, and who want to help individuals who have experienced intimate or widespread trauma. The program’s specialization courses delve into topics such as the psychology of violence, neurological effects of trauma, the history of trauma psychology, human-caused disasters, post-traumatic recovery and crisis intervention.

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