A health studies degree can open many career doors. Courses on health information management, biosciences, health services, behavior and policy provide a solid foundation for careers in health care. Many health science programs encourage and emphasize specialization within clinical or non-clinical areas.
Health educators attempt to encourage healthy lifestyle choices through education. They work to empower individuals and communities through health education by covering topics such as disease, injury, nutrition, exercise and maintenance of general well-being. They identify and assess health problems and then design and implement education programs or materials to distribute to the community or individual. Health educators work in medical care settings, schools and universities, public health departments, nonprofits and/or private practices.
Health Policy Researchers
Health policy researchers focus on the organization, financing and delivery of health care. They analyze health policy issues and compare the costs, risks and benefits of medical care strategies. Health policy researchers are responsible for evaluating health programs and providing recommendations for change. They can work for nonprofit or government agencies or in private health care.
Health Services Administrators
Health care administrators (also called health care executives or medical and health services managers) plan, direct, coordinate and supervise health care delivery. The majority of administrator jobs are found in hospitals, but administrators can work in private offices, residential (inpatient) care, home health care, government health care, outpatient facilities or insurance. Large companies usually enlist several assistant administrators to assist senior administrators. Assistant administrators make the daily decisions and direct activity in clinical areas. In smaller facilities, top administrators are more involved in daily operations. Clinical managers are experienced in specific clinical areas and, therefore, have more specific responsibilities than general administrators. Clinical managers establish and implement new departmental policies, procedures and objectives; evaluate work quality and employees; create reports and budgets; and cooperate with other managers. Health information managers maintain and secure patient records. They are responsible for ensuring databases are complete, accurate and only available to authorized personnel.
Health Promotion Practitioners
Health promotion practitioners analyze economic, social and environmental issues concerning health and health promotion. By encouraging communication, partnership and participation, health promotion practitioners empower others to actively engage in promoting good health. Workplaces depend on the individual and whether he prefers to focus on an issue or a facility. For example, he can focus on specific issues, like smoking cessation or nutrition, or settings, like geographic communities, schools or prisons. There is no standard role for health promotion practitioners, so, workplaces vary and can include community health centers, hospitals, private medical offices or even fitness clubs. Health promotion practitioners can lobby for health-related regulation and promotion, or they can manage local fundraisers for health-related causes.
Health Information Specialist Administrators
Health information specialist administrators oversee health care information management. Health information technicians gather and assemble patient health information. They organize and maintain health information data, ensuring quality, accuracy and secure accessibility. Technicians who specialize in codifying medical information for insurance reimbursement are called medical coders or coding specialists. They assign codes to patient diagnoses and procedures based on classification systems software. These codes determine the dollar amount for reimbursement. Specialists may work with several coding systems, such as those used for physician offices or long-term care. Health information specialist administrators supervise information technicians and coders. Technicians and health information specialist administrators work with health care providers, so they can work in physician offices, outpatient or inpatient facilities, home health care or government agencies.
- Degree Directory: What are My Career Options with a Health Science Degree
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook Health Educators
- Stanford School of Medicine: Health Research and Policy
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook Medical and Health Services Managers
- The National Health Service (UK) Careers: Health Promotion Specialist
- Photo Credit health centre sign. access to health centre image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com
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