21 Non-Patient Facing Health Courses You Can Do in 2020

With COVID-19 looming, it might not be a bad idea to avoid patient-facing courses in the NHS altogether.

I wrote an article about how the government is poorly treating our health workers and why people should strongly consider deferring entry to medical, nursing, or other health-related courses.

These courses are hard enough to get into as they are, and what for? To be told you are wasting PPE and to put your life at risk? This especially applies to the UK and how the government is handling the pandemic.

Only 1 month ago it was Boris Johnson’s plan to let the live virus tear through the population to achieve herd immunity. Maybe patient facing jobs might not be what you should be chasing after all.

Maybe there are alternative that have a reasonable barrier of entry but don’t ask the world of you! Maybe you would like to do a job where you are actually appreciated instead of slaving away but still considered disposable. Maybe this post is for you!

non-patient facing roles

  1. Medical Transcriptionist

Often overlooked, these professionals offer transcription services for doctors, consultants, and GPs. Essentially, they listen to voice recordings from medical professionals and transcribe the recordings into notes to be added to the patients’ medical files.

Medical transcriptionists don’t need any formal qualifications however doing an online course and having prior experience with general healthcare terminology and transcription is desired.

2. Medical Equipment Repairer

They are often known as biomedical equipment technicians and are put in charge of repairing most of the electronics that are commonly found in hospitals. You will likely need some kind of apprenticeship in electrical engineering, or already be in an environment where you understand the workings of various electronics.

Occasionally hospitals advertise electrical engineering apprentice positions. In such situations, you are paid just to learn how to fix equipment. I urge anyone with interests in technology to definitely consider doing such an apprenticeship.

3. Medical Technologists and Technicians

Similar to an equipment repairer, this role is more involved with the production and prototyping of new medical technologies. They make designs, perform safety and quality control checks, and ensure the equipment is suitably fit for the target patients.

4. Healthcare technology and systems

This field is concerned with people who design healthcare systems to securely manage and store patient information. This requires quite a strong IT and software engineering background, and is certainly a possibility for anyone with interests in such fields. Big hospital contracts can be brokered for software, and with the way things are going, it would be foolish to ignore software as a potential career option.

5. Medical administrative assistant

A medical administrative assistant is exactly what it sounds like. They perform admin duties such as checking patients in at the front desk, answering phone calls and scheduling appointments. Suffice it to say there is no patient contact and most of the roles will be executed in the background.

This role is often overlooked and disregarded as menial, however MAA’s have to possess several competencies such as operating computer software, compiling and processing insurance payments and medical records, and even interviewing for patient histories over the phone for booking appointments in advance.

A real power role for people with no taste in taking patient histories in person.

6. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist and Technicians

These are safety officers that check that a work environment adheres to proper safety regulation. In many ways, they are the authority figure over the healthcare system. They identify hazards in the workplace, make sure employers are adequately training staff, and they can even design programs to help prevent injury or spread of disease within the workplace.

To become such as officer, you may study courses such a occupational hygiene or public health. You may also require a NEBOSH general certificate in occupational health and safety.

7. Biomedical Engineer

As mentioned on my other blog post, biomedical engineering is a course that people should strongly be considering! It is all about designing mechanical engineering products to help solve medical issues.

Most engineers can find work after just a bachelors degree. More information can be found at the following website. Leeds is well known for their prestigious medical school.

8. Radiologic and MRI Technicians

These healthcare professionals simply guide patients through MRI scans. They are also involved with producing the results and relaying this information onto various other healthcare professionals. The job is spent with patients mostly inside a mental tube so there isn’t much patient contact involved.

The salaries are also super rewarding as it requires you to have a background in magnetic resonance imaging either through an apprenticeship or university degree in medical imaging. Job security is great too!

9. Cardiovascular/ Vascular Technologists

These medical professionals use non-invasive ultrasound techniques to find out whether someone suffers from diseases relating to blood vessel injury. Things like arterial disease, embolisms and aneurysms can all be diagnosed in part using this technology.

There is therefore a promising future for individuals who choose this route. Sonography courses will set you well on your way for this job role.

10. Orthotic and Prosthetics Professionals

They design and make custom prosthetics for patients who need them. According to the WHO, 30 million people are in need of prosthetics! The market is massive, don’t overlook this sector.

There are BSc degrees in prosthetics and orthotics that will set you well on your way. Make sure that the degree is however approved and recognised to produce graduates competent enough to undergo health care certification.

11. Nuclear Medicine Technologist

People in this field work with special substances that can bind to bodily tissue and allow professionals to see healthy or diseased parts of the body. The technology takes advantage of radioactive molecules that have an affinity for human tissue. Bioscience degrees are a good starting point for such a role.

12. Pathologist

Pathologists work within hospitals to diagnose disease by studying tissue samples taken from the patient’s body. Yes, pathologists are doctors, but their patient contact is heavily limited.

Your work is mainly confined to laboratory work however if you are someone that finds satisfaction and solace when you aren’t around others too much, this role may be the perfect healthcare role.

You still have to go to medical school, but once you qualify, you won’t have to worry about performing any physical examinations or treating patients.

13. Geneticist

A pure science degree that can lead to many great things! Genetics is the study of the human gene and its associative structures. The future is heading towards gene modifications and geneticist are increasingly becoming more valuable as this future is being realised.

If you are an academics fanatic, please consider studying this course undergrad as you won’t believe the opportunities that lay ahead. You may end up getting a PhD before you turn 25 with genetics since there is just so much research to be done!

14. Microbiologist

Are you interested in the pathogenesis of disease? Do you find the way viruses infect cells fascinating? Microbiology may be the course! Even though you are working with dangerous diseases, it is often only for research purposes, definitely a favourable option for people who shy away from patient facing roles.

From experience, microbiology is one of the most interesting subjects you will ever study! Do some more research into it.

15. Legal Consultant

Every hospital and health establishment have legal consults. Someone who can represent them and offer advice when the company undoubtedly gets into legal battles. To work as a legal adviser to a healthcare establishment, you can choose a variety of roots.

You may decide to go the physician route and get a medical degree first, then go on to complete a master’s degree in medical law and ethics. You may also decide to go straight to a law degree and specialise in medical law.

Either way, there will never be a dull moment working as a legal consultant.

16. Informatics Nurse

An informatics nurse is essentially a nurse who applies her knowledge from nursing school into computer science technologies to benefit patient experience and overall information analysis in a healthcare setting.

This role is fairly new and it involves things like entering medical records electronically, developing care protocols, and leveraging the power of data science to inform management plans in the future.

If you are keen on healthcare, but also have interests in programming, this may be the perfect way to merge your two passions.

17. Patient Advocate

Patient advocates aren’t involved with the direct care giving of individuals, or the diagnosing and treatment. They however are involved with helping someone go through all these things. They essentially act as a relay between the healthcare provider and the care receiver. They may do things such as set up appointments, organise insurance, deal with the legal aspects, or provide social support to patients in trying times.

A patient may need an advocate to protect them from receiving prejudiced, unethical, or unequal care. Something to look into.

18. Healthcare Writer

This role sounds just as it is. Someone who writes about health. Health Writers cover various topics such as clinical trial results, new treatments and procedures, or general tips on how to keep healthy.

The biggest issue is getting hired. Often writers rely on bigger blogs and journals to contract them for a number of posts. There is definitely promise with this field but you might want to get a feel of the waters by just simply starting your own blog.

19. Quality Improvement Manager

This role is a fairly lucrative one in which you will be co-ordinating and developing road-maps for the improvement of patient quality of care. Your roles will involve working closely with the establishment managers to put in place strategies for increasing workflow and efficiency.

You will however need an equally thorough background and experience for such a big role. This may involve studying subjects such as business management within healthcare.

20. Medical Records Manager

These healthcare professionals oversee all the medical records that are taken in the healthcare establishment. They ensure that the records are secure, abide by confidentiality and data keeping legislation, and that they are most importantly accurate.

This role typically requires at least 3-4 years of experience in related fields or departments. This can include being in charge of record keeping at a care home or schooling establishment for example.

21. Medical equipment preparer/Technician

Similar to an engineer, a medical equipment preparer simply ensures that expensive medical equipment is delivered to the healthcare facility and is set up and ready to use by any healthcare professional. They are also on hand to provide equipment maintenance if things go wrong all of a sudden.

Often manufacturers of medical gear will have their own people for repairing the equipment but a medical technician can actually save an establishment money in the long run since they can have a look at the equipment at no extra cost, granted the repair is straightforward and within their competency.

Summary

This is certainly not an exhaustive list; it merely serves to let you know that there are options for you out there if you just keep looking! If you feel like the usual medicine, dentistry, nursing, or biomed is your only option, think again!

I haven’t even included things like medication dispensing, pharmacy administration roles, and teaching.

The world is whatever you make it, so aim high.

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