If you want a career nurturing people, but the sight of blood makes your knees go weak, you have choices. From nursing home management to physical therapy, there’s no shortage of jobs for women who are both squeamish and caring. A career as a doctor is even possible, provided you can deal with blood for a year or two in medical school. Bloodless medical fields also offer jobs for every educational level, from postsecondary certification to doctoral degrees.
Health care managers and administrators oversee delivery of medical services. They set work schedules, manage finances, stay current on laws and regulations and represent their facility at investor meetings or on governing boards. They also keep medical staff and department heads updated on important issues. Nursing home administrators supervise nursing homes, while clinical managers lead specific hospital departments such as nursing or surgery. Most employers require health care administrators to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field, though many have a master’s degree as well.
Physical therapists help patients recover from injuries or surgeries. They guide patients through supervised exercises to improve mobility of joints and muscles, rebuild strength and ease pain from ailments that limit movement. Physical therapists work for hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine clinics, colleges and in patients’ homes. Some specialize, working exclusively with children or the elderly. Others focus on patients with neurological or cardiopulmonary conditions. Occupational therapy is a closely related field that emphasizes helping the permanently disabled learn to function on the job or in school. Practitioners in both fields need a master’s degree.
Patients never see health information specialists, but the work these technologists do is fundamental to care. Health information technology professionals manage patient records, administer computer information systems and put billing codes on procedures. Doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics use health information data to choose treatments and determine whether therapies work. Physicians’ offices, hospitals, insurance companies and government agencies employ health information workers in positions such as billing and coding specialist, patient information coordinator or insurance claims analyst. To enter the field, get an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate in health information technology. Certification from the American Health Information Management Association may boost hiring and advancement.
Careers in the local pharmacy are blood-free. The quickest route into the field is as a pharmacy technician, taking prescription slips from patients, counting tablets and fielding phone calls from customers. In most states, techs need just a high school diploma, because training happens on the job. Techs may also need to pass a state licensing exam. Pharmacists dispense medication and counsel patients on side effects. Pharmacists typically must finish a five-year combined program that results in bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in pharmacy. They work in retail drugstores, hospitals or nursing homes. Health maintenance organizations and pharmaceuticals manufacturers also employ pharmacists.
Yes, some medical practices let you avoid blood. There’s one big caveat, though: All doctors, regardless of specialty, have to complete hospital rotations in internal medicine. If you can handle med school but want to stay away from blood on the job, consider a career as a psychiatrist or hospitalist. Psychiatrists treat emotional and mental disorders. Once they finish medical school, they must complete a four-year hospital residency in psychiatry. Hospitalists are doctors who guide chronically or critically patients through their stay in the hospital, helping them understand treatments and delivery of care. A one-year fellowship in the field can train hospitalists to collaborate with hospital staff and research ways to improve care.
- University of California, Los Angeles: Pre-Health Career Services: Pharmacy
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Pharmacy Technicians Do
- University of Cincinnati College of Medicine: How to Become a Psychiatrist
- MayoClinic.com: Hospital Medicine Fellowship
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Medical and Health Services Managers Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Medical or Health Services Manager