By Amelia Wood
When we think about professions in the medical industry our minds immediately go to doctors, specialists, and nurses. These positions are no doubt the most talked about and publicly represented professions in the field of medicine. With numerous primetime televisions shows dedicated to the mysterious and always exciting lives of fictional doctors and nurses, it can be easy to forget that other professions exist in the medical field. However, of course, there are many other positions in this vast industry that deserve recognition as important and promising careers as well. As educational expenses continue to spiral somewhat out of control in the academic world today, more and more students are looking for careers without the expensive educational price tag. Consider these three promising and stable medical professions outside of the realm of the M.D. and nursing.
Medical Billing and Coding
While a primetime television show about medical billers and coder might not be quite as thrilling as House or Grey's Anatomy, the profession itself is a very strong one. Medical billing and coding make up two separate areas of the healthcare industry, but are highly related. Medical billing professionals ensure that doctors, nurses, and other caregivers receive proper reimbursement for the services they provide. The specific job requirements of this position vary depending on the size and services of the care facility. In general, medical billers assemble the data that needs to be included in a bill, make sure that insurance forms are correctly completed, and communicate with doctors and other medical professionals about diagnoses.
Medical coding is a process that facilitates medical billing. There can be overlap in these two jobs or they can be separate positions. Medical codes are used by doctors and specialists to create claims for medical services. Medical coding professionals code medical claims to ensure invoices are correct. These two areas of the medical profession are growing steadily and offer a lot of perks in the professional realm of medicine.
To the surprise of some, radiological technologists don't actually require a specialized degree. If you wish to enter this field, you will have to complete and pass a national certification exam, but you can break into the field with a certificate, associate's, or bachelor's degree. Radiological technologists prep patients for X-rays and administer diagnostic imaging exams, fluoroscopies, MRIs, and mammograms. This career has been steadily growing in the medical field today and typically offers an above average salary. Individuals who are interested in a medical profession and have a keen eye for detail and strong interpersonal skills may be well suited for a career in radiology.
The pharmacy is likely not what comes to mind when we think about working in the medical world. While it is not a doctor's office or an emergency room, working in a pharmacy can be extremely rewarding. Pharmacy technicians do not need a specialized degree to enter the field. By completing an associate's degree (or higher) and passing a national certification exam, you can are eligible to work as a pharmacy technician. These professionals help pharmacists prepare prescriptions, file insurance claims, and answer medical questions. Pharmacy professions are one area of industry that have not been hit by recent economic troubles and have continued to grow in a troubling economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pharmacy technician industry is expected to grow 32 percent between now and 2016—definitely a promising sector.
In an economy where jobs are scarce, candidates are competitive, and student debt is soaring, finding the right field is a must. Consider your options wisely.
Amelia Wood is a health and wellness fanatic, who often writes about medical billing and coding certification and other healthcare topics. She's combined her passion for writing and medicine by blogging for various sites throughout the web.