Great Healthcare Careers That Are Often Overshadowed

Updated on October 17, 2019

There are many careers in healthcare other than being a medical physician, dentist, or nurse. Many of the people involved in these professions are essential in society and provide necessary care for those in need. In this article, we’ll cover some healthcare professions that are often overshadowed by the most popular.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists assist people in completing everyday tasks and activities. Patients who are in need of this type of therapy range from infants to elderly individuals. Some occupational therapists work in hospitals, provide home help care, or even help children in schools.

Occupational therapists can assist children with developmental issues perform physical tasks. They also help elderly adults with limited physical ability. This includes those who have suffered from strokes and other illnesses. These professionals help with activities such as writing, walking, cooking meals, and many other daily tasks.

To become an occupational therapist, you’ll need to earn a college degree in occupational therapy. Afterward, you’ll need to become licensed to practice in your state. Most colleges that offer occupational therapy have it as a master’s program or doctorate program. However, there are some colleges that also offer a bachelor’s degree in this field.

Speech-language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists are tasked with diagnosing and treating communication and swallowing problems. These professionals treat patients of all ages and work in a variety of different settings. This includes schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers.

When individuals are faced with speech issues, speech-language pathologists can assist them in learning to communicate properly. This may be the case with small children, stroke victims, or anyone with speech or swallowing problems.

To become a speech-language pathologist, you’ll need to find an accredited college program. Most professionals in this field have a master’s degree. There are many programs across the country that offer accelerated programs where you can attain both your bachelor’s and master’s in less time. 

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

Upon achieving their master’s in nursing, these health professionals focus on mental health. After completion of their training, psychiatric nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat mental disorders in patients of all ages. Most professionals in this field work in hospitals, mental health centers, or even their own offices.

In most states across the country, these healthcare specialists can diagnose and prescribe medications as it relates to mental health. Much like a medical doctor, this type of nurse practitioner can practice out of their own office. In many cases, psychiatric nurse practitioners can do much of what a psychiatrist can. 

Many psychiatric nurse practitioners earn salaries just over six-figures. They can work in a variety of different settings and can help patients with a variety of different issues. Overall, with the growing need for mental health treatment, psychiatric nurse practitioners are meeting the demand. 


Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing issues. They work in hospitals, educational institutions, and rehab centers. Audiologists will assess a patient’s ability to hear and recommend a treatment. In many cases, people who suffer from hearing loss can be assisted through hearing aids. However, at times, these professionals may even refer you to a medical specialist.

Audiologists can practice after earning their doctoral degree in audiology. These professionals work alongside other medical specialists to best diagnose and treat issues related to a person’s ability to hear. In all, audiologists typically earn between $70,000 to $90,000 each year.


During surgery, this healthcare professional is tasked with operating the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, also called the heart-lung machine. Using equipment, perfusionists work with the surgeon during an operation to maintain the patient’s physiological needs. They also must be informed about the patient’s medical history and conditions.

To become a perfusionist, one must complete college and a specialized training program. Since there are not many cardiac perfusion programs offered by colleges around the country, many must become certified through a specialized training program. Nevertheless, this job is essential during surgery and is in high demand.

Going Into Healthcare

As you can see, many different medical professionals are available when necessary. These professionals specialize in certain aspects of health to best treat and diagnose multiple types of issues. For students looking to pursue a career in health, there are many different careers to choose from, including some of these examples.

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