Medical & Dental
Becoming a doctor isn't an easy option, it takes years of study and hard work. If you like helping people there are few more rewarding or respected careers. You'll be part of a team of professionals and non-medical staff delivering care to the highest standards in the NHS.
You must test your diagnosis, decide on the best course of treatment, and monitor progress. This demands an enquiring mind, the capacity to acquire and maintain high levels of knowledge which have to be constantly up-to-date, and the ability to relate to people as individuals, each with their own health needs.
Nursing & Midwifery
If you want to work in an environment that's interesting, rewarding and challenging, a career in nursing has plenty to offer. Nurses form the largest group of staff in the NHS and are a crucial part of the healthcare team. Nurses work in every sort of health setting from accident and emergency to patients' homes, with people of all ages and backgrounds.
So, if you're caring, compassionate and have a commitment to helping people, you'll find a role that suits you. You'll also need to be able to communicate difficult health issues effectively and courageously.
Health Care Assistant
Healthcare assistants most commonly work alongside nurses. The types of duties include the following:
- washing and dressing
- serving patients meals and assisting with feeding when necessary
- helping people to mobilise
- bed making
- generally assisting with patients' overall comfort
- monitoring patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight
Case study videos
A pharmacist is an expert in medicines and their use. They work to ensure that patients get the maximum benefit from their medicines. They advise medical and nursing staff on the selection and appropriate use of medicines. They provide information to patients on how to manage their medicines to ensure optimal treatment.
Physiotherapists help and treat people with physical problems caused by illness, accident or ageing.It sees human movement as central to the health and well-being of individuals and identify and maximise movement through health promotion, preventive healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation.
Administration & Clerical
Medical secretaries deal with consultants' correspondence, making appointments, handling patients queries and liasing with other healthcare staff.
This is a responsible job, as medical secretaries are expected to use their own initiative, make decisions and deal with patients and their relatives who are worried or upset about their illness. They may also be responsible for maintaining details of certain budgets and ordering stationery. They will be responsible for booking resources such as rooms, audio-visual equipment and refreshments for meetings and other events.
Theatre staff work primarily within hospital operating theatres and anaesthetic/recovery areas.
They work as a part of a perioperative team that includes:
Radiography / Imaging
Diagnostic Radiographers are highly skilled health professionals who use expensive, high tech, equipment to produce diagnostic images of people’s bodies. These images are used to diagnose, monitor and treat disease.
The different modes of imaging include:
- Plain Film X-Rays. If you have ever been x-rayed for a broken bone or had a chest x-ray then you have already met a radiographer.
- Fluoroscopy. Live dynamic x-ray images. This sort of Imaging is often combined with treatment e.g. during operations in theatre.
- Computed Tomography. Doughnut shaped scanners that produce hundreds of x-ray images at a time that are highly detailed.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Tunnel shaped scanners that use giant magnets rather than x-rays to produce, what are often, the most detailed pictures of all.
- Ultrasound. Radiographers who carry out Ultrasound Scans are often known as Sonographers. Ultrasound uses sound waves, rather than x-rays, to produce images. Ultrasound is best known as a tool for imaging unborn babies, but has many other imaging applications.
It is not all about science and doing fancy things with machines, however. Radiographers need to be empathetic and caring, and have strong communication and people skills. They need to be accurate and pay attention to detail. They need to be able to work independently as well as part of a team and be able to make quick decisions.