Hi, My name is Sanjay and in this session
I am going to talk about careers in Healthcare. At one time or another, each of us has been
ill and had to visit a doctor or other health worker.
In fact for many of us ,doctors and nurses are the first people we see when born. Even,
before our parents. Health science is a broad term which includes
all professional occupations that play a role in the maintaining of health, prevention of
illnesses, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and rehabilitation
in the process of recovery. Thus some of the occupations that can be included
in this category are doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists,
dieticians, speech therapists and audiologists. An important point to note is that after they
receive a degree but before entering an occupation each of these graduates commit themselves
to a code of conduct in which they promise to uphold
a number of professional and ethical standards. Each graduate may also need to register with
a national council in order to practice their occupation. Now let us take a step back. What sort of
personality and characteristics are recommended for someone considering a career in the health
sciences? Our first piece of advice – Try to get a first
hand idea of the profession. And this would not come from watching TV serials
about medical professionals but actually talking to a few.
Ask about the positives AS well as the negatives. If possible shadow someone in the profession
for one or more days . In general, individuals working in this field: – Are always ready for unselfish service and
involvement in a community – Think scientifically and logically to solve
problems – Are happy to work in a team and also willing
to take orders – have good social skills – Are hard working and ready to work irregular
hours – Are very responsible – Can handle stressful situations and – Are self disciplined Now let us look at a high level list of admission
requirements for such professionals. A scientific foundation in school is required
to study one of the health sciences. Often a certain minimum achievement in the
science subjects is asked for rather than just a mere pass.
One or more of the subjects: Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are mandatory subjects
for grade 12. The required cut off marks in these subjects
depend on the course you are considering and also the university you plan to apply to.
It is thus a good idea to study the information on different university websites. Now I am going to give you an overview of
SOME of the programs that come under health science. Let us start with Pharmacists. Pharmacists
are the people responsible for providing patients with medicines which have been prescribed
by the doctor. Though pharmacists cannot prescribe certain
medicines, they are capable of advising patients on the usage of such medication.
Pharmacists work in the pharmacies of hospitals as well as private pharmacies
In fact many pharmacists are also owners of their pharmacies. Let us now look at Dieticians. They advise
people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related
goal. Dieticians can work in different fields such
as with sportspeople, hospitals, schools and restaurants.
For example they develop treatment plans for children with eating disorders, allergies
or conditions such as childhood obesity. Occupational Therapy involves the rehabilitation
of people who are physically or mentally disabled. Its aim is to help lead the person back from
an illness or disability to mainstream society where they can lead a fuller life. Nursing is the backbone of health services
in many countries. Nurses form an essential part of any health team and are key players
in the prevention of diseases and the care and treatment of sick people. Ok, now here is a professional many of us
fear going to – A dentist. Many of you would think that a dentist only focuses on human
teeth but this is not so. Thus apart from focusing on human teeth, dentists
may also treat diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face and jaws for example. Lastly, becoming a medical Doctor or M.D.
is a dream many young learners have. Unfortunately in many cases this dream is
based on a romanticizing of the career without understanding its demanding nature.
However despite its demands, this is a career that can provide a lot of job satisfaction
to a person with the right temperament, attitude and commitment.
A present day medical doctors practice focuses on a holistic approach which includes the
prevention of illnesses, preservation of health, healing of illnesses and rehabilitation. In the case of all the health science professions,
one must be crystal clear on the time it takes to complete your studies.
A bachelors degree can take anywhere between 4 to 6 years. You may then need to do a 2
year internship in order to apply the theoretical knowledge you have gained. And then this may
be followed by a year of community service. But things may not end here. In all the health
sciences, there are post graduate programmmes where you can either become better qualified
in your main subject or specialize in a discipline of the main subject. This type of training
usually stretches over 4 or 5 years. So in conclusion, medicine can be a very exciting
and rewarding career. However it also requires sacrifices. Good luck with your decision.