When people hear the phrase ‘medical career’, they tend to think of common roles like those of doctor, nurse and surgeon. However, as well as these conventional jobs, there’s an array of more unusual medical vocations out there, many of which you may not even be aware of. Here, we take a look at three.
1) Extreme sports and endurance event paramedics
First responders are a common sight on our streets, rushing to medical emergencies in homes, workplaces and public spaces. But have you ever thought about the paramedics whose role it is to hurry to the scene of healthcare emergencies that happen during extreme sports or endurance events in potentially challenging environments? As well as having the skills needed to cope with emergencies ranging from broken limbs to exhaustion and hyperthermia, these people have to be capable of reaching patients in remote and awkward locations. Medical cover providers Manone Medical Services highlight the logistical difficulties associated with these cases, noting that even simple healthcare interventions can pose a challenge when they take place in water or on the sides of mountains. Often, special transport such as 4×4 vehicles, jet skis and kayaks are required to get paramedics in position.
As well as having the necessary medical training, these paramedics have to spend time training for and rehearsing technical rescues so that they are prepared for all eventualities.
2) Dive doctors
Another niche healthcare role is that of the dive doctor. These individuals specialise in protecting the health and safety of scuba divers, treating and helping to prevent conditions such as decompression sickness and diving injuries. Some of these experts work out in the field alongside dive teams doing things like risk assessments, preparing medical kits, assessing the health of divers before departure and writing evacuation protocols for casualties. Others work in hospitals and focus on providing specialist treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is used on divers who are suffering the ill-effects of ascending from depth. These specialists can also find themselves being patched through to coastguards or ships’ captains to coordinate rescues.
3) Medical photographers
Not all healthcare roles involve directly treating people, and medical photographers are a case in point. These individuals take images and sometimes videos of patients to assist with diagnosis and to keep a record of treatments. They can also be involved in taking images for publications like hospital newsletters and they may contribute to marketing material. This work can be highly varied and it involves a lot of contact with patients and other healthcare professionals. To land these roles, people generally need a degree, foundation degree or HND in clinical photography, medical illustration, graphic design, illustration or video production.
As these three jobs highlight, healthcare isn’t confined to the traditional roles we often think about. There is a whole world of possibilities out there in the medical field for those who are keen to do something a little different.