Health Care Careers
A big part of healthy living includes health care, be it from traditional health care providers such as physicians or alternative care providers such as acupuncturists. With people living longer and the world's population increasing, the need for health care professionals continues to grow. In fact, some of the fastest-growing professions that offer the highest pay and lowest unemployment rates are in the health care field, such as physician, physical therapist, and registered nurse.
Also contributing to this growth is the use of new medical technologies to diagnose and/or treat patients. These technologies will require specialists to operate and administer them, creating more jobs in the health care arena.
In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, most health care professionals now focus on wellness and prevention. Wellness is the state of being in constant good health while prevention means stopping illness before it starts. More and more, physicians are encouraging patients to adopt healthy habits, including eating well and exercising. Additionally, physicians and other health care providers are looking more closely at patients' lifestyles and emotional well-being to determine whether or not these may be contributing factors in their illnesses.
Understanding exactly what a health care professional does can help an individual decide what type of caregiver he or she should see for a particular ailment. This information can also bring a greater understanding of the vast network of health care professionals who work together to keep people healthy and well.
This chapter will look at professionals in health care that focus on the body—physicians, registered nurses, physical therapists, emergency medical technicians—as well as the mind—art therapists and psychologists, and even alternative practices, such as acupuncture.