Wellbeing: Medical Services

By ACS Distance Education on February 5, 2019 in Careers, Health & Jobs Success | comments
Medical services for wellbeing include those provided through hospitals and clinics and can include alternative therapies as well as mainstream ones. Roles can include doctors, dentists, nurses, and a wide range of specialty services.

Scope of Work

Work in the medical field is varied but all jobs revolve around patient or client health. Those who treat patients directly like doctors, dentists and nurses have particular responsibilities which come with their role. There are some things which most of these people do on a daily basis, including: 

  • Assessment of a client or patient's health
  • Diagnosis of  health conditions
  • Seeking consent for treatment
  • Treatment planning
  • Implementing treatment
  • Assessing & monitoring health
  • Keeping patient records
  • Making referrals
  • Arranging for hospital admissions
  • Organising follow-up treatments

Other specialised tasks are conducted according to roles e.g. taking x-rays, carrying out surgery, writing prescriptions, stitching wounds, extracting teeth.

What You Need to Learn

  • Assessment - physical health, mental state, referral procedures
  • Physical health - knowledge of diseases, signs & symptoms, course, comorbidity
  • Terminology - medical terms and meanings
  • Practical skills - use of equipment, machinery, anesthetics, materials
  • Science - biology, physiology, chemistry
  • Psychopharmacology - use & effects of medications  
  • Communication skills - verbal, non-verbal, educating clients/patients, bedside manner
  • Legal & ethical issues - confidentiality, multicultural competence, informed consent
  • Health & safety - knowledge of OH&S procedures  
  • Writing skills - note taking, report writing, record keeping
  • Planning skills - organising appointments, planning interventions, working out schedules

Starting a Career

Whilst some people take a direct route into the medical field through taking appropriate courses, there are others who end up in this field having taken different pathways.

For example, someone might spend a number of years in the army before training to become an ambulance officer. Another person might work as a counsellor before deciding that they want to be a nurse. A dental assistant might go on to become a dentist, or a dental receptionist might decide that they would rather be a dental assistant. All these things are possible but if the medical field is an area which interest you, there are some things you could do to help start a career which heads in the right direction.

To get a feel for the medical field and gain some relevant experience, the following are useful:

  • Volunteer to work in related fields e.g. St John's Ambulance
  • Get a first aid certificate   
  • Take part time or full time jobs in hospitals, clinics etc. where you can submerge yourself in the medical environment (e.g. as a receptionist, assistant, etc.)
  • Look for work with medical supplies companies where you can learn about equipment
  • Take some relevant foundation courses   

Progressing a Career

To progress a career in the medical sector requires you to undertake further training and to continually keep learning. This is true for everyone, not just those with the most taxing jobs.  It is also true whether you work in the public or private sector. Everyone in the medical field has an onus to offer the best service they can to their patients or clients by keeping their health and wellbeing as their priority.

Ways you can continue to progress your career include:

  • Enroll for workshops - both those provided in-house and ones offered outside of work
  • Join a professional body which represents your work - you'll get access to useful information, invites to conferences, and other useful perks
  • Network - use social media, go to industry events, fundraising events, etc.
  • Take courses - online or part time courses can help you boost knowledge in areas where it may be deficient
  • Learn new skills - if possible try to learn new skills which enable you to diversify