3 fascinating career paths in healthcare 

Wondering what you can do with your Health and Social Care qualification? If you have a healthcare qualification or are considering getting one, read on to find out some of the fascinating career paths you could follow.  

It’s not just doctors and nurses, you know. 

Call Handler / Emergency Medical Dispatchers 

Call Handlers and Emergency Medical Dispatchers work in ambulance control rooms and are often the first person someone has contact with in an emergency – it’s their job to make sure they get the right help as quickly as possible. 

You have to be able to work under pressure and be able to remain calm, quick and efficient in extremely stressful situations. It is the Call Handler’s job to take the patient’s information including the details of their condition and location and make sure this gets passed on to the Emergency Medical Dispatcher, who then takes the decision on what help is needed. They’re often dealing with life or death situations. “In extreme cases, they may have to talk a member of the public through an emergency procedure, such as clearing an obstruction from someone’s airway,” say the NHS. 

There are no set entry requirements to enter training, but you will need good literacy, numeracy and IT skills. A healthcare qualification and/or experience in a healthcare or customer service role would be extremely advantageous.  

Health Visitor

Do you want to ensure babies and young children get the best start in life? 

Health Visitors work in the community, primarily with pre-school-age children and families to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent illness.  

A Health Visitor could be stationed in a huge variety of different areas or communities. You could be working with deprived families, the homeless or addicts to help them with parenting skills, assessing the family situation and ensuring the developmental needs of the young children are being met. Health Visitors meet parents at home, a clinic or other community settings and could be providing advice on feeding babies, supporting children with special needs, behavioural management and anything else.  

A hugely important part of a Health Visitor’s role is recognising children at risk from abuse and neglect and knowing what action should be taken. 

You need to be a qualified nurse or midwife and undertake additional training as specialist community public health nurse.  

Speech and language therapist 

Speech and Language Therapists provide treatment, support and care that can change people’s lives. They work with patients who for physical or psychological reasons could have difficulty communicating, eating, drinking and swallowing. It’s extremely varied work. You could be helping children or adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, hearing impairments, stammering, autism, etc, or adults with degenerative conditions such as following a stroke, Parkinson’s or dementia.  

You’ll get to work face-to-face with patients every day and see the impact of your work as your patients improve as a result of your and their efforts. 

Speech and Language Therapists need to study at degree or postgraduate level and there are a number of different routes, which you can find more about here