Medical technology is a fast-growing field that is constantly changing along with advancements in the digital and software sectors. Since technology itself is continually advancing at an expeditious rate, any industry that relies on the usage of computer-based equipment (i.e. – healthcare) will see continual improvements in efficiency as well.
However, not all medical professions involve the use of advanced technologies on the same level, as there are some jobs that will only require the navigation of rudimentary software interfaces while others will only have you using complex hardware components. If you’ve always been interested in technology and you’re looking for a career that will afford you the stability and consistency of a medical job, check out the following 12 careers that will put you at the forefront of medical technology:
1. Nurse Practitioner
While becoming a nurse practitioner might not seem like the most technically advanced route to take, nurses do in fact handle a variety of advanced technological tools during the course of a work day. Plus, if you research nurse practitioners job outlook statistics, you’ll find that this particular position will continue to be one of the most in-demand jobs in healthcare due to the widespread shortage of nurses that is being caused by a wave of retiring baby boomers.
2. Medical Lab Technician
Of course, working as a technician in a medical lab is going to have you working with an ever-advancing set of tools and software. More specifically, in this job, you’ll be working with microscopes, centrifuges, and related equipment to analyze lab results and facilitate testing procedures. This would be an ideal choice for a science or technology enthusiast who isn’t necessarily a “people person,” as the job hardly involves any direct interaction with patients.
3. Ultrasound Technician
Ultrasound technicians, also sometimes referred to as diagnostic sonographers, are responsible for the operation of ultrasound machines. These devices are fairly complex, especially when you’re first learning how to use them. Luckily, like every other skill, it will become easy and even second-nature with time. Still, this position is definitely worth a spot on this list because it will have you handling the latest generations of ultrasonic medical imaging technology. As an ultrasound technician, you’ll be spending most of your time diagnosing injuries and illnesses or performing ultrasound scans on pregnant women during prenatal care.
4. Healthcare IT Specialist
Somebody has to be in charge of managing the software of a hospital, clinic, or other medical facilities. So, if you enjoy computers, why not step up to the plate and become that go-to professional that carries the burden of keeping operating systems and programs functioning and performing optimally? The demand for experienced workers in this field has expanded dramatically in the past decade along with the advent of the electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) systems. As a result, every organization now needs to hire more IT talent to accommodate the increasing dependence on computer-based processes.
As a radiologist, you’ll be working with cutting-edge medical imaging technology to examine scan results during patient diagnostics. If you have an eye for detail and have always been interested in how x-rays, cat scans, MRIs, and other types of medical images are analyzed, this would be an ideal in-demand career path for you consider. Radiology equipment is always improving, so this is a perfect occupation for someone who wants to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in medical imaging. Another perk that comes with this career is that radiologists are some of the highest-paid professionals in healthcare due to the complexity and importance of their jobs.
6. Radiology Technician
While the aforementioned radiologist position will have you examining images, as a radiology technician, you’ll be in charge of operating the equipment that actually captures those images. Commonly called “rad techs” for short, these professionals are always at the forefront of the latest MRI, X-ray, CT scanning equipment. These are very advanced machines that require a careful operation to facilitate safe and accurate patient diagnosis. This job pays on the upper-mid end of the salary spectrum in the healthcare sector, but it’s a bit easier than actually examining the images that you’re generating because the burden of the official diagnosis doesn’t rest on your shoulders.
7. Medical Technologist
A medical technologist, also known as a clinical lab tech, is responsible for carrying out specialized scientific tests on blood and other bodily fluids within a medical lab. Thus, with this job, you’ll be at the forefront of medical lab testing technology, as you’ll have hands-on experience with analyzing and performing these tests as part of your everyday job. Occasionally, you’ll need to make adjustments to your work processes as technology and testing procedures emerge and become the new standards in the field. You’ll need to be prepared for a complex educational process and a fairly challenging job, but in exchange, you’ll find no shortage of intrigue and fulfilment in your line of work.
8. Healthcare Administrator
Every healthcare facility needs one or more administrators to oversee all of the essential systems that are necessary to maintain efficiency, productivity, accuracy and quality service on a facility-wide base. While you won’t be directly dealing with advanced technological equipment, you will be interacting with a variety of administrative software interfaces that are used to track and manage the actions of employees and departments. As you can imagine, this job will come with plenty of responsibility since you’ll be one of the people in charge at the top of the ladder. Still, prestige and high salary are some of the perks that make up for the demanding job description.
9. Medical Records Clerk
Every healthcare provider has to keep a thorough record of all patient data and ensure it is up-to-date within the facility’s EHR or EMR system. This job will have you inputting, retrieving, storing, and organizing information related to patient diagnostics, treatment, contact information, medical history, and other related data within the latest EHR software interfaces. If you’re looking for a career that provides easy entry and won’t require any form of certification or licensure, this would be an ideal route to take because most facilities will let you handle their medical records system with nothing more than a high school diploma or GED.
10. Medical Scribe
Medical scribes aren’t responsible for managing any complex hardware or equipment, but they do need to be familiar with their employer’s scheduling and note-taking software systems. You’ll be carrying a laptop or tablet around during most of this job, so you’ll have quick access to a computer throughout your workday – another notable benefit for any techie who is looking for a job in the medical field. While the ability to use the latest software interfaces will be pivotal, you’ll also need to be attentive when patients are telling you information for the sake of maintaining accuracy and avoiding potentially disastrous mishaps related to drug allergies or other incompatibilities.
11. Physician Assistant
Physician assistants deal with a wide range of job duties that include performing physical examinations, developing treatment strategies, interpreting and ordering lab tests, counselling patients, and performing various medical procedures within the context of conventional patient care and surgical operation. In many states, a physician assistant can even write prescriptions. With such a diverse job description, it’s not surprising that you’ll gain a working knowledge of the latest equipment and software being used within modern medical facilities.
12. Medical Appliance Technician
Since all of this advanced equipment can’t just maintain itself, there obviously has to be a professional who is tasked with the responsibility of performing routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs on medical hardware. This is a great career path for someone who enjoys fixing things and also wants the stability that comes with a job in the healthcare industry. With so many appliances and devices being manufactured and installed in healthcare facilities every year, you’ll be involved in an ever-advancing field that teaches you how to work on cutting-edge medical equipment.
Will Technology Render Certain Medical Jobs Obsolete?
With technological automaton becoming a real concern in many careers, it’s reasonable to worry that you might choose a job that will be handled by robots or automated programs in the near future. That would leave you in a horrible position because you’d be holding a degree that took you years to earn but provides no long-term value. Fortunately, due to the liabilities and risks involves in caring for human patients, healthcare will probably be one of the last industries that see full-blown automation that will be sufficient to completely replace certain human workers.
With the current rates of adoption and advancement in mind, it’s highly unlikely that any of the above jobs will become automated before 2040-2050. So, even in a worst-case scenario, you’re still looking at a career that’s going to span at least two decades. Now, if we’re talking about the year 2070 and beyond, there’s a very real possibility that hospitals and clinics could be mostly automated by then.