While men and women can develop similar medical conditions, their healthcare needs will differ. After all, many women will require help and treatment for family planning, reproductive health, and mental health counseling.
If you are considering a healthcare career, there are various paths you can take to improve many women’s lives. Make an informed decision by considering the following eight best careers in women’s health.
Best Careers in Women’s Health
Nurse-midwives are essential at every stage of a woman’s pregnancy, from pre-conception through to post-partum. Using natural birthing techniques, you will help new mothers welcome babies into the world in a safe, professional manner.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a nurse-midwife, you will first need to train as a registered nurse. After earning a BSN and one year of experience as a professional nurse in labor and delivery, you can apply for a midwifery degree at a nationally recognized facility.
A Lactation Consultant
Breastfeeding isn’t an easy process for many first-time mothers. However, lactation consultants can help a baby latch onto its mother’s breast. Also, they can provide tips on how to improve comfort, how to use a breast pump, and how to overcome various problems. Therefore, you can take some of the pressure of breastfeeding mothers, which can help them get parenthood off to the best possible start.
You must complete at least 90 hours of lactation courses to become a certified lactation consultant. Once you are qualified, you can secure a role at a hospital, women’s organization, a birthing center, or a community group.
A Women’s Health Psychologist
Women’s health psychologists can help women of all ages overcome various mental health issues, such as reproductive challenges(1), abuse, childhood trauma, or biological problems. Psychologists will conduct an assessment to diagnose and treat a mental health condition. Also, they can provide patients with advice on how to cope with various worries and stresses.
If you would like to become a women’s health psychologist, you must obtain a doctorate-level degree in psychology, which may take between 8 to 10 years to complete. Once certified, you can enter a role in a hospital, public health department, or community organization.
A Social Worker
Social workers will serve both families and individuals in crisis, such as women suffering from domestic violence. It is their mission to assist women into shelters, provide mental health counseling to those in need of support, and help them understand a legal process. Also, many social workers strive to highlight domestic violence issues to politicians and even provide professional advice to help shape laws.
To secure an entry-level position as a social worker, you will first need to earn a degree in social work. However, you must then complete a master’s degree and obtain a state license to provide various clinical services.
A Perinatal Nurse
If you would like to become a pregnancy expert, you could relish a career as a perinatal nurse. As a licensed perinatal nurse, you will provide specialist care for pregnant women who are 22 weeks into gestation until seven days after labor.
It is your responsibility to care for an unborn fetus’s health and avoid a miscarriage or other complications. To do so, you must identify potential risk factors, perform routine blood tests, report medical abnormalities to a physician, administer prenatal vitamins, and provide Lamaze instruction. Also, you may need to assist in both labor and delivery to prevent complications from developing in the delivery room.
If you would like to become a perinatal nurse, you will first need to earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an accredited school. Also, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to apply for state licensure and secure employment as a registered nurse. After gaining experience in the field, you can earn a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and a post-master’s certificate to enter perinatal nursing.
A Women’s Health Services Manager
Women’s health service managers are responsible for providing an exceptional patient experience. If you choose this career path, you will need to oversee various tasks to ensure the smooth running of a facility or a women’s health department, such as:
- Managing patient records
- Organizing employee schedules
- Recruiting and training new team members
- Developing and implementing service programs
You can become a women’s health service manager by gaining a master’s in healthcare administration, business administration, or public health administration.
A Labor and Delivery Surgical Technologist
Labor and delivery surgical technologists can prevent a baby from experiencing various complications before, during, and after labor and delivery. For example, they are responsible for transporting a pregnant mother to the delivery room. Also, they will make sure she is comfortable, sterilize various medical tools, and provide information on what a patient can expect during delivery. Following delivery, they will both clean and weigh the baby.
If you are interested in training to become a labor and delivery surgical technologist, you will need to receive a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree in surgical technology.
An Oncology Physician Assistant
An oncology physician assistant is an integral member of an oncology team, as they will care for women living with cancer. If you choose this career, you will be required to document a female patient’s medical history, perform various exams to make an accurate diagnose, help devise an effective treatment plan specific to a patient’s needs, and prescribe medications. Also, you may need to assist a doctor during surgery. With your knowledge and skills, you could enhance the patient experience for women battling cancer and improve their likelihood of recovery.
If you would like to become an oncology physician assistant, you will need to complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. Also, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination to obtain a state license.
Suppose you would like to make a positive difference to the lives of many women from different backgrounds. In that case, the above occupations could be a perfect fit for your personality and passions.