Unusual medical jobs and careers

When people think of the medical profession their first thought is probably of a doctor or a nurse working in a hospital. Perhaps what they don’t realise is that there are many unusual and unique medical jobs available and if you scratch a little deeper under the surface you may find something that really interests you. Below is a small selection of medical jobs that perhaps don’t immediately spring to mind.

Sleep Technician
A sleep technician, or a polysomnographic technician as they are correctly known, perform overnight tests on those suspected of having sleeping disorders. Working either from a sleeping lab or the patient’s home environment, a sleep technician analyzes and records the patients sleep pattern so doctors can then use the information to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. In the US you can qualify to be a sleep technician through either on the job training or by studying for a specialist medical certificate. There are said to be some 17,000 individuals working in the industry worldwide.

Sleep technician


Forensic Toxicologist

Forensic toxicology is an interesting and unusual career involved in the study of poisons used in criminal acts. Working on behalf of the medical examiner’s office, forensic toxicologists perform tests on tissue and bodily fluids, such as hair, blood and urine, to determine if any toxic substances are present. The work is mainly lab based using sophisticated machinery to test samples. Most people enter the field from a pharmacology, biochemistry or toxicology background.

Flight Nurse
Unfortunately many people have accidents while on holiday and need repatriating to their home country. The main function of a flight nurse is to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient during this flight. The assessment of the patient begins before the plane takes off and a checklist of equipment needed for the flight is made. Sometimes a nurse will work with a doctor to provide in-flight care to a patient. As well as repatriating holidaymakers, private medical care companies also employ flight nurses to transport patients worldwide.

Art / Music Therapist

These relatively new professions use music and art to help treat children and adults with depression, emotional disorders, dementia and people with disabilities. By using music or art, patients use their creative skills to facilitate communication, express emotions and personally develop. There is well documented evidence that it also promotes self-esteem and reduces stress in the patient. Careers in art therapy and music therapy are growing and its good career for people with creative skills who wish to work in a caring profession.


Sports Biomechanists

Biomechanics is simply the study of physics applied to sports and exercise. Most people enter the field from a specialist masters degree. Biomechanists are interested in the interaction between the joints, bones and muscles in relation to motion. Through scientific analysis and testing, a biomechanist may provide valuable help to athletes in order to improve their technique and performance. Most biomechanists are employed in research or clinical trial sites but there is a growing need within industry developing products.

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