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Healthcare Medical and Pharmaceuticals

The Healthcare & Medical Industry is comprised of a large workforce sector and includes a range of occupations and services providing diagnostic, rehabilitation, healing and preventive services. This industry includes the holistic health and wellness of individuals as well as pharmaceutical production and sales. Professionals in the healthcare field typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, surgeries, private practices, laboratories and clinics.

The healthcare and medical industry has continued to grow over the years, with many hospitals now running like businesses. As the population lives longer and age groups with higher populations get older, long-term healthcare and preventive treatment as well as residential programs are needed more and more. There is a wide variety of careers and occupations in the healthcare and medical field. From administrative roles and pharmaceutical sales, to registered nurses, physicians, specialised practitioners and technicians, careers in the field offer quality stable jobs.

Individuals pursuing careers in the healthcare and medical field generally need to complete specific Bachelors programs for certain fields, as well as vocational education and training programs for positions such as technicians and pharmacists. Physicians, surgeons and other specialists are required to complete medical school programs and complete time working within the healthcare field learning hands-on experience. Many professionals start their healthcare careers in public health settings and move into private practices or establishments later in their careers.

Professionals in the healthcare and medical field should be prepared to work long shifts and varied hours. Nursing schedules typically include rotating 12-hour shifts and physicians working in hospitals may need to be on-call during weekends and work night shifts. Nursing aides and home care assistants may need to work 6-7 days a week helping clients/ patients with daily activities. Healthcare professionals deal directly with patients in different capacities and should enjoy working with people and promoting health and wellness. They should be sensitive to patient needs as well as highly analytical to diagnose problems and illnesses and offer treatment solutions.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Career in Healthcare medical and pharmaceuticals


An Acupuncturist treats patients and improves the overall well-being of individuals by inserting fine needles into the skin as a way of stimulating the body. Acupuncturists also use heat and massage as a way of creating balance and synchronisation.

Alternative Health Therapists

Alternative Health Therapists treat patients with physical, mental, spiritual and emotional pain, and help restore the bodys natural equilibrium and balance. Therapies can help with sleep insomnia, boost the immune system, improve an individuals diet and energy levels, reduce stress and relieve pain. Examples of Alternate Health Therapists include Acupuncturists, Herbalists and Natural Therapists.

Ambulance Officers and Paramedics

Ambulance Officers and Paramedics provide emergency medical services, typically in response to emergency calls from patients. An ambulance officer / paramedic will perform medical procedures, pre-hospital care and transport patients to the hospital.


In Australia and New Zealand, anaesthetists are physicians who deliver direct medical care (anaesthesia) to patients needing general or local anaesthesia for surgery and related procedures.

Assistants in Nursing

Nursing Assistants help nurses to provide patients with direct support and services in health and community centres and environments. They should be understanding and helpful with patients and be able to perform a variety of functions and services.


Audiologists use a variety of methods and technologies to diagnose and treat hearing and balance problems in patients. They may provide specialised services and individualised rehabilitation programmes for hearing deficiencies and learning to cope with them if treatment is not available.

Chiropractors and Osteopaths

Chiropractors and Osteopaths provide care to their patients in private practice offices, medical care facilities and hospitals. Their skills to care for their patients are a direct result of their extensive educations and strong desire to help people feel better, ambulate easier and function normally.

Complementary Health Therapists

Complementary Health Therapists are different from most health professionals. They treat every person as a whole as opposed to isolating their symptoms and focusing on treating those issues. Complementary Health Therapists see to the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental well-being of their patients so the whole person feels batter and healthier.

Dental Assistants

Dental Assistants support Dental Practitioners in providing services to patients. They typically meet first with patients to assess patient needs before the Dental Practitioner, Hygienist or Therapist exams the patient.

Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists provide specialized dental services to patients. They may perform restorative or preventative procedures for health or cosmetic needs as well as educate patients and communities on proper dental hygiene. They may also construct dental products such as dentures for patients.

Dental Practitioners

Dental Practitioners treat patients in overall oral health and hygiene. They provide routine cleaning for patients as well as treat dental diseases, and facilitate cosmetic dental procedures. They should have specialised knowledge of oral health and be able to identify signs of oral and tooth complications or degradation.


Dietitians work with patients, healthcare workers and community members to recognize healthy nutrition and understand health implications of diet. They try to teach proper eating habits for mainstream and individualised needs in order to produce optimal health and treat or prevent illness.

Diversional Therapists

Diversional Therapists research, coordinate and implement activities meant to rehabilitate or contribute to the well-being of clients. They especially work with individuals in aged care, those who have physical or mental disabilities, those who have suffered trauma or stress and individuals recovering from injury or illness.

Emergency Service Workers

Sometimes called "First Responders", Emergency Service Workers include firemen, paramedics, and others called to scenes of crisis or crime. Emergency Service Workers attempt to minimise risk after an event and provide assistance to those individuals at the scene.

Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses

Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses provide support to registered nurses, doctors, and midwives. They provide basic nursing care to hospital patients, residents of aged care facilities, and newborn infants and their mothers.

Fire and Emergency Workers

Fire and Emergency Workers protect the public by responding to emergencies; their job is to preserve life, protect property, and ensure public safety. The ability to act decisively in stressful and dangerous situations is essential to fire and emergency workers. They respond to a variety of situations, not just fires, including: accidents, vehicle crashes, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, water rescues, and many other emergencies.

Medical Imaging Professionals

Medical Imaging Professionals, also known as Radiographers, are responsible for running radiation equipment. This equipment is used to take X-rays and for other diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment purposes. They often work in conjunction with radiologists and other high-ranking medical professionals like doctors.

Medical Laboratory Scientists

Medical Laboratory Scientists work in formalized laboratory settings. They test samples and conduct tests to diagnose diseases and provide information about further treatment and future prevention.

Medical Practitioners (Psychiatry)

Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, monitor, and prevent psychological, emotional, and behavioural disorders and diseases in humans. As psychiatrists are medical doctors, they are capable of prescribing medicine to prevent or correct said disorders and diseases.

Medical Records Administrators

Medical Records Administrators are treated as a subset of a larger group of archivists, curators, and records managers. Along with their counterparts in the larger field, medical records administrators maintain records databases and control access to those databases. They also develop record-keeping and archival plans and coordinate record-keeping systems.

Medical Technicians

Medical Technicians provide support to medical professionals in a variety of ways. They operate medical equipment in emergency rooms and operating theatres, perform and assist with laboratory tests, and at times may fill prescriptions in pharmacies.


Midwives work with expectant mothers during pregnancy, labour, childbirth, and the early days of a childs life. They provide the mother with care and advice through all stages of pregnancy and the beginning of the child's life.

Natural Remedy Consultants

Natural Remedy Consultants use a range of holistic remedies to treat their clients by addressing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual circumstances. Treatments include herbal medicine, vitamins, minerals and individualised diet plans.


Naturopaths use a range of holistic remedies to treat their clients by addressing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual circumstances. Treatments include herbal medicine, vitamins, minerals and individualised diet plans.

Nurses (Registered)

Nurses (Registered) work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, aged care facilities and community health centres. They provide preventative and rehabilitative health care to patients and assistance to doctors and surgeons.

Nurses (Veterinary)

Veterinary Nurses support Veterinarians to perform inspections, procedures and operations for the treatment of animals. They typically meet with clients and their animals prior to the Veterinarian to evaluate the concern or injury of the animal. They should have an interest in helping animals and be able to perform a variety of functions and services.

Nurse Educators and Researchers

Nurse Educators and Researchers plan and execute nursing education and professional development programs, assess individual competence and undertake research into the field of nursing.

Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers

Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers help nurses to provide patients with direct support and services in health and community centre's as well as private residences. They should be understanding and helpful with patients and be able to perform a variety of functions and services.


Nutritionists help to prevent and treat illnesses by promoting a healthy lifestyle, planning food and nutrition programs, studying dietary habits and supervising food preparation.

Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals

Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals develop, review, implement and evaluate procedures to assess the environmental and occupational health of an organisation. These professionals conduct inspections and enforce compliance with the laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists assess, plan, and provide therapy to individuals whose daily functional levels are limited due to illness or disabilities. Occupational Therapists help to restore vocational, daily living and homemaking skills to enable individuals to function more independently in their environment.


Oenologists manage the stages of wine production, such as fermentation, aging and bottling. Oenologists study the chemical and physical properties of wine. They also market wines.

Optometrists and Orthoptists

Optometrists and Orthoptists diagnose, manage and treat conditions and diseases pertaining to the human eye. Optometrists prescribe corrective lenses and provide treatment. Orthoptists specialise in treating incorrect eye movements such as "lazy eye".


Orthotists works with patients who have partial or total absence of a limb or a disabling condition of a limb or the spine. Orthotists fit patients with orthopaedic braces or prostheses.


Osteopaths examine patients to determine the nature and extent of disorders that are caused by interference with the nervous system. Osteopaths adjust spinal columns, or utilise supplementary measures such as exercise, water, light and heat to correct problem areas.

Other Health Diagnostic & Promotion Professionals

Other Health Diagnostic & Promotion Professionals refers to members of this unit group that are not elsewhere classified. These professionals assist in improving the health of individuals.

Paramedics (Ambulance)

Ambulance paramedics are employed by hospitals, local governments, and privately-held ambulance services to bring emergency care to all people, and they are usually the first healthcare professionals on the scene. While many paramedics work in automobile ambulances, some work on "air ambulances," which are really helicopters that are designed especially for medical emergencies. Medical emergencies may include sudden illness, minor injuries, fires, criminal violence, injuries/casualties from car accidents, etc.


Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing drugs that doctors have prescribed to patients. They often work at pharmacies or hospitals. Pharmacists assist and educate customers about which medications to purchase, whether these are brand name drugs or generic brands.


General Physicians work with human patients to diagnose diseases, illnesses, and disorders and administer treatment. Registration and licensing are required, as is a post-secondary degree. Physicians work often work highly-stressful but awarding jobs and can be employed in a number of places, including hospitals, private clinics, schools, the armed forces, etc.


Physicists hold a high level of education/knowledge in the field of science and specialise in the study of motion, matter, and energy. These individuals are employed at universities, research organisations, hospitals, etc., though they may travel to speak at conferences or do fieldwork. Work duties are diverse depending on ones specialties.


Physiotherapists assist and treat patients who are encountering physical difficulties resulting from ageing, disability, illness, or injury. This includes people of all ages, from children to the elderly and a range extending from stroke patients to those with short-term injuries resulting from sports. Physiotherapists help patients to identify and improve their function and movement and promote wellbeing, health, and a sable rehabilitation process focusing on the cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular, and musculoskeletal systems.


Medical practitioners called Podiatrists focus on treating injured, badly-shaped, sore, or diseased ankles and feet. They are also known as chiropodists, though this name has been replaced throughout the industry. Some podiatrists specialise in orthopedics and foot surgery. Most have private practices, but others work in government agencies, hospitals, and podiatric colleges.


Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with mental and behavioural disorders. They should have excellent analytical and critical thinking abilities in order to diagnose disorders and evaluate progress.


Psychologists evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with a variety of issues and concerns to promote emotional and mental well-being. They should have excellent communication and analytical abilities in order to work with patients and evaluate progress.


Radiographers, also known as Medical Imagery Professionals, are responsible for running radiation equipment. This equipment is used to take X-rays and for other diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment purposes. They often work in conjunction with radiologists and other high-ranking medical professionals like doctors.


Sonographers operate ultrasonic equipment designed to diagnose medical conditions. Sonography uses ultrasonic waves to get images of the body. Receiving specialised training in using sonography equipment is essential to perform this job. Sonograms are also utilised to gain images of the breast, abdominal area and the brain.

Speech Professionals and Audiologists

Speech Professionals and Audiologists work in the field of human hearing. They diagnose and help treat those with hearing defects as well as communication related problems. Various types of technology and strategies are employed with the goal being to help those with hearing defects achieve better overall communication outcomes.


Surgeons treat diseases, deformities, human functioning, and injuries by invasive methods. Surgeons use specialised instruments and appliances, and sometimes manual manipulation.

Technicians (Medical)

Medical Technicians are often the hands-on caregivers of patients in medical offices or hospitals. These individuals operate different medical equipment necessary for basic care and lifesaving operations.


Veterinarians work with animals. They diagnose animals and work to treat and prevent their diseases. They also patch up animals after injuries and offer advice for preventative care to animals owners.

Veterinary Nurses

Veterinary Nurses support veterinarians to perform inspections, procedures and operations for the treatment of animals. They typically meet with clients and their animals prior to the Veterinarian to evaluate the concern or injury of the animal. They should have an interest in helping animals and be able to perform a variety of functions and services.

Weight Loss Consultants

Weight Loss Consultants, also known as personal care consultants, advise clients on weight loss and healthy living. They may also provide advice on nutrition and relaxation.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Australian Sonographers Association 

Australian Traditional Medicine Society Ltd 

Dental Hygenists Association of Australia Inc 

Dieticians Association of Australia 

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) 

Medical Technology Association of Australia 

National Australian Pharmacy Students Association

Nutrition Australia

Orthoptic Association of Australia Inc (OAA)

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia 

Pharmacy Guild of Australia 

Public Health Association of Australia 

Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australia

Royal College of Nursing 

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Speech Pathology Australia 

The College of Nursing

Skills and personality

  • Administration skills providing patient intake and maintaining files and databases
  • Analytical abilities to evaluate and research causes of illnesses and diseases and create preventive care or screening practices
  • Effective coordination and organisation capabilities of patients and services
  • Enjoy working with people and interest in promoting the health and wellbeing of others
  • Excellent problem solving abilities working to identify and diagnose problems and illnesses and find treatments
  • Patience and commitment to offering patients the best service and care possible
  • Provide information to healthcare facilities about new healthcare equipment and prescription drugs on the market
  • Scientific knowledge of illnesses and diseases and ways to diagnose them
  • Strong, effective communication skills working with people and other professionals
  • Work well in a team oriented environment, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to deliver services to patients