Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, the healthcare industry has been in extremely high demand. All types of healthcare-related professionals have worked tirelessly to care for infected patients, administer antibody tests, and spread awareness regarding ways to prevent yourself from contracting the novel coronavirus.
Without the assistance of healthcare professionals, there is no way we would have been able to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus by any means. Even though the virus continues to mutate and infect people around the world, healthcare workers have definitely worked their magic to combat a virus that we had never encountered before now.
While the majority of people have faced serious changes in their income as a result of sudden unemployment, those who work in the healthcare industry have witnessed the exact opposite. Working overtime has become the new normal for healthcare workers on the front lines of the novel coronavirus.
No matter which position you hold, if you are part of the healthcare industry, you deserve an incredible amount of praise. The entire healthcare industry has been on the front lines of the pandemic since the very beginning. However, certain medical providers have been more involved than others simply due to the nature of COVID-19.
While every healthcare profession has played a part in getting us through the spread of COVID-19, certain healthcare jobs have proven to be more essential than others. So, what exactly are the most needed healthcare jobs during the pandemic? Let’s find out!
Ten of the most in-demand healthcare jobs during COVID include…
As an Anesthesiologist, one of the most important tasks they are entrusted with performing is determining the proper dosage of anesthesia for surgery patients. After all, this is where their job title originates from in the first place. However, deciding how much anesthesia to give patients is not the only task on their plates.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, something that anesthesiologists have been heavily involved in is the process of intubating infected patients. Intubation is a serious and often concerning step to take when treating patients. If someone has to be intubated, it is because their body is incapable of breathing by itself.
Instead, medical providers must make the decision to intubate. When intubation is required, an anesthesiologist will take on the responsibility of inserting a tube into the patient’s trachea, otherwise known as the windpipe. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, intubation is very common.
As a result, anesthesiologists have been in high demand. When possible, anesthesiologists team up with a registered nurse and a fellow anesthesiology professional to intubate the patient battling COVID-19 in the off chance that something goes wrong.
As you can likely already deduce from the job title, diagnosticians are in charge of diagnosing patients. If you're scratching your head and thinking, "Wait a minute... Isn't that what all medical doctors do?" then you're absolutely correct.
You can think of the difference between diagnosticians and medical doctors as being similar to the difference between squares and rectangles. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Likewise, all medical doctors are diagnosticians, but not all diagnosticians are medical doctors.
For diagnosticians that only focus on providing diagnostic care, their main duties are conducting diagnostic tests, performing analyses of these procedures, and reporting back on the findings of the diagnostic exams. Usually, diagnosticians will spend the majority of their time in isolated locations while they work to understand the medical situation on their hands.
In fact, diagnosticians have been crucial during the pandemic for this reason. The novel coronavirus is affecting people in ways we have never encountered before, so diagnosticians are the ones to thank for figuring out the symptoms of COVID-19. After observing those infected with COVID, diagnosticians have been able to determine the signs of this dangerous virus.
Disaster medical specialists act fast in emergency situations. Sometimes, these emergencies entail natural disasters, while other times, the emergencies have more to do with a widespread outbreak of something uncontrollable. COVID-19 falls into the latter category.
Disaster medical specialists seek to minimize the number of casualties that result from emergency situations, which has certainly proven difficult during a pandemic. However, disaster medical specialists have worked tirelessly to comprise plans intended to lower the death tolls during the pandemic.
The emergency room is a hospital unit that keeps its staff members on its toes at all times. While a fast-paced and busy environment is the norm for hospital emergency departments, the amount of chaos that COVID-19 has caused is unparalleled. Now more than ever, healthcare professionals who specialize in emergency medicine are needed.
Working in the emergency room of a hospital is a high-stress job by nature, but when you introduce an incredibly contagious virus into the mix, the stress levels are exacerbated. That being said, without emergency room employees, a lot of people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 would be at a total loss.
The novel coronavirus is an emergency in and of itself, which makes people even more scared when they have to be admitted to the ER. The medical professionals working in emergency rooms during the pandemic have massively helped slow the spread of the virus by isolating contagious patients from those who are not infected by COVID-19.
Epidemiologists take a close look at how a virus spread in order to determine its origin. During the pandemic, we have absolutely needed the help of epidemiologists so that we could finally figure out where the virus originated from and act accordingly.
As it turns out, the COVID-19 outbreak erupted in Wuhan, China, after the virus traveled from bats, mutated from its original form, and infected people. After the mutation that allowed the SARS-CoV-2 to move from animals to humans, the novel coronavirus began spreading very rapidly.
Epidemiologists figured out how COVID-19 was able to sweep the globe in such a short period of time, which resulted in the declaration of a pandemic. Epidemiologists also worked on determining how impactful the virus was, and their insight is what led to governments instilling social distancing mandates to further slow the spread of COVID-19.
Medical scribes are akin to assistants for physicians. They are responsible for writing down notes during appointments with patients and adding details of the appointment to a patient's electronic health record. Medical scribes play an irreplaceable role in assisting physicians and making it possible for physicians to focus on the patients.
Instead of worrying about writing down what they see and documenting important details of an interaction with a patient, physicians can be fully present and attentive to their patient. Medical scribes take care of all of the paperwork and essentially create a written version of the conversations during medical appointments.
With COVID, physicians have been even busier than ever, making medical scribes more essential than ever. Medical scribes and physicians make a great team, but their productivity would be nothing without the talents and attentiveness of the medical scribes themselves.
Within the world of healthcare, there are different types of care. It all depends on the approach that medical providers take. Palliative care is one of these various approaches to medicine, and palliative care physicians have been some of the most crucial healthcare workers ever since COVID-19 spread like wildfire.
In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians has gone so far as to say that palliative care is of utmost importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s how imperative palliative care physicians are during a time of uncertainty, suffering, and fear.
In order to understand the importance of these physicians, it helps to first define palliative care. Essentially, palliative care refers to a medical approach taken when patients are presenting with life-threatening symptoms of a very complicated illness, like the novel coronavirus. Palliative care focuses on alleviating discomfort and helping patients manage the symptoms of their illnesses.
Physicians who take the approach of palliative care have been majorly beneficial during the pandemic. The unfortunate reality of COVID-19 is that not everyone heals once they catch the virus. It is a grueling and unforgiving virus that takes a serious toll on the bodies of those it infects.
Palliative care physicians work to combat the virus by treating any and all symptoms that the patients exhibit. Since COVID-19 causes a lot of physical pain, these physicians focus on keeping patients as comfortable as possible. Palliative care physicians prioritize the quality of life for patients with COVID, whether a patient is predicted to make a full recovery or not.
Physicians prescribe medicine, pharmacists fill prescriptions, and anesthesiologists administer anesthesia when necessary, but there's one other medical professional that plays a large role in medications. That one other medical professional is known as a pharmaceutical scientist.
Pharmaceutical scientists are the brains behind medications. However, one of the most difficult aspects of COVID-19 has everything to do with the fact that it's a virus. Viruses cannot be countered with antibiotics or any other type of medicine.
Instead of taking a medication to speed up the healing process after contracting a virus, you have to simply wait it out. The immune system is fully responsible for fighting off viruses like COVID-19.
So, since medications are not applicable to viral outbreaks, you might be wondering what role pharmaceutical scientists have played during the pandemic. Even though it's impossible to treat the virus by taking medications, it's fully possible to treat the symptoms.
Pharmaceutical scientists have been spending countless hours and a lot of energy trying to figure out which medications can help with pain management. COVID-19 causes a plethora of very painful physical symptoms, and sometimes, they are quite literally unbearable. It has become the responsibility of pharmaceutical scientists to look into therapeutics as a way of absolving patients of their intense discomfort and minimizing pain overall.
Just like medical centers were running out of hospital beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients, there is a serious shortage of registered nurses across the globe. A lot of RNs have been recruited from different hospital departments in order to account for the number of patients showing up to hospitals in need of medical care.
The intensive units and emergency rooms have needed as much assistance as they can possibly get, but there are only so many registered nurses available per hospital. Additionally, the intensive units and emergency rooms are not the only hospital departments with patients to attend too. There are still people with non-COVID-related issues that need medical attention, so registered nurses are being spread very thin in order to care for everyone who needs their help.
Registered nurses have been some of the most needed healthcare professionals because they can help in so many different ways. As mentioned, RNs can travel between hospital units and help other healthcare professionals with a wide array of tasks. Since RNs are so versatile, they have been a wonderful helping hand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As mentioned, COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. This means that it attacks the respiratory system of everyone who is affected. It’s not uncommon for people who recover from COVID-19 to have difficulty breathing normally again. This is especially true for patients who were intubated.
COVID-19 impacts people with pre-existing respiratory difficulties to a heightened degree as well. If patients have contracted the novel coronavirus on top of already living with a compromised respiratory system, a respiratory therapist is almost always needed.
It makes total sense why respiratory therapists are in such high demand during a time where our respiratory systems are at risk. Without respiratory therapists, many people would not make a full recovery after battling COVID-19.
Healthcare professionals deserve a round of applause for their selflessness during the current pandemic. From anesthesiologists and diagnosticians, to emergency room providers and registered nurses, healthcare providers are the only people who can make sense of what’s going on with the novel coronavirus. Without them, we wouldn’t be making advancements or getting closer to regular life again, so make sure you show healthcare workers that you appreciate them!