With a population of 1.15 billion, India definitely is in need of high skilled healthcare professionals to deal with any kind of emergency. Most of India's population suffers from various illnesses for instance, stress related illness, psychological illness and illness that need immediate attention. As people grow more affluent and have a longer life expectancy, there is a high tendency to seek preventive healthcare rather than curative healthcare. People are willing to invest in their health and well being. This is definitely leading many to conduct regular visits to a host of healthcare professionals to monitor one's health and continue to enjoy staying fit right through the old age.
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This changing lifestyle has brought about a number of specialised professions that have branched out of medical studies. Now, if one has a muscle spasm or the likes, recovery is faster if a physiotherapist is consulted rather than a general physician. Or if you have a tendency to put on extra kilos and are not willing to hit the gym, then simply visit a dietician who will guide you through a no sweat slimming programme.
To bring to the fore these interesting professions, DNA Academy enlists a few. It's perfectly okay to not be a doctor; you can still be a healthcare professional.
Nursing is probably the most under appreciated profession in India; often wrongly assumed to be an unrewarding profession suited only for women and intellectually incomparable to a doctor. It is due to these misconceptions that of the 6,66,000 seats available each year for nursing studies, most remain vacant.
But the situation is fast changing. With the growth of multi-speciality hospital brands and even government healthcare systems improving the demand for quality nurses has accelerated. "This is not the scene only in India; but also in the gulf countries, UK, Ireland and even the US there is a shortage of nurses," explains Jaya Kuruvilla, principal PD Hinduja College of Nursing. She points out that infact the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the need of 1 million new and replacement nurses by 2016.
One can take up a course like BSc in nursing after completing class XII science. For those students who are unable to pursue a BSc, they can opt for a post basic BSc Nursing and community health nursing diploma which is offered by some colleges.
The options for students do not end with just a BSc degree. There are courses that allow students to pick specialisations and super specialisations after completing a degree course. "An MSc course allows students to pursue specialisations like critical care nursing, oncology nursing, cardio vascular and thoracic nursing, neonatal nursing, operation room technique, obstetric nursing, mental health nursing and community health nursing," informs Kuruvilla.
Joining a medical college as an MBBS student is not eh only way to gain entry in the medical field. With an increasing medical facilities, polyclinics, diagnostic centres and hospitals; like nursing there has been a spurt in the need for paramedical professionals as well. The field of paramedics might be considered as inferior as it comprises of support staff technicians who work as dental mechanics, emergency medical technicians, safety engineers, radiographers, X-ray technologists to name a few.
Students with science background in class XII are eligible for the undergraduate course offered by a number of medical colleges and private institutions. In Mumbai, Nair Hospital and TN Medical College, Grant Medical College, KEM's Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, Tata Memorial Centre etc offer various such courses.
Post course completion, professionals in this field can work with healthcare providers and earn a starting salary of upto Rs8,000 per month. With expertise and experience one can even being with Rs20,000 per month.
The profession of physiotherapy requires a special mention. Most of us refer to our physiotherapists as 'doctor' but the physiotherapy course does not confer a doctor's degree. So unless one completes an MBBS course and then acquires a Bachelor in Physiotherapy you cannot be referred to as doctor.
Being an allied area of medicine students with class XII science can apply for a Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT), Bachelor in Occupational Therapy (BOT) and Bachelor in Prosthetics and Orthotics (BPO). Though these courses don't make one a doctor, the depth of the programme is just like the MBBS programme. Any of the above courses are of 4.5 years duration.
There is no stopping once you've completed the course. Physiotherapists are welcomed at hospitals, nursing homes, join fitness centres and various other healthcare establishments. While one can earn an amount ranging from anywhere between Rs8,000 to Rs 20,000 depending on public or private sector employment; specialists can start their own practice. An independent physiotherapist on average charges Rs200-500 per visit.
For a common man, the profession of pharmacy might begin and end with a visit to the local chemist, but its not so. A chemist or a pharmacist is an important link between doctors and patients because it is they who are in the position to understand and explain the effects, and correct use of medicines.
The pharmaceutical science concerns to the development and preparation of drugs which are used in the treatment and prevention of diseases. A pharmacist's work is essentially scientific and research oriented.
One can either pursue a diploma in pharmacy after completing either SSC exam or an HSC or pursue a full fledge four years bachelor's degree after class XII. While doing the degree course there are quite a few specialisations to choose from-Medicinal Natural Products and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Hospital Pharmacy and so on.