For many young people today, university is not the natural next step after leaving school. Instead, many are choosing to go straight into a work environment, beginning their career in apprenticeships and training schemes. Public health is one sector that offers this kind of career progression. For those who do not want to get involved in the medical aspect of public health, there are plenty of alternative routes into a career in public health.>
Not just doctors and nurses
There are more roles in healthcare than just that of doctors and nurses and other medical professionals. The public health service is a behemoth, a gigantic entity that needs to be administered, managed and assisted just like any other large business. This means there are plenty of non-medical jobs just waiting to be filled. Take Murziline Parchment as an example.
Ms Parchment has been appointed as a non-executive director of the National Health Service (NHS) London Ambulance Service. Her background is in public law, and before her latest appointment was Head of the Mayor’s Office for Tower Hamlets. Her role on the Trust Board is to direct the London Ambulance Service, oversee its performance and ensure its safe operation. It is her experience in working with other public bodies that have made her an ideal appointee.
The NHS offers many other non-medical roles. These include jobs in administration and human resources, hospitality and catering, electrical and engineering and even in marketing and communications. These and other fields offer NHS apprenticeship training programmes with three levels: intermediate, advanced and higher. Once the apprenticeship is completed, the apprentice may be offered a permanent job or explore other available apprenticeships. Some of the training programmes accrue UCAS points, which can provide an entry into a university course if further training is desired or required.
Of course, the main function of the healthcare sector is to provide professional medical help, and while a person may not be interested in becoming a doctor, nurse or surgeon, there are other medical roles available, such as a paramedic. A paramedic has to undertake five years of training to be able to respond to the wide range of health issues they encounter in an average day, but the advantage is that a paramedic apprenticeship offers on the job training as well as classroom tuition. This and other such apprenticeships offer a way to fast track a career in healthcare whilst earning a salary.
The best way to seek a non-medical career in public health is to keep an eye on the NHS Jobs website where vacancies are posted. Each field within the sector explains the training that any successful applicant will receive, how long it will last and the qualifications that will be gained at the completion of any training.
A career in public health will not only help to provide a vital service to the community, which can be considered a reward in itself, but also offer job security, for the health service will always require personnel to keep it running.