These are a portion of the careers that are offered through programs at the health science centers of Texas.
Physicians care for healthy people and for those who are ill or injured. They perform
physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, injuries, and other disorders.
They can prescribe and administer medications and treatments, provide
immunization services, care for pregnant women and deliver babies, perform
surgery, and conduct research to aid in disease control or the development of new
treatments. The practice of medicine is evolving as the healthcare system changes.
Managed care and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are creating an
increased demand for primary care physicians who provide most healthcare needs
for their patients.
Physicians may work long and erratic hours responding to emergencies and the
intensive care needs of their patients. They may practice independently or in a
group, work in hospitals, public health agencies, health provider organizations,
government agencies, or educational institutions. In addition to providing patient
care, many physicians are involved in research, teaching, and administration.
Average Salary In Texas: $181,000 (depends on specialty)
Length of Training Post High School: 8 years followed by Internship, Residency
Physician assistants (PAs) provide a wide range of healthcare diagnostic and
treatment services under the supervision of physicians. (A physician assistant is not
the same profession as a medical assistant. See "Medical Assistant" for more details
about that career.) Their duties may include taking medical histories, performing
physical examinations, ordering laboratory tests and writing prescriptions, treating
minor injuries, assisting in the operating room and numerous other responsibilities.
Physician assistants also help with patient education.
Physician assistants work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, and
in other healthcare environments. The work week may include evenings and
weekends (especially if the PA's work responsibilities include seeing patients in the
Average Salary In Texas: $105,521
Length of Training Post High School: 6 years
Registered Nurses (RNs) observe patients to assess symptoms, reactions to
treatment, and progress. They administer medications, perform therapeutic
procedures, and instruct patients and their families in proper healthcare practices.
RNs supervise licensed vocational nurses, nursing assistants, patient care assistants,
and home health aides. Working in collaboration with physicians and other
members of the healthcare team, RNs develop and implement a plan of care to help
the patient achieve optimal health.
Registered Nurses have many options in work settings. They can work in hospitals,
physician offices or clinics, home healthcare, correctional institutions, and schools.
In hospitals and clinics, nurses often can choose specific patient groups or kinds of
nursing care for their day-to-day work: pediatrics or geriatrics, women's health,
labor and delivery, cancer, surgical, intensive care or emergency are just a few of
Average Salary In Texas: $76,900
Length of Training Post High School: 4 years (BSN)
Dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of the teeth, gums and mouth. They examine patient's mouths for cavities, sores, swelling or other signs of disease. They can enhance their patient's appearance through dental techniques such as braces, dentures, or dental surgery. Dentists have also evolved to provide cosmetic care, including teeth whitening. Most dentists are general practitioners and are usually self-employed. They supervise the work of the dental healthcare team and have final responsibility for all dental services being provided.
The majority of dentists work in private practice or with a dental group. Their offices include a team of dental healthcare workers, such as a dental hygienist, dental assistant or dental laboratory technician. Dentists may also work in hospitals, public clinics, teaching institutions, or research facilities.
Average Salary In Texas: $213,000
Length of Training Post High School: 8 years
Occupational therapy is the art and science of helping people do the day-to-day activities that are important to their health and well-being. Valued occupations encompass the following areas: self-care, learning, work, play, leisure, social participation, and rest. Occupational therapists (OT) work collaboratively with individuals, families, caregivers, and other groups whose life patterns and ability to engage in valued occupations have been altered as a result of various circumstances.
The focus of occupational therapy is to facilitate the individual's ability to participate in meaningful at home, school, workplace, community, and various other settings. Occupational therapists work for hospitals, community health centers, home health agencies, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes, industrial facilities, schools, private homes, wellness programs, and research facilities.
Average Salary In Texas: $78,470
Length of Training Post High School: 7 years
Respiratory therapists (RT) or respiratory care practitioners (CP) treat patients who have difficulty breathing because of cardiopulmonary (heart-lung) problems. Under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists conduct diagnostic tests of patients' cardiopulmonary functions and give patients appropriate treatment as prescribed by the physician. They also provide emergency care to patients who are victims of heart attacks, stroke, shock or drowning. Equipment used by respiratory therapists may include oxygen, gas and mist inhalators, tents, mechanical ventilators, masks, catheters, and incubators used in administering prescribed doses of medicinal gases and drugs.
Respiratory therapists may work in hospitals or clinics, nursing homes, adult day care facilities, home health agencies and physicians' offices. If they work in a hospital environment, they are more likely to work evening and weekend shifts to meet the needs of the hospital's patients.
Average Salary In Texas: $55,120
Length of Training Post High School: 4 years
Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS)/Medical Technologists (MT) analyze human blood, tissues, and body fluids. They supervise the performance of thousands of medical laboratory tests, which are conducted manually or by using the latest in complex biomedical instruments. They are responsible for the accuracy of test results and reporting of laboratory findings. CLS are problem solvers and use independent judgment in their work, which includes showing the relationship between results from different tests, and interpreting the findings. CLS produce reliable and valid results that may be used in determining the presence, extent, and possible cause of disease.
Most CLS work in hospital laboratories. Others work in independent laboratories, reference laboratories, clinics, public health agencies, pharmaceutical firms, research institutions, scientific equipment companies, blood donor centers, and as teachers.
Average Salary In Texas: $45,760
Length of Training Post High School: 4years
Paramedics operate ambulance equipment, respond to emergency situations, respond to radio transmissions, evaluate the patient's condition on the scene, performs preliminary diagnosis, treats and transports patient to hospital as needed.
Paramedics work in hospitals and for ambulance companies or at fire stations. The work week may include evenings and weekends. With typical shifts being 4 days on, 3 days off.
Average Salary In Texas: $42,736
Length of Training Post High School: 4 years
Dental hygienists are trained to evaluate a patient's dental health. Their duties include taking ×-rays, cleaning teeth, and applying fluorides and sealants to teeth. They may also apply temporary fillings at the request of the dentist. Dental hygienists are responsible for providing dental health education on topics such as oral hygiene, toothbrush selection, the use of dental floss, and how diseases such as diabetes affect a patient's oral health.
Dental hygienists usually work with dentists in private practices. Some may work with dentists who are in specialty practices such as periodontics or pediatric dentistry, and some may work in teaching institutions or research facilities. Others are employed by hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, schools and private industry.
Average Salary In Texas: $57,961
Length of Training Post High School: 4 years
The primary responsibility of a biomedical scientist is to develop new treatments, vaccines and drugs for human illnesses and diseases. The biomedical research needed to create new forms of treatment is generally conducted at a hospital, university or government laboratory. In addition to laboratory-based research projects, a biomedical scientist may also be involved in clinical drug trials that require them to monitor patients' reactions to different drug dosages, as well as make observations and conclusions about the results and the efficacy of certain drugs. In some instances, they may also perform invasive procedures on patients, such as drawing blood or excising tissue samples.
Biomedical scientists usually work in offices and laboratories. They spend most of their time studying data and reports. Medical scientists sometimes work with dangerous biological samples and chemicals, but they take precautions that ensure a safe environment.
Average Salary In Texas: $70,950
Length of Training Post High School: 10 years