Healthcare

Find information on different jobs in healthcare.

Healthcare

Doctor (Physician)

Doctors treat injuries and sick patients. Doctors examine patients, find out patient's medical histories and give medications.

Nurse

Nurses, also called registered nurses or RNs, take care of sick and injured people. They give medicine, treat wounds and give emotional support to patients and their families.

Pharmacist

Pharmacists are experts in medicine and its side effects.

Psychologist

Psychologists study the human mind. They also try to explain why people act as they do. They do research to test their ideas about people's actions.

Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists help people who are sick or hurt to get active again. They use sports, games, arts, crafts, and music to help patients.

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Video: Brain Scientist

Meet Dave. He is a scientist who studies the brain and how addiction affects the brain.

What’s cool about Science is scientists have these ideas and they don’t know whether they’re [ideas are] true or not. And to convince other people, they do experiments [a scientific test]. They try to prove it [their idea] and it’s really fun when they finally do prove it and say “A-ha! I was right!” and then they share it [their idea] with the world and people see the world a different way.

Why did you want to study the brain?

I think I thought the brain was interesting because it’s a lot of “us,” who we are. But when you learn about how it works, all the little machinery in it, all the things it does, it actually is [a] really sophisticated machine.

I am at the National Institute on Drug Abuse so we’re interested in how the brain relates to addiction.  An addiction is when you do something that’s bad for you, but you just can’t stop.  Like some people get addicted to drugs; they take the drugs they know they’re bad for them, but they just can’t stop doing it.  

And we believe that addiction is a brain disease [illness or sickness] and that’s why we study the brain is we want to understand how the brain gets addicted to drugs and how we can get a person to be un-addicted by changing the brain.

What’s your day like?

Each day is different.  Some days I go and talk to kids at schools about brains.  Some days I talk to famous scientists. They call me with great ideas about what they discovered. It’s almost like, as if Albert Einstein would call me and say “Hey Dave! I just came up with the theory of relativity!” Everyday involves some learning, something new I learn about the world in Science.

Do you have any advice for kids?

Keep asking questions. Keep trying to discover things. Don’t accept things for just the way they are. I mean, scientists that’s what they do. They question.

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Video: Army Dentist

Captain Ryan Romero a dentist for the Army. He explains his job, how dentistry relates to art, and what those crazy dentist goggles really do!

My name is Captain Ryan Romero and I’m an Army dentist.

It’s our job to make sure that everyone gets an exam every year and we have to make sure that everybody’s dentally fit. If they have any issues dentally, we have to take care of those before they deploy. A deployment is any type of mission where the patient or the service member has to go overseas, and basically stop everything they’re doing and help with a mission.

What’s your day like?

My day typically starts with exam and sick call. Anything [any person] that walks in the door, from exams to people in severe tooth pain. Some of the things that I like to do are root canals and crowns [putting a cap over the tooth] and bridges [replacing missing teeth].

What is a root canal?

root canal is sometimes needed when somebody has a large cavity that’s real close to the nerve and the bacteria has gotten into the nerve and caused pain. So in order to save the tooth, you have to do what’s called a root canal.

How did you get started?

My first job was to be a dental assistant. So I was actually on the other side of the chair helping the dentist. So I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue a career in Army dentistry.

How to become a dentist

I would encourage that they [kids] get really good grades in school. Focus on math and science for the most part. And another thing I’d suggest is maybe taking an art class. It helps build a foundation for using their hands and that’s something that’s a very important aspect of dentistry, being comfortable working with your hands. It gives them a keen eye for detail. With working with such a small field [area], you really have to pay attention to detail.

These are my Dental Loupes that I use to help magnify my field of vision. So basically every time I work I wear these so I can tell exactly what I’m looking at and how far down I need to go.

How to take care of your teeth?

My advice for kids would be, first and foremost a healthy diet. Believe it or not a healthy diet can really go a long way to keeping your teeth cavity free. I would encourage making smart decisions for snacking and incorporating fruits and vegetables into the daily diet.

Drinking plenty of water and brushing twice a day for two minutes. And more importantly, they should probably keep up with their regular check ups with their family dentist.

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Video: FBI Fitness Instructor

Watch what E. J., an FBI fitness instructor, does every day and how he trains future FBI agents.

In this episode, we visit the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They have the National Academy Training Program, which is a 10-week course for police men and women from all over the U.S. Meet. E.J.

E.J.: A typical day at the FBI Academy for me would be, probably half the day spent teaching, researching as well as maybe an afternoon of hands-on activity. Our FBI agent trainees, as well as staff and our National Academy students, which are our basically our cops and our military, we prepare them and I think focus more on movement mechanics [how the body moves], working on [using your] basic body weight: pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, bracing type activities to prepare them for any athletic endeavor.

Mark: I’m going through the FBI National Academy, which is an executive leadership course with three main components being physical fitness, networking, and academics [classes]. We have usually four classes a day. Three times to four times a week, we do physical fitness. E.J. brings out the best in you as far as wanting to excel, wanting you to bring the best out of yourself and giving you the reasons why it’s important.

Advice for Kids

I think this is an amazing career for kids to get into. The health and fitness industry [area] is growing by leaps and bounds. I encourage them to out work their competition as well as all the habits that they do as a 7-13 year old kid will produce longevity [a long life] and durability [to perform over a long period].

To stay injury free, is just moving in all types of directions and really getting better with their body weight is really fundamental.

Mark: Keep yourself grounded. 1. Pay attention in school. Do your studies. You’re going to be judged a lot on by how you speak and how you write. 2. Stay active, stay mobile. XBox isn’t the answer, get outside and play.

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Video: Nutritionist

Meet Sasha, a registered dietitian nutritionist. She talks about how her job helps people eat healthy foods.

I love food! And I love helping people. At USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture], our job is to teach Americans, all Americans in the whole country, about healthy eating, which is a pretty big job.

What does a nutritionist do?

A nutritionist or a dietician is an expert in food, health and nutrition. And nutritionists are health professionals, so they work in a variety of settings:

  • Nutritionists work in hospitals helping patients get better.
  • Nutritionists also work in grocery stores helping customers.
  • There are nutritionists that work in gyms that help athletes perform their best.

What's your day like?

As part of my job, we get to create nutrition education resources. So handouts like these that are really bright and colorful and teach people about MyPlate and healthy eating. We have them in English and in Spanish. ¿Qué hay en su plato?

I get to create web pages and also work with online apps and games.

Any good nutrition apps?

The SuperTracker is an online application [app] where you can enter in information about you:

  • How tall you are
  • What age you are
  • If you're a boy or a girl
  • How active you are

And it'll tell you a food plan. It'll tell you just how many fruits and vegetables you need to be eating each day, how much dairyprotein, and grains so that you know you're getting the right foods from all five food groups.

What advice do you have for kids?

If you're interested in being a nutritionist, you should get out there in your community and volunteer [offer to help]. Volunteer at a food bank [free food for people in need] or a soup kitchen [place where food is given to the hungry or homeless]. See what it's like to help people get excited about healthy foods.

It's also important, if you're interested in being a nutritionist, to be a healthy role model [a person looked up to by others] and you can start today. So eating healthy foods and being active and showing your friends and family that that's something that you enjoy, those are ways that you can be a role model for others in your life.

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Video: Physical Therapists

Meet physical therapists from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. They talk about their jobs and working with patients.

Lieutenant Mike Marmolejo, Physical Therapist:
If you find, you know, you love the sciences and you love sports, physical therapy is a great combination of both.

What’s your day like?

Janette Scardillo, Physical Therapist:
In the beginning of the day, we come in, get our patient lists and go throughout the hospital and we see a large variety of patients and do anything from getting them walking again, getting them in and out of bed, getting them into a chair, doing exercises with them. We want to have the patient be as functional as possible before they go home.

Mike: A typical day in the office for me is actually really fun. I don’t have to sit at a computer all day.  I actually get to work with my patients, almost doing, like, fitness with them, just to get them better. I have the honor and the privilege of working with these wounded warriors and they come in with different injuries.  A lot of them come in with amputations to their legs or to their arms.  So my job is to help them learn how to walk again; learn how to do activities that they used to do on a normal daily basis that they can’t do right now.  For example, walking or running.

So to challenge their balance a little bit, we put them on foam pads and have them walk on uneven surfaces. And that’s just gonna help them walk better on a harder surface. 

Army Master Sergeant Cedric King, Patient: 
I can see, but I can’t feel. So now that’s kinda like the trade off I have now.  I can see it, but it does me no good because I can’t really feel, I can’t make those adjustments.

Mike: And then the last exercise we did was a seated balance football toss. It’s for them to get again, a core workout, working on their abdominal strength, but it’s also to add some fun.

What is GAIT?

Barri Schnall, Physical Therapist:
GAIT is basically your walking pattern. What we do here primarily is evaluate people’s walking patterns. We have a 27-camera system that sees reflective markers.  The reflective markers are placed essentially from head to toe on the patient. What that does is it creates a stick figure on our computer monitor. That gives us our raw data.

We review the data with the patient and the information we get is all about the time distance  aspects of their walking. So how fast they walk, how wide apart their feet are, how long their steps are.

What is CAREN?

Some people have likened it to a Wii on steroids. It’s a virtual environment, where the patient can either drive a scene, meaning, or interact with a scene.  The problem is we make it difficult.  We can add waves and motion to the platform. So it makes it challenging on your balance and it’s really kind of a fun way to get to do your rehab [rebuild to a healthy state].

Advice for kids

Mike: I’d like to say I have the best job in the world, to be honest with you. To come in everyday and play and to see the smiles on these guys faces. To see where they started and to see where they end up, it’s just so exciting.

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