The discipline of applied science that deals with human and animal health is health science. Health science has two components- the study, analysis, and understanding of health and the use of that knowledge to improve health and cure illnesses. Find out if a health science major is the right major for you.
People who have a health science major usually find themselves working in the field of healthcare, but there are tons of opportunities out there. There will also be opportunities to go on to graduate school after obtaining an undergraduate degree in health sciences.
Our complete guide to health science majors will cover the following:
- What is a Health Science Major?
- Different Types of Health Science Majors
- Health Science Major Jobs
- Who is a Good Fit for a Health Sciences Major?
What is a Health Science Major?
A health science major studies the health and illness related to human anatomy. Students who major in health sciences will be ready to work and seek graduate-level studies in many health-related occupations and environments. Usually, health science majors prioritize health care excellence, health promotion, and prevention of illnesses, so many commit their careers to improve the life of their patients.
The field of health sciences includes many different types of majors. Many majors will include a mix of coursework, laboratories, and experiential learning to ensure that students will be ready for the demands they will face in their careers.
Students will take a bunch of different classes which may include natural, behavioral, and social science courses. Students will be exposed to problem solving, collaboration, and management skills as well – these will be handy if students wish to manage a healthcare team down the road.
Programs also take ethical and humane treatment into consideration. Students will graduate with a good base knowledge and have the skills to ensure the best patient outcomes and quality of care.
Different Types of Health Science Majors
Nursing (LPN) Major
In conjunction with other members of a nursing staff, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) operates and directly cares for patients and their families. When they identify the needs of a patient to administer medication, they provide practical care. They help with procedures such as catheterization and can collect information such as blood pressure or levels of blood glucose, but may not diagnose a patient on their own. They are not monitored by an RN or a physician, although they may report to a lead RN or physician.
LPN nurses offer routine medical and nursing services, such as monitoring blood pressure and administering catheters, maintaining patients’ comfort by helping them bathe or dress, addressing patient health care, and reporting to registered nurses and physicians on patient status.
Nursing (BS/RN) Major
An RN nurse administers medicine, helps with recovery, and coordinates patient care schedules. They also conduct laboratory testing, analyze findings, instruct patients on how to handle conditions after treatment, and supervise other staff such as LPNs, nursing assistants, and home care assistants.
A nursing license earned by completing an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination is required for all registered nurses. Certain RNs may opt to become accredited by professional associations. Certification is generally optional, although it is necessary for certain senior positions.
Athletic Training Major
An athletic training major is a program that trains people to work with and under the guidance of doctors to prevent and treat athletic accidents and injuries. It requires training in the diagnosis, measurement, and management of sports accidents and injuries. Athletic training majors need experience in multiple sports and their biomechanical and physiological aspects as well.
An athletic training major is a specialty in health care that deals with athletic injury prevention, assessment, emergency services, and recovery. The major is intended to provide the expertise, abilities, and experience needed for a student to become eligible for the national examination for the Board of Certification. The curriculum is designed to prepare candidates for athletic training jobs at the entry-level and athletic training graduate studies.
Veterinary Medicine Major
Veterinary medicine is concerned with the treatment and prevention in animals of infections, diseases, and disabilities. By counseling and training owners about how to care for their pets, veterinarians often play an important part in supporting animal health. Some vets specialize in the handling of certain species, while others care for animals that may be domesticated or wild.
In the farming industry, some veterinarians work to maintain healthy food sources and help farmers remain consistent with animal care laws while maximizing production.
Vets enjoy a dynamic daily life where every day is different and where they get to become close with animal lovers, shelter managers, pets, and pet owners. The career is very rewarding for someone who loves animals.
A pharmacy major is a program that under the direction of pharmacists, trains people to administer drugs and provides patients with medications and associated support. The major also teaches students how to deal with the business side of the industry. It requires many skills and knowledge on a lot of topics like medical and pharmacy terminology, pharmacology concepts, medication recognition, and analysis of medications.
A pharmacy major usually takes courses concentrating in chemistry, human biology, physiology, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology (how drugs interact with the body) while they study pharmacy at a university. Most degrees in pharmacy combine clinical study with more advanced experience and professional expertise in pharmacy, such as learning about legal and ethical challenges and how to deal with patients.
Pre-Med is the course of study that you take to train for medical school. Pre-med is not a major, per se, but rather a driving theory for your education intended to improve your chances of medical school entry. A pre-med track allows you to take a certain series of core courses in order to prepare you to apply to medical school.
Many college majors don’t require you to take the full spectrum of pre-med courses necessary. Schools may or may not offer a pre-med track, it depends on the school. Students should major in something they are deeply interested in and passionate about – just make sure this major covers enough classes to prepare you for medical school.
Health Science Major Jobs
Health science jobs vary from hospital employment with regular interaction with patients to office work at private companies. Since health care is such a dynamic area, as professional priorities and ambitions shift, health science majors have the potential to switch jobs at many points in their careers.
A major advantage to earning a degree in health science as opposed to some type of health-related degree is that it introduces you to different facets of health care, and will help you determine which type of health professional is the best choice.
In terms of where you can work, with a degree in health science, the career prospects are vast. Below are some of the numerous career opportunities for a health science major:
- Registered Nurse
- Dental Hygienist
- Physician Assistant
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Occupational Therapist
- Medical Assistant
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Pharmacy Technician
- Athletic Trainer
- Exercise Physiologist
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Good Fits for a Health Sciences Major
Degrees in health sciences are perfect for students who have a broad range of interests. College students who love academic areas such as math, social sciences, problem solving will find that a major in health sciences will be a good fit.
Students who wish to major in health sciences usually have a passion or an interest in helping others and society. Students should enjoy hands-on learning as many majors in the field of health sciences will involve labs and real-life exercises.
Find Out Your Best Fit College Major
See What Your Best Fit College Major Is
For a fulfilling and highly profitable profession, a degree in health science provides multiple choices. Health Science majors are filling positions nationwide with a growing population and high demand for healthcare facilities, allowing the general population to enjoy a healthy and better lifestyle.
All statistics for this article were found from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.