Medical Employers and Practice Environments

11 Types of Medical Employers and Healthcare Practice Settings

Emergency entrance of hospital building
Hospitals employ thousands of health workers nationwide. Getty Images

If you would like to work in the medical field, regardless of whether you’re interested in a clinical role or non-clinical job, there are a variety of types of employers, companies, organizations, and medical employers from which to choose.

Each type of employer, or medical practice environment, offers challenges and perks depending upon the setting. Whether you want to work for a large organization or health system, or a small private medical office practice, there is an employer that would fit your needs in the healthcare field.

Learn more about a variety of interesting practice environments and medical employers.

Hospitals

Hospitals are one of the first places people may think of when deciding to work in the healthcare field, but there are many different types of hospitals and other employers available. There are thousands of hospitals in the country, and most likely there is one, or more, near you.

Not all hospitals are the same - just like companies in any other industry, each hospital has a different culture and environment. Therefore, you need to consider the different features and characteristics of the hospital before you choose to work there.

Medical Office

If hospitals are too large or intimidating to you, you may prefer to work in a more intimate, close-knit environment. Medical office jobs also do not require as many evening or weekend shifts as hospital jobs.

Medical offices usually are often owned and operated by physicians, or they may also be run by hospitals.

Non-profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations are groups that have been formed to promote a cause. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations that advocate health-related causes or careers. Many of these organizations may be familiar to you, and others may be lesser-known.

Federal and Government Organizations

There are many government organizations that employ medical professionals in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles.

If you wish to give back to your country, and your fellow Americans, government organizations may be a great choice of employers for you in your medical career.

Military

Employees of the military are also employees of the government. The military is very large, with many branches, bases, and facilities where you can find military medical jobs across the country, and even worldwide.

Visit these military branches to explore military medical careers:

Educational Institutions

A variety of medical job opportunities are available in universities, at health centers, university medical centers, or teaching hospitals. Additionally, elementary, middle and high schools hire nurses and therapists.

Examples of jobs at educational institutions:

  • School nurse
  • Speech therapist/Audiologist
  • Behavioral therapist
  • Mental health professionals and school counselors
  • Professor (of medicine or surgery) at a medical school

One example of a university-affiliated teaching hospital is Johns Hopkins University Hospital, which is one of the top facilities in the country.

Hospice

Hospice facilities offer palliative care on an inpatient basis, or in the patients' homes. Patients who are in a hospice facility usually are considered to be terminally ill, with a very poor prognosis. Therefore, it helps to be a very strong, caring, and sensitive professional to be successful in a hospice environment.

Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide a home for patients who are unable to take care of themselves due to age, infirmity, or serious illness or trauma.

Patients in nursing homes are often unable to handle basic care such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. Therefore, in addition to doctors, nurses, and administrators, nursing homes and long-term care facilities employ a lot of nursing assistants to help with the many labor-intensive tasks. Some examples of jobs in nursing homes and long-term care facilities:

  • Pharmacist
  • Nursing Aides
  • Activities Director
  • Medical Director (usually a physician)

Healthcare Corporations and Companies ("Industry" Jobs)

Jobs with corporations and companies that provide products or services to the medical industry, but do not provide patient care, are called "industry" jobs. Most medical industry jobs, if not all industry jobs, are non-clinical  and do not involve providing direct patient care in any way.

Many healthcare industry jobs are the same types of jobs you would find in any other company, such as sales, supply chain, marketing, human resources, executives, accounting, and finance, or engineering. However, all of these jobs at healthcare corporations are related to or support the healthcare industry in some way, whether as a consultant or a vendor of a product or service. Since these employers are in a healthcare-related business, they are usually fairly recession-proof, as are most other health careers.

Examples of healthcare industry corporations are:

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors
  • Healthcare Information Technology and Software developers
  • Healthcare consulting firms
  • Medical device and medical supply manufacturers

Some examples of healthcare "industry" jobs:

  • Healthcare recruiter
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Health Informatics Professional
  • Healthcare consultant

Home Health Care

Home health is a booming sector within the healthcare field.There is a great demand for home health aids, and also nurses, doctors, and other advanced providers who are willing to treat patients in their homes. Home care treats patients include those who are too frail or ill to leave the house. Hospice care is sometimes provided in the patient's home. Additionally, a growing number of insurance companies are offering "white glove" service that allows even able-bodied patients to receive care at home for minor or routine issues - this service is popular among executives too.

Retail Health Care

Healthcare is such a big business, and is in such high demand, that even drugstore chains, grocery stores, and department stores are getting into the business of providing health care. Chains like Wal-Mart, Wal-Greens, Kroger, and more are employing healthcare professionals in mini-clinics and urgent care centers within their stores. Retail health offers healthcare workers flexible hours, a set schedule, no call, and many other perks such as a wide variety of locations to work or rotate.

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