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Clinical Positions

Clinical jobs are those that provide direct medical care to patients, these jobs can range greatly in the specialty they work with. They typically require a specialized degree and certification or licensing. Here are 13 types of medical jobs you can find in hospitals.

Clinical Positions

Clinical jobs are those that provide direct medical care to patients, these jobs can range greatly in the specialty they work with. They typically require a specialized degree and certification or licensing. Here are 13 types of medical jobs you can find in hospitals.

Registered nurse

There are many options for nurses with Associate’s degrees, and the career offers a variety of specialties and career paths.  There are many resources to help with required licensing exams.

National projected employment growth (2018–2028): 12 percent

Education: Associate’s degree at a minimum

Nursing assistant

Nursing assistants work under the supervision of the nursing staff to care for patients in a variety of settings. This is a low barrier-to-entry option to obtaining a career in the healthcare field.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 9 percent


Licensed practical nurse (LPN/LVN)

Licensed practical nurses handle a large portion of basic nursing care tasks. This level nursing position monitors patient health, changes dressings and catheters, administers medications and assists with personal care as needed.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 11 percent

Education: Practical Nursing Diploma program


Pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of tasks to support pharmacists with disbursement of medications to prescription holders, including taking orders from customers and counting out medication. These healthcare professionals are often public-facing positions.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 7 percent

Education: Pharmacy Technician Certificate


Medical or clinical laboratory technician

Medical laboratory technicians assist with the analysis and diagnosis of patients from mostly behind-the-scenes in a laboratory setting.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 11 percent

Education: Medical Laboratory Technician Associate’s degree

Radiologic technologist

Radiologic technologists work with physicians to perform diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. They work directly with patients to conduct X-ray or CAT scan procedures and use many types of medical machinery to obtain imagery.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 9 percent

Education: Radiologic Technologist Associate’s degree


Surgical technologist

Surgical technologists perform a crucial role as a part of the surgical team, including prepping the operating room for surgery and providing hands-on assistance during surgery.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 9 percent

Education: Surgical Technologist Associate’s degree


Physical therapist assistant

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) help implement physical therapy treatment plans, assisting with prescribed exercises and tracking patient progress.

Projected employment growth (2018–2028): 26 percent

Education: Physical Therapist Assistant Associate’s degree


Dieticians educate patients on proper diet and help them manage conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. They plan diets based on the patient’s goal, whether it includes weight loss, weight gain, managing a disease or improving their overall quality of life. They create personalized recipes and meal plans and track patients’ progress.


Respiratory therapist

Respiratory therapists treat patients who have difficulty breathing. They diagnose and treat conditions such as asthma or bronchitis. They might also provide emergency care to patients who have suffered heart attacks, drowning or other traumatic events. They might help certain populations, such as the elderly or babies born prematurely, with lung disease. They also work with devices like ventilators and artificial airways.


Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists help sick, disabled, injured and recovering patients perform daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing and preparing meals. They help people develop or regain the basic skills they need to care for themselves or have a job. These professionals provide patients with exercises and therapies to improve their skills and mobility. They might redesign living and working spaces with special equipment or technologies.



Pharmacists prepare and dispense prescription medications and educate patients on how to take their medications safely. They understand what medications treat, what they interact with and how to prescribe them appropriately. Pharmacists also manage pharmacy inventory and communicate with hospital doctors about certain drugs. They might give patients wellness exams, health advice and vaccinations.


Physician assistant

Physician assistants assess, diagnose and treat patients under a licensed physician’s supervision. They order tests and bloodwork, prescribe medications, maintain patient records and educate patients on healthy lifestyles. They often focus on wellness exams and preventive care. Physician assistants refer patients to specialists and help doctors and physicians as needed.


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Hospitals and other acute care faculties generally offer opportunities to get more training.


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