Turn Your Passion for Art into a Medical Career

Lots of people enjoy art.

Some people enjoy drawing, sculpting and painting, but there aren't too many avenues for people to express themselves outside the stodgy walls of the "art world" where you have to be "cutting edge" to get in and stay in. Now, we have many medical jobs that are highly technical, require lots of training, and are not the least bit artistic, but there are others where you can take your passion for art and use it for good in helping people and make a job of it at the same time. Let's take a look at the unlikely spots where you can use your artistic talents AND get paid to do so...

Unlikely spot #1 is in the field of Home Health Care. Home Health Aides work in a patient's home (and sometimes live there) to care for someone who needs convalescent or hospice care. Generally, when a patient needs home health aide they need someone to be with them ALL THE TIME. Well, if you're working as a Home Health Aide and you have to be with someone all the time then the least you can do is enrich their days with some art.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Not everyone who needs Home Health Care is going to be able to hold a pencil or make a brushstroke. However, that's not the point.

Let's say you're caring for someone who does have manual dexterity...then you can teach them to draw, paint or sculpt. How much fun is that? (And it passes the hours.) If your patient does NOT have manual dexterity then you can just as easily create artwork for them, inspired by them or of them. How lovely would it be for you to do a portrait of someone who is sick? Something to brighten their day? Any kind of joy you can fill their day with would be just wonderful!

Psychiatric Aides work in the same kind of environment. Because they need to be one on one with the patients they would be able to teach art to the patients or even produce artwork for the patients. If your artwork can brighten a dreary mental hospital or a patient's room then you've done a lot of good.

Recreational Therapy works much the same way. Though the field involves physical activity (usually outside) that doesn't mean that you couldn't teach art in the out of doors (and indoors when it gets cold.) Art doesn't always have to be serious if you can use it as recreation to help your patients.

Occupational Therapists can use the same art techniques that produce great masterpieces to help folks who are re-learning how to write, hold things, and feed themselves. Anything that helps someone get the use of their hands back is a good thing...

The final unlikely spot would be in the field of eye care. Opticians and Ophthalmologists use objects everyday to test their patient's vision and to make sure their eyewear is working. Maybe instead of using the traditional letters on a chart you could ask your patient's which lens makes the colors on your painting look more vibrant or which lens makes the people in the portrait you painted look more alive.

Artwork can brighten up any space (even if it's just the waiting room at your practice) but it can be used to help patients and can be a wonderful outlet for you as you pursue a career in medicine. Take the "unlikely" opportunities to use your artistic talents to their fullest potential and you will feel much more gratified in your chosen medical job.

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Home Health Aides
    Salary: $20,460
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 0 years
    # Employed: 892,410
    Part Time: 24%
  • Psychiatric Aides
    Salary: $26,560
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 1 years
    # Employed: 59,050
    Part Time: 24%
  • Recreational Therapists
    Salary: $38,370
    Job Prospects: C
    Education After HS: 4 years
    # Employed: 22,510
    Part Time: 16%
  • Occupational Therapists
    Salary: $66,780
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 7 years
    # Employed: 94,800
    Part Time: 25%
  • Optometrists
    Salary: $96,320
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 25,970
    Part Time: 30%

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