The field of medicine is so vast, it offers a lot of job opportunities, all of which help save lives. Here are five interesting and unusual medicine-related jobs you might not have known.

Medicine is a vast field that offers a lot of job opportunities. While most people are only familiar with jobs that they see in hospitals, there are a lot of other interesting and unusual jobs that exist in the field. Some of them require additional years of education and training.

Let’s look at five interesting jobs in the field of medicine that you might not have known.

1. Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists are experts in drawing blood samples from patients and donors. In many countries, including the United States, health professionals like doctors and nurses do portions of phlebotomy procedures.

Phlebotomists are specially trained to safely draw blood from newborn babies, infants, the elderly and even adults who have fear of needles or blood. They are also responsible for labeling and transporting blood samples to laboratories for testing.

Four states in the US require special certification to practice phlebotomy. Those who complete this certification can nationally be certified by many different organizations.

2. Medical Perfusionist

Medical perfusionists operate heart and lung equipment during open-heart surgery and other surgeries that require the heart to temporarily stop working. They are trained to keep the patient’s circulatory and respiratory systems up and running during a surgery.

Currently, around 18 schools offer perfusionist programs in the U.S. Health care practitioners who hold bachelor’s degrees can enroll in a certificate program or a master’s degree program in perfusion science. The programs can usually be completed within a couple of years.

3. Sleep technologist

Woman sleepingSleep technologists, or polysomnography technologists, evaluate a patient during their sleep. They usually record and evaluate data of a patient’s sleep, looking for potential signs of sleeping disorders. Because of the nature of their work, sleep technologists usually work at night and are required to consistently monitor a patient during their sleep.

Sleep technologists undergo an education program or acquire adequate on-the-job-training experience, to become eligible for credentialing by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists in the US.

4. Human test subjects

A lot of researchers pay human test subjects to participate in clinical trials, which is an important phase in patenting a new drug or medical treatment. Clinical trials are conducted to determine if the treatment or drug being developed is effective and safe before they are mass-produced and made available to the public.

Most of the time, a patient’s level of education is not required for them to become human test subjects. There are other factors being considered, particularly the patient’s health condition.

5. Medical Illustrators

Medical illustrators combine their knowledge in science and arts to visually interpret scientific information. Their works are usually found in medical textbooks and scientific journals.

A medical illustrator is more than just an artist. They do background research, including reading scientific papers, meeting with experts and sometimes observing a laboratory procedure to help in their creative process.

Medical illustrators usually have a master’s degree from an accredited two-year graduate program in medical illustration. Course work varies from program to program but includes basic science courses, including anatomy, microanatomy, physiology and specialized art courses.

The list above is just a few examples of interesting and unusual jobs one can have in the field of medicine. We can expect more interesting jobs like these in the future as advancements in medical technologies are being developed.