Health and Human Services Jobs
There are many different jobs in health and Human Services, but they all have at their core the principle of helping one’s fellow human beings overcome adversity and emerge healthy and whole. This is the fulcrum around which Human Services and health related jobs turn. Whether one is working as a Medical Assistant helping take a patient’s pulse and other health inventories or working as an Eligibility Worker administering Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Plan (SNAP formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits, the goal is the same, helping the client to become healthy and whole. With this core doctrine in mind it is easy to see how so many diverse occupations can come together under one big tent so to speak. Providing Service to Society who are undergoing hardship is the touchstone of both medical professions and other Human Services jobs.
There is a lot of crossover in terms of skills that are required in both professional spheres. They include traits that are involved with relating to one’s fellow human beings. For example, establishing rapport is very important in both realms as it puts the client at ease and helps establish a sense of relaxation and safety in the mind of the client. This is very important for medical professionals as things like pulse which can indicate health, will have a very different reading for a stressed out and anxious patient than one who is relaxed. There is far more information to be gleaned from the vitals of a relaxed patient than one who is experiencing some degree of stress. Likewise, for a Human Services client who finds themselves in a Mental Health related environment, it is extremely important that the client be at ease as they interact with the Human Services professional. By establishing rapport through active listening, empathy, compassion and interpersonal communication skills, the Human Services and Health professional puts their client at ease and can look to achieve an optimal result in the service they are performing.
Of course at the heart of both professions the best practitioners are those who have an internal desire to help their fellow human beings. This is not something that can be taught; although it can be something that is developed through an earnest desire to explore one’s own sense of empathy and compassion. Without a desire to truly help one’s fellow human beings, the process becomes mechanical, cold and distant and is very unlikely to yield a positive, let alone optimal result. Therefore, if the fields of Human or Health Services are of interest to you, developing this capacity within oneself is very important. It is so important that for decades there has been the term “bedside manner” to describe the relative level of empathy, compassion and ability to establish rapport a doctor might have with their patient. The very best doctors have a high degree of knowledge about their filled, sharply refined skills, a high degree of professionalism and also that more subtle trait of having the warmth to be regarded as having an excellent bedside manner.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in Health or Human Services there are a wide variety of occupations that you can consider. You may wish to narrow the field by consulting our section on Human Services Professionals and browse some of the many careers that we have discussed in detail. We list prospective salaries, education and licensure requirements while discussing some of the desirable traits, skills and the day to day duties of these careers. There are so many to choose from you will be able to find one that resonates with you and can help you take those first steps of choosing a quality education to begin your journey towards a highly rewarding career in Health and Human Services.