Medical careers for the visually impaired

October 3, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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One of the biggest benefits about considering a career in medicine is that it offers such a diverse array of specialties to choose from so you can be sure to find one that is exactly what you are looking for regardless of any physical limitations. While those who are visually impaired may not be able to take up a career where direct patient contact is necessary, there are several other specialties in medicine that are not visually dependent.

These days, thanks to advanced assistive technology that is available for the visually impaired and some modifications in the workplace, a blind person who has the appropriate training and experience can choose from a wide array of careers in the healthcare field. Here are just some of the many areas in healthcare that provide plenty of scope for a flourishing career for anyone who is visually impaired.

Ready to take notes in morning report at the hospital Research in a wide range of healthcare fields

With the right assistive technology, any professional with little or no vision can take part in a wide range of projects as a research scientist in most universities, laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Manufacturers that are involved in creating medical equipment and accessibility tools for blind users often employ blind researchers as testers and developers to create and test their new prototypes. Subject to earning a doctorate degree in one of the health sciences, visually impaired medical scientists can participate in any program that is not visually dependent.

Administration in several types of healthcare establishments

For those who are interested in administrative work, there are plenty of opportunities available in administration in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Potential jobs for professionals with limited vision include transcribing, management positions and administrative jobs that involve mainly report writing.

Customer service in different types of medical facilities

Several facilities ranging from hospitals and private medical practices to large insurance companies employ customer service representatives to do certain tasks such as making appointments, answering queries, taking messages and resolving billing questions. Visually impaired operators who are familiar with using assistive technology on their computers can access the necessary information that callers are looking for and provide outstanding service. Some customer care representatives may just need to rely on large print screens and books to help them find the answers.

Clerical opportunities related to healthcare

The medical transcription field is an excellent option for blind healthcare professionals who have mastered the necessary assistive technology. Braille typing displays and specially designed screen readers make it possible for visually impaired transcriptionists to transcribe physicians’ notes. A transcriptionist only needs to listen to the notes that are recorded. Vision is not an essential skill. What is necessary though is an in-depth knowledge of medical terminology and this can be learned through the same course work taken by sighted transcribers. Another huge advantage in the field of medical transcription is that these professionals usually work out of their homes, which eliminates the need for transportation assistance.

Mental health expertise

Sight does not have a role to play in a career as a counsellor or a physiatrist and as such, a lack of vision does not in any way hamper the ability to treat patients as a counsellor or psychiatrist. Moreover, most careers within the mental health field of medicine provide numerous pathways to a productive career.