May 17, 2020

Five 'alternative' jobs in the healthcare industry

Healthcare jobs
travel nursing
home healthcare
4 min
The healthcare industry offers job security
Written by Andy West Healthcare is a fast-growing field that offers lots of career opportunities and job security. A lot of people, however, think of a...

Written by Andy West

Healthcare is a fast-growing field that offers lots of career opportunities and job security.  A lot of people, however, think of a career in healthcare as those with the most visibility: working as a nurse at a hospital, nursing home, or doctor's office is most often what comes to mind.

But you might be surprised at the many different careers available in the healthcare industry.  Nurses are desperately needed in hospitals and retirement homes, of course, but for those who do not relish the thought, there are many other healthcare jobs to choose from. Here are five alternative healthcare jobs that shy away from the traditional doctor and nurse image.

Travel nursing

Qualified nurses can take advantage of the shortage of health care professionals if they are willing to travel to wherever they are needed. Travel nurses usually accept temporary contracts in various locations across the world, working for considerably higher pay in order to fill a specific need at a hospital or medical facility.  You go where you are needed most and in exchange you are well paid, with higher wages and bonuses and put up in a furnished housing or a housing stipend. If you love travel and are adventurous, this is a great option to see different places while meeting people around the world.

Research assistant

If you want to feel that your work is really helping to make a difference, then working as a research assistant allows you to contribute to the development of new medications, cures and our rapidly growing (but still insufficient) knowledge of the human body and its diseases. Research assistants may do everything from monitoring a study subject's vitals, to collecting self-reported data such as questionnaires and glucose readings. If you like to learn new things and analyse data, then this might be the perfect career.

Medical billing

Have you ever wondered who handles all the paperwork between the time you see the doctor and the time the insurance company (hopefully) pays the bill? Someone at your doctor's office is responsible for determining the correct billing codes and billing your insurance company. Although this is a potentially lucrative job in the health care industry, many people do not even know it exists because the billing process all happens in the background. This is a good position to consider for detail and task-oriented people who like working with numbers.

Pharmacy technician

Did you know you do not have to be an actual pharmacist in order to work in a pharmacy? A pharmacy technician typically helps the pharmacist do things like filling prescriptions, but because most of these jobs are in a retail setting, there is also a fair bit of customer service required. However, schooling requirements are much less rigorous, making this a great but obscure job for those who want a career in the health care industry, but do not want to have to work in a hospital setting. For those that love helping people and enjoy customer service, working as a pharmacy technician would be a great opportunity.

Home healthcare

Not every patient can make it in to see the doctor and staying in the hospital is not always a good solution. Many elderly or terminally ill patients choose to stay in their homes for a long-term illness, which means that they occasionally need a nurse to check in on them.  Home healthcare provides the same care the patient would get in the doctor's office or even in the hospital, except in the comfort of their own home and usually at a fraction of the cost. If you like flexible schedules and enjoy working with different people on a more personal level and deeper involvement this might the right fit.

As you can see, there are many healthcare jobs out there that fall outside the realm of nursing, but offer just as good pay and job security. For those that are interested in the benefits of working in the healthcare industry, but want to do something a little different than the usual nursing-type job, one of these careers might be perfect.

The Economic Report on the importance of travel nursing in the US:

Andy West is a freelance writer writing on various topics while he gets his healthcare degree online.

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Jul 24, 2021

A guide to labelling compliance for medical devices

Susan Gosnell
4 min
A guide to labelling compliance for medical devices
Susan Gosnell, Product Manager at Loftware, explains labelling compliance for small medical device manufacturers

Small medical device manufacturers often find themselves scrambling to achieve the necessary compliance and validation, risking costly mistakes.

Validating systems and processes including labelling, to ensure they are compliant with stringent regulatory standards is tough and can be expensive. Indeed, compliance with the EU’s Medical Device Regulation (MDR) will cost more than 5% of annual sales, according to 48% of 101 companies polled by the German company Climedo Health, in July and August 2020 about their MDR-readiness.

But if companies bungle the software validation process or put incorrect and uncompliant data on the labels themselves, the penalties are likely to be more severe than just making corrections. Health and safety may be put at risk and fines imposed for failing to comply. When it comes to compliance, they may become overwhelmed with regulations in other geographic regions that focus on device traceability, each with a unique device identifier (UDI-like) component to it. 

On the validation front, companies may not be familiar with the software validation process and the multiple tests and documentation necessary for validation are demanding if companies only have a small IT team that is very busy.

Putting a plan in place

MDR-compliant labelling, however, brings with it certain requirements which differ from what is demanded under the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) system rules. Under MDR, for example, manufacturers must ensure the label specifically states the device is a medical one using an MD symbol in a box. This is only one of many stipulations that usually require redesigned labels.

Small medical device manufacturers who rely on time-consuming and error-prone manual or legacy labelling processes to facilitate these label updates run the risk of mislabelling which can lead to non-compliance.  They may have limited staff and no structured processes around roles and responsibilities when it comes to label design, changes and approval. As project leads work toward a compliant labelling process, it is therefore important to establish defined roles and access for each stage of the process.

When dealing with a compliance initiative, up to date, correct and compliant labelling is imperative. This involves having all the relevant label design elements in place to comply with the EU MDR or FDA regulations. Many times, label templates are hard coded, meaning IT must be involved in making changes. And with IT staff often being tasked with multiple mission-critical projects in the organisation, labelling projects can be delayed. For many small medical device manufacturers who have limited resources, finding a solution can be a challenge.

Why labelling in the cloud offers a roadmap forward

Validation-ready cloud labelling solutions have now emerged to ease compliance with regulations and time-consuming validation requirements. These solutions, built with the needs of regulated companies in mind, digitise the quality control processes and facilitate compliant labelling with role-based access, approval workflows and electronic signatures. Outside of compliance, carrying out labelling in the cloud drives scalability and productivity for small medical device manufacturers and boosts overall efficiency.

The latest cloud labelling solutions integrate with other cloud solutions, allowing for seamless functionality and minimising the need for local infrastructure resources and cost.

When it comes to validation, as with many labelling systems, those hosted in the cloud have vendor-supplied documentation that streamlines the process and significantly eases the burden when it comes to installation qualification (IQ). The manufacturer itself has a much lighter burden and a streamlined path to a validated system and process.

A more relaxed software release schedule eases the validation burden on life sciences companies because the software is updated once a year rather than multiple times. This gives them a continuously updated and maintained labelling solution without increasing the validation workload on their IT staff.  

Future-proof technology

The manufacturer would of course need to work closely alongside the vendor and review the documentation, but, if needed, the vendor is able to do much of the work for them, providing not only the full validation acceleration pack but also professional services to assist with the validation process.

While some medical device manufacturers choose to tackle validation on their own, the vendor supplied validation acceleration pack or documentation helps to simplify the process. Consultancy and advice around validation is usually available from the vendor, tailored to the business’s specific needs.

Given the immense hassles of compliance for small device manufacturers, cloud-based labelling systems offer the benefits of a full label management system while easing compliance and validation. This is a future-proof technology. With a cloud-based labelling system, medical device manufacturers can be confident that they are running the most up-to-date software, enabling them to address the fast-changing new regulations and cope with whatever comes their way. And especially in the current pandemic, when face-to-face meetings are still problematic, it is a perfect way to keep labelling operations moving forward.

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