Medical Careers for People Who Want to Work with Babies

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Group-of-BabiesWith so many options for medical careers, it can be difficult to choose one specialty. As you’re considering different ones, you may want to learn more about medical careers dealing with babies. There are many to choose from and they can be both fulfilling and rewarding.

Midwives

What They Do: Midwives help mothers during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. They provide support, education, and ensure mother and baby are healthy. Nurse midwives can deliver babies, help with nursing and care for babies to allow mothers to recuperate.

Is It Right for You? Midwives have a lot of patience and an excellent bedside manner. They are able to comfort people easily and multitask with minimal difficulties. People skills are required.

Education/Training Needed: There are two different types: lay midwives and nurse midwives. The former doesn’t need special education, training or certification, while the latter does require certifications and licensure. Nurse midwives are usually registered nurses who go through a program approved by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Salary: Nurse midwives earn approximately $46.62 per hour, or $96,970 per year.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

What They Do: Neonatal nurses are registered nurses providing medical care to newborn babies. They ensure babies are healthy, but also care for those that have medical issues after birth. They can assist doctors in newborn medical procedures. They can also work with researchers and as educators and consultants.

Is It Right for You? Since you can work as an educator, this is perfect for someone who loves the study of newborn babies but doesn’t want to be involved in direct care. For those that want to work directly with newborns, it’s important to be able to cope with newborns who may be ill or have a disability. People skills are necessary to be able to speak with parents about their newborn’s condition.

Education/Training Needed: Neonatal nurses need to graduate from an accredited nursing program for registered nurses. They will also need to be certified in intensive care nursing or neonatal resuscitation.

Salary: Neonatal nurse practitioners earn on average $107,550 per year. Salary depends on location and experience.

Lactation Consultant

What They Do: A lactation consultant helps new mothers with breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding isn’t always easy, a lactation consultant will work with the mother to properly position the infant, ensure a good latch is achieved and make sure enough milk is produced for the baby’s needs.

Lactation consultants can work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics, and can also independently visit mothers in their homes.

Is It Right for You? Patience is important since mothers and babies can have difficulty getting breastfeeding right. You will need to be able to support and comfort mothers who are worried about their baby getting enough milk.

Education/Training Needed: Lactation consultants need either an Associate of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. They must also pass a national exam for certification.

Salary: The average hourly wage for a lactation consultant is $26, and the annual salary can range from $33,291 to $85,123.

Pediatric Doctor

What They Do: A pediatric doctor – pediatrician – treats babies and children who are ill. They treat everything from strep throat and pink eye to social and mental health issues. They also administer immunizations and advise mothers on how to best care for their baby. They may work in hospitals, clinics or in their own private practice.

Is It Right for You? You must like working with babies and children and their parents. You should be able to have a patience and a disposition that children and parents like. Relationship building is important for pediatricians because children are often scared when visiting the doctor.

Education/Training Needed: Pediatricians need to complete a medical degree program and receive a medical license after finishing a residency program. Licensure comes after passing a national exam.

Salary: The average salary for a pediatrician is $175,000. Specialists can earn more depending on what they are specializing in; for example, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon can earn $424,367 per year.

Obstetrician

What They Do: An obstetrician is a doctor that helps women deliver their babies. They work with women throughout pregnancy performing ultrasounds and ensuring they are taking good care of their bodies to support the baby’s growth. During delivery, they make sure mother and baby are healthy during the labor process. After delivery, they ensure the mother recovers and the baby receives the nutrition needed to thrive.

Is It Right for You? You need to have excellent problem-solving skills. You need to have a positive attitude and good communication skills. It’s important to be able to be supportive and provide comfort during difficult pregnancy, deliveries and postpartum.

Education/Training Needed: Obstetricians need to complete a medical degree program. To enter a medical degree program, you’ll need to score well on the MCAT – Medical College Admission Test. Medical school lasts four years. Medical school graduates must then complete a four-year residency training program. Residency programs are paid, but at a much lower amount than a certified obstetrician. Certifications are granted from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).

Salary: The average salary for obstetricians was $301,737 in 2012. Those who are starting out can expect around $200,000 per year. Residency programs can pay $45,000 to $60,000 a year.

Working with babies can warm your heart because you’re helping them have the best start possible in life. Consider one of these careers if you want to work in the medical field.


About the Author

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer, blogger, and aspiring world traveler. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site on which she shares advice for young professionals on navigating the work world, and finding happiness and success at work. For more on all things career follow her @SarahLandrum

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