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Phoenix Forward

5 cool health care jobs

Medical professional

We usually think of health care jobs as occurring only in hospitals and doctors' offices. But those aren't the only options out there. Here are five cool health care jobs to consider in your next job hunt:

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Disaster-relief nurse

"Nurses can coordinate relief efforts on a small scale, like in a single house fire, or on a larger scale at major disasters like earthquakes and floods," says Liz Dietz, a registered nurse who is an active American Red Cross volunteer and the area chair for the nursing program at the University of Phoenix Bay Area Campus.

Dietz notes that most of the Red Cross staff is volunteer but that the experience can be applied to clinical hours requirements in BSN and MSN programs. And disaster-relief knowledge is "a marketable skill as well," she adds.

Disaster-relief nursing can also take you to exotic locales. Just ask Darlene Bradley, PhD, a registered nurse and nursing instructor at the University of Phoenix Southern California Campus. "I volunteer with Project Angkor, a humanitarian organization that provides relief to impoverished villages in Cambodia," she says. "We visit rural areas of Cambodia for two weeks every year and do everything from treat the sick to provide food.

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On-air radio personality

Vicki Greenberg never expected to land a gig as an on-air radio health expert. "I just sort of fell into it," she says. A family nurse practitioner and nursing program manager at the University of Phoenix Southern California Campus, Greenberg has a weekly spot on KERN-Bakersfield and appears frequently on other stations to discuss health care. "I choose topics that interest a wide audience, like smoking, nutrition and obesity," she says.

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Summer-camp nurse

For a fun change of pace, spend a week as a summer-camp nurse. "I used to do this every year with my son's Boy Scout troop," says Kathy Chelini, MSN and campus college chair of nursing at the University of Phoenix East Jacksonville Learning Center. "I stayed on-site at the camp, treated bumps and bruises, and was on call for any medical emergencies — which gave the parents peace of mind."

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Legal nurse consultant

Legal nurse consultants do clinical analysis in support of medical malpractice cases, including interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, even testifying in court. "This was one of my favorite nursing jobs ever," Chelini says. "I got to learn all about the legal process as well as many different medical specialties."

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Forensic nurse

Like legal nurse consultants, forensic nurses support court cases. But their work pertains to criminal cases — including elements of high-tech crime-scene investigation — rather than civil lawsuits. Darlene Bradley has also worked in forensic nursing.

"Forensic nurses do sexual assault exams, which collects DNA evidence following rape cases," Bradley explains. "We also can conduct drug and alcohol testing at police roadblocks to catch DUI offenders, and examine children for injuries and drug exposure in child welfare cases. We go to court, present evidence and give testimony, too."

Interested in furthering your education?