Being a health writer is a unique, but vital niche for freelance writers. Healthcare articles are valuable to people seeking information about a wide range of ailments and well care practices online. With people turning to the Internet to seek information about their health, it is important to research your facts from reliable sources before writing any type of healthcare article.
Healthcare is the overall term for a wide range of topics related to the human body, the human mind and environmental conditions that people live in. Within this extremely broad topic, there are numerous subtopics that you can specialize in as a health writer. In order to become an authority in your field, it is better to focus on a very small niche topic within the healthcare industry. With a tight focus, you will find that you can become an expert in your field and stay abreast of the new developments and treatment as it becomes available to the public.
Many health writers are trained as physicians, nurses, paramedics or other health professionals. They can write about their own field of expertise with confidence from their training and past experience treating patients. However, the healthcare field is changing so rapidly due to improved technology, scientific discoveries and new medications and treatments that without regular ongoing education, professionals quickly fall behind in their level of knowledge. If you plan on focusing your writing career on healthcare, then understand that you will need to take continuing education courses, read journal articles and practice lifelong learning to stay informed.
It is vitally important to write accurate instructions for use of any type of medical treatments, step-by-step care directions and how-to articles. Providing people with erroneous medical or healthcare information is negligent and irresponsible and can potentially cause disastrous consequences. Most people become health writers to help others; therefore fact-checking before publishing is a matter of course.
Working with Healthcare Professionals
While healthcare practices follow standard procedures and treatment, it is commonly known that people don’t always react to treatments the same way. Medications and treatments may cause a range of reactions in patients, both positive and negative; therefore it is always a good idea to encourage your readers to consult a health professional before they start any new treatment, even an alternative health treatment. As you write your articles, you do not know if your readers are well educated in their own care, understand that they may be different or are already on treatments for other ailments that you are not aware of. Unless you are a trained physician and know all the facts, you can only make people aware of possibilities. It is also helpful to interview health professionals to see how they handle similar situations when they work with their own patients.
If you choose a niche, and study your resources carefully, you can find a lucrative career as a health writer. People will always need healthcare in some form or another as well as education on how to prevent illness and injury.
Paula A has 22 years of experience in sales and marketing with a focus on retail sales including eight years as the owner/operator of a local art gallery. She is also a professional jewelry artist with 11 years of experience in a variety of jewelry-making techniques. She has taught classes in painting, jewelry-making and Jewish studies for 16 years.