Endocrinology refers to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect various glands in the endocrine system. Experts in this field help patients with metabolism issues, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and growth problems, among hundreds of other disorders. There are many different types of endocrinology jobs available for doctors, nurses and laboratory researchers with focused education and training in the field. Most endocrinological professionals choose to specialize further by working with specific populations, such as children or the elderly, or particular conditions, like endocrine cancer.
Patients who exhibit signs of endocrine system disorders are typically referred to doctors who specialize in the field of endocrinolgy, or endocrinologists. These physicians are internal medicine experts who can make accurate diagnoses and determine the most appropriate treatment measures. They analyze patients' symptoms, conduct detailed diagnostic tests and prescribe medication as needed. Endocrine surgeons conduct invasive and noninvasive procedures to remove diseased glands and alleviate problems that affect internal organs. Some endocrinologists and surgeons work in private practice, although most are employed by clinics and general hospitals.
Endocrine nurses are essential assistants to endocrinologists. They provide direct care for hospitalized patients and prepare them for medical or surgical procedures. They often spend time with patients, explaining about particular diseases and discussing different treatment options. Nurses also provide counseling services to family members to help them cope with the circumstances surrounding their loved one.
Many professionals in the field of endocrinology specialize in pediatric care. The endocrine systems of children and adolescents are still developing, and patients face unique problems related to hormone changes and growth. Other common areas of specialty include elder care, women's health and men's health. In addition, many people with endocrinology jobs choose to focus on a particular condition. They may work with patients diagnosed with cancer, thyroid disorders or malfunctioning adrenal glands, for example.
Other endocrinology jobs involve detailed clinical laboratory studies. Scientists and laboratory technicians analyze samples of gland tissue, blood and urine to check for signs of disease and injury. They rely on sophisticated microscopes, cell counters and other specialized lab equipment to accurately identify glandular disorders. Clinical technicians relay the results of lab tests to doctors to confirm patient diagnoses.
Consistent communication between professionals in different endocrinology jobs is essential to ensure patient care. Doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians work together to give patients the best chances of recovery. Experts keep detailed records of tests and procedures to make sure that other professionals fully understand the status and special needs of each patient.