Healthcare in the New Millennium

Healthcare in the New Millennium

By Online Degrees Today Staff

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Are you the nurturing type? Are you looking for a career where you can put that instinct to use? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare-related jobs make up 60% of the fastest growing occupations. The opportunities in healthcare are diverse, challenging and constantly expanding. Check out some of the hottest jobs in the industry today. You may find the perfect fit!

Physician Assistants
As a physician assistant (PA), you'll practice medicine, working under the supervision of doctors and surgeons. PAs are trained to diagnose and treat patients. You'll take histories, examine patients, and order tests. In most states, PAs can write prescriptions as well as provide sutures and cast broken bones. Many work in specialized fields, such as pediatrics, surgery and emergency medicine.

Get the Job!
Nationwide, PAs must complete an educational program and pass an exam to gain a license. Ongoing medical training is also required to maintain certification.

Physical Therapist
As a physical therapist, you'll work with patients to help them regain mobility, control pain and increase fitness levels. You'll assist a wide range of patients, including accident victims and patients with arthritis, heart conditions, broken bones and muscle injuries. Physical therapists often recommend exercises designed to build flexibility, coordination and strength.

Get the Job!
Physical therapy programs offer degrees at the master's level and above, and state licensure is required. If you're interested in physical therapy, try working with an athletic trainer to gain experience.

Medical Assistants
The majority of medical assistants work in doctors' offices performing both administrative and clinical tasks. Administrative duties run the gamut from answering phones to taking care of insurance forms to bookkeeping. Clinical responsibilities vary by state, but may include preparing patients for the physical exam, collecting laboratory samples and removing sutures.

Get the Job!
Training in medical assisting is available at community colleges and vocational schools and can lead to a diploma, certificate or associate degree.

Home Health Aides
As a home health aide, you'll provide care for sick, elderly or disabled patients, allowing them to stay in their own homes rather than seek treatment in hospitals or nursing homes. You'll also relieve family members who are unable to provide their loved ones with the long-term healthcare they need. Examples of a home health aide's responsibilities are administering medications, checking a patient's temperature and assisting with medical equipment. You may also help patients perform exercises or routine tasks such as bathing and dressing.

Get the Job!
The federal government requires all home health aides to pass a competency test, and in some states, aides are required to obtain a license.

Personal and Home Care Aides
Like home health aides, personal and home care aides work inside the home with sick, elderly and disabled patients. Instead of providing health-related services, you'll assist patients with housekeeping and daily personal care tasks. These tasks may include cleaning, doing laundry or planning and preparing meals. In some cases, home care aides also help clients run errands and get to doctors' appointments.

Get the Job!
Although some states require formal training, it's possible to become a home care aide with on-the job training. Voluntary certification is also available.

The healthcare industry is growing fast, and its rewards can be great. If you love working with people and have a passion for helping patients, a career in healthcare may be waiting for you!

Sources Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/

About the Author Aimee Pokwatka is a graduate student at Syracuse University and holds a B.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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