Opportunities for employment in the health care industry are projected to increase substantially in the coming years. As the “baby boomer” generation ages, additional home and critical care services will be required to handle the large influx of patients into an already overburdened system. The team approach to health care dictates the need for skilled professionals in many medical and allied health care fields. If you are interested in a career in the health care industry, here is a list of five professions for which the demand continues to increase.
1. Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner
The nursing profession is the mainstay of hospital care and an indispensable part of the health care team. By 2016, hospitals and other health care facilities are expected to need some 580,000 new nurses. Advanced practice nurses–such as nurse practitioners–are also expected to be in great demand, especially in areas that are typically underserved by the medical community. If you are interested in becoming part of a patient care team, you would do well to investigate the nursing profession.
2. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants are in high demand as physician’s offices deal with rapidly growing patient loads. As a medical assistant, you have responsibility for managing the administrative overhead of the physician’s office, and you may assist with minor clinical tasks.
3. Dental Assistant
The dental assistant is indispensable in the practice of dentistry. As a dental assistant, your responsibilities might include taking x-rays, counseling patients, and preparing and maintaining dental instruments.
4. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic
EMTs and paramedics are critical to any team of first-responders. As cities increase in size and populations continue to grow, the need for timely and expert response to urgent medical problems continues to rise. Given the importance of decreasing the time between injury and response, increasing the number of EMTs and paramedics in the field can have a major impact on the morbidity and mortality of life-threatening emergencies. If you are interested in a demanding and fast-paced career in health care, training as an EMT or paramedic may be something to consider.
5. Physical Therapist
Physical therapists utilize their training and expertise in rehabilitation to assist the recovery of patients who have sustained traumatic injuries, who have become debilitated due to disease, or who have undergone surgical procedures. Physical therapists can be employed in doctors offices, hospitals, and fitness centers. If you enjoy working closely with patients, a career in physical therapy is an excellent choice.
Becoming a part of the health care industry is one of the few relatively recession-proof career choices. There are many fields to choose from and many options to consider. As the population continues to age, the need for health care professionals of all disciplines will continue to grow. Whatever profession you choose, you can be assured of a challenging, rewarding, and meaningful career.
Eva Kwok blogs about careers in healthcare. If you are interested in working in the health sector, you might consider applying for a degree in pharmacy. Several schools offer pharmacy degrees, including University of Florida and Creighton University.