Understanding Careers in Healthcare


July 16th, 2008


The healthcare field covers a vast area of careers and duties, ranging from assistants to surgeons and physicians.  Healthcare is one of the largest industries and provided over 14 million jobs in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Additionally, 10 of 20 of the fastest growing occupations are healthcare related, making it a high demand field.  The healthcare field offers very lucrative occupations and is expected to continue to grow drastically over the next several years, creating more than 3 million more jobs by 2018.  For students considering joining medical schools and programs to pursue careers in the medical field, it is important to know the vast area healthcare fields cover.Healthcare occupations exist in hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, offices of physicians, dentists, and health practitioners, home health care services, and ambulatory services.  Service occupations in healthcare relate to those workers who have direct relations with patients and provide them with care and assistance.  Service workers generally include nursing assistants, health aides, and dental and medical assistants and require limited training and certifications or education.Paraprofessional workers also work in the healthcare industry.  These individuals work with healthcare professionals such as surgeons and physicians, and assist them in diagnoses and treatment options.  Paraprofessional workers may operate medical equipment and technology as needed and may assist in major or lengthy medical procedures.  Paraprofessional workers generally include medical lab technicians, emergency technicians, surgical technicians, and cardiovascular and ultrasound technicians, and generally require specialized training.Professional occupations in the healthcare field include doctors, dentists, nurses, physical therapists, surgeons, and physicians.  Nurses include licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners.  Each occupation is responsible for specific duties as they relate to their role in the healthcare field.  Most professional level healthcare careers require at least a bachelor degree, while many also require a master, and depending on occupation, a doctorate degree.


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