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The healthcare industry contains a wide variety of professional careers and entry-level jobs.
Positions and Duties
A vast assortment of entry-level jobs exist in the healthcare industry. Home care aides help disabled, elderly, or ill clients in the home. Aides assist with daily household tasks, prepare meals, provide companionship, and administer medications. Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, react along with paramedics in emergency situations when people sustain serious or life-threatening injuries. Medical assistants help doctors and nurses prepare patients for examination, often giving injections, measuring vital signs, and recording medical histories. Preparing patients for dental treatments and giving instruction on proper dental hygiene comprise some of the typical duties of dental assistants. People in need of glasses or contact lenses receive eye measurements and find out prescription and eyewear details from dispensing opticians. Other positions serve many purposes in similar capacities throughout the healthcare industry.
Work in healthcare.
Work in Healthcare
The requirements of candidates for healthcare professions prove as diverse as the selection of available jobs. Compassion and patience bear universal importance in the field, as interactions on a personal level with patients or clients commonly occur. Attention to detail remains critical, as different people sometimes possess dissimilar care needs in addition to potential allergies and conditions. Workers in certain positions, such as EMTs, may need to work long shifts, weekends, holidays, or late hours, due to the necessity for emergency care to remain available at all times. Some health services jobs, though not all, require high school educations or equivalents as well as specialized, non-degree training.
Pay for home health aides centers around $10.00 per hour and $14.00 per hour for medical assistants. EMTs make roughly $15.00 per hour, while dental assistants and opticians earn about $34,000 annually. Earnings may vary by clientele. Some employers offer job benefits packages featuring insurance options and 401(k) retirement plans to further attract workers. Employment benefits also vary by clientele and staffing firms.
More than 10 million people work as, or in a support role to, healthcare practitioners as of 2012. As the large Baby Boomer population ages, more opportunities arise in the healthcare sphere due to increased demand for services. Growth in the industry stands projected very high, with most occupations swelling by 23%. Home health aide jobs expect to increase by 48% in the next 10 years.
Popular Healthcare Job Descriptions
Home Health Aide – A home health aide typically monitors a patient in the home as opposed to in hospice or another medical facility. Under the supervision of trained medical staff, the home health aide monitors patient condition, supports everyday tasks, such as providing housekeeping, shopping, and preparing meals, and assists in personal services, such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. A home health aide also provides education for the patient and families by showing proper ways to move, position, and lift the person in care in addition to teaching proper methods of using specialized tools, including walkers, canes, and offering advice on proper nutrition, sanitation, and housekeeping. Home health aides generally do not require any specialized skills or education, as most training comes after hire before placement on a job. A strong affinity for helping others, good listening skills, and an interest in furthering nursing abilities may prove beneficial to applicants desiring a position in healthcare. Home health aides may earn up to $12.00 an hour.
Certified Nursing Assistant – Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work under both Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) in order to help perform basic patient care, such as feeding, bathing, and dressing, generally in a medical facility. A CNA may answer patient calls, take vital signs, collect all information about conditions and treatment plans for other medical personnel, lift patients into beds, wheel chairs, and exam tables, and clean and sanitize patient areas. A certified nursing assistant may also dress and change dressings on wounds, transport patients to other rooms, and set up equipment in accordance with doctor or nurse orders. While not needing a bachelor’s degree, a high school diploma or equivalent along with prior and appropriate certifications typically prove necessary in order to gain employment as a CNA. General starting wage for a certified nursing assistant stands anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00 hourly.
Medical Billing/Coding – Responsible for reviewing patient medical records and assigning codes for diagnoses and procedures, medical billing and coding specialists typically work in order to successfully bill insurers and other third-party payers. Sometimes called health information specialists, medical coders may choose to specialize in either physician-based or hospital-based billing. Additionally, some employees in a billing or coding role may choose to specialize in a specific field of medicine. In order to gain employment in medical billing and coding, applicants typically must complete certification or receive an associate’s degree in a comparable program. An understanding of health insurance ethics and laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA, benefits applicants, as well. Health information specialists may earn between $25,000 and $35,000 in yearly salary options to start.