Healthcare education and careers

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‘Healthcare Education and Careers ‘ discusses about different healthcare related degree programs like nursing, healthcare administration, respiratory therapy, surgical technology and the allied careers that these degree programs enable you for.

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Healthcare education and careers

  1. 1. Healthcare Education and CareersMore and more people are pursuing healthcare careers due to the fulfilling, altruistic nature of the work,and the growing economic and professional viability of the healthcare industry. According to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics,1 10 of the 20 most rapidly growing professions are healthcare related.Since healthcare professionals are responsible for the lives of their clients, aspirants for jobs within theindustry are expected to be highly motivated, dedicated, and skilled. For this reason, healthcare educationis vital for securing employment. There are a variety of healthcare degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’sand master’s levels. Choosing between all the different educational options available can be difficult, buttaking stock of your long-term career goals will help you decide which degrees will best help you achievethem. If you’re looking for a bright future in healthcare, here are some options you might want to consider.NursingAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,2 registered nurses make up the largest segment ofhealthcare professionals, holding 2.6 million jobs in 2008 alone. Due to an aging workforce and stricterimmigration laws resulting in fewer international job applicants, there is and will continue to be a greatdemand for registered nurses. In order to become a registered nurse, you need to complete a diplomacourse, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing education and pass the NCLEX-RNexam. While some people pursue diploma courses, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees tend to be morepopular options because of the instruction provided, the opportunities they can afford, and the fact thatthere are significantly fewer diploma courses out there. Both bachelor’s degrees and associate’s degreesin nursing education can help prepare you for the required NCLEX-RN exam (though taking the examrequires time and expense outside the program), and are designed to give you the training, instruction,and qualifications required for entry-level positions as a nurse.A bachelor’s degree typically takes three to four years, while an associate’s degree can be completed inapproximately two years. However, a bachelor’s degree can offer more scope for advancement and canqualify you for research, educational, and management nursing positions. An associate’s degree innursing education is a viable option for those who wish to complete their education and start working assoon as possible.Surgical TechnologistIn 2008 alone, surgical technologists held approximately 91,500 jobs, and over the next decade or so jobopportunities for surgical technologists are estimated to rise by 25%.3 In order to become a surgicaltechnologist, you need to complete an Associate of Occupational Studies in Surgical Technologist degreefrom an accredited institution. The duration of the degree is approximately two years, during whichstudents receive instruction in psychology, anatomy, physiology, general surgical procedures,pharmacology, microbiology, and more. Admission criteria include a high school diploma or an equivalentGED® diploma.Respiratory TherapyAmericans are living longer than ever before, which has resulted in an expanding elderly population.Since this age bracket has the highest incidence of cardiopulmonary disease, there is a growing demandfor qualified respiratory therapists. In 2008 alone, respiratory therapists held 105,900 jobs, and by 2018,this number will have increased by 21%. In order to practice as a respiratory therapist you must haveeither an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. An Associate’s of Respiratory Therapytakes approximately two years to complete and can qualify you to sit for the CRT Certification Exam. Abachelor’s of respiratory therapy degree, on the other hand, takes three to four years, can increase your1 http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs035.htm2 http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm3 http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos106.htm
  2. 2. chances for employment, and can also qualify you for supervisory and management positions. Criteria forboth degrees generally includes a high school diploma or equivalent GED® diploma.Healthcare AdministrationA master’s degree is often a requirement for working in the public health sector or advancing tomanagement positions in healthcare. One of the most popular healthcare degrees is a Master of Sciencein Healthcare Administration. The focus of this degree is the operation of healthcare organizations fromthe business point of view; students are trained to evaluate, streamline, and optimize administrativesystems, strategies, programs, and policies, as well as supervise and manage employees, resources, andprocesses to maximize organizational efficiency. This degree can allow you to apply for positions inhospitals, government organizations, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, nursing homes, nonprofitorganizations, and assisted living facilities as a health administrator, manager, or supervisor.The future holds great promise when it comes to healthcare careers; according to the U.S. Bureau ofLabor Statistics,4 healthcare will generate 3.2 million jobs between 2008 and 2018 alone—more than anyother existing industry. With the right degree(s) in healthcare education, you could secure the potential ofa stable, fulfilling future for yourself.4 Ibid.

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