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  • 1. Have you given much thought to what you want to do when you finish high school?
  • 2. Little kids often say, “I wanna be a……” • Fireman • Policeman • Teacher • Pro Athlete • Doctor • Nurse
  • 3. But you’re not a kid any more . . . And it’s time to weigh your options for the future.
  • 4. How do I get there? (And where is “there” for me?) • Do I need to go to college? • Which college offers what I need? • How long will I have to go to school? • How will I pay for my education? • Will it be easy to find a job? • How much will I get paid? • What will I be doing each day as a (blank)?
  • 5. What about medicine or nursing?
  • 6. Want to become a doctor? • Very rewarding and honorable career • Lengthy and challenging education and training (4 yrs college, 4 yrs med school, 3 or more yrs residency) • Selective process (two applicants for every one medical school spot) • 50% of med students are now women • Lifetime learning and maintenance of licensure and certification is expected
  • 7. Want to be a nurse? • With nationwide shortage of nurses, many hospitals have openings and offer educational assistance/hiring bonuses • More men are becoming nurses • Three major paths to becoming an RN (associate degree, diploma, bachelors) • Advanced opportunities include nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, and nurse-midwife
  • 8. “Okay, so what other choices do I have for careers in the health care field?”
  • 9. Some of these health professions may be familiar to you . . . • Laboratory technician • Radiologic technologist • Physical therapist • Physician assistant • Dental hygienist • Dietitian
  • 10. And some may not . . . • Art therapist • Nuclear medicine technologist • Cytopathology technologist • Dosimetrist • Cardiovascular technologist • Health information administrator
  • 11. Okay, how do I choose which career is right for me? • Consider length of education, salary, job duties, current/future staffing needs • And think about your interests and your personality type. For example . . .
  • 12. Are you a “doer?” • Athletic trainer • Dental laboratory technician • Ophthalmic laboratory technician • Orthotist/prosthetist
  • 13. The ATHLETIC TRAINER functions in cooperation with medical personnel, athletic personnel, and athletes to keep athletes rehabilitated, injury free and able to perform at their highest potential.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: Athletic trainers make an average of $31,746 annually in SD.
  • 14. DENTAL LABORATORY TECHNICIANS make dental prostheses-replacements for the natural teeth, including dentures and crowns.  Education: A high school diploma or equivalent is recommended for dental laboratory technician programs. Most dental laboratory technicians receive their education and training through a 2-year program at a community college, vocational schools, technical college, or dental school, for which they may receive a certificate or an associate degree.  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $23,254.
  • 15. There are three levels of technical personnel in ophthalmology - ophthalmic assistants, ophthalmic technicians, and ophthalmic technologists. They work under the supervision and direction of an ophthalmologist to perform ophthalmic clinical duties. Ophthalmic Assistant/ Technician/Technologist are trained to take medical histories, administer eye medications, instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses, perform all the ophthalmologic tests necessary for preliminary and highly specific eye exams, assist in ophthalmic surgery, and maintain ophthalmic and surgical instruments, as well as office equipment. Ophthalmic technologists are trained for additional duties, such as taking ophthalmic photographs, using ultrasound, as well as providing instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel.  Education: Training is generally six months to one year for ophthalmic assistants, one to two years in length for ophthalmic technicians, and two years for technologists.  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $35,698. (
  • 16. A Prosthetist/Orthotist designs and fits artificial limbs, braces and appliances for body deformities and disorders by carefully examining the affected area for factors that would affect the fitting and/or placement. Individuals specializing in making and fitting artificial limbs are designated a Prothetist. Individuals specializing in making and fitting orthopedic braces are designated an Orthotist.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: $57,002 (
  • 17. Are you an artist? • Creative Arts Therapist • Medical Illustrator or Photographer • Public Relations Specialist
  • 18. Creative Arts Therapists help people improve their overall physical and mental health. They apply the principles and techniques of each art form in an effort to improve communications, allow expression of feelings, improve coordination, and increase cognitive and social function. Creative arts therapists usually specialize in a single area such as dance and movement therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, music therapy, or poetry therapy.  Education: Creative arts therapists are required to have a master’s level education to practice. Each specialty has its own set of professional standards and requisite qualifications. Students interested in creative arts therapy should contact schools for information on admission and course of study  Salary: $36,600 (Mississippi Health Careers Center)
  • 19. Medical Illustrators are those rare individuals who have both a demonstrated artistic ability and a detailed knowledge of human and animal anatomy, as well as knowledge of surgical and medical procedures. They create graphic representations of medical or biological subjects for use in textbooks, pamphlets, exhibits, instructional films, civil/criminal legal procedures, and teaching models.  Education: In order to become a medical illustrator, a student must have specialized training in art and the biological sciences. A bachelor's degree combining art and premedical courses is usually preferred, followed by a master's degree in medical illustration. There are only five accredited master's degree programs in the entire country, and they only accept a limited number of students. Therefore, an excellent academic record as well as an outstanding portfolio of your artwork is necessary. Students interested in medical illustration should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.  Salary: 42,300 (Mississippi Health Careers Center)
  • 20. Public Relations Specialists prepare information that keeps the public aware of their organizations' policies, activities, and accomplishments, and keeps management aware of public attitudes. The main objective for these specialists is to create a favorable image of their company or organization among the public. They often prepare and distribute fact sheets, news releases, photographs, newsletters, scripts, motion pictures or tape recordings to media representatives and others who may be interested in learning about or publicizing activities of the organization. These specialists are involved in promoting their organizations through such publicity efforts as speeches, exhibits, films, tours, and question/answer sessions. Many workers in this field specialize in researching data, creating ideas, writing copy or laying out artwork.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $37,793.
  • 21. Are you “touchy-feely?” • Massage Therapist • Occupational Therapist • Physical Therapist • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • 22. Massage Therapists apply manual massage techniques to improve the health and well- being of clients. They manipulate the soft tissue of their clients by rubbing and applying pressure to their body.  Education: Diploma or Associates Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $29,764.
  • 23. Occupational Therapists plan and implement purposeful, goal-oriented activities to diagnose, evaluate and treat people whose function is impaired by physical illness or injury, emotional disorders, congenital or developmental disability or aging. They use a variety of techniques to help individuals develop or maintain daily living skills and cope with the physical and emotional effects of disability. They help patients learn or relearn the tasks needed for everyday life at home, work and school. Their goal is to help patients have independent, productive and satisfying lifestyles  Education: Masters Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $50,398.
  • 24. Physical Therapists plan and administer treatment for patients referred to them by a physician. They work with the patient to improve mobility, relieve pain or prevent permanent disability. Their patients may be accident victims, handicapped people, or victims of stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, nerve injuries, heart disease, low back pain, amputations, fractures or arthritis.  Education: Doctorate Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $59,384.
  • 25. Physical Therapist Assistants, under the supervision of a physical therapist, treat patients who are disabled. As part of this physical therapy team, the assistant helps disabled people lead useful, productive lives. They help patients restore physical functions and prevent further permanent injury. Exercise, massage, hot or cold packs, light and sound treatment, traction, and electrical treatments are a few of the procedures used. They also instruct patients on the use of devices like artificial limbs and braces.  Education: Associate’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $28,038.
  • 26. Are you an investigator? • Medical Laboratory Technologist • Cardiovascular Technologist • Chiropractor • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer • Pharmacy Technician
  • 27. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists examine and analyze body fluids, tissues and cells. They look for bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms; analyze the chemical content of fluids; match blood for transfusions and test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment. These technologists also prepare specimens for examination, count cells and look for abnormal cells.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $43,056.
  • 28. Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments. They help physicians perform cardiac catheterization procedures, which involves winding a small tube, or catheter, through the patient's blood vessel from a spot on the patient's leg into the heart to determine if a blockage exists and for other diagnostic purposes. In balloon angioplasty, a procedure used to treat blockages of blood vessels, technologists help physicians insert a catheter with a balloon on the end to the point of the obstruction.  Education: Associate’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $40,747.
  • 29. Chiropractors treat patients by manual manipulation of body parts, especially the spinal column. Their system of treatment is based on the principle that an individual's health is determined largely by the nervous system. They believe interference with the nervous system impairs normal functions and that the relationship between structure and function is a significant health factor.  Education: Post-Graduate, DC (Doctor of Chiropractic)  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $99,008.
  • 30. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers use sound waves to generate an image used for assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. This is often referred to as an ultra sound. Perhaps one of the most common uses for this technology is to view the fetus in the womb, but ultra sounds are used for many other diagnostic and treatment procedures as well. Sonographers operate the equipment, which collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.  Education: Associate’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $51,230.
  • 31. Pharmacy Technicians fill orders for unit doses and prepackaged pharmacy goods under the direction of a pharmacist. They also help with recordkeeping, label and store supplies, and clean equipment and work areas. They store incoming merchandise in the proper location and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages. Some pharmacy technicians also wait on customers, answering simple questions, accepting their payment for purchases, directing them to the pharmacist for instruction on new prescriptions, etc. Those working in hospitals may deliver supplies which have been ordered by medical staff and then filled by a pharmacist to patients' rooms, surgery, etc.  Education: Associate’s Degree, Diploma or Certificate  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $24,752.
  • 32. Are you a people person? • Mental Health Counselor • Rehabilitation Counselor • Home Health Aide • Psychiatric Aide • Human Resources Manager
  • 33. Mental Health Counselors help individuals or groups who have problems related to their mental health, with an emphasis on preventing severe mental problems. They may help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.  Education: Master’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $38,563.
  • 34. Rehabilitation Counselors help individuals or groups who are coping with personal, social and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents or the stress of daily life. They counsel their patients to help them become as independent and as employable as possible. Rehabilitation counselors coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. They assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training and job placement.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $30,347.
  • 35. Home Health Aides care for elderly, convalescent and handicapped people in the homes of their patients and help make it possible for these people to live in their own homes rather than in a health care facility. They provide limited health care, housekeeping services, personal care and emotional support for their clients. The care they provide is "hands on." They may change the patient's bedding, plan and prepare nutritious meals, bathe, dress and groom the patient, and assist patients in and out of bed. They also provide health care on a limited basis.  Education: On-the-job training  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $20,363.
  • 36. Psychiatric Aides, also known as mental health assistants or psychiatric nursing assistants, care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals. They work under a team that may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and therapists. In addition to helping patients dress, bathe, groom, and eat, psychiatric aides socialize with them and lead them in educational and recreational activities. Psychiatric aides may play games such as cards with the patients, watch television with them, or participate in group activities, such as sports or field trips. They observe patients and report any physical or behavioral signs that might be important for the professional staff to know. They accompany patients to and from examinations and treatment.  Education: On-the-job training  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $26,915.
  • 37. Human Resources Managers plan and direct all aspects of employer-employee relations. They recruit, interview, select and recommend applicants to fill job openings. These managers also must stay informed of rules and regulations pertaining to policies governing hiring and advancement. They also handle wage and salary administration. Sometimes, especially in large corporations and government organizations, they specialize in one aspect of human resources management such as training, education or insurance.  Education: Bachelor’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $73,278.
  • 38. Are you into computers and technology? • Computer Support Specialist • Medical Records Technician
  • 39. Computer Support Specialists provide technical assistance and training to computer users. The computer users they help may be customers of the company they work for or be co- workers in the company or agency where they work. Regardless of the situation, computer support technicians look into problems that computer users are having with either computer software or hardware (equipment) and try to resolve the problem.  Education: Associate’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $32,302.
  • 40. Medical Records Technicians maintain documents of a patient's condition and treatment in a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility. The records they maintain contain the details such as the 'who, what, why, where, when, and how' of patient care during diagnosis and treatment. Physicians, hospital administrators and insurance companies rely on the records that technicians organize. The records are also of scientific and legal value. Although many clerical skills are used, the technicians must also code information such as diseases and surgery, so accuracy is of utmost importance. They must maintain records that meet the medical, administrative, ethical, legal, accreditation, and regulatory requirements of the health care delivery system that they work for.  Education: Associate’s Degree  Salary: The average salary in South Dakota is $27,788.
  • 41. These are just some examples, there are many, many more! • Audiologist/Speech Language Pathologist • Dental Assistant • Emergency Medical Technician- Paramedic • Medical Assistant • Phlebotomist • Physician Assistant • Polysomnographic Technologist • Radiation Therapist/Radiographer • Respiratory Therapist • Surgical Assistant
  • 42. The list goes on and on!
  • 43. Next time you think about what you’re going to go after high school, think outside the box!
  • 44. Consider a career in the health field!
  • 45. Thanks to for much of the information contained in this presentation!