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Healthcare Fields with Great Nursing Career Options

Dec 29, 2007
A vast range of careers in healthcare has sprung up in America. There a quite a few factors that have triggered this type of growth like retirement of "baby boomers" that are the largest segment of population in the country and advancement of medical technology and treatment that is causing people to live longer. Added to it, many of the universities providing healthcare education do not have enough teachers to provide training to new employees.

In patient care category, there are 3 main healthcare professions namely dental hygiene, nursing and medical assistance. Nursing mainly comprises of direct care of the patients, which can take place in a doctor's private office, a hospital or an institution like school, cruise ship or ski resort. Nurses can upgrade themselves to nurse managers, epidemiologists, shift supervisors or counsel at law offices and insurance agencies, with additional education.

Patient care is the primary job of medical assistants. They perform routine medical functions so that doctors can concentrate only on the real problem. Medical assistants update medical history of a patient, administer medicines and document vital signs. Dental hygiene has a similar type of job profile, but in a dentist's office. A hygienist is supposed to clean teeth, advice patients on dental health care and assist dentists in complex procedures. And given to the fact that supply of dental hygienists is far lesser than required at the moment, it seems to be a lucrative career option.

There are quite a few options in the healthcare field which do not involve patient care. One such profession is medical coding. It involves having knowledge of medical terminology and knowing how to read a patient's chart. Every time a patient receives healthcare, a medical coder updates the patient's medical record. A job of a medical coder helps to subsidize further medical education and also gain upward mobility in management.

Medical office administration is also a job that does not involve patient care. People in this profession are supposed to answer to phone calls, check-in/out patients and coordinate with hospitals. As in the job of a coder, here also one can use this job to subsidize further education and reach higher levels of management.

A lot of jobs related to the IT sector are also available in the medical field. In the present times, health care institutions use state of the art databases to store and save medical records and bills of patients. Web programmers, database administrators, and similar jobs are available in medical institutions. Billing, collection of records and administrative support are other professions available in the medical fraternity that are not related to patient care.

Home health is becoming a rapidly growing sector of healthcare. All the different types of professions, as discussed earlier, are required in this sector. More than 7.6 million patients get treated at home for both, long-term and short-term and the funding in this sector is supposed to get doubled in the next couple of years because it is considered as a more humane, cost effective and compassionate method of providing care.

As told earlier, there is a shortage of health care workers in United States and this has created a boom for those who want a lucrative career in this field. Added to it, jobs being available in both patient-care and non-patient care segments have made healthcare a viable profession for many. The shortage also helps is getting better starting salaries, bonuses and benefits.
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