Healthcare jobs such as Registered Nurses, LPN’s, LVN’s and related Medical Technicians provide over 15 million jobs, and ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare-related. Most healthcare workers have jobs that require less than 4 years of college education, such as health technologists and technicians, medical records, billing and coding, health information technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, radiologic technologists and technicians, and dental hygienists. As people age they have more medical problems, and hospitals will require more staff. Wages vary by the employer and area of the county. Aside from their salary, most medical jobs include excellent benefits, as well as retirement plans.
Radiologic and MRI Technologists
perform diagnostic medical imaging examinations, such as x-rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases by administering radiation treatments. Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients. The radioactive dye cause abnormal areas of the body to appear stand out from unaffected areas in the images. An associate’s degree is the minimum requirement for radiologic and MRI technologists. In addition, you may pursue a graduate certificate or bachelor’s degree. Training programs include both classroom study and clinical work. Courses include anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits programs in radiography. To become licensed, technologists must graduate from an accredited program, and pass a certifying exam. Certifications for radiologic technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certifications for MRI technologists are available from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). The average salary for radiation therapists was $70,220 in May 2015. Further, job openings for radiation therapists are projected to grow 14% over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.
care for patients who have trouble breathing from a chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma or emphysema. Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. Respiratory therapists need at least an associate’s degree, but employers may prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses deal with therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and tests, equipment, patient assessment, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In addition to coursework, programs have clinical components that allow respiratory therapists to gain supervised, practical experience in treating patients. Average salaries in 2015 were about $57,790 per year. Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024. Growth in the elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.
Licensure requirements in most states include passing a state or professional certification exam. The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) is the main certifying body for respiratory therapists. The Board offers two levels of certification: Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist. CRT is the first-level certification. Applicants must have earned an associate’s degree from an accredited respiratory therapy program, or completed the equivalent coursework in a bachelor’s degree program, and pass an exam. The second-level certification is RRT certification. Applicants must already have CRT certification, meet other education or experience requirements, and pass an exam.
, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries. Surgical technologists typically need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. The average wage for surgical technologists was $44,330 in May 2015. Employment chances may improve up to 15 percent from 2014 to 2024. Many community colleges and vocational schools, as well as some hospitals, have accredited programs in surgical technology. Surgical technologists are trained in the care and safety of patients, sterilization techniques, how to set up technical or robotic equipment, and preventing infections. First surgical assistants may complete a formal education program in surgical assisting. Others may work as a surgical technologist, and receive additional on-the-job training before becoming a first assistant.
Certification through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting allows the use of the title ‘Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).’ Certification through the National Center for Competency Testing allows the use of the title ‘Tech in Surgery – Certified (NCCT).’ The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants, and the American Board of Surgical Assistants offer certification for surgical assistants.
As the public ages, nursing care has become a major source of employment for new technical program graduates. It is common for 90% or more of the class to find nursing jobs within 6 months. You don’t have to become a registered nurse to make good money, as a licensed practical nurse with several years of work experience can earn well over $40,000 a year. The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
designation is the
first step in becoming a nurse. After Becoming a CNA, you will assist in caring for patients by monitoring vital statistics,
bathing, feeding and maintaining personal hygiene. Most CNA programs can be completed within a few months, allowing you to
begin working. As the public ages, nursing care has become a major source of employment for new technical program
The next step in a nursing career is to become a Licensed
Practical Nurse (LPN)
or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
. This is a one year long
program, in which you’ll work under an RN, and be assigned advanced care work. Practice requirements for LPNs vary from state
to state, but basic duties include passing meds, wound care, and administering feeding tubes. 1-year nursing certificate
programs train students to pass the licensing test, in order to become an LPN or LVN. It is common for 90% or more of the class
to find nursing jobs within 6 months. You don’t have to become a registered nurse to make good money, as a licensed practical
nurse with several years of work experience can earn well over $40,000 a year.
To become an Registered Nurse(RN)
, you will be required to take courses in medical terminology, patient care and life sciences. Although associate degree programs provide students with adequate nursing training, a bachelor’s degree provides greater clinical exposure and a stronger general education. A 4-year BSN program allows students to study specialized areas of nursing, including pediatrics, geriatrics and mental health nursing. An RN has to cope with more responsibility, and must oversee the work of LPNs and CNAs under their supervision. If you wish to continue advancement, a masters degree and several years of experience as a nurse, may qualify you for the Nurse Practitioner (NP) credential. Nursing job openings are projected to grow 16 percent over the coming decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. The average salary for nurses with an Associates degree was $43,700 in 2015, while nurses with a Bachelors degree earned $67,490 per year.
Certification requirements include board certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The license period varies by individual state, but is usually valid for either two or three years, at which time you’ll need to renew. Registered nurses (RNs) are not required to be certified in a particular specialty by state law. For example, it isn’t necessary to be a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) to work on a hospital Medical-Surgical (MedSurg) floor, and most MedSurg nurses are not CMSRNs. To keep your license current, you must take continuing education courses, and renew your license every few years. There are a fixed number of credits that each state requires, and if you work in a hospital facility, these courses may be offered on-site.