Introduction to Healthcare
Do you like taking care of people? Are you interested in medicine or the prevention of disease? Are you fascinated by the imaging and other digital equipment used in hospitals and doctor’s offices? Then healthcare may be the field for you. There are more than 200 healthcare professions other than doctor, nurse and dentist.
Careers range from nurse aids to veterinary technicians to respiratory therapists to physical therapist assistants, with training programs that range from six weeks to six years. Whether you like working with people, working with computers, working in a lab or operating diagnostic machines, there is opportunity for you in one of the region’s hottest and largest career fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, “Healthcare related jobs are expected to grow faster than the national average for all other industries through 2014 and beyond.” There are more than 111 large healthcare organizations in the Charlotte area, ranging from hospitals to nursing homes to doctor’s offices to medical suppliers, and these firms will continue to need workers.
Career pathways in healthcare include these three broad categories:
- Direct Patient Care includes hands-on work with patients in their homes, hospitals, nursing homes or doctor’s offices. Duties include taking temperatures and blood samples, providing exercise therapy, changing dressings and more. Occupations include personal care aides, paramedics, physicians’ assistants and physical therapists. Education and training requirements for this pathway start at the certificate level and go through bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
- Diagnostic/Therapeutic focuses on those services that help with diagnosing and treating diseases. Occupations in this category include phlebotomist, dental hygienist, medical lab technician and pharmacist. Many of these occupations require only limited contact with patients, but provide valuable services to those who are working directly with patients. Education and training requirements for this pathway start at certificate level and go through bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
- Administrative/Corporate focuses on managing and directing the business of delivering healthcare services. While some top administrative positions require specific degrees in medicine, there are opportunities for those with finance, information technology, business and other degrees and/or backgrounds. Occupations in this career path include medical records clerks, medical coders, health information technologists and facility administrators. Education and training requirements for this pathway start at certificate level and go through bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
Click on any of the job titles to begin exploring the career pathway for you!