By far, nursing is experiencing the greatest growth in the health-care industry. In fact, the BLS states that half a million new nursing positions are "expected to be created in the decade between 2008 and 2018." While nursing duties and responsibilities vary greatly depending upon the area(s) in which one will specialize, the average annual salary is around $62,000. Nurses are critical to patients because they value, understand and execute patient care. Not only do nurses provide the communication that many physicians do not have time to dispense, they also ensure through talking that a patient is safe and receiving the best possible care.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health-care jobs will account for seven of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs in America from 2004 to 2014. If you look at the top 30 jobs fastest-growing jobs, 17 of those are in the health-care industry. There are numerous medical support jobs, but some are growing faster and have better perks than others. Your individual circumstances and what you are looking for in a career ultimately determine what medical support job is best for you. However, these jobs fall at or near the top of ideal medical career roles.
Home Health Aides
Home health aides are another segment of health care showing exponential growth. Aides are in such demand that the BLS has stated that around 460,000 of them will be needed in the United States by 2018. Home health aides visit patients in their homes and help with medications, meals, bathing, dressing, grooming and other tasks. The purpose of this job is to allow patients to recover and heal at home instead of in the hospital or other medical facility such as a nursing home.
Clerical and Administrative Medical Assistants
A medical assistant position can fall under several categories, including clerical and administrative. While clerical assistants perform the most basic of tasks like greeting customers, answering phones and scheduling appointments, administrative medical assistants perform more medical-related tasks such as submitting health claims, scheduling tests, and preparing for patients' hospital admissions.
Clinical and Specialized Medical Assistants
A clinical medical assistant goes a few steps further than an administrative medical assistant by helping patients get ready for exams, explaining medical procedures, calling in prescriptions and collecting lab specimens. Additionally, tasks may include taking a patient's medical history and assisting the doctor during an exam. A specialized medical assistant's job description is very much the same as a clinical assistant's, yet focuses on a certain area of health care. For example, there are ophthalmic, podiatric, optometric and even chiropractic specialized medical assistants. To become specialized, you must attend an accredited program and successfully pass a certification exam.
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