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The Worst Jobs in Healthcare?

Oct 31, 2014

thJBACY6XQHealthcare sites and job blogs are filled with glowing to testaments to the top jobs in the field—and news of how health careers in general are bullish due to an aging population and a new national emphasis on healthcare. But what about the worst jobs in medicine? Or to frame it a little differently, what are some of the drawbacks of different jobs in the industry? Of course, one man’s potion is another man’s poison, and what constitutes a “drawback” for one job seeker may not seem so drawback-ish for another. Here’s a sampling of how various health-related blogs view the cons—rather than the pros—of various health careers.

Healthcare and Social Work

Oct 29, 2014

thE1FBDFR0One blog called it “the healthcare job that doesn’t sound like a healthcare job.” U.S. News and World Report noted, in reference to the same job category, that, “not all healthcare is medical.” What they were talking about is clinical social work. Clinical social workers often serve as mental health providers; but in a hospital setting, they can also serve to facilitate patients’ physical health. According to socialworklicensure.org, there are three broad categories of social work—macro, direct and clinical. Macro social workers generally work at the institutional level; as a rule, they don’t work directly with individuals.

How To (Sort of) Answer Every Question at a Job Interview

Oct 27, 2014

thAIQLAZWQA big part of preparing for a job interview in healthcare—or any job, for that matter—is readying yourself to the answer questions your would-be future employers may ask you on the big day. Trouble is, ask a handful of industry professionals what those questions are likely to be, and you’re liable to get a handful of different answers. Do an internet search on the topic—“healthcare job interview questions”—and you’ll see a broad range of suggestions. Some are old interview staples: “Tell me about yourself.”; “Why do you want this job?” Others are more elaborate, less intuitive: “Have you ever disagreed with a supervisor or team member, and how did you handle the situation?”; “What happened at your last performance review, and how did you respond?” Rather than try to anticipate any conceivable question that might arise in the course of a job interview, it’s best to accept, on the front end, that you will not have a perfect, pat answer to everything that comes up. You are a not a seer, and some questions may fall outside the realm of what you expected.

Medical Songraphy: It's Not Just for Pregnant Women Anymore

Oct 24, 2014

thWhen most people think of medical sonographers—if they think of medical sonographers at all—they think of people in lab coats hovering over black and white fetal images, pointing out the telltale signs to expectant mothers. Is it a boy, or is a girl? But medical sonographers do a lot more than that. Using equipment that generates images via sound waves, sonographers can help answer questions and diagnose problems across many medical disciplines. It’s also a field that can be rewarding financially, as well as personally. And it’s a field that will see considerable growth in the coming decade. It’s small wonder that the job category of “diagnostic medical sonographer” ranked on many industry lists of the best jobs in healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical sonographers in 2012 was nearly $66,000. Unemployment in the field was a paltry 4 percent, and the job category is expected to grow by a whopping 46 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Home Health: A Bright Future

Oct 22, 2014

thTwo of the fastest-growing job categories in the U.S. today—across all jobs, let alone the healthcare industry—are the areas of personal care aide and home health aide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those fields are expected to be the second and third most prolific growth areas (respectively) over the next eight to ten years. According to the BLS, the number of personal care aides in the U.S. will grow from 1,190,600 in 2012 to more than 1,770,000 in 2022—a nearly 50 percent increase. And the number of home health aides will rise from 875,100 in 2012 to nearly 1.3 million in 2022. The reasons for the trend are familiar ones in the healthcare industry—an aging population means more demand for services across all health industry services. Cost effectiveness also plays a role, as the BLS notes that elderly clients increasingly favor home health services as a cheaper alternative to hospitals and nursing homes.

The Fastest-Growing Jobs in Healthcare

Oct 20, 2014

thWKDHG93CThe National Bureau of Labor Statistics believes the decade spanning 2012 to 2022 will be a pretty good one for the U.S. economy, projecting 11 percent job growth over the period—a net increase of 15 million jobs. And many of those new jobs will be in healthcare. Health is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, and the BLS says that six of the 10 fastest-growing job categories will be in health and medicine. Personal care aide and home health aide are expected to be the second- and third-fastest growing occupations, respectively, with both categories growing by around 49 percent. Diagnostic medical sonographer comes in at number six on the list (46 percent anticipated growth), while numbers eight through 10 are occupational therapy assistant (43 percent), genetic counselor (41.2 percent) and physical therapist assistant (41 percent).

Is Integrative Medicine a Real "Alternative"?

Oct 17, 2014

th9L1ZHK20Arguably the most interesting—and controversial—growth area in healthcare is the field of so-called “integrative medicine.” Some people use the term interchangeably with terms like “alternative medicine” and “homeopathy.” But integrative medicine practitioners say that’s reductive. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the world’s foremost advocate of IM, integrative medicine is “the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative medicine.” There seems to be increasing mainstream medical recognition of the phenomenon, as evidenced by programs such as the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland; and the University of Arizona’s Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Top Jobs in Healthcare: A Closer Look

Oct 15, 2014

thU.S. News and World Report published its list of the best jobs in healthcare earlier this year, and the results are interesting, to say the least, as well as highly revealing of some of the trends shaping the industry today. It’s not clear whether the magazine intended its list to be a ranking, or just a randomly-ordered list of best healthcare jobs (there are 38 total.) But if the former was their intent, it makes their selections all the more intriguing. Because who would think that Dentist would come in at number one? Perhaps lifestyle considerations factor into the equation, as dentists earn close to physician money, while working something closer to banker’s hours. The magazine points out that studies are currently linking oral and overall health, making dentistry an increasingly in-demand specialty. But perhaps worth noting, too, is the fact that the Affordable Care Act appears to be making dental insurance more available. Physician came in a mere number six on the list—if indeed the numerical order is to be taken as a ranking. And although doctors had the highest average salary of anyone on the list—$187,199 across all specialties, according to the magazine—perhaps considerations such as long workweeks and voluminous educational mandates lowered their position in the pecking order.

RN Salaries: Top to Bottom

Oct 13, 2014

untitledBad news for registered nurses working in South Dakota, Iowa, West Virigina, North Dakota, and Arkansas: according to 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, you’re living in the bottom five states in terms of average RN salaries. South Dakota ranks last with an average $53,050 annual salary for RNs, while Arkansas is fifth-lowest at $56,150. But every cloud has a silver lining; every half-empty glass is also half-full, etc. etc. And in this case, the good news is that RNs living in those states are still earning at or above the national average from just 10 years ago. The fact is that nurses’ salaries—like those in many other areas of healthcare—have been on the rise in this new-ish millenium, and RNs across the country were averaging around $68,000 annually in 2013. The highest-paying states for RNs were, in order, California ($94,120), Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Oregon ($78,530).

Going Out... Patient: the Growth of Ambulatory Health Services

Oct 8, 2014

thAccording to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest growth area in the healthcare industry is that of so-called ambulatory services. Ambulatory services are essentially services delivered on an outpatient basis. According to the BLS, such services accounted for 14,200 of 22,600 new jobs in the industry as a whole in September. The reasons for the trend are mostly self-evident. Foremost is the fact that as technology improves, healthcare providers are able to provide services that once required a hospital stay on an outpatient basis, making for a more convenient and more affordable patient experience.