Nursing And Physical Therapy: Two Health Care Careers To Consider

With the US job market in a serious downward trend for the last few years, it is good to get an understanding of the employment landscape for the next ten to twenty years. Doing so can help mitigate financial shortcomings, especially if you prefer to work in a more stable industry.

One area to look is health care. With the Obama administration and Congress getting closer and closer to passing a health care reform bill, you should be thinking that a career in health care is one way to go. It could even be the best bet since health care is already a big industry.

Now a job in health care could mean anything. Doctors and nurses are the most known careers, but there are plenty of room for other positions. So you could be a techie and be in health care. You could be in office administration and be in health care. You could be in marketing and be in health care. There are enough varied responsibilities to make the health care system work.

Here are two examples of what are deemed to be very important jobs for health care in the future.

Nurses: Working with patients at the hospitals and clinics

Nurses are easily the most popular of the health care jobs. Being the main workforce in hospitals, they keep a very busy schedule, most times, working 10-12 hour shifts at a time for three to four days in a row. Nurses perform a lot of testing, monitoring, medicine application, etc. Their hands get dirty, so to speak.

Consequently, they are handsomely paid for their skills. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), the average salary for a nurse in 2008 was $31.31 per hour. Put that in 40 hour work week plus overtime, then the yearly salary for nurses go up a lot. According to the USBLS, the top paid nurses in 2008 made $92,240 per year. That salary is more than adequate for most US workers.

To become a nurse, you must finish nursing school college with a bachelor’s (BSN) or associates degree (ADN). Then you must pass the NCLEX-RN, the standardized, national test to become a nurse.

Physical Therapist: Working with patients out of the hospitals

When a patient is released from the hospital, his or her treatment is not necessarily over. There are follow ups that need to happen so that whatever ailment they’ve had that sent them to the hospital in the first place is not repeated. The follow up outside of the hospital is called outpatient care.

For some sickness, one of the outpatient care follow-ups is physical therapy. At times, the therapy is necessary so that the patient may regain strength. Many times, the therapy is done at the patient’s home while he or she is recovering.

If you’re familiar with working out in gyms, then a physical therapist is like a trainer. Except that the physical therapist also records the patient’s progress with instructions from the doctor in charge of the outpatient care.

In a physical therapy, the patient performs light exercises such as leg lifts, stretches, and walking. Sometimes, they provide brief massage therapy when necessary. Visits could be periodical or just a one time event.

Physical therapists do no get get busy as nurses do, but they still work hand in hand with patients. Albeit, the patients they work with are already out of harm’s way. They ought to have great people skills along with other skills that could come in handy. Attending a massage therapy college is something that could help.

When looking to get in healthcare, one must realize that the majority of job opportunities require direct interaction with patients in some form or another. That’s what healthcare is all about, taking care of people. Healthcare is one of those subject where consumers at large look to experts who are well educated and experienced in their field of expertise. You have to be a people’s person to succeed.

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