The Health Care Landscape

Unlike some dying industries, the health care field is here to stay. For that reason alone, many professionals-to-be are looking into a health care school in order to jump on the lucrative bandwagon. Beyond becoming a doctor, the demand is strong for health care workers across the board. From nursing to administration and everything else in between, a health care program can get you started on a reliable career in health care.

Health Care School Demands

Victoria Clinton, coordinator of the medical assisting department for the San Mateo County Community College district, says many schools have had to accommodate for the increasing need of nurses. “The outlook for employment in the medical field remains excellent. In 2004 the department and faculty moved from the College of San Mateo to a brand new facility at Canada College,” she explains. “The Medical Assisting Department in the San Mateo County Community College district has been serving the medical community since 1964.” And a brand new facility for the health care program was built on the campus of Canada College in 2004 to meet student demand.

Moreover, Victoria O’Donnell, dean of science and technology at Canada College in Redwood City, CA says their school offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing in partnership with San Francisco State University in addition to medical assisting, radiologic technology, and health science. “Our core science programs have been impacted by student demand to enter medical fields,” she says. “We’ve had to add biology, chemistry and organic chemistry courses in the last year.”

About the Nursing Biz

There are many opportunities in nursing. You can be a registered nurse, charge nurse, or even a lactation specialist. If you were to become a head nurse, for instance, your job would entail planning and implementing the overall nursing policies, procedures, and services for a hospital’s unit. You’d have to maintain the nursing staff by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and training employees. Ensuring that nurses are current in competency, assessments, licensure, certifications, and other annual training is also a big part of the role. In order to be a head nurse, you must be a registered nurse with at least five years of clinical experience in a related field.

Although it sounds like a lot of work, it pays off. The median expected salary for a typical head nurse in the United States is $79,590.

There’s More to a Health Care Degree than Nursing

O’Donnell points out another placement some aspiring health care enthusiasts neglect to consider. “We have many students wanting to enter the health care field and most of them are interested in nursing programs. Because of how greatly impacted nursing programs have become, I am encouraging these students to explore ancillary health care and related careers like radiologic technology, respiratory technicians, dialysis technicians, and chemical laboratory technicians,” she says.

“As the nursing shortage continues, such ancillary positions will likely become more necessary. Students interested in careers in science and health care may find equally satisfying careers through educational programs that are not so impacted,” O’Donnell adds.

Career in Health Care Administration

And let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes administrative staff. Paperwork may not seem all too glamorous, but a career in health care administration can also mean big bucks, great responsibility, and plenty of opportunities.

An admissions coordinator from a nursing home, for instance, reviews the admitting department operations in a nursing home environment. He or she will ensure compliance with certain standards that nursing home upholds. While this health care professional primarily oversees the in-patient/out-patient functions of a nursing home, he or she is also in charge of bed assignments and completion of preliminary paperwork for entering patients.

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