The healthcare industry is one of the largest industry employers in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that between 2008 and 2018 over 3.2 million new positions will be created in the health care industry of the United States.

Health has been sought after for centuries and is currently reaching new frontiers in medicine and new procedures that we didn’t have just twenty years ago. But even with these progressions, health care is still complicated and difficult for a number of reasons.One main being that health itself is complex.

Doctors go to college for a decade and then some, and still can only guess sometimes when it comes to diagnosing a patient. There are thousands of different fields of medicine for every system of the body and specific parts within those systems.

Professionals and workers in the health industry strive to coordinate and provide health services for millions and millions of people each year. The complexities of the human body, the difficulty in organizing medical service, and the amount of people needing service all combine to provide millions of jobs. Here are some broad categories of jobs:

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Nursing aide
  • Orderly
  • Attendant
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Health Technology Specialist
  • Healthcare Management

There are about 595,000 healthcare facilities in the United States, of varying specialties and size. Offices of physicians, dentist, or other health practitioners make up 76% of these facilities.

People Who Do Well in Health Careers:

To be successful in the healthcare industry you should:

Be a good communicator: Since health is so important, you must be able to verbalize and understand problems from patients.

Be Organized: Coordination is a big problem in medical facilities.

Work Around the Clock: Nurses and other health specialists are often asked to work late hours, since accidents don’t wait for convenient hours.

Keep Your Cool: Patients may often be demanding and distressed, which is why it’s important to be patient and to be able to remain composed under pressure.

Stay Focused in Chaos: Most hospitals house over a thousand people, so if you are looking for a cozy, comfortable work environment, a hospital won’t always be the right place for you. They are busy, active places that demand your attention.

Reasons to Love working in Healthcare

  • Over 3 million new healthcare jobs will be formed by 2018, so there are many jobs opening up.
  • Helping others is rewarding.
  • This job is busy and will keep you on your toes.

Things to Consider

  • You are dealing with people’s health, which puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
  • Four of every ten physicians report that their patients have had problems with coordination of their care in the last 12 months. Be prepared for frustrating work and upset people.
  • 72 percent of hospital employees were in establishments with more than 1,000 workers in 2008. Hospital work can be overwhelming with the amount of people involved.

Many Health Care Industry Jobs Require Less Than 4 years of College

Many health careers don’t require four years of college before individuals can begin working. In fact, seven of the healthcare jobs recently listed on the US News and World Report: The Top 50 Jobs for 2011 were healthcare jobs requiring less than four years of training. Some of the top medical careers listed on this report were: dental hygienist, lab technician, massages therapist, occupational therapist, physician’s assistant, physician’s assistant therapist, athletic trainer, radiologic technician, and registered nurse.

The “Money” Issue with Healthcare

A problem of money plagues healthcare. How do we pay for healthcare? In America we have decided on a system of private insurance, government assistance, and patient billing. And few haven’t heard complaints about this system. More money is spent per person on healthcare than in any other country in the world, yet we are still lagging in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality rates. And a significant portion of the population is either uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance. Health bills contribute to a high percentage of bankruptcies in America.

Why so much money? There are many reasons. One reason could be the hundreds and hundreds of insurance companies which take in a lot of money for administrative costs. A study by Harvard Medical School and the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that 31% of U.S. healthcare dollars, or about $1000 per person per year, went to health care administrative costs.

But many consider American healthcare to be the best in certain ways.  In responsiveness, we rank first. People in other countries often have to wait much longer than we do to receive treatment.

Changes in the Healthcare Industry

In March of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed to reform healthcare. The law will make some changes over the next four years, like:

  • Expanding eligibility for Medicaid
  • Subsidizing Insurance Premiums for some.
  • Prohibits denying insurance for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • These changes will be paid for by tax increases, fees, and other methods.
  • They hope to save over $143 billion in a decade.

Will Changes Affect My Employment Opportunities in Healthcare?

Yes, but probably only in a positive way. The whole purpose of the legislation is to give healthcare to millions of more people. That means more jobs.  And since the American population is aging, even more workers in the health field will be needed.

The Health Industry

Healthcare in the United States is changing. You can become a part of the change and hopefully make things better for the millions of people needing assistance every day. Above all else, people in the health industry provide a necessary service which rewards both the giver and the receiver.

If you are interested in earning a degree in healthcare, click here to request more information.

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