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Speech-Language Pathologist

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Speech-language pathologists or speech therapists are the healthcare professionals who would involve in diagnosing and treating disorders related to speech and swallowing. I chose this healthcare career for discussion today as I noticed this career in the ‘List of Healthcare Careers with the Best Job Security’ and this has been ranked eighth as the best-secured profession in the U.S. Now, let’s see more details about this healthcare career here…

Who is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

As mentioned above, as a speech-language pathologist, you will be assessing, diagnosing, treating, and helping in the prevention of communication and swallowing disorders. In general, these disorders will result from various causes like:

  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Hearing loss
  • Developmental delay
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cleft palate
  • Autism

Thus, being a speech-language pathologist, you will be required to perform the following duties:

  • Evaluating the patients’ levels of speech and swallowing difficulty
  • Identify the appropriate treatment options
  • Creating and carrying out a customized treatment plan for addressing the patients’ needs
  • Educating patients how to make various sounds
  • Enhancing the patients’ voices
  • Working with patients for developing and strengthening the muscles that are involved in the swallowing process
  • Counseling patients and their families on coping with speech and swallowing disorders.

Who can become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

You can become a speech-language pathologist if you are looking for the following things in your career:

  • Variety of work settings like:
    • Early intervention programs
    • Public and private schools
    • Private clinics
    • Hospital inpatient and outpatient
    • Rehabilitation centers
    • Nursing facilities
    • Home health agencies
    • Non-profit agencies
  • Opportunity to work with diverse clients
  • Need for continuous learning
  • Ability to be self-employed
  • Ability to use creativity
  • Ability to specialize or not to specialize
  • Educating, as well as empowering your patients and their families

How to become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Educational Requirements:

A minimum of master’s degree in speech pathology is required to become a speech-language pathologist. In order to enroll into this master’s degree program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree most preferably in communications, speech or hearing sciences.

The coursework of master’s in speech pathology would include:

  • Voice articulation
  • Phonology
  • Literacy
  • Neurological substrates
  • Supervised clinical practicums
  • Elective courses

Licensing and Certification:

Most of the states in the U.S. require the speech-language pathologists to be licensed. To earn a license, you are advised to enroll in a master’s program that is accredited by the ‘Council on Academic Accreditation’ which works under the ‘American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’.

The certification can be earned from the same association and it is called as ‘Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology’.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for the speech-language pathologists are estimated to increase by 21% from the year 2014 to 2024.

Pay:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the speech-language pathologists is found to be $73,410 (as of May 2015) per year which is equal to $35.29 per hour.

Summary:

Average Annual Pay:  $73,410

Average Hourly Pay: $35.29

Education:  Master’s degree

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 21%

On-the-job training: None

Work Experience: None

August 26, 2016 |

List of Healthcare Careers with the Best Job Security

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In the United States, the jobs are appearing to remain scarce for many people in spite of the steady decrease in the overall unemployment rate. The careers with the least unemployment rates are found to require far more education and such employees are paid higher than the less secure jobs. While seven of the top 10 highly secured professions require at least a bachelor’s degree others are seemed to require more qualifications.

Having known this, when we look at the healthcare careers, we could understand that some of the medical professions have the best job security. What are they? Following is the list of healthcare careers with the best job security. Read on….

  1. Speech-Language Pathologists:

Speech-language pathologists are the healthcare professionals who would involve in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of language, communication, and swallowing disorders in both adults and children. The unemployment rate for the speech pathologists was found to be as low as 0.9% (as of 2014) thus becoming the eighth best-secured profession in the United States. According to the ‘U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’, the median annual wage for speech-language pathologists was $73,410 (as of May 2015). The Job Outlook is also found to be good for the speech-language pathologists with projected employment growth rate of 21% (2014 to 2024).

  1. Medical Lab Technicians:

These are the people who will carry out laboratory tests in an effective manner for the purpose of providing a quality patient care to the people. Although the annual median pay for the clinical lab technicians ($50,550 as of May 2015) is found to be quite less than the other professions, we can see the unemployment rate for these people is just 0.4% which is very good. Also, the estimated employment growth rate for the clinical lab technicians (16% from 2014 to 2024) is found to be much faster than the average for all the occupations put together.

  1. Physicians and Surgeons:

These are the healthcare professionals who are involved in diagnosing and treating the illnesses. As for the medical lab technicians, the unemployment rate for the physicians and surgeons is found to be only 0.4%. But, the median annual pay for these healthcare professionals is found to be very high which is equal to greater than $187,200. The estimated employment growth rate for the physicians and surgeons is found to be 14% (as of May 2015) which is again faster than the average for all the occupations.

  1. Physician Assistants:

These are the medical professionals who would provide patient care under the supervision of the physicians. The unemployment rate for the physician assistants is found to be lower than that of physicians and is just 0.2%. The annual median wage for these people is higher and is found to be $98,180 (as of May 2015). When it comes to employment growth rate, it is found to be much higher than many other professions, which is 30%.

  1. Dentists:

These people would diagnose and treat problems that are related to the mouth. The unemployment rate for the dentists is found to be 0.2% which is really good and the median annual pay is also found to be very high which is $158,310 (as of May 2015). When it comes to employment growth rate, it is found to be 18% from 2014 to 2024. All these factors make this professional as the second-best secured in the healthcare field.

  1. Chiropractors:

Chiropractors are the healthcare professionals who would treat health problems related to the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. This is the healthcare career with the utmost job security with an unemployment rate as low as 0.1%. The annual median wage for the chiropractors is found to be $64,440 (as of May 2015) which is higher than that of many other professions. The employment growth rate for these professionals is found to be 17% which is faster than the average for all the occupations.

August 24, 2016 |

Surgical Technologist

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Surgical technologists or surgical technicians are the healthcare professionals who will assist the surgical team in the operating rooms. This allied healthcare career has been already mentioned in the ‘8 Most Exciting Healthcare Jobs for 2016’ for various reasons. Now, let’s see about this exciting healthcare career in detail here…

Why should you become a Surgical Technologist?

This is simply because you will play a vital role in the operating room and you will be an integral part of the surgical team. The other factors that are exciting about this healthcare career are the hands-on internships you would receive during the surgical technology education program, the increasing demand for the surgical technologists in the healthcare centers, exciting earning potential, and the likeliness of making a difference every day. I would say this healthcare career wouldn’t bore you at any time.

What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Surgical Technologist?

In a given day, a surgical technologist would have to perform the following tasks:

  • Preparing operating rooms for surgeries
  • Sterilizing operation equipment before surgeries
  • Ensuring adequate supplies for surgery
  • Preparing patients for surgery by washing/disinfecting their incision sites
  • Helping surgeons in the surgical procedure by providing them instruments and sterile supplies
  • Counting supplies like sponges, instruments, and so on.
  • Maintaining a sterile environment inside the operating room

Where do the surgical technologists work? It can be seen that almost 70% of the surgical technologists have their work in hospitals and they are found to be working alongside other healthcare professionals like:

  • Registered nurses
  • Physicians
  • Surgeons

How to become a Surgical Technologist?

Educational Requirements:

If you aspire to become a surgical technologist, you need to complete a diploma, certificate, or an associate’s degree program in surgical technology. Of these, the diploma and certificate programs can be completed in less than a year whereas the associate’s program will take two years to complete.

The coursework of the above-mentioned programs would include the following:

  • Surgical procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

The students are required to choose a surgical technology that has got the accreditation from the ‘Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs’.

Certification:

I would say certification will be beneficial for you in finding an employment. As a surgical technologist, you can earn certification from various organizations like:

  • The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
  • National Center for Competency Testing
  • American Board of Surgical Assistants

Of these, the certification from the first organization allows the use of ‘Certified Surgical Technologist’ title and from the second body allows the use of ‘Tech in Surgery – Certified’ title. The third body is offering certification for the ‘surgical first assistants’.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for the surgical technologists are estimated to increase by 15% from the year 2014 to 2024.

Pay:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the surgical technologists is found to be $44,330 (as of May 2015) per year which is equal to $21.31 per hour.

Summary:

Average Annual Pay:  $44,330

Average Hourly Pay: $21.31

Education:  Postsecondary non-degree award

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 15%

On-the-job training: None

Work Experience: None

August 20, 2016 |

Paramedic

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Paramedics are the medical workers who would involve in caring for the sick or injured people in an emergency medical setting. In simple terms, paramedics are the highest level emergency medical technicians or EMTs. These are the first people who will be seen in the place of an accident or a health emergency. Paramedic is the health care career of interest to several people due to its expected job growth percentage which is 24% by the year 2024. It’s mainly due to this reason; this career role has been included in the list of ‘Most Exciting Healthcare Jobs for 2012’.

Let’s see about this healthcare career in detail here…

Roles and Duties of a Paramedic:

In a given day, the roles and duties of a paramedic may include the following:

  • Attending the 911 calls for medical emergencies like cardiac attacks, injuries, and so on…
  • Evaluating the patients’ condition to determine the course of treatment
  • Providing first aids and/or life support care to the sick and/or injured patients
  • Taking patients in the ambulance safely
  • Transferring patients to the emergency care units of hospitals or other healthcare facilities
  • Reporting the observations and treatments of the patients to the physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Documenting the medical care provided to the patients
  • Replacing and cleaning the medical supplies and equipment after use.

How a paramedic is differing from the EMTs is that a paramedic can give more extensive pre-hospital care than the EMTs. In addition, paramedics could give medications both orally and intravenously. They will be able to use monitors and other complex equipment.

How to become a Paramedic?

Paramedic Career Path:

To become a paramedic, you need to gain an EMT certificate and in order to apply for this; you need to complete some paramedic training programs. You can enroll in these programs if you have completed the high school and have a current ‘CPR certification’. The instructions during these training programs will include the fundamental skills required for giving first aids. Students enrolled in these programs would learn the following things:

  • Assessing patients’ conditions
  • Controlling bleeding
  • Managing airways
  • Responding to cardiac emergencies

As such, the hands-on experience will be gained by the students in ambulances, emergency rooms, and labor wards.

Once you have the basic certificate, you need to pass the ‘EMT Licensing Exams’ after which you have to gain work experience before joining a paramedic training program. A typical training program would last one to two years and would often result in a certificate or an associate’s degree.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for EMTs and Paramedics are estimated to increase by 24% from the year 2014 to 2024.

Pay:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the EMTs and Paramedics is found to be $31,980 (as of May 2015) per year which is equal to $15.38 per hour.

Summary:

Average Annual Pay:  $31,980

Average Hourly Pay: $15.38

Education:  Postsecondary non-degree award

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 24%

On-the-job training: None

Work Experience: None

August 16, 2016 |
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