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Nurses may be the most in-demand health care position in the country.

Healthcare Occupations in High Demand

July 18th, 2009

The healthcare field is an industry that continues to grow and expand at a very rapid rate. The healthcare field was one of the largest industries in 2008, and is expected to grow 22% in the next several years, bringing 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, ten of 20 of the fastest growing jobs are related to healthcare, and workers in the diverse healthcare field come from a variety of different degree, certification, and experience backgrounds.

Medical assistants are among healthcare occupations in high demand. Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the office they work in running smoothly. Medical assistants can work in physicians, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapy, pediatricians, and other health practitioners’ offices. Many perform administrative duties such as answering telephones, greeting patients, updating medical records and billing, and scheduling appointments.

Medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians, are also in high demand as diagnostic imaging and technology continues to grow. Medical sonographers operate the equipment which collects sounds waves into an area of a person’s body to then form an image that may be photographed, videotaped, or transmitted. These images are used by physicians to diagnose and treat patients for illnesses or disorders.

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, are one of the most understaffed careers in healthcare. PAs generally practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. PAs can examine and treat patients, order and analyze laboratory tests, and diagnose patients. They may also be the principle provider in offices where physicians are only present a couple of times a week, but still must consult with other physicians or medical professionals before making major decisions. Physicians assistants also assist surgeons during major or lengthy procedures.

Nurses are among some of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare as well. While there are a number of different types and specializations of nurses, they generally help care for patients and assist them in their basic needs, administer medication, conduct routine tests, and check and record patients’ vital signs. Nurses may work in hospitals, medical buildings, nursing care facilities, home health services, and in various other settings.