Healthcare careers are among the fastest growing areas of employment, to the extent that many are experiencing shortages of qualified candidates. That shortfall represents an exciting opportunity for those seeking new careers, but it’s important to explore the full scope of the industry before making a decision about what path to pursue. These 5 roles are among the fastest growing, and represent a diverse array of roles across specializations.
When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, the person who initially evaluates your teeth, takes x-rays, and performs your cleaning is the dental assistant. Dental assistants also perform a lot of critical patient education, regarding proper brushing and flossing – which means dental assistants need technical skills and strong interpersonal abilities. In most states, dental assistants need to be formally certified, and many also need to undergo on the job training to learn their employer’s norms and preferences.
Medical Coding And Billing
Unlike dental assistants, who spend most of their time interfacing with patients, medical coding and billing patients primarily work behind the scenes. Though they do sometimes fill roles that include making patient appointments and other public-facing work, their primary interactions are with doctors and insurance companies. To become a medical coding and billing specialist you typically need to go through a training program, where you’ll learn different coding systems, like ICD-10 and CPT codes, it’s also helpful to have strong attention to detail and excellent communication skills, which tend to be natural rather than learned traits.
Did you know that some nurses travel between locations, rather than being based out of a particular office or hospital? It’s true – and traveling nurses are always in demand, though the pandemic has increased need for these professionals. Traveling nurses play a key role in addressing the nationwide nursing shortage, filling jobs in high-need areas; they’re also more likely to handle shifts typical staff don’t want to cover, such as overnights and holidays. You have to be extremely flexible to do this job, and can’t have any qualms about being away from home, but you’ll be paid well for those sacrifices.
Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings, ranging from schools and independent practices, to homes and hospitals. They also have a misleading name, one that erases the critical work they do with patients of all ages who have swallowing and other oral disorders. In fact, in addition to treating speech impediments and other communication disorders, speech-language pathologists often treat infants and young children who were previously tube fed and may have oral aversions, as well as stroke and dementia patients who have developed dysphagia.
Diagnostic Imaging Technicians
Any time you have a sonogram, an echocardiogram, an MRI, or another medical image, that procedure is likely being performed by an imaging technician who has been trained to use that technology. These technicians don’t actually make diagnoses, though – they just perform the tests that enable doctors to determine what’s going on. Imaging technicians typically only require an associate’s degree, and the field is growing much faster than average.
Overall, medical careers are growing quickly – there’s hardly any position that couldn’t use more trained professionals, both when it comes to patient interactions and behind the scenes operations. So, whether you aspire to the pharmacy or the operating room or something else entirely, keep your eyes open because opportunities are everywhere.