In these days of economic uncertainty, job change is a hot issue. When baby boomers retire and leave the workforce, employers are concerned about the shortage of skilled workers. In addition, lower costs for companies, job cuts, layoffs, and forced occupational changes make many workers face difficult choices. One working days and one employer are gone for life. Following the career path today can mean maneuvering many turns, turns, setbacks, side roads and blind alleys. Where is the road map to a new profession providing fertility, stability and growth potential?
One of the best ways to reduce some of the uncertainties and increase your marketing quotient is to expand your skill set. Since continuing education is often required to maintain licenses and certificates, making these teaching hours do a double duty. Appropriate training can mean more opportunities in your current field of work, and serve as a springboard for a new career. But which industries provide the best opportunity for job stability and progress?
The expansion of healthcare and related industries is expected to require many skilled workers in the next decade. According to Forbes, "Given the age of newborns, look for the healthcare sector … (b) between 2004 and 2014, and seven of the ten fastest growing US jobs in the health care industry will be." In addition to the functions that are directly involved in patient care, the demand for support professionals such as medical records, health information technicians, therapists, counselors, and medical transcribers will increase.
The prerequisite for entry into any healthcare related profession is medical terminology. Being able to recognize, understand, spell, and pronounce basic medical terms, define medical abbreviations, and decode unfamiliar words using roots, suffixes, and prefixes is an essential tool for achieving good performance in any medical setting. Medical terminology courses are widely available in Internet formats, home study, and coaching guidance. Because medical technology is advancing rapidly, medical terminology is evolving to keep up. To stay up to date with the new terms, consider taking the course again if you've taken it in the past.
The Ministry of Labor database lists seven non-traditional jobs requiring medical terms:
Medical Transcriptionists – To understand and accurately copy the exact reports you dictate, medical photographers must understand medical terms, anatomy, physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, and treatment assessments. They should also be able to translate medical terms and abbreviations into their extended forms.
Medical records and health information technicians In addition to general education, course requirements for medical records and health information technicians include medical terms, anatomy, physiology, legal aspects of health information, standards for health data, data encoding and statistics, database management, quality improvement methods, and computer science.
Surgery technicians Surgical technicians receive training in formal programs offered by community colleges, universities, vocational schools, universities, hospitals, and the army. In 2006 the CAAHEP approved more than 400 accredited training programs. Programs last from 9 to 24 months and lead to a degree, diploma, or university degree. Programs provide supervised classroom education and clinical experience. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, professional ethics, and medical terminology. Other topics covered include patient care and safety during surgery, aseptic techniques, and surgical procedures. Students also learn sterilization tools to prevent and combat infection. Dealing with medicines, solutions, supplies and special equipment. Most employers prefer to hire certified technicians.
Occupational Therapy Aides and Aides There were 126 accredited occupational therapy assistant programs in 2007. The first year of study usually includes an introduction to healthcare, basic medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. In the second year, training courses are stricter and usually include occupational therapist courses in areas such as mental health, physical disabilities for adults, gerontology and paediatrics. Students must also complete 16 weeks of supervised field work in a clinic or community.
Radiologists and technicians – The Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiation Technology adopts most of the formal training programs in this field. The committee approved more than 600 radiography programs in 2007. The programs provide both semester and clinical education in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, radiation physics, radiation protection, imaging principles, medical terminology, patient positioning, and medical ethics , Radiology, and pathology.
Medical assistants Post-secondary medical assistance programs are offered at technical vocational secondary schools, post-secondary vocational schools, community colleges and beginners. Programs usually last either for one year and lead to a degree or diploma, or two years and lead to an academic degree. Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, as well as writing, copying, bookkeeping, accounting and insurance processing. Students learn laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, drug administration and first aid. They also study office practices, patient relations, medical law and ethics. There are many organizations that accredit medical assistance programs, and accredited programs often include an internship that provides practical experience to physicians. Offices, hospitals or other health care facilities.
Court reporters – Candidates to obtain a Level 1 Court Report Certificate – CVR – must pass a written spelling test, punctuation, vocabulary, legal and medical terms and three 5-minute transcription exams that test speed, accuracy and silence.
In addition to these areas, many other professionals can benefit from an understanding of medical terms. Lawyers, paralegals, parliaments, and other legal professionals who deal with cases related to medical matters are more able to sue in these cases when they understand the terminology involved. Health insurance professionals, as well as those involved in billing and medical coding jobs, benefit from a working knowledge of medical terminology.
Many agencies require certification in medical terminology for pharmacy technicians. Professionals and technicians in biology, dentistry, hospital management and many more should use medical terminology correctly to communicate with patients, employees, clients, and colleagues. Therapists, technicians, counselors and home health care providers can improve communication, increase the quality of patient care and reduce supervision and responsibility cases with a clear understanding of medical terms.
The medical terminology course is a widely accessible means of expanding your skill set, increasing your marketing ability, and increasing opportunities for advancement in your current career while helping you define a path to exciting work in the healthcare industry. Double the value of your time and education leads to a better employment that will enrich your life.