The aging of the American population will require the expansion of healthcare services to sustain people in their later years. In addition, the broadening of healthcare coverage with the Affordable Care Act will also bring medical care to more Americans and will increase the need for trained medical staff and services. Qualified professionals will be needed to fill positions in a number of different fields.
The growing population and increased healthcare access will mean a greater need for diagnostic services such as radiology. The role of the radiology technician will grow in importance as physicians rely on these techniques to diagnose and treat illnesses. New and more complex radiology equipment will require more personnel with a radiology degree who can provide the best diagnostic results for patient care.
The physician’s assistant is a new type of medical position that is likely to grow in importance as access to healthcare expands and as the population ages. Physician’s assistants can do a number of routine tasks usually done by physicians, which will allow physicians to focus on more complex cases. Pas can order tests, diagnose illness, conduct physical examinations, prescribe medications, educate on preventative care, develop treatment plans and do hospital rounds.
Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses
Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses are expected to in high demand in the coming years. Improved medical techniques will require these nursing professionals to provide ongoing care for long-term illnesses for older patients, as well as patients of all ages.
The pharmaceutical industry continues to develop new medications to help patients at all levels of care. Medical professionals who have a thorough understanding of the preparation and use of these drugs play an important role in providing the highest level of care for patients. Trained pharmacists will be needed to dispense liquid and solid drugs in the correct amounts, as well as to provide custom IV admixtures for patient care in hospitals, skilled care facilities, nursing homes and for home care situations.
With an aging population comes the need for more health services to manage osteoarthritis and other mobility problems. New surgical techniques will require additional reliance on physical therapists to help patients regain their former function. This field will offer many opportunities in hospitals, in nursing homes and in home care.
The coming decades will bring a wealth of opportunity for those interested in the healthcare field. A concentration in these fields of study is sure to reap big results.