4 Fastest Growing Healthcare Occupations
The healthcare industry is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. This is largely due to population growth and the recent increase in life expectancy; with all the advances the medical industry is making, people live much longer, but tend to require a higher level of care as they age.
As the healthcare industry grows, there is opportunity for new and innovative occupations to take root. Just 100 years ago, the healthcare industry was restricted to doctors and nurses. Now, we have dentists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists and so much more! In this article, we will look at the top 4 healthcare occupations that are experiencing the most growth, the reasons behind their growth, and their importance in society.
1. Physical Therapist
Also known as a physiotherapist, being a physical therapist tops the list for healthcare occupations experiencing the most growth. This isn’t just because physical therapists make a lot of money (although the median wage in 2012 for a physical therapist was close to $80,000, and this is expected to grow to over $100,000 by 2022). This occupation is attractive to most due to the control you have over your working hours and clients – most physical therapists are self-employed and choose their own working hours.
So what is a physical therapist anyway? Well, a physical therapist is instrumental in strengthening and helping a patient’s physical body recover from injuries, illnesses and surgery. For example, they work with stroke patients to help them regain mobility. They also work with amputees, patients recovering from surgery and many more. As physical therapy is a much better alternative to expensive medicines that have several side effects, physical therapists are much in demand.
2. Nurse Practitioner
Nurses are often considered inferior to doctors, as they have a significantly lower level of education and are incapable of performing all the complicated procedures doctors do. The hard work a nurse does is usually overlooked. However, this isn’t the case with nurse practitioners – this job combines both being a nurse and being a doctor into one occupation! Slightly more advanced than nurses, nurse practitioners are qualified to essentially do everything a doctor does, including prescribing medication and diagnosing illnesses, but they typically spend more time interacting with their patients. They do not just treat the patient’s illness and move on, they get to know the patient so they can identify and correct the root cause of why the illness came about in the first place.
With the healthcare industry booming, the demand for nurse practitioners is on the rise. This is largely due to nurse practitioners providing a higher quality of care for each individual patient. Nurse practitioners also save their patients money in hospital by helping them address the root causes of their problems. It has been proven that patients working with nurse practitioners have fewer trips to the ER, and lower hospital and medical bills.
3. Home Health Aide
Working in the healthcare industry doesn’t just restrict you to working in hospitals or clinics. You can work as a private aide in a person’s home too! Home health aides typically work with the elderly, the disabled, or those suffering from chronic illnesses. For the most part, they assist their patients with simple activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, walking, etc. Some are also required to administer medication.
The salary for a home health aide isn’t very high – probably because minimal qualifications are required – but job opportunities are high. In fact, estimates say that there will be 424,200 jobs in this occupation by 2022. This is probably due to how most patients prefer to spend the majority of their recovery period in the comfort of their own home, but they aren’t well enough to fully take care of themselves yet.
Several new jobs in the healthcare industry may be popping up, but none of them can replace nursing. Nurses typically do all of the grunt work when it comes to patient care – they interact with the patients and provide emotional support and they provide a fair amount of care too.
Employment of practical and registered nurses is set to increase tremendously over the next decade or so. This is largely due to an increased emphasis on preventive care, particularly for diseases such as obesity and diabetes. As nurses typically advise and inform the public and their patients on disease prevention, they are very much in demand. To learn more about how you can start your career as a practical nurse, visit http://e-online-lpn-programs.net/