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Finding the right Heath care job

In a period when the Baby Boomer generation is beginning to retire, one of the top areas for career growth is in the healthcare industry.  There are a vast number of choices available for everybody, both in professional areas like RN, MD, and in the skilled areas such as Home Health Aide.

Those looking for a professional field can choose to be a RN, a Physiatrist, a Occupational Therapist or a Respiratory therapist. Usually, depending on your locale, this kind of career requires a diploma that can take from 1 to eight years of studying, at the end of which requires the candidate passing a written state exam to receive its license.

For those seeking a job with not as much schooling required, there are numerous opportunities in the “skilled” field that are available. If you are looking to work in a place like a skilled nursing facility, you can get a job like a CAN (in some areas, this is being used to supplant the old Licensed Practical Nurse).  This requires up to two years of studying and requires the passage of a state exam to get a license.  Like the LPN, these jobs can do hands on work like moving the patient or bathing.

Other comparable skilled positions that work out of a client’s home include:

PCA — Personal Care Aide – needs about three months or less of studying, depending on locale.  A PCA cannot do hands on work with the patient, but is more in charge of light housework like folding laundry, vacuuming the floor and running errands — generally things that a patient’s disability prevents them from doing on their own.

HHA – Home Health Aide – Requires slightly more education than a PCA.  This person can cook, do light housework and remind the client to take daily medications.  Unlike the PCA, this job is more hands on and can do things like dressing, bathing, feeding patients, meal prep, assisting with medication reminders, transfers, lifting, and taking patients to doctor’s appointments.

PTA – Physical Therapy Aide – requires up to 2 years of studying.  A PTA helps patient follow physical therapy plans set up by a regular PT.

OTA – Occupational Therapy Aide — Like the PTA, requires up to 2 years of schooling.  Comes in and helps the patient follow plans set out by the OT.

Massage Therapist — requires up to 2 years of education. A massage therapist works in conjunction with a physician and occupational therapist /PT to provide relief from pain without the use of drugs.

HCSS- Home and Community Support Services aide — This person deals more with Traumatic Brain Injury patients who can be of any age — requires a slightly different course of education than  Home Health Aide for certification – A home and community support services aide assists the patient regain status in the community.  A HCSS verbally helps and reminds the patient of daily tasks and functions. This person can function more in a hands-on capacity than a Personal Care Aide if really needed.

As always, these jobs may have different titles depending on your locale, but as you can see that they offer a wide variety of choices for this growing job field. Whatever field you pick, you will need to have your entry-level resume tailored to that specialty.

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